NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s that time once again. I started last year for the first time and then went on to do two CampNaNoWriMo. I’m still editing and designing covers for the three I wrote for Camp and one I wrote afterwards. I’m too busy with those books, converting magazines from pdf to epub and working a regular job, to stay caught up on much of anything.

But I will be doing NaNoWriMo again this year with a few of my friends. 🙂 The two novels of choice are both in The Colonies of Earth Series. The First Time set on Pluto, a planet no longer considered a planet in some circles. 🙁 And The Crossroads set on Earth’s Moon. Both feature plenty of romance to go around the solar system… and of course at least one character per novel who isn’t human at all or only partly.

Do I need a vacation? Or perhaps I just need to play The Sims for awhile and catch up on some sewing…

Adobe…Prove Me Wrong…

I’ve been using Smashwords solely to publish my ebooks and then have them do the distribution to other retailers. They claim all the ebooks they accept into their premium catalog must conform to Adobe Digital Edition’s eReader app. Well, I build my ebooks from scratch using xhtml code. I used to use Adobe’s InDesign for book layout. Well, it tends to generate lots of unnecessary code. Ebooks don’t need much code for them to come out right and display well on many readers.

Well, I already figured out to get the cover images to display properly in Digital Editions using a little extra code, which is completely unnecessary for apps like iBooks or Calibre. Now Smashwords tells me the thumbnails are getting cut off at the bottom. Again, it’s another problem with Digital Editions. Both iBooks and Calibre display the thumbnails properly.

I have looked up on Adobe’s site how to fix the problem with the images. No such luck. I don’t think Adobe knows how to do it right and be compliant with online retailers. Does Adobe even communicate with the ebook retailers to even know what size they prefer for cover images? Probably not. They’ve convinced me they are always a step behind with electronic publishing.

I currently use Calibre to build my ebooks and they come out fine. I always test the final epub file using the online validator and there are no problems. (If there are, I do go and fix them.) To make things worse, I couldn’t contact Adobe directly to even inform them there is a problem with how images display in their software.

I used to use more Adobe software until I kept having problems with the logic board in my MacBook Pro. (Which thankfully Apple replaced without any hassles…) But then I couldn’t do anything with Adobe’s software. I wasn’t allowed to use it anymore. New logic board (or motherboard for you pc users) means you have a new computer.

So I switched to freeware. And what did I discover? Software like Calibre, which I can use to build ebooks easier and faster. Plus the resulting ebook is a smaller file size than what InDesign could generate. Another plus was that the freeware tends to use fewer computer resources. That’s not to mention that the battery tends to last longer as well.

After using freeware, I also learned that Adobe’s software is crappy and overpriced. I could easily replace printed book layout from InDesign to LaTeX, which works much better. So I had to take a month to learn a new markup language, but that really wasn’t such a big deal. I also was able to replace both Photoshop and Illustrator with Gimp. Why would I want to pay for software that isn’t that great when there are free options out there that also work better?

I just wish the ebook retailers realized that Adobe doesn’t know much about ebooks on the code level or how to design a decent ebook reader. Perhaps Adobe will fix their eReader, but I’m not holding my breathe for it to happen.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016

It’s about time for Camp NaNoWriMo once again. I still have to edit the novel I wrote in April, but I’m getting to it. I’m also busy converting (manually) the back issues of The Moon from pdfs to epub files…

But in July I will start a novel for a new series—White Lion Unicorn Series Book 1: A Colony of Tiny Nekos. Yes, I’m finally starting this one. This first book will explain how White Lion Unicorn came into existence. I will probably end up writing the second book of The Guardians Series first. Or rather I will add and do some rewriting for that book. I’m sure I can get both done by the end of July.

Oh, there’s so much for me to do that I shouldn’t get into any trouble…

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo starts April 1st this year and I will be participating. I finished editing the novel I wrote last November and now I will be writing another one. I may write more poetry as well… Just depends on how my schedule goes and how well the novel drafting goes. And of course, if the poetry starts to gush out of me, then I will have to write it.

I don’t have a cover yet for this new novel, but I’ll come up with something in April… all this work should keep me out of trouble.

Time to Say Goodbye

After completing 13 volumes of the monthly magazine, known as The Moon, I’ve decided I’ve done enough. No more publishing books and no more magazine either. I’m not getting anymore benefit from the work and there aren’t enough people are interested in supporting it. I’ve done a lot with this publishing house, but publishing is still in turmoil. The traditional publishers don’t want to admit, but it’s true. Things will have to change or else we will lose more books, magazines, and newspapers. It’s mainly the cost of printing and distribution. Not many can afford it.

