I was stuck. Horribly stuck. For two hours, I tried. But nothing. No words. So I turned to Writers Digest for a creative writing prompt. The day’s prompt: Hello! I’m Captain Jiggles by Brian Clems in honor of Chuck Sambuchino’s new humor book, When Clowns Attack.
At first, I figured why not? I’m as stuck as a constipated slug crawling over tar; this is no time to be picky.
I skimmed the page. “Huh,” I thought. “He also wrote When Garden Gnomes Attack.” I just finished that book. It was cute. I was intrigued about this new offering.
Then I saw it. The dangling carrot of a free book for commenting on the prompt. And I could get a second entry if I tweeted about it? Sign me up!
Only I couldn’t.
I couldn’t comment.
I hadn’t logged in to the site.
Okay, I can roll with that. Pretty standard.
Hey, wait. I don’t already have an account? I’ve been visiting this site for years. I’m a magazine subscriber. Am I really that behind?
Okay, I’ll just create an online account.
Wait a minute. Why won’t it create my account? I just registered. I should be able to comment. Wait! Stop taking me back to your stupid Create an Account page! I just did that! Like five times already! You’re killing me, Smalls!
I JUST WANT A CHANCE AT A FREE BOOK!!!!!!
Oh. I’m already logged in. When did that happen?! AND WHY DID YOU KEEP TAKING ME BACK TO YOUR STUPID “CREATE AN ACCOUNT PAGE”?!?!
Okay, I’m back on the right page. I’m logged in. Here we go.
Wait, why is everyone posting their output from the writing prompt? Am I supposed to do that? What if I don’t want to? What am I supposed to post? Theirs are so good. I’ll look like an idiot.
I don’t want to look like an idiot. I already feel stupid and all I did was register! What the hell? WHAT THE FREAKING HELL?
Long story short, I managed to tweet but not comment. If you can, though, you might be randomly selected to receive one of three free books.
Here’s the link again: Hello, I’m Captain Jiggles
Yes, arguably, I shouldn’t even feel like giving this some free press, but it’s not Chuck’s fault that the Writer’s Digest user experience sometimes sucks. (Or maybe it’s just me but right now my right eye is twitching and quite frankly I think I’ve taken enough abuse for one morning.)
Also, I liked Chuck’s book, When Garden Gnomes Attack. Also-also, this blog is about what happens in the life of a writer, and I’m fairly certain that I’m not the only one who’s suffered deep emotional scars at the hands of confusing UX.
So there’s my altruism for the day.
(Looks up “altruism” to make sure I used it correctly. Yup, we’re good.)
Tip 1: Make sure you’re signed in.
Tip 2: Don’t try this at work. It’ll only confuse your fellow cube dwellers.