Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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The "ness" in weirdness



Today it's another round of work, then hike, then work. I go to a co-counsel's office to try to finalize a motion. We hope to finish before the day is out. I'm eager to have some "down" time, but it's important to do as much as I can today. I am very busy for a holiday season, but having a good job right now is not something about which I wish to complain. I am glad we set up our own firm, which is so much nicer than working for other people.

My brother advises me that he has the Adobe software with which to make pdf books, which opens for me the option of epublishing my novel without spending a fortune on printer costs. It's hard to imagine that any book in pdf would be as cool as one in hard copy, but it's also easy to imagine trying to keep the project manageable if I have to work with folks I don't know, or spend a lot of money. It's about the fun, after all.

I was amused when I went to www.booklocker.com, which is one of the well-known print on demand and ebpublishing sites (one might term it the "small but eager" alternative to the huge corporate sites). On the plus side, they still offer epublishing of works of non-fiction for almost no money. They also have a 200 dollar print on demand service cost to create actual books, which is not a bad price at all. On the other hand, they do not publish poetry at all, due to the high volume of submissions. I find this an interesting confirmation of my theory that people write poetry rather than read it. Someday I hope to create my own internet club called the Poetry Readers Association of America. On the message boards, we'll actually discuss real poetry magazines and ezines for which we paid real money to subscribe, and then we'll have a thread which discusses what the poetry says. Apart from various of the non-consensus-building slurs, ad hominem attacks and obscenities, the only offense which would get one banned from the board is posting self-penned poetry. I believe I will set up an LJ in the near future in which my own poetry runs wild and free, as I can be the sole occupant of this LJ's friends list. It's a bit like the old joke in the movie The Ruling Class, which I'll transmogrify into "How do I know I'm a good poetry listener? Because when I read my poetry, I'm the only one listening".

Booklocker.com does not let one epublish novels without also paying to print on demand a physical book. Apparently, nobody buys enovels, the theory goes, although I wonder if anyone reads ebooks altogether. Still, I am a big fan of seeking out new life and new civilizations, so the whole notion of making it an e-thing appeals to me. Of course, the simplest way would be to just set up an LJ or a website in which the entire novel is contained. I want a few more of the "trappings" of self-publishing than that. I don't really care about making money (my normal rules with hobbies is "spend little' try to make back expenditures if possible, but it's not about making money"). I haven't ruled out POD at booklocker.com, but with a little website and a little pdf conversion, it seems as anything they can do I can do, if not exactly better, then with almost as much verve.

I am still researching print on demand folks who could publish a hard copy of the book. I have liked the work that trafford.com does on self-publishing for years, but they want 990 dollars to do the publish, website, and press release routine, which is a tad more than I wish to spend. Iuniverse.com is a pioneer in all this, but they have gotten some knocks on time to accomplish print and on the fact that they take a piece of subsidiary rights, which is silly for a POD publisher, who really just prints up the book and maybe puts it on amazon for one.

I asked my brother to just drop the text in a chapbook on MS Publish and see how many pages it consumes. If it's less than 96 pages, then I could just issue a chapbook, which requires nobody's help but a copy shop to generate extremely low cost copies. I haven't heard from him how many pages it consumed as yet (about which I do not complain, as my younger brother, a computer genius, routinely does far more computer kindnesses for me than I could ever repay), but my own quick take on converting it to a format suitable for conventional printing suggests it may consume 180 pages as a 5.whatever x 8.whatever paperback.

Of course, the simplest way may be to just convert the 78 pages of single spaced text without spaces between paragraphs into 100 pages of single spaced text with spaces between paragraphs and
print it out on 50 8 1/2 x 11 sized double-sided pages, add a cover, and then have something that could be reproduced at Kinko's or Office Depot for nothing. In this mode, I'd eschew an ISBN,
and perhaps build a simple website at which the book could be found, and then have the whole thing up at no more than the cost of site maintenance.

