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September 5, 2016 / diannegray

I’ve been busy painting my face blue


image2I had a lot of fun with my son and his partner Hannah on their recent visit to the RUC. Between cooking up a storm and visiting the sights, we took silly photos of each other (hey – what else is there to do in the country?)

I’ve also spent the last four weeks going through every one of my novels (with a fine tooth comb) and reformatting them to sell on Create Space. What a job!

My problem with the novels stemmed from three years of technical disasters. After two laptops dropped dead on me I realised this had left me in the position of having no original copies of my work (now I save everything to disk and a second external hard drive). So I had to go onto the web, download the PDF files and reformat them into Word docs. This may sound easy for some, but not so for this untechnical blue-faced hen. If you ever need to do this, ask me in the comments section and I’ll give you my hints and tips.

The only good thing about this excruciating exercise was that it gave me the opportunity to read my novels word for word (yes, the formatting stuffs up when you convert from PDF to Word) and I really enjoyed rediscovering the stories. If you’re a writer and it’s been over three years since you published your book I highly recommend reading it again.

I’m feeling a little blue now that they have headed home so I thought this ‘blue’ photo Hannah took would suit this post just fine.

***Have a great week!***


Leave a Comment
  1. Drew Merten / Sep 5 2016 8:05 am


    I’m really interested to hear how you converted your pdf to .doc. I recently found myself in a similar situation (I misplaced my external drive in a recent move) so need to pull my book and convert it without having to type the whole thing all over again. Thanks!


    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 9:54 am

      Hi Drew – Adobe will convert it. You have to purchase Adobe Export PDF (I hate having to purchase things like this, but it was actually quite cheap and I was desperate – $27 for a year so it didn’t break the bank.) Once you download it, the rest is all automated and you just need to push the button ‘covert to Word’. Having said this, I did have to go through and reformat a bit of it. There are a load of double spaces so I just did a “find” double space and “replace” with single space in Word and it updated the entire document. Where you have page breaks in the PDF it will give a paragraph break so you have to look for those as well. But it is SO much easier than having to write the whole thing again from the hard copy! Let us know how you go and best of luck with it 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      • 1EarthUnited / Sep 5 2016 10:30 am

        Hi Diane and Drew, I had very good results with Nitro PDF converter, and it’s free!
        Does a great job, no formatting issues at all, everything spaced correctly. Good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Drew Merten / Dec 1 2016 2:53 am

        Kinda late, but thought I’d let you know how it went. I put the pdf in a free “pdf to doc” website which converted everything to text just fine. I’m in the process of an edit then a re-release of my book Confessor. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Dec 5 2016 10:29 am

        Well done! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. nrhatch / Sep 5 2016 8:40 am

    Blue looks good on you!

    Glad you had a fun visit with your son, Hannah . . . and had a chance to get reacquainted with your books!


    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 9:56 am

      It was a great visit Nancy – I’m always sad when these times are over xxxx


  3. prior.. / Sep 5 2016 9:02 am

    that is such a cool photo – love the tech these days. And sorry you lost your work – but like you said, now we know how to back and back things up – i say this because I have lost things and now trying keep copies too. Oh and I have tried to convert from pdf to word (on small documents) and it messes up the formatting so for me it was a chore.
    I agree with the above comment – blue looks good


    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 9:57 am

      I’m glad you like the blue. I think she was using SnapChat (but don’t quote me on this because I’m not good at tech stuff) LOL 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior.. / Sep 5 2016 10:21 am

        hi D – well I have seen my son and his friends use similar things and it was also snapchat – and they have the “swap faces” thing too.


      • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 1:46 pm

        The ‘swap faces’ thing is hilarious! We also did mice and rabbits and others I can’t remember. I couldn’t stop laughing 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • prior.. / Sep 5 2016 5:10 pm


        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fenraven / Sep 5 2016 9:05 am

    I’ve recently rediscovered four really old books. They were literally written decades ago, and I lost a few chapters here and there. I do have hard copies, but it means retyping the missing pages if I want to consider rewriting for publication. And yes, they will need rewriting. 🙂 It’s something I may work on after I finish the WIP.

