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Part 2: Commentary on Driving to the Airport, Our Blogging Culture, and a New Book

(Continued from Part 1.)

The day she left I started my project. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time but didn’t. This was the time. It became clear to me on the weekend that I could really finish the book before she comes back on Tuesday. I tweaked the final manuscript, designed the cover, and submitted it for approval last night at 19:48. I got a reply from the CreateSpace checkers today. I spaced something really important. I knew the book size was six by nine, but I submitted it eight by eleven. So, an easy fix. And I had to crop some hidden edges on my cover photo.

Changing page size, margins, and making a few tweaks on content worked fine. What wasn’t easy was this! I can’t afford Office anymore, so I’ve been using LibreOffice on Linux. I needed to start page one in my footer on page seven. I wasn’t going to number the front matter. LibreOffice couldn’t do it. Only page one could be different. I spent twenty years solving technical writing dilemmas; it was my bread and butter. I read a few forums that confirmed it is a design limitation. No can do. Then the light bulb went off.

Years ago when I had to assemble huge documents of different page sizes with high page counts, there was an app I used to use. What was it? Then it came to me. “PDF Split and Merge”—known as pdfsam. The Basic version is free. (Scroll down past the ads to get to all download platforms.) And, it runs on Linux with Java. Cool. I was not disappointed. I exported my content into two PDFs making the first seven unnumbered pages one PDF and the numbered pages the other PDF. Then I merged them in the app. Took two seconds to merge. Done.

Anyway, I should get CreateSpace approval tomorrow to publish. The book size change made my page count soar from 268 to 326! Not bad for five days work! Let me explain. I didn’t write this in five days; I put it together in five days. My Preface of my new book explains my thinking here, so I’m not going to rehash it for you here. I’ll just paste in the Preface. (Hope you don’t mind. I’m winding down from my early airport run and the dinner hour is passing me by.) Plus, the Preface shares my blogging culture thoughts from last night.

It seems to me that the blogging community as a whole moves forward and not back. It is not the same as Googling for something or wading through Wikipedia. The blog writing and reading (or following) culture seems to be in a constant state of living in the electronic present.

To me, the electronic present moves along a time continuum that is always now; blog reading makes what just past into the here and now. But seldom does blog reading delve back in time, e.g., a few weeks, months, or years ago.

When was the last time you read a post that was five years old or was a blogger’s first post? Same goes for me; a few flips forward or back in my reader and that is it. I started my blog “Shift Key” on WordPress in 2012. Without taking a peek back, I can’t remember what I wrote five years ago!

I didn’t want to lose it. I didn’t want it sit there unread in the electronic past. So, I decided to bring my blog content into the present by making it available as an “analog” book. I’m deeply appreciative for my readers and followers online. And I love blogging. Yet, I must confess, there are times when I enjoy having a book in hand, to smell, feel, and turn the pages.

Having said that, my bookshelves are fewer in number these days, but you know what I’m saying, some books are keepers. I hope this is a keeper for you.

This volume contains poetry, haiku, and commentary posted on my blog from 2012 through the end of 2016 in date/time order published.

Thank you for reading—here or online.

Well, this post got longer than I intended. We stopped for breakfast on the way home to catch up and just be together. Food was good; coffee was horrible. Company was fine. Now, she is resting, waiting for me, and trying not to fall asleep early now that she is back on Arizona time. I got a lot done while she was visiting the little ones, but I’m glad she is back home. Life is good. So is blogging, writing, thinking, venting. Life is so good.

Categories: Commentary

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Poet, Writer, US Army (Retired)

I dreamed of writing when I was a youngster. The love of books and writing may have helped to dull the pain of severe sexual abuse as I was sexually abused by two men at my father’s place of work from age 8 to 12 or so. I learned about this for the first time when I was 50 years old. So, as a boy, reading was the only place I had to go to. My fantasy world was better and safer than my real world. I loved reading and writing.
Reading books and writing poetry are a joy to me still and are an important part of my life. (See my About Me page on my blog for the complete profile.)

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