We Have Gremlins

Into every biological existence of finite duration some metaphorical liquid precipitation must gravitate downward at a rapid rate of acceleration.

Hi. I hope your Yule/Christmas/Hanukkah/Other Decemberish Holiday was wonderful, and that your New Year will kick ass. I apologize for my sudden vanishment; I found myself in a place without Internet or a computer where I was anticipating the existence of both, and while it has become clear to me that I really, really needed the rest (nor am I quite done with the resting, honestly), I had intended to do cool things during my vacation, like put up a holiday greeting and let folks know I was going to be away for a while. I had intended to answer e-mail. Stuff like that.

Life is full of surprises. And they do keep coming.

Metaphorical precipitation, you know.

I’m going to need some store beta testers — people of all levels of technical expertise, from “my mouse has one button, and that’s enough” to “I dream in optimized machine code” to see if you can break my e-book store.

This process will take some time. What I wanted has turned out to be complex in surprising ways, and while it will be both cool and nifty when it’s all together, the process of getting it all together has not exactly been “unpack software, install.” Margaret is still in the putting-everything-together stage, but we should be ready to go to beta in a few days.

We won’t be ready to roll out on the 2nd of January. So publication of Create A Character Clinic (plus two other writing e-books by other writers, about which I’m tremendously excited) will be delayed. We’re setting the official roll-out date at January 20th, in the hopes that this will give us time to break everything that can be broken, and then fix it.

If you would like to beta-test, please sign up in comments. I’m not sure how many people Margaret will need, but I think “lots” was suggested.

If you can help us out, we thank you. We wave mystic passes over your lives, that unanticipated downward precipitation of the metaphorical variety will bypass you. We bow deeply.

(We might even do the Dance of Joy, but in my case at least, that will be done in private, because people make fun of me when I dance.)

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

29 comments… add one
  • MarFisk Jan 4, 2006 @ 16:37

    Thanks everyone! We have enough for now, though if a few miss this message, it’s not big deal :).

    I really appreciate the help :D.


  • lynd Jan 2, 2006 @ 11:47

    Happy to help beta.

    I’m probably considered a power-user, though I don’t usually dream in Unix.

  • MarFisk Jan 1, 2006 @ 17:54

    LOL, yeah, I know. I just couldn’t test it until after the post and couldn’t edit it once I had posted :).

    Thanks for signing up. I’m crafting a basic response email right now.


  • Linda Jan 1, 2006 @ 17:51

    Mar–Yes, it works. 🙂

  • MarFisk Jan 1, 2006 @ 13:39

    Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your interest and yes, the more the merrier. I’m sure Holly would like to know that my integration points can hold up to at least 24 folks.

    The beta as it stands is not quite ready for testing, but all but one large aspect (and one relatively isolated one) should be ready in the next couple of days.

    If you are really interested, please send your email address to me, using the link below. If that doesn’t work for you, just make sure the Subject line is “Holly Beta Testers” so I know what it is about and make the normal adjustments with no spaces.

    margaretfisk AT comcast DOT net

    /me just hoping this works 🙂

  • Angela-Marina Dec 31, 2005 @ 21:49

    I’d love to help. My expetrise isn’t much, but I’d be glad to assist in any way I can.

  • valerie Dec 31, 2005 @ 18:28

    I’ve done some beta testing for Mar before and I’m good at hitting the wrong buttons in the wrong order. On a 1-10 profiency scale, count me a 2 or 3 at max. Willing to help as needed.

  • Alphabeter Dec 31, 2005 @ 11:03

    I’d give my technical proficiency at 7, so while I won’t fix your code, I’d be happy to slither around in it.

    Plus I use Macs, Linux-run machines and PCs so I can check how things look on different configurations.

