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August 2010

Question of the Month: Makeover

by Susan Henderson on August 2, 2010

Tell me about you and a makeover. It could be about a drastic haircut, a house renovation, a life change, or something you’re still only considering.

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Much has happened since my last blog post—Holland, Australia, and New Zealand bought foreign rights for UP FROM THE BLUE, and I’ve been busy doing interviews, all airing closer to the book launch in September. I also had two big makeovers, one planned and one very much unplanned.

Let’s talk about the planned makeover first. You’ve probably already noticed the big change in my website. This makeover is the fabulous work of Shatterboxx. We talked about making the site simpler, cleaner, and more book-centric, taking color themes from the book cover. I also wanted to make sure anyone brand new to LitPark wasn’t disoriented by too many things to look at or click on, and I didn’t want people to feel intimidated by the close-knit community we’ve built together.

I was nervous about making the change. LitPark has had a certain look since 2006 when my friend, Terry Bain, first helped me put the site together, and I’m fond of the memories and friendships born of the original site. But the desire to mark a new phase in my life was stronger, and I love the final result. Click around and see the changes. Let me know what you think.

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Now to the unexpected…

One thing that got lost in the move: hundreds of photos posted on the blogs and interviews. And I had begun the slightly insane process of finding and reposting those photos when my computer started acting funny.

About a week and a half ago, internet pages started loading slowly. I was getting that spinny wheel a lot and having to do force-quits and restart my computer. A few days later, things were even slower, especially when opening word documents, and the force-quit command no longer worked, so I made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Mac store. The day after I made the appointment, my computer would not restart at all. Please don’t ask me if I back up my work—for example, those years worth of photos, my address book, my iTunes, my publicity and marketing plans for my book, not to mention the memoir and the next two novels I’d written.

The Genius Bar has always been an amazing experience for me, how quickly they fix everything, and for free. I took my laptop to my appointment expecting all the problems to go away. They looked at it for a bit, then plugged it into to a yellow box of some sort with the unsettling word, Triage, on it, and in a little while they told me they were seeing “zero data” on my hard drive.

I have pretty much been in a strange, protected state of shock since they said this, taking the hard drive from the back of my computer and handing it to me in a little plastic bag. I can’t really let my mind take this in right now, and I’ve since sent the hard drive off to a company called Mac Medics to try to recover the missing information. I’ll let you know how that goes.

But this brings me to my unplanned makeover. My wake-up call. I’m learning that too much in my life is chaotic. The way I write. The way I store my information. The way I keep my house. The way I schedule my day. Like my new website, I need to be cleaner, uncluttered, more focussed, more organized. And I need to learn to back-up my work.

Please back yours up today.

And now, enough about my makeovers. Let’s hear about yours!

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