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Thanksgiving Came Early This Year by Ray Printer Friendly

I gotta tell ya, kids, I'm kind of excited. Almost...cheerful. I've got a full five days before I have to go to class again, I have a full bottle of whiskey, and I got the art for my zombie book today.

Honestly, Iím having a hard time figuring out what Iím happiest about. I mean, I love booze. And I hate going to class. But on the other hand, Iím incredibly pumped up about getting the artwork for my book.

A while back, I had asked one of my classmates to draw me something for the cover. Just a picture of a zombie, because I thought itíd be cool to have something made specifically for this book. I offered him money and everything. I wasnít sure if this plan was going to backfire on meólike maybe the picture would look like garbage, or he wouldnít have it drawn in timeóbut he finished with time to spare, and it looks awesome.

Iím still going to do some Photoshop stuff to it, I think, although there is a certain charm to just having a hand-drawn sketch on the cover (and one of the designs Iíve messed around with is just thatóit looks like a sketchbook, with a zombie on the front and a few random blood spatters).

Iím a little nervous that Iíll end up making a totally lousy cover even with high-dollar computer software and cool artwork, but weíll see. I went to Lulu to check out the specs for making a one-piece cover (so I donít have to use their crap selection of fonts and colors on the spine), and realized that I canít make a cover until I have all the formatting done on the book.

See, because the spine-width is determined by how many pages your book is. Makes perfect sense, but itís an aspect I overlooked. Basically, it means that I canít create my cover until I get the page count and all that. Which means I have to go in format everything before I can do anything else. Which sucks.

The proof-reading process hasnít been so bad this time because the stories in this book were written in a relatively short amount of time, with a common theme in mind, and most of them were written while I was sober (editing Portly Boy was an absolute nightmare, and there are still typographical errors galore). Plus, they donít really interconnect, so I donít have to worry about continuity.

I wouldnít go so far as to say that I worried about continuity with Portly Boy, but I did occasionally think about it when I tried to remember what, exactly, his uniform looked like.

Iím not saying there wonít be mistakes in this oneóthe worst part of self-editing is knowing for a fact that youíre doing it wrongóbut I donít think it will be the mess that the first draft of Portly Boy was.

What truly sucks is getting Microsoft Word to do what I want. Formatting with Word is one of the things I absolutely dread about putting books together. And you know why? Because of page numbering. See, because you have all these pages that arenít supposed to be numberedóthe table of contents and suchóbut Word wants to number them all. You can tell it to start numbering on a certain pageólike five pages in, after youíre done with the title page and table of contents and all that jazzóbut half the time, itíll tell you to go screw, and just start numbering wherever it wants. The other half of the time, itíll start numbering where I tell it, but Iíll immediately see that I was supposed to delete a page, and then the numbering is all screwy anyway. I can ask Word to change because I made a mistake, but it will have none of that.

Every year, I tell myself that Iím going to write everything down, make myself a step-by-step tutorial, so that I wonít have any problems the following year. And every year, I utterly fail to do it.

So Iíve brought this angst upon myself, I suppose. Probably because it makes success that much sweeter.

Anyway, so thatís what Iíll be doing over my Thanksgiving holiday.

And because I just now realized that Iím prattling on about things that are all kinds of boring, Iím out.

p.s. I totally could have named this post "Thanksgiving Prematurely Ejaculates," but I didn't, out of respect for the holiday season. You people better appreciate it.

posted 11/25/08

Entered By Karen From Indiana
2008-11-26 14:07:55

Have you tried using Microsoft Publisher for your book? I know what a pain Word is. Only used MS Pub once, but really liked it. It wasn't quite as stupid as Word. (shrug) And about naming the post, you must be going soft on us. Oh! Pun intended.

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-11-28 20:59:13

I don't have Publisher on my computer, but there's a free trial download. So is it worth it, or should I just struggle through with Word so I don't have to deal with the crap of downloading, installing, and then un-installing?

Entered By Karen From Indiana
2008-11-30 00:48:59

I think it's worth it. And if you like it, cool, and if you hate it, that's also a win for me. Win-win. That's what I'm thinking.

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-12-01 02:51:29

I ended up just using a bunch of the formatting I did on my book from last year (in Word), and it worked out really well. So your nefarious plans are foiled.

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