September and October are always crazy-busy months for me, so blogging, since it does not directly support keeping my job or my family operational, went right out the window. I'll be getting back to my pursuit of the 23 Things in November.
I did, however, decide to use a tool discovered in my Learning 2.0 journey to create a gift in honor of a relative's "significant birthday." I am now the proud author of a single-copy, vanity press book, published by Blurb.com. I found the software (download) to be very intuitive -- I'm a "forget the manual and jump right in" sort of user, so intuitive software is important to me. My only complaint is that I would have preferred more background and layout options. (I opted for minimalistic all black backgrounds with white lettering. No judgment on whether that's good or bad, but, for some reason, my mind always associates Spinal Tap's Smell the Glove, a.k.a., Black Album, with all black layouts of anything. So, I couldn't help mentally referring to my great literary product as "Black Book: Smell the Ink" when I was putting it together. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have something to say about that.) I suspect, however, that I could have adapted the layouts and backgrounds beyond the obvious had I bothered to read the help messages or poke around the software a bit more. Or, I could have coughed up the money for the paid, rather than the free, download. The time-quality-resources triangle again, eh?
Anyway, the book is better than expected. First, I received it in less than 3 business days -- wow! More importantly, I was a bit concerned about how some fuzzy, old, tiny photos would look when scanned, enlarged, and printed in the book. They look exactly like the originals, so it couldn't be better. Overall, it looks just like a book I might have bought at a quality bookstore. Friends who examined the book today were highly complimentary. I am well pleased; I believe the recipient will be over the moon.
This experience makes me take a fresh look at "NaNoWriMo" (i.e., National Novel Writing Month), too. I've always pined to do it, but haven't taken the plunge yet. Maybe the prospect of a book in hand, a la Blurb.com, could make it more compelling to me. Or maybe I'll write my hack novel in a month that's more convenient for me.
For now, I just need to get back to the blog. I'll be writing, I hope, next month!
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