Well, kind of, I guess. Started with dosing up as much as I dared to make a journey I really wasn’t fit for, but in a very good cause. Why? It was the baptism of our granddaughter Kimberly! Sadly, the best I could manage in participation terms was arriving before everybody headed out, as the “facilities” at the church and the club afterwards were not suitable for me. So I basically house-sat. Still, I spent an extremely pleasant day in the back garden, enjoying the warmth and, eventually, the sun. I dozed off for a while and then used my son’s tablet to start writing a new story (probably a short story). It was wonderful, actually. Being somewhere so very quiet, doing nothing of great importance.
If you’re interested in such things, I have a photo gallery of the baptism on my Facebook. The majority of the photos were taken by my wife, Jenny, and using a Samsung Ace Smartphone (with only one exception), after the batteries died in my digital camera, I have to say that the Samsung’s camera function provided phenomenal quality results, especially considering that no flash was used!
Not Keeping Up Well…
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been keeping up with things very well, lately. That’s mainly because of the work involved in preparing for the book launch! Part of it is the to-and-fro’ of getting the book into print, which will be both paperback and hardback. I complicated matters by wanting the hardback to be the kind with a dustjacket with a plain book cover, rather than a full colour book cover. This is probably a holdover from growing up with such things. I used to love peeking under the dustjackets to see the smart, minimalistic titles on the covers and spine beneath. Somehow, when I first encountered hardbacks without dustjackets but with glossy, full colour covers (often just on the front), well… to be absolutely honest, they looked cheap and tacky to me. And yes, I know that’s silly and unfair, but it’s something I can’t get past. Even those where the dustjacket illustration is still printed on the book cover beneath just doesn’t have the same feel to it. A further complication because of this wish for a dustjacket is that the book sizes available are different! Thus, I can’t have the 8 x 5 inch size. I have to move up to 8.5 x 5.5 inches, which means that there will be a reduction in the number of pages! The paper will also be crème instead of white. Finally, the desire for a dustjacket means I need to come up with something for the inner flaps, without repeating anything from elsewhere, preferably. Keith at skoobebooks.co.uk has been a huge help throughout!
On top of the print issues for the book, I have fallen foul of something I did for the release of The Sigil of Ahriman – producing a video book trailer! There are many, many difficulties involved in the process, and I spent a considerable amount of time beating my head against very high, hard brick walls! Without the enormous amount of help I had from Chris Graham (creator of the book’s cover illustration) with the images used in the video, and my son Damien in the narration, I would probably have conceded defeat long ago. The task would have been, I now know, far beyond me! I will admit that this process was complicated when Damien pointed out that the video lost quality rather badly when watched full screen in HD! I don’t have direct, personal access to HD. Further, my computer seems to be suffering from serious memory problems (I know that feeling!) so many of the tricks used to persuade Windows Movie Maker to record in HD, or even pseudo-HD, simply won’t work for me. I found a video conversion program which may have overcome the problem, but I won’t know until Damien confirms one way or another. Finally, I haven’t yet decided on whether to superimpose the narrative on the video or to incorporate subtitles. Both present significant technical challenges for a video creation newbie!
So I hope that you all understand why I have been struggling to keep up with other things! If you’ve emailed me, for any reason, and I haven’t replied as yet, please accept my very sincere apologies.