In an unrelated-in-reality-but-related-in-my-mind vein, I want to see if counter software is available for LJ. I know that marstokyo mentioned some counter software she uses, but when I went to the site, I could never get the codes the thing assigned me to allow me to access the site. I want to get a simple hidden counter and logging software, as I'm curious about traffic on this LJ and on the book website I hope to set up. I don't have much "secret agent man" in me, but I like that I get feedback sometimes from folks who are not on my friends' list or even on LJ at all, and I'd love to see how many visitors I get. Does anyone know of counter software for LJ? Does anyone have a favorite software to suggest, for either LJ counters or for website counters? As always, I don't mind paying for software, but I do mind paying much, and I have no patience with any software that requires any mental capabilities to use. I am the original software user moron.
Although I am a PC user, I am similar to all those people on the tv commercials who say "I use Apple because even morons like me can figure out how to plug it in". As an aside, I remember watching one of those commercials, the one about how the DJ software on the imac was apparently easier to use for the commercial presenter than virtually the same software on a PC, when I had this nagging feeling that I "knew" the person on the commercial. Now gurdonark's biggest celebrity sighting for most of his life was the fellow back in Arkansas who hosted the 6 a.m. farm show, so I knew I did not know this articulate woman. But something about her kept speaking to me--"where have I seen you before?", and then I realized that I had not seen her before, but I'd heard her voice for years on Dallas and LA public radio, as she was Liza Richardson, the DJ who moved from Dallas to LA a little before I did, giving me the odd experience of having trekked across the country in unison with someone I don't know. No matter where I turn my radio on, there is Liza Richardson, who used to host really cool shows about spoken word artists reading over electronic soundscapes and kinda outre-but-fun dance music. It's funny to "know" a voice of someone you don't know at all. I wonder what it would be like to
try to do the whole "DJ at parties and work in artists' promotion" gig in Los Angeles. Folks like Liza have more cool in their pinky than I have in my entire 43 years of living, I suppose (what is 'cool anyway'?), but that's okay. I love her voice, which is an odd thing to say, but it's a great DJ voice--articulate, silky, and intelligent.

I was thinking about the old "spelling rule" "i before e except after c" and how it does not apply to so many words, such as "weird". Yet this rule, of extraordinarily limited utility, is firmly fixed in my subconscious.

I got a wonderful package of things from asphalteden today, including several books and a copy of that wonderful graphic novel classic, the Watchmen. I think I sold off my copy some time ago, and I'm glad to have it back. It's an intriguing speculation about superheroes and the fascism inherent in the concept of supermen who save us all. asphalteden is so nice to send me things like this!

I got a nervousness.org exchange poem from a poet in British Columbia yesterday. I love exchanging poems on nervousness.org, because both exchangers actually take a moment to read one another's poems, and it's not about fame or money or anything, just about one simple "eternal moment" when opens an envelope and just reads. I'm eager to write my return poem in the exchange, which is one of 3 or so I have going now.

This reminds me of a friend of mine whom I will not name who mentioned a horrible experience with negative feedback on nervousness.org. Now this site permits feedback, which is fine insofar as allowing one to post things like "She signed up for my 'let's ship a ton of gold bullion around the world' Land Mail Art Object and then pocketed the 3.2 million dollars worth of gold that 1,000 nervousness people contributed", or similar type "not trustworthy, not polite" type failings. But the person to whom I was "speaking" was talking about critiques through negative feedback. I love nervousness.org, but it definitely has a few folks with an immaturity factor, as it seems awfully immature to confuse a feedback function on a mail art board with Amazon.com
reviews. Of course, I never sign up for Land Mail Art Objects, but only for exchanges, because while I trust one person to mail an exchange, I never trust 7 to get an art object across the country. Still, nervousness is a wonderful thing overall, and I love the exchanges.

I see postcardx.net is still down. I miss that site a bit. It's fun to send and receive to randomly generated names. I did get a cool mail art call from mail art folks I submitted to last year. This year's theme is "fear", and its a show at a high school in Orangedale, Illinois or some such place. I think my December projects (I have many in mind) will include going to crosses.net and other similar websites, getting mail art calls, and submitting to more shows.

I feel as though the world is richer for having these little websites of silly exchange. Maybe next year I'll do a mail art call, or set up something else fun and mail art-ish, or discover radium, or something. But this year, I have the following hobby to do list:

1. get CDs off to CD duplication company;
2. get book self-published;
3. finish all pending nervousness.org exchanges
4. finish cubic zirconium project, which is nearly done;
5. research good sources of feeder guppies and set up guppyquarium;
6. Find an outre succulent plant company and order some new
cacti or euphorbia, preferably extremely hardy but odd-looking;
7. Build a new terrarium for the winter in a glass water cooler jar I got at a dollar store.

Parenthetically, I hope the Loch Ness monster exists.
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