    Liked by 2 people

    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 9:59 am

      I’ve got a couple of those as well and I’m sure when it comes to getting them onto the computer I’ll probably make a heap of changes (LOL) because it was when I first started writing and I had no idea what I as doing even though they’re good stories 😉 I’m looking forward to reading yours xxx


  5. Jacqui Murray / Sep 5 2016 10:23 am

    Oh that’s awful. I’m just happy you had the PDFs. If the books are primarily text, they probably converted ‘OK’. How many were there?


  6. Smitha Vishwanath / Sep 5 2016 11:59 am

    I totally understand not being technically savvy. I have just started a blog and am suffering from being able to reach out to as many people. I have never written a novel but would love to …one day…hopefully. Thank you for this piece. It made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 12:24 pm

      Thanks so much for coming over Smitha – best of luck with your blog 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pagadan / Sep 5 2016 1:09 pm

    Good advice about backup and rereading your old stories–and maybe editing them. Btw, have you ever read one of your stories and been impressed and wondered how you did that?


    • diannegray / Sep 5 2016 1:52 pm

      Haaaa – yes! I was actually surprised with one of them because I couldn’t remember how I’d ended it. It was a great surprise (and good ending). I remembered how I could have had several different endings at the time I wrote it. Now I know I chose the right one 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. harulawordsthatserve / Sep 5 2016 3:52 pm

    Wow – now THAT must’ve been quite a job, but hey, life’s a wise and magical thing – there’s always a gem mixed in there. Glad you enjoyed rediscovering the wonder of your own words. May they now reach many more people. Sorry you’re feeling blue – but I do love the photo 🙂 Happy hugs, Harula xxx


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:41 pm

      Thank you so much Harula – I love your happy hugs xxxx


  9. the eternal traveller / Sep 5 2016 4:45 pm

    It never hurts to be reminded to save work carefully and in multiple places. So glad you were able to retrieve your writing Dianne. Blue suits you, but I hope you are over the blues now.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:42 pm

      I think I need a cruise to get over my blues 😀 I’m still thinking about the nightclub loo shot of yours – wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. EllaDee / Sep 5 2016 5:35 pm

    Aarrggghh…yes, I’ve had to convert legal doc pdfs to to Word. At least you were reading good material by an excellent author 😊 Your visitors sound like they have a lot of fun, they must have left some behind for you to find in the nooks & crannies of the RUC.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:43 pm

      They had a heap of fun, Dale! It was wonderful to see them. Are you still travelling?

      Liked by 1 person

      • EllaDee / Sep 6 2016 7:03 pm

        Yes, working our way down the west coast, at Kalbarri… stunning. Still doing daily Instagram pics, and the G.O. too at welshy055 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Gallivanta / Sep 5 2016 8:29 pm

    Blue is definitely You. What a job to reformat everything. Create Space looks interesting though.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:45 pm

      I haven’t put the books up there yet (way too busy with other things) but it does look interesting. I think I have to order them first and then approve them once I’ve seen the hard copies. Writing is such a long process – getting the stories finished is really only the beginning 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jill Weatherholt / Sep 5 2016 9:13 pm

    Blue looks great on you, Dianne! I’m happy you enjoyed the time with your son. As for computer issues…I feel your pain. I’m so not tech savvy. Great to see you!


