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Oh, Hi!

I haven't been writing many blog entries this week, because I've been focused on formatting the Kindle version of my book, The Art of Life. This has taken quite a bit longer than I might have expected.

Thanks in part to a sink leak, however, I managed to achieve some progress on one of my resolutions.



Creating a Kindle version of my poetry chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs, was remarkably painless. I simply uploaded the MS Word file to Amazon.com's Kindle creation center, and as if by magic, a practically flawless Kindle version emerged, complete with hotlinks in the contents page. So after tweaking my store page for the Kindle version of the book to include some sample poems, I made it available right away.

The same process, however, did not work for The Art of Life. When I put it through the automatic converter, I got back a document that looked sloppy and was missing essential elements, such as hotlinks in the contents page and footnotes for two of the essays.

After sorting out various options, including creating a HTML file through MS World, I had to face the fact that it would be far more effective to do it myself, painstaking though the task might be. So I copied and pasted the text into Dreamweaver and have been manually adding hotlinks, footnotes, and formatting. As you can imagine, it's been a relentless task. Considering that I often only get an hour or so of effective work time during the day, I had to focus on it.

Yesterday, however, I completed my first check of the HTML version, previewing it in the browser and checking all the links, plus looking for any formatting mistakes. Now I'm going to use a program recommended by the Cheshire Cat to convert the HTML file into a Kindle-compatible .mobi file so that I can double-check it in Kindle for PC.

Once that's done, I'll resubmit the file to the Digital Text Platform converter, hopefully with better results. I hope it works out, because a lot of people got Kindles for Christmas, and I think this could be a great opportunity for me.




In terms of resolutions, I got a kick start on this one:

Long-term Goal #3: Baby-Proof/Organize the House

You see, our kitchen sink sprung a leak. Realizing that our landlord was going to have to come fix it, I set about cleaning up our disaster of a dining room table. In the month or so of holiday preparation, it had become a repository of Christmas card envelopes, junk mail, gift-wrapping items, spare copies of my book, ill-fitting baby clothes and other items. Since we only require two clear spaces to eat our meals, the rest of the table was a cluttered disaster.

So before the landlord arrived to look at the sink, I carefully went through all the accumulated papers and items, either finding them a home or deciding what should be done with them. It's a small step, but it makes a big difference.

Also as a result of the sink repair, I've got a start on goal #3's official short-term goal:

* Short-term Goal: Move cleaning supplies into lockable cabinet; install lock.

Since the landlord had to remove some of the Tupperware and plastic containers we'd been storing under the sink, I left them out for now. This weekend, The Gryphon and I will go through all the containers, decide which to keep, and move them into the unlockable cabinet which currently contains cleaning supplies. The cleaning supplies will go under the sink, and we'll install a baby-proof cabinet lock.




In other news, I learned this week about an intriguing and tempting opportunity: Gary, the moderator of therealljidol, is starting a "second-chance" option for this season's competition. Basically, people who either have been cut from the competition or missed the deadline to sign up will be given a second opportunity to compete. They will get a separate topic and have to compete for votes. At some point, the suggestion is they will have the chance to enter the main competition.

While I enjoyed competing in previous seasons, and I miss the opportunity to meet new friends, I still lack the time to commit to the competition. As I said at the beginning of this season, I think it's important to read the work of my competitors, and right now, I barely have time to keep up with my Friends List. Since there are about 50 people signed up for the second chance so far, I can say without reservation that I would not be able to participate at the level I have before, and therefore, I feel I should remain on the sidelines.

Right now, I'm still in the position of trying to make up for the afternoon transcription assignment I lost. I had the most success with that in the month after I lost it, when I happened to pick up some extra writing and transcription work. Over the holidays, however, such opportunities have been sparser, except for a small income from selling items and used books on eBay and Amazon.com. I really have to continue to concentrate on finding freelance work and other financial opportunities. This means that, once again, I will have to sit it out this season.

Moral:
Having a six-and-a-half-month-old forces new priorities.


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