News And Updates And Other Things You Might Actually Care About



Straitjacket - courtesy of Marc NL



Yeah. I stinketh as a blogger: Occasional. Intermittent. Haphazard. All of those being circumlocutory descriptions of what I do with this bloggy thing.


But here’s the scoop:  I am trying to clear some things from my plate. For example, I have been reading blogs at lighting speed. Which pretty much means that in Google Reader I click on the post, see if there are any pretty pictures, then move on to the next one. All except for posts by Rob Wells or Marion Jensen. They are both certifiably crazy, and since I seem to be heading in that direction myself, I am curious as to how they are getting through life while wearing one of those fancy white shirts with long sleeves and shiny buckles. Oh . . . and that uncomfortable strap that wraps . . . is cinched . . .  OY!

(shudder)

Anyway, as I was saying, I am trying to clear things from my plate. So far it hasn’t worked really well. But would you call this progress?:

1. Today, while stuck in a lobby behind security doors and waiting on a customer to come fetch me into their inner sanctum, I spied something on window shelf that caught my eye. It was a decorative orrery. No planets marked. Just a bunch (9 to be exact) of movable rings around a central sphere, all mounted on a pedestal like a globe. And a very nice copper finish. It immediately got my mind racing. And in less than ten minutes, I significantly planned out some characterization ideas for a major new character in Heaven’s Garden.

2. Yes, that means I am writing again. Thanks for asking. In fact, I am almost half way done with the first draft. I fully plan on being done before the Christmas holiday. Some people are going to do the NaNo thing. I am going to keep going on this one. I have GOT to get it done.

3. And since we are talking about writing, I wanted to spotlight a new website by a dear friend of mine. And editor. And all around funny-bone tickler: Tristi. If you have ever wanted to be a writer, but just didn’t know how to get started, she is the writing instructor for you. Affordable. Smart. And she will have you in stitches (not the emergency room kind).

4. Last, but not least: THE THORN is now in the Kindle Store along with WATER, my short anthology. THE THORN print edition is linked to the Kindle edition as of last night. I was going to wait for Smashwords to get their system updated to push the books to the Kindles store, but decided that: A. I didn’t want to wait. B. I needed the experience of reworking the layout. SO… I reformatted the entire book in HTML. And learned how to place TOC links. And insert the cover art. I used the following tools to get it done:

a. Exported the DOC from WORD as an HTML file (the one that says Filtered).
b. Cleaned the HTML file up in OpenOffice by creating all of my paragraph styles and applying them where needed.
c. Opened the file in gedit for Linux. Did some fancy search-and-replace things on it.
d. Opened the file in vi to better see the file with syntax highlighting. Fixed other things while I was there.
e. Re-opened the file in gedit and finished up some inserts of TOC links, page breaks, the cover image, etc.
f. Checked the file in a browser, fixed a few more items, then uploaded the file to the Amazon DTP site.

Yeah. I’m a geek. But now I know the process. HTML knocked on the door. I opened and conquered.

5. I am also embarking on a super secret project with two other authors. Nope. Can’t tell you. You don’t have a high enough security clearance.

So, there you have it. I will be around occasionally. But next time you wonder where my blog posts have gone, just think of how much you are going to enjoy reading Heaven’s Garden when I am done with it.

Shameless Plug: Books only get considered for the Whitney Awards if they receive 5 nominations. If you loved THE THORN, have you nominated it yet?

Powerful words for the day: circumlocutory, certifiably, cinched, orrery, vi, nomination. Learn them all, you must. Use the words, you will. Especially the last one.

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Comments

News And Updates And Other Things You Might Actually Care About — 1 Comment

  1. Excellent work. It sounds like more work than I thought to get stuff up on Kindle. I may have to pick your brain sometime…

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