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:47 pm

      Great to see you too, Jill! I think blue would suit you as well with that beautiful blonde hair. I remember when I had my colours done by the ‘fashion guru’ when I won that make-over competition. She told me to NEVER wear blue – lol 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. danniehill / Sep 5 2016 11:06 pm

    Wonderful photo! Beautiful lady. I do reread my published and unpublished works from time to time just to be amazed that I wrote them– not that there so good, but that I could put so many words together into a story. I know writers who never revisit their work and I think it’s a shame.It’s also a great way to see how you progress as a writer.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:52 pm

      I’m so glad you like the photo, Dannie – I’ve been told so many times that blue doesn’t suit my colouring, but hey, I can wear what I like! 😉
      And I agree with you that revisiting your work is a really good idea. Colleen McCullough always said she never even read her books after she’d written the last line! I guess that is only okay if you’ve got a team of proofreaders on hand 😀
      Thanks so much for the tweet xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. JackieP / Sep 6 2016 1:38 am

    Love the picture, Dianne. It reminds me of ‘flower children’ of the 70’s. 🙂

    I should save my books in one other place it seems. I now have them on a flash drive but maybe I should save them someplace else also. I will give that a thought. xxx


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 1:55 pm

      Great thoughts here Jackie. I know I have my originals on a flash drive somewhere, but where that ‘somewhere’ is I have no idea – oh well, one day they’ll turn up when I don’t need them any more 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Claire / Sep 6 2016 2:45 am

    You are brave! Formatting and whatnot is one of the aspects of publishing that terrifies me the most – I can *just* about manage to post blogs… much else is beyond me. For now, at least!

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:06 pm

      It took me ages to figure out WordPress, Claire. I used to sit here for hours in total frustration because things just wouldn’t go right. Sometimes I still do – you’ll get the hang of it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Claire / Sep 6 2016 11:20 pm

        Hopefully! I’m actually finding a lot simpler – managing multiple self hosted blogs seems to be asking for trouble!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Carrie Rubin / Sep 6 2016 4:32 am

    I see you’ve discovered Snapchat too? 🙂 Or at least that looks like where your picture comes from. I have fun taking pics and videos with it, but I don’t use it as social media like it’s meant for. I’ve only friended my sister and nephew so far!

    Glad to see an update from you, Dianne. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:08 pm

      Yes – it’s snapchat that Hannah was using and she sent me some pics (this is one of them). It’s a heap of fun, Carrie. And it’s SO good to see you here – I’ve missed you and I really hope everything is going well for you xxx


    • roughwighting / Sep 6 2016 9:08 pm

      And good to see you here, Carrie. I just read your two new blog posts, which I take it don’t have a comment section. But thanks for the advice/names there. Good luck as you get your third book ready for publication – exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie Rubin / Sep 6 2016 11:35 pm

        Thank you. Best of luck with your endeavors too! Hope all is well. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

  17. restlessjo / Sep 6 2016 4:40 am

    You look fabulous, Dianne! 🙂 I noticed you hadn’t been around and thought it might be family troubles. Good to hear that it’s ‘only’ technology, and better yet, that you’ve bested it! 🙂


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:09 pm

      I love the fact that you say I look ‘fabulous’ Jo – what a wonderful compliment, my friend xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  18. anotherday2paradise / Sep 6 2016 4:42 am

    What a beautiful photo of the blue you, Dianne! Sounds like you had a lot of fun with your son and Hannah. I often wonder whether authors actually read their own books once they’re published. You’ve answered my question. 😀


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:12 pm

      I’m so glad you like the photo, Sylvia. It was a lot of fun having the kids here (I call them kids, but they’re really adults now – where does the time go?)

      I’m glad I could answer your question without you even having to ask someone! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Roy McCarthy / Sep 6 2016 5:29 am

    Just love the pic Dianne – looks like it was fun. I’ve been using Scrivener in recent times. You can output your work in virtually any format, though it still needs more savvy and patience than I possess 😦


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:14 pm

      Oh – thanks for letting me know, Roy. I’ll have a look at Scrivener, I’ve heard some good reports about it but never tried it. I hope you are well my friend xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Sep 6 2016 7:06 am

    You are extraordinarily beautiful, Miss Blue. I’ve been blue for about five years now. Well turquoise, anyway. LOL
    May you continue to do well.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:18 pm

      Oh Sharon – compliments like that will get you everywhere! LOL Thank you so much xxx I’m just hoping my blues go away soon. Lots of hugs and love to you my dear xxx


  21. Janna G. Noelle / Sep 6 2016 10:57 am

    I have converted PDFs to DOCs before and it’s definitely a long, fussy process. I only had to do a three-page document; I can’t imagine the time it took to work though several novels. Glad you got through it with your sanity intact.

