If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore (author of: Lesson One: Revolution!; Two Boys, Two Planets; Journey to Yandol, and other stories; and, Wolf Block), you've found the perfect blog for that!
Before I go too far with this rant, let me clarify that maybe I am reading too much into things. I’d like to be mistaken, but let me tell you how things look right now. Earlier this week, I received email from NOOK Press which, if you aren’t familiar with it, is the digital publishing tool used to publish books directly to the NOOK platform (if you don’t know what a NOOK is, it’s like a Kindle but for Barnes & Noble instead of Amazon). In that email, they announced a new service from NOOK Press: Printing! And not just paperbacks, they’re offering hardcover copies. You can even get dust jackets on your hardcover books if you want. Pretty cool, right? I thought so. My first impression was that it was serious competition for Amazon’s CreateSpace and Ingram’s Lightning Source/Ingram Spark offerings. Oh, if only that were true.
Doing NaNoWriMo? Want to focus more and produce more words? Think you might want to publish your book someday? If you’re a writer who answered “yes” to at least two of those questions, this blog post is for you! I’ve encouraged writers to use Markdown before, but Markdown can be especially helpful to a “WriMo” (NaNoWriMo participant) with visions of publishing. It lets you focus on your writing instead of quirky software, and it ensures that your manuscript is clean when it comes time to preparing it for publication.
This is going to be a short blog post. And you know what else is short? "Tramp Avatar," a short story in the Journey to Yandol, and other stories short collection of short stories. Know what else (else) is short? Me. And you know what else (else (else)) is short? My funds for donating. And you... wait, I ran out of short things to mention. But this all has a point, believe it or not, which I will get to... shortly. But for that point to make any sense, I should introduce you to Sigil. Read on and you'll see how all of this ties together into something less crazy than it sounds. Oh, and since NaNoWriMo is starting around the globe as I write this, be sure to complete this little task if you're not a writer participating this year (and then come back to read this short blog post).
This past week was far more chaotic than I could have anticipated, and it all started with a wire. When I first set up my home office, over five years ago, I arranged the desks in the one arrangement that seemed to make sense. Over the years I tried to find alternatives but never could find something that worked. Then, this week, I needed to plug something in and realized I couldn't. I was aware that I needed to distribute my electricity-gobblers better, but didn't run out of electrical access until this week. (Better to be pushed into it this way than by an electrical fire, of course!)
Not being able to put it off any longer, I measured my office space and all of the furniture in it, created a 2D paper model, and started pushing things around the easy way before doing it the hard way. I finally came up with an "OK" layout – not great, but still functional. Yet... despite being motivated to rearrange things based on electrical supply, what was the one thing I didn't put on my diagram? Yeah... that's when the "fun" started.
Last week I talked about patronage as a viable alternative to the per-unit model of paying writers and other artists for their works. While writing that post I was mostly focused on recurring payments through a mechanism like Patreon, but that's not the only way to approach patronage. It's not uncommon in life to pay a one-time arbitrary amount in gratitude for something, i.e., to tip someone.
Just like restaurant wait staff and other service providers, creative people can be tipped for their creative efforts too. If you've ever dropped a coin in the hat (or violin case?) of a talented street musician, you've tipped an artist. In the past it has not been very convenient to tip small amounts online, but one of my readers pointed me toward ChangeTip, which makes one-time online tips very easy. Read on for more details about how you can use ChangeTip, whichever side of the tip transaction you're on, and why their approach is more workable (and fun) than other methods.