You know what’s frustrating?

Every book I’ve written so far up to the current one, nineteen books in all (working on the 20th), I designed the cover before I wrote the book.  The covers often gave me ideas for a scene, or would sort of steer me in a certain direction depending on what was depicted.  The one thing all the covers had in common, whether they led me in a certain direction, or they were symbolically representative of the overall story, was that without exception the rendering process would bring my computer to its knees.

Now I don’t have a top of the line computer.  It’s about five or six years old now, but it’s no slouch either.  The reason I never built a new one in all this time was because this one has been more than fast enough for games, programs or anything else I needed to do with it.  However, it only has four gig of RAM, and when you’re running 64-bit Windows 7 and have other stuff taking up memory in the background, that four gig becomes woefully inadequate for rendering complex three dimensional images.  The hard drive is in a state of constant swapping to the page file, so the computer itself slows down considerably.

Fed up with my lack of RAM in an otherwise still perfectly functional system, I recently ordered myself a 16GB (4×4) memory kit from Corsair.  My motherboard can handle a total of 16GB of DDR3 SDRAM, so I checked the specs on the memory I ordered and it was within the specs for the system.  I placed the order and waited extra time for it because of the Christmas holiday, and then on Saturday I think it was, it finally showed up on my doorstep.

Excited as all get out, I brought it into my computer room, shut down the computer, laid it on its side, opened it up and proceeded to remove the old memory.  After installing the new memory, I turned the system on, and what do you think happened?  Nothing.  Everything came on, but it wouldn’t post.  The screen just stayed blank.  There wasn’t even a beep code or anything.  So I started trying different things.  I tried each of the sticks individually to see if one of them was bad, and I tried different bios settings by putting in the old ones, changing the settings and then swapping the new ones back in.  The specs on the new memory were right for my system, as I said, but there was some sort of an incompatibility there that prevented them from working.

Finally, I had no choice but to give up and put the old memory back in.  I have a request in for an RMA number for the old memory, and I’m going to get charged a 15% restocking fee on it, which sucks, but it’s better than keeping memory I can’t use.

Doing some searching around, which is what I should have done in the first place, I found that a lot of people have had this problem with different motherboards and different brands of memory.  Then I did what I really should have done in the first place.  I typed in my motherboard’s brand and model number into Google, along with the words 16GB memory (4×4).  That gave me a link to the Crucial website where I found a 16GB kit of their Ballistix Tactical memory that was certified to work with my motherboard, and 100% guaranteed by the company to be compatible.  I ordered that instead and I’m hoping to have it by Thursday or so.

So what’s the point of all this?  The point is that I was holding off on doing the cover for this book until I got the new memory upgrade, which is something I’ve never done before, and I find it quite frustrating.  I have a very specific process I go through when I’m prepping for the next book, and designing the cover is a part of that process.  The fact that I’m three chapters into writing the next book already and I still haven’t designed the cover is sort of the equivalent of someone standing in front of you, tapping their finger over and over again on your forehead.  The longer it goes on, the more irritating it gets.  I just hope that new memory gets here before New Years, otherwise I’ll have to wait for the following week, which will piss me off to no end considering that I paid for three day shipping.

Anyway, that’s my 1st world problems story.  I’m just going to get back to finishing up chapter three now, and then I got some editing on someone else’s book I need to work on.  Fun. 😛