    And I LOVE the blue on you. You look like a character from a fantasy novel. You should write a story about yourself.


    • diannegray / Sep 6 2016 2:26 pm

      You’ve just made me wonder what my superpower would be if I was the character in my own fantasy novel, Janna. I’ve always wanted the power of invisibility (but I think that reflects my personality more than a true superpower). I’m glad you like the blue – maybe I should have been wearing something more suitable to the fantasy theme than my swim wear 😀

      I’m also glad my sanity is intact after the marathon book conversions. I need a holiday now xxx


      • Janna G. Noelle / Sep 7 2016 3:07 pm

        maybe I should have been wearing something more suitable to the fantasy theme than my swim wear
        Maybe your character is a water nymph or mermaid.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Sep 8 2016 7:30 am

        Oh yes! I hadn’t thought of that 😉


  22. roughwighting / Sep 6 2016 9:03 pm

    What a gorgeous photo of gorgeous you! Blue suits you, darrrrrllin’. 🙂 I’m so sorry about the conversion necessity. I don’t want to know the technical jargon, because then my mind goes slack and I escape to the couch with a good book and don’t come back up to breathe for three days. I’m REALLY glad you’re figuring it out and will soon be using Create Space to publish. (But I must admit, even CS takes me hours…and hours into days, to figure out.)
    Oh, and on the editing side, when I turned my book Twin Desires into a softback (it had been an e-book for almost 2 years), I re-edited and then found Anneli Purchase (who has a great blog) who found editing/proofing errors that dozens of beta readers, a critique group, and ‘regular’ readers never saw. I highly recommend her if you’re ever looking for a copy editor/proofer. She also helped me with formatting to update my e-books. xo


  23. agjorgenson / Sep 7 2016 11:20 am

    I love rereading my old stuff, but do not much enjoy reading what I can still remember editing. Glad you made progress! Maybe blue is an auspicious colour for you?


    • diannegray / Sep 7 2016 1:10 pm

      It’s so true that if we can remember editing it, it doesn’t bring us nearly as much joy, Allen 🙂


  24. Kate Johnston / Sep 9 2016 7:05 pm

    Sounds like a great time with family. Having the ability to go back into your books and update/proofread/tweak is a nice bonus with indie publishing! More authors ought to take advantage, I think, after reading some of the stuff out there! 🙂


    • diannegray / Sep 11 2016 6:51 am

      Yes – totally agree, Kate. I’ve never had anyone tell me there are typos in my work, but I still found one or two in each book. That’s pretty good, but they were still there! Yikes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. ParentingIsFunny / Sep 12 2016 10:15 am

    That is a neat photo. So for your woes, but I’m glad it had a silver lining. Or should I say blue lining?


    • diannegray / Sep 12 2016 11:00 am

      Oh yes – there’s always that beautiful lining. This is no a ‘no woes’ zone! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Susan A Eames / Sep 13 2016 6:03 am

    Goodness, what a pain to have to sort out your formatting! On the upside – that photo of you in blue is gorgeous! 🙂

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • diannegray / Sep 14 2016 12:06 pm

      Thanks so much, Susan! Lovely to see you here xxxx


  27. Britt Skrabanek / Sep 13 2016 1:31 pm

    Lovin’ the blue! Oh, man…I don’t even want to admit how long I’ve been meaning to create print copies of my books in CreateSpace. I have definitely been procrastinating with that! I started one, then lost interest. I looked out the window and went…ooh, shiny! 😉

