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The adventures of being an author by Nisaba Merrieweather

I’ve just had two days’ horror. Got a marked-up copy back from an editor yesterday, and sat down with some relish to go through it. All very exciting, you say.

Except my copy of Word wouldn’t open it properly. I could see all the stuff but couldn’t accept (or reject) any changes. I struggled for ages. After much cursing and swearing I remembered that I have been using an unregistered copy for a while. So I go online and buy a proper copy.

The MS website offered a copy for $11.00 for a month or $23.00 per annum. I chose the latter. Paid with my usual online payment method. Immediately it defected to the monthly payment. Not happy, but I downloaded it anyway, and wrote a complaining email.

Then I installed it. Ran the .exe file, went to insert my Special Number. Checked the automated email I got on payment. No product key. Meanwhile it was still half installed, telling me my product key will be in my other received materials - the email without it. So I finished the installation without it, planning to keep up the Great Fight. 

Went back to the site to change my payment option from monthly to yearly. The yearly cost had jumped from $23 to $63. Oh well, I’m over a barrel, I need it registered. So I go ahead and choose the $63 annual option, still better, still better than $131 for the year on the monthly payment. Click to effect that change. Suddenly the price jumps to $129.

Not happy, Jan.

So I search everywhere possible for my product key. Nope, there was no secret separate download next to the .exe file. By now I am showing dangerous signs of losing the anger. If I lose the anger, I will do nothing. I do my best to stay angry.

What this situation needs is a different pair of eyes on it. So I asked a local friend if I could borrow their spouse. An in-principle agreement is made. I put everything in the too-hard basket, watch some mindless TV, and go to bed. 

In the morning, after doing all the morning-stuff, I contemplate texting the spouse of my friend. My phone goes PING. An email from the rotten, thieving Microsoft people. It isn’t a product key, but it does contain a button to press, to install your registered version. I do that. It installs. 

I have paid too much and I’ve lost two half-days by now, in addition to being swindled. I got into my marked-up copy. Finally. After all that, I was emotionally exhausted, and only processed the editor’s earliest suggestions. Seven pages, and I was done.

So I sat down in my living room with a cup of something hot, and promptly slept for two hours. The best writing-part of the day is over now, but at last I’m starting to feel as if life is possible. 

Oh, except my cup of tea is now stone-cold.



Nisaba Merrieweather was born in 1960 and is not yet dead. She started writing in 1969 at age eight, and hasn't worked out how to stop. Thankfully, all her output before this century has been lost. She is a storyteller and poet, and has won or placed in over 70 online poetry competitions in the last fifteen years. She has one novel currently being considered for publication, two others waiting for another final edit, a fourth in progress, and a fifth idea eagerly waiting its turn. Some of the prevailing themes explored in her work are the alienation in our society of marginalised people especially aging women, dark humour, LGBTQI life-experience, spirituality, and philosophy. Since the covid plague forced an early retirement on her, she has become more serious about her writing, and has found a second home in the Outback Writers' Centre.

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