  • MotherNox713 Dec 31, 2005 @ 0:52


    My husband is a quality assurance manager at a software firm in Cary, NC (RTP area). He “breaks” code for a living. If you’d like, I know he’d love to have a go at this. I am available during the day periodically as well. Let us know what we can destroy, umm, test for you! (Our motto is, the family that slays together… okay, you’ve heard that one? 🙂 )

  • oafgirl Dec 30, 2005 @ 14:58

    I will happily beta test for you. I am a middling-fair user — probably most representative of your market population.

  • PJ Dec 30, 2005 @ 13:48

    I’d love to do some beta work for you. If you need more hardcore testing, my hubby works with computer security and e-mail. E-mail me if you’d like him to pound on the site, too. He can beat it up as much as you like…

  • fionaphoenix Dec 30, 2005 @ 8:22

    I may be a bit late, but I’ll be glad to beta-test, too. Especially if it helps in getting the Character Clinic out quicker. 🙂

  • ValMarie Dec 29, 2005 @ 23:57

    I’ll be happy to beta-test as well, if needed.

  • janlewis Dec 29, 2005 @ 23:36

    I would be happy to help beta-test. I am a long time lurker. My husband is a computer geek, so I can get him to help too.

  • Jason Penney Dec 29, 2005 @ 21:44

    I’d be happy to help. Software QA is actually my day job, and I have, in fact, optimized machine code.


  • eponin Dec 29, 2005 @ 20:32

    I’m probably middle of the road, as far as computer knowledge goes, but I’m certainly willing to help. Just let me know when and where. 🙂


  • Nandini Dec 29, 2005 @ 17:45

    Dear Holly,

    I’m a freelance web-designer, and another one of those people who dream in PHP, Javascript, C++ and Java. If I can be of any use to you in this project, just say the word.

    Also sign me up for beta-testing. I’m always up for betaing things.

  • Jim Dec 29, 2005 @ 17:21


    You may still need some vacating, as you say, but the vacating you have accomplished has definitely helped your mischief gremlin. 🙂

    I’m sitting in the library near Mom’s at the moment (ah, that Best Ending Ever we discussed — “they all moved to Kentucky and lived happily ever after” — except that AOL dialup won’t let me access my secure work sites. In any event, I drew stares when I chuckled as I read “I dream in optimized Machine code.”

    In any event, you can also count me in as a beta tester. Not that I dream in optimized Machine code (though I think I have dreamed in poorly executed FORTRAN, and I know I’ve had nightmares about C/C++), but I definitely can speak in both PC and MAC mouse. 🙂

    Good luck with getting the site going.


  • ejoy Dec 29, 2005 @ 16:39

    I’m happy to help, too. I know nothing about programming, some about software, and a little more about writing, plus I’m dying to see the book!

  • Angelique Dec 29, 2005 @ 15:57

    Count me in to help test!

  • khazell1 Dec 29, 2005 @ 15:42

    I’d love to beta-test. I just went through part of my company’s website with a red pen (after they foolishly went live with it), so I’m in a beta mood.

  • Deathbyabsurdity Dec 29, 2005 @ 15:38

    I’d love to beta-test. Just send me the information.

    Here’s to hoping no more metaphysical precipitaion drops on you.


  • Bridget Dec 29, 2005 @ 15:16

    I’ll help too, if you need me. I’m more toward the “Does it have Internet? Some type of word processing software? Then I don’t care (or know much) about the rest of it” end of the tech scale. =)

  • Mary Dec 29, 2005 @ 15:07

    Happy to Beta-test!

  • Izeklah Dec 29, 2005 @ 14:05

    I’d be interested in helping test.

  • TinaK Dec 29, 2005 @ 13:20

    I’m more than happy to help test the store. I’ve actually done so in the past when I was running a very large community with a store. So just let me know.

  • Linda Dec 29, 2005 @ 12:54

    Sure, I’ll help, if you need me. 🙂

  • scottbryan Dec 29, 2005 @ 12:32

    I’ve been told I can break an anvil with a rubber mallet so be warned.

  • jamijo Dec 29, 2005 @ 11:40

    I’ll help test out the store. I tend to be good at breaking things :p

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