    Want to do mine too? Only three, come on. Kidding. xo


    • diannegray / Sep 14 2016 12:09 pm

      Haaaa! I’m hearing you sister! It was certainly a big job 😀


  28. Minuscule Moments / Sep 16 2016 6:49 am

    Dianne you must have been so busy but Im betting all that hard work will pay off. Love the pretty blue art too. Hope the spring is being kind to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 17 2016 8:59 am

      Spring here is absolutely beautiful, Kath. It’s actually been a nice winter (sometimes we have no winter at all in the tropics) and I’ve had a chance to wear my big soft dressing gown! 😀


  29. Sheila Morris / Sep 16 2016 11:45 am

    Love the blue, Dianne – and what a monumental achievement to perform the technical miracles with your books! I am blue with envy…er, or is that green? 🙂
    Regardless, well done!!


    • diannegray / Sep 17 2016 9:00 am

      Haaaa – I love ‘blue with envy’ Sheila 😀 Yes – it was a monumental achievement and I’m really glad I got it done xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Wendy L. Macdonald / Sep 17 2016 8:14 am

    Dianne, I’m impressed with how you managed to untangle the manuscripts. I’m tech-terrible, and I’m still figuring out how to use Windows 10. My old laptop died, and so I was forced to learn the new system on my other laptop. I’m glad, now, it happened to me because this newer computer is lighter and easier to use. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy


    • diannegray / Sep 17 2016 9:03 am

      I started using Windows 10 last year and it still confounds me Wendy 😉 I love the term “tech-terrible” – lol, that’s me all over xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Letizia / Sep 17 2016 9:55 pm

    Reading your work word for word again must have been a fascinating experience. Especially as you were not in an editing mode.


    • diannegray / Sep 19 2016 9:21 am

      Absolutely, Letizia. In fact I was quite surprised by some of it because I hadn’t read them since publishing five years ago! It was a good (although at times grueling) experience 😀


  32. beeblu / Sep 18 2016 8:12 am

    Wow, you look stunning in blue. How gorgeous.


  33. Luanne / Sep 19 2016 8:33 am

    Ugh, that does sound like something I would do, unfortunately–losing my original copies, etc. Good luck with the Create Space and all. I hope you’ll keep us updated on how it goes! Add a little red to the blue and you will feel purple :).


    • diannegray / Sep 19 2016 9:29 am

      Haaa – purple is a beautiful colour 😀

      I haven’t ordered the books yet (that’s the last phase of the process: order books to proof and then approve.) I’ll let you know how I go – but I had to change all the covers which may become a little confusing 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  34. cocoaupnorth / Sep 26 2016 1:28 am

    You look gorgeous Dianne with that blue on.😀 I’m looking forward to hearing about your Createspace experience in order to learn. All best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Sep 26 2016 6:27 am

      Thank you! I’m still doing the Createspace thing – I’ve finished all the books now I just need to order them and get proof copies so they can go live 🙂


  35. Sheila / Oct 6 2016 9:12 am

    I love the blue face – I’d be tempted to wear it all the time. My next step will be dealing with Createspace – I’m glad to hear you got through it all relatively unscathed!


    • diannegray / Oct 7 2016 8:10 am

      I’ve only just ordered the books to proof


    • diannegray / Oct 7 2016 8:11 am

      …sorry, I pushed send before I finished writing. So I’ll know more when the books come in and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the formatting is good. I’ll let you know 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  36. D. Wallace Peach / Nov 11 2016 1:24 pm

    That sounds like a nightmare. PDF to Word is a bear. Congrats on getting them ready for Createspace. I just reread all my books after (about) 3 years. And yes…good idea. I found typos (ugh) and made a few tightening fixes.


    • diannegray / Nov 12 2016 9:51 am

      I was SO surprised I found a couple of typos in mine as well after all this time. They’ve been read by editors and a load of readers and I was sure they were typo free – just goes to show 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach / Nov 12 2016 1:16 pm

        Same here! I think when people get swept up in the story they forget to look for them. I’ve always wondered if those typos point to the best parts of our books 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  37. petitechai / Apr 9 2017 7:27 pm

    Wow this looks fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

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