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#ing,Tweeting and Posting? I just got comfortable with cut and paste!

Okay, the truth must come out. I am a bit of a technophobe. This is not new, just not something I freely divulge. In today’s digital, instant world, admitting to technophobia is akin to the Biblical leper running around yelling, “Unclean! Unclean!”

I remember when microwave ovens began to become common place–yes, that is an age giveaway. After turning one dinner roll into a landscape stone because I thought I had to heat it a mere 10 minutes, not 10 seconds, I began to wonder if such potent laser beams could escape the oven and microwave my brain. Turns out I wasn’t so far off the mark, but back then I was just viewed as an old fashioned, lily livered anti-progressive.

A couple of years after that, I bought a word processor. Now that one I was all for because it meant the end of carbon paper, correction tape and endless do-overs when editing my writing. I do love cut and paste. Now, however, I approach the latest generation of computer with fear and trembling because it auto-corrects, auto-updates and auto-improves itself to the point I can no longer even use it, much less understand it.

Case in point: I am charged with maintaining a website for an economic honor society. That may sound made-up since I just confessed my lack of computer saavy, but it is true. That has gone reasonably well until now. NOW is when the distant webhost said he had to move the server. I am advanced enough to know he didn’t meant it would look better on the wall by the window, but “moving the server” could have meant transferring the files to a flash drive or to an intergalactic orb far far away.

Whether new computer or new galaxy, I was notified that the move went well and I could update the site at my leisure. Ha! None of my log-on credentials worked, so I emailed the webmaster. I was told I just needed to set up a new website connection with FTP. He might as well have said I just needed to jot over next door and perform a frontal lobotomy. At least I know what a frontal lobotomy is.
This came at a time when I had just learned at a writing conference that successful book marketing is done primarily online these days. The website is the new business card and marketing tools are blogs, Instagram, Facebook posts and Twitter. Last I knew, twitter meant the sound birds make. Although you could be excitable and get “all a twitter” over something. Pretty sure neither of those are the Twitter I have to get to know.

The upshot is that I, who have been known to turn off the electricity and read by the light of an oil lamp to protest the screeching rate of “progress,” must now learn not only to navigate FTP, but to do Facebook posts, post boosts, FB ads, hashtag stuff and tweet somewhere to promote my books.

Maybe I will light the oil lamp and then jot over next door and talk about that lobotomy instead.

Grits on the Road

Today marks one calendar month since The Trouble with Grits was officially published. Our first post-publication step was to move onto the shelves of our hometown book store, Page and Palette in downtown Fairhope, Ala. Page and Palette is also the hometown bookstore of Fannie Flagg, one of my favorite authors. The official book launch party is set for July 26 at the self-same book store’s Book Cellar, their venue for such fun events. Page and Palette is also the traditional launching point for all of Fannie’s books since she wrote Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (first published as Coming Attractions), sitting by the bay in our very own Fairhope. Did I mention that I love Fannie Flagg?

The second step was to take Vangie and Grits on the road. So we packed the car and lit out. There is a chapter in the book about the MacRaes of Kintail and since there was an official McCraw family reunion (the US descendants of the MacRaes of Scotland –we think– and MacGraiths of Ireland – we know) taking place in Mount Airy, NC, I was able to get a place on the program to read the chapter and sign some books. Mount Airy, the inspiration for Mayberry of Andy Griffith fame, also has a lovely indie book store/coffee shop called Pages Books and Coffee and they were gracious enough to offer me a signing there the Saturday following the McCraw event.

Both events went really well, and Vangie and I did a little sightseeing while we were traveling. Of course, we had to see the Andy Griffith museum. And since Vangie’s daddy just loved the Hanks, Hank Williams and Hank Snow, we stopped in Georgiana, Ala. to visit Hank Williams’ boyhood home. We spent a little time on the porch just chilling.

There are readings, signings and radio shows already scheduled and more in the works. Keep up with Vangie and her adventures right here and on our Facebook page, Phyllis Pittman, author, while we take Grits on the road and see some stuff.

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