Part 1: It was Saturday, and I was video-taping a read-aloud on Zoom. I finished my book, and I went to listen to it, to save it . . . but IT wasn’t there! There was no link. I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t save it or load it into my Meta planner.
So . . . I tried again. I video-taped. I went to listen, AND I got the same result! No link! I was dead in the water. It was 3:30 Saturday afternoon, and I didn’t have a video to put up for my 4:00 deadline.
So . . . what did I do? Well, I didn’t panic. I thought about solutions, what CAN I do? I needed a video of me reading a book. Obviously, I couldn’t read the one I’d planned. That’s the moment when I realized I have a treasure chest of read-alouds saved in my computer. I have 78 titles! All I had to do – pick one.
That was easy! I wrote about technophobia, and I could have had a really bad case of it that Saturday afternoon, or I could use it. I decided right then and there to use it as Sunday’s Vlog. For Saturday, I already had a picture book to match . . . Nanobots. It was perfect, and it was an easy fix, but it wasn’t the end of this story.
Part 2: What Next? On Saturday I scheduled the vlog that matched NanoBots right after the read-aloud appeared. The title, Technophobia – It’s for Real! And that Sunday it was far too real, again.
I went in like usual at 4PM to find my vlog. Time to post it across social media . . . But it wasn’t there – the video had an error and wouldn’t play. My heart raced as I tried to figure out what to do.
I thought for a moment. Then I pulled the error down and put up the video from my computer again. I hoped it would work, but I didn’t know for sure, so I posted notices on social media that the video would be up soon.
It was! By the time I finished my second notice, the video was up and running. I posted the links for it and deleted the notices. By 4:30 my vlog problem was over.
But I hadn’t figured out the Zoom issue that started my problem in the first place.
Part 3: Remember my original issue? That I couldn’t videotape on Zoom – well, it got worse. I couldn’t even open a meeting, and that’s a problem. Every Friday I host my critique partners on my Zoom account. We’re all over the country . . . from New York to Connecticut, from Ohio to Tennessee to California.
It was Monday so I wasn’t really worried. I thought I could work things out. I opened a meeting, then recorded another. I thought the problem was fixed. Nope! By midnight on Monday, I had six security alerts from our Aura protection system, and I’m not a techie. YIKES!
My husband was out of state so I texted him late that night for advice. His answer Tuesday morning, call Aura. I did. I was on hold forever. OK, it was more like 2 hours. They explained that Zoom and Aura were butting heads, and they gave me a work around. I tried, but it failed like everything else. I still had the same problem, and more security alerts.
So, I reached out to Zoom. I have a free account that I’ve used for over 2 years. I’ve never had a problem, until that Saturday. I tried calling, but they don’t answer phone calls from customers like me. I tried putting in a ticket for tech help, but they don’t answer tickets like mine. They did send me an email with ten links to try out. YUCK! Who knows what kind of an answer I’d get, and when?
I knew where the problem was – with Zoom’s executive command. Whenever an error message popped up, that’s what it said. I tried deleting my old account, then adding new ones. Zoom worked right away when I downloaded it, but stopped whenever I clicked out and tried to return again. The problem – that darn executive command. No matter what I did, Zoom refused to open, or it deleted itself from my home screen. By now I’d spent most of Tuesday trying to solve my problem, and I was no closer to solving it. URGH!!!
Part 4: Late Tuesday I messaged my husband about my frustrations. I thought I was dead in the water with Zoom for another week, but he surprised me and drove home Wednesday.
Would you believe he had the problem fixed in under an hour? The solution – He clicked on the error messages, then on ignore, and the problem disappeared. I couldn’t believe how quickly he fixed it, especially after I waited most of Tuesday for tech help. My hero!
PS – I thought my computer troubles were over. Almost! I forgot to bring my power cord to a writing conference., but all’s well that ends well. My critique group exchanged notes using email instead of meeting on Zoom, and I cut my computer time way back.
The silver lining – I took a break from writing. It turns out that taking time off is a good thing. It rejuvenates you, gives you a fresh take on your work, and it’s fun.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!