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Monday, February 16, 2009

Writers and Confidence

Personal Weather Report - Barometer steady as calm returns after period of intense activity.

Writing Activity - New story continues to progress nicely. Currently at 40,500/60,000 words. Judged seven contest entries.

Writing is a tough business, which requires talent and skill. Determination, thick skin and confidence help too.

I saw a link to a great article on confidence that I'd like to share. The post is from consulting editor Alan Rinzler's blog, The Book Deal: An Inside View of Publishing, and is titled "How successful writers keep up their confidence."

I hope you find the article as helpful as I did.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Apple Computers Makes My Day

Personal Weather Report - Outlook bright.

Writing Activity - New story going well. Currently at 38,500/60,000 words.

Once in a while a company goes above and beyond in order to satisfy their customers. The staff at the Sacramento, California Apple Store did so on my behalf recently.

Back in September a mysterious vertical band appeared on my iMac, an early 2006 model with a 17-inch screen. I took it to the Apple Store. The Geniuses returned it two weeks later.

My computer worked for a week, but the band reappeared. Since it was only an inch wide this time instead of the five inches it had been before, I used it for several months despite the problem, since I was loathe to part with my machine again.

Realizing the vertical stripe wasn't going to go away on its own, I took Gwynly's advice, backed up my data and headed to the Apple Store in late January. The Genius at the Genius Bar assured me everything would be done to get my computer back to me quickly, since it was the second time for service on the same issue.

I waited twelve agonizing days before I called to see how things were going. Two more helpful people told me my computer was being worked on at that moment and I could expect to hear some news soon.

I waited another three days before I called again, since I'd been told the Geniuses' workload was heavy following the holidays. A nice employee put me through to the Head Genius, Kennen Warmack, who said so many parts had been replaced on my ailing computer in an attempt to repair it that I was going to be given another.

Expecting a refurbished model, I asked what I'd be receiving. When Kennen told me I would get a brand new 20-inch iMac, I was stunned. Had I heard right? Would a company really do such a thing?

Yes! Apple would and did.

Kennen said he'd need some time to transfer my data to the new computer, so I made arrangements to pick up my amazing new computer Monday, February 9. I walked into the store that afternoon, was greeted by Katya Kemblowski and in minutes was standing beside a huge box cradling my state-of-the-art iMac.

I offered to pay for the data transfer but was told I didn't have to. I asked if I could purchase an extended warranty on the new machine. Katya dashed off to check. Yes, I could. The transaction was completed, paperwork exchanged and I left the store in a state of euphoria.

Katya had offered to have my computer delivered to the mall's pick-up area, but I didn't want to part with it. Off I went carrying my iMac through the mall beaming so broadly I drew the attention of many passersby. I wanted to stop and tell each one what Apple had done for me, but I was afraid they wouldn't believe me. A company doesn't do such things, right?

Wrong. Apple does!

So, here I sit in front of my amazing new machine typing on the thin aluminum keyboard with its awesome touch while reveling in my unexpected but greatly appreciated gift.

Thanks, Apple, and thanks to the staff of the Apple Store at Arden Fair. You made my day!