State of Affairs, Part II

I'm also still working for Circlet. We did more mailing this week. You know, after the last time, when we stuffed envelopes and sent out seven hundred little 'order some paperback smut!' pamphlets to bookstores across the country. (A few went up into the Democratic Republic of Canuckistan.) Collecting that list was my job. Even a list of seven hundred sex shops gets really boring really quickly when you have them in a spreadsheet, and need to convert them into mailing addresses.

I left a 25lb box of meticulously-packed pornography sitting on Boss Lady's dining room table, waiting to be sent out to a burlesque troupe in Nashville, for their Halloween show. I was uncertain what reaction I'd get to the suggestion that we ship four dozen books to Tennessee gratis, but it turns out that this seems like a perfectly sensible idea when you bring it up after the Editor-in-Chief has herself devised a plan to clean out the basement stockroom into other people's swag bags. I went spelunking for thirteen 30ct boxes of Through A Brazen Mirror, to be sent out to a very large fantasy writers' conference, which will be followed up by another 400 copies of something called The Drag Queen of Elfland and other stories as soon as I finish hauling them up out of the basement. I keep losing Sherpas down there. Although, in compensation, I am getting to know the local spiders quite well.

There is a once more a loud whirring noise coming from the server-rack end of the basement again. This is reassuring, seeing as our website has been down for several weeks, on account of too many volts. I am not kidding. Cambridge had a series of awe-inspiring thunderstorms a while back, which wrapped up in the Götterdamerung conclusion of a lighting strike that fried both A) the actual webserver and B) the machine that was meant to be our backup, in case of A. We sent the disk off to some sort of digital voodoo priest in the mid-Atlantic area, who has mercifully established that the platters are fine, but that all the magic smoke has been let out of the controller. Brain transplants are much easier on disk drives than on humans, so we'll have it back eventually. This is excellent news, particularly since I have a pretty good idea of who would have been responsible for the data entry if we'd had to rebuild the store from scratch.

We've started using a service called If This, Then That to bounce things around on social media. I detest the tumblr dashboard interface. It's so obstructively "friendly" it's like trying to type wearing giant Nerf gloves. IfTTT will take things I post to the actual main blog page at circlet.com and echo it to a bunch of other social media services, without me having to mess with Wordpress plugins or crosspost things by hand. It's not perfect -- the most notable hole is Google+, because Google, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that they don't like third-party clients, official APIs, or telling you how to post via email, even though their 'post via text' service goes through an SMS-to-email gateway behind the scenes. There is a way to outwit this and get them to give you the supar-sekrit email address you need to do it yourself, but it involves signing up for a Google Voice number, routing your GVoice SMS service back to email, and intentionally triggering a bounce error. It does not work with T-Mobile prepaid plans, which is what I have. No, I don't know why. A wizard did it.

I also set up IfTTT for a bunch of my things, which you have all probably noticed if you decided to follow me on tumblr. I have no problem with using tumblr as long as I don't have to touch the damn thing, so I have it set up to echo all my blog posts immediately for your reading pleasure. I also, in a fit of procrasti-boredom, set it up to echo a lot of completely random things to the tumblr queue, to be posted a few per day, in case any of you were suffering from a fit of crippling procrasti-boredom yourselves. It's not quite "reblog everything I've looked at for more than fifteen seconds", but it's as close as I can get without owning a pair of Google Glasses.

I drew a little chart of all the things the Circlet account bounces around and where they go, in case I contract the Venusian Death Flu and can't take care of it for a week. I tried to draw a flow chart of mine too, but it turns out that my flow isn't planar. Oops. Well, it all makes sense in my head. I do that fairly regularly. I used to loathe when instructors required flow charts for papers/story plots or those brainstorming cloud diagram things; mine were always desperately incomplete or completely indecipherable, because in order to connect everything up properly I would have needed to start drawing arrows that looped sideways through the table. Or possibly through time. One of the two. It drove me so crazy once that I submitted a (college) research paper on CD-R so I could hyperlink everything.

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