The sad reality is that many readers expect it and when they can’t find something in print, they don’t always look for alternative stores or formats. Reading is the one form of entertainment which has never required any technology for the reader to enjoy. There are many people who prefer paper over reading a computer screen. Those people deserve to get their favorite authors.

They may not realize what’s happening behind the scenes. All they see is the finished product. But some of us are perfectly aware of all the creativity, polishing, and packaging which goes into any book or magazine or newspaper. There is a wide variety of writing out there and it doesn’t matter if it’s published by the traditional publishers or by the writers themselves. Some of it is really good and some of it’s really bad.

I just hope something can be changed with printing and distribution to allow readers to find what they like to read. I am willing to be a part of that change. I know it will be rough, but it must be done or else we will lose more culture items.

NaNoWriMo This Year…

It’s time for NaNoWriMo and this time I’m going to participate in my own way. I’m sure about all the rules, but I plan on writing one novel and one book of poetry. That should keep me busy for November…

I also plan to encourage my friends who are also participating in their own ways. I may post updates to this blog to let everyone know how much progress I’m making everyday.

Why I Want to Study Other Languages

I’ve been told that English is so hard that I shouldn’t bother learning another language. (They haven’t studied French. English verb conjugations are so simplified, it is ridiculous compared to French.) I’ve heard people claim that children who are raised by two parents who don’t speak the same language are confused. (I think those children are lucky and grow up to become bilingual.) I was even told that French was the wrong language for me to study because it wasn’t as popular as Spanish. (Hmm, I don’t know about that.)

I do know that I’ve heard lots of spoken Spanish for years. I still don’t know what they’re saying unless it sounds close to the French I already know. Yet, I can read signs around town which are written in Spanish. I know that’s not normal, but it is a gift to be able to read and understand.

I know I still want to study French and I have been lately. It does drive me crazy. There is a lot that is different compared to English. One excellent reason to learn a second language, even if you never become fluent, is that you can learn your native language better. I find that playing with the translations between two languages can increase one’s vocabulary and understanding of words in general.

So, I still hope to become fluent in French, but if I don’t, then at least my writing should improve.

The Food Pyramid

I know lots of people who have problems with food. I’ve known too many women who claim they knew a lot about what to eat and what not to eat and yet they were still fat. Not that fat is a bad thing, but they thought so. They keep on weighing themselves, but I think the real problem is that they don’t understand what their individual bodies need.

I doubt I could tell them. I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve have a lot of trouble with food. I’ve learned there are two foods I will never eat again just so I don’t further damaged my pancreas–dairy and common table sugar.

At this point in my life, I have too many food allergies and what’s left for me to eat is unfortunately very expensive in the United States. I’ve been told that I spend too much on food and that I should just eat the cheaper stuff.

I doubt they have priced the cost of cancer treatment. Nor do they realize that cancer treatment via traditional medicine is very dangerous. I watched my paternal grandma die when I was 12 years old. It wasn’t pretty. It was sad to watch her fall apart…

I don’t like to be told that I eat too much, when in reality I don’t. I have a bad habit of not eating enough when I feel too sad and just want to cry. Abdominal pain doesn’t help either. That’s why I appreciate it whenever my friends politely remind me to eat or ask me if I have.

I know the food pyramid is wrong. At the bottom are lots of grains, which of course, I recently had to give up because they made me so sick. Sadly, I wasn’t eating any gluten, but I still couldn’t think straight after eating any kind of grains. I am feeling better without them.

For now I will just stick to plenty of vegetables and fruit. I know I eat more of those than the average American. Some people would claim I’m eating too much and must have diarrhea as a result. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those people don’t know what their bodies need, so how can they think they can tell me?

I know I crave vegetables, fruit, kombucha, and nuts and some white fish. I don’t need anything else. I’d prefer mainly greens and berries. Those are the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet and they are fairly easy to digest. Easier than grains.

I just hope that someday, there will be plenty of people who don’t hate themselves, their bodies, or even hate eating in general. It’s unpleasant to live that way and to watch it.

The Cherry Blossom Festival

White Lion and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival. We walked passed the vendors and observed the tea ceremony. We both learned more about kimonos and more about the Japanese culture.

One of the best things about the Festival is seeing who shows up as their favorite anime characters or even ones they create themselves.

And of course I like matcha that is served at the tea ceremony…

Silver Moon & White Lion Unicorn
Silver Moon & White Lion Unicorn

White Lion Unicorn

White Lion Unicorn
White Lion Unicorn
White Lion Unicorn
White Lion Unicorn

I couldn’t help it. I ended up making a doll to represent White Lion Unicorn. I found a pattern online and managed to get him together. I don’t think I did a bad job, but he certainly isn’t perfect.

But he has a tendency to make other people smile and laugh. So, I must have done something right. He looks very much the way he is in the book. Wait… I need to start drafting his books series…