Sunday, August 20, 2017

Too Busy to Blog.

I am doing the layout for Sholari v2n1 and am doing the radical thing of doing it SLOWLY. And checking back with the editor for certain questions. And letting it sit for a day or two to digest into the final form.

And forgetting to post in the blog. I'm busy.

Old Crosby Stills and Nash song I love - Long Time Coming.  And I view Jorune has a metaphor for succulents in the desert. It is dry, and there are needles to pierce you after long periods of drought. But one morning they bloom.

I hope it will be be worth the wait.

Sholari v2n1 is all about Lamorri, without a single Lamorri appealing. Sizzle. There's got to be a pony here somehwere. But two stories in North Temauntro.

I'm fighting with simple things. Copy point size. 11point with 13 point leading, or 12 point with 14 point leading. That kind of thing. The larger type is easier to read but will requie more page. It looks like about 60 pages, so .the decision has to be made.

But that is not all I am doing.

I am contining work on Segment: Sho-Caudal. Writing morefor  #3, maps and scale.  And an Invitation to Heresy. Wait for it.

And pulling together 25 years of notes for Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid. Knowledge. Secret Events. Thriddle history and culture. Thriddle schooling system. Detail for The Gift and the birth of the Sea of Cerridus.

And bits dribble out from time to time for the first SAK. Sholari Adventure Kit. This one is The Angel of Drail which gives details on Eastern Drail, Ponteeer, Earth-tec, and the Seraphim Guard. With cool toys for players to desire.

I juggle. I never do one thing at a time. But things get out. i work on one channel until it burns down. Peole want me to work on just one thing, but I have never been able to do that. "Think of what you could do if you just do one thing," they push.

Yeah, well where are your twenty plus stage play productions, and over 300 radio shows, about 100 of which were fully scripted and produced radio dramas. And two novels. And an anthology of short stories. And three issues of Sholari magazine - so far. And Annals of the Tan Soor Historical Society. And two versions of the first Gomo Guide to Thoneport. And several books on which my name does not appear, because it is part of my philosophical and spiritual life to do so. All by juggling.

So... shaddup.

And I'm juggling right now. Things are completing.  Reboot of Gomo Guide: Thoneport. Segement: Sho-Caudal #1, and #2 is already completed for mail out in September. And Sholari v2n1 will finally appear in PDF and I gird my loins for the fight to bring it out in print. And everything stays in the air, passing through my hands and occasional gets real and falls out of the juggle to reality.

When something hits the ground, another goes into the air. Like Sholari v2n2 with more about Warps than you may want to know. With two adventures, a full introduction, and a major caveat. Juggle juggle juggle.

In the desert there can be desolation and despair, and the water table may sink away, making a difficult existance more miserable. But then, one day, you wake up and the colors of the blossoms are beyond your dreams or expectations.

And I have to remember to just let it come and enjoy the hell out of it when it reaches reality.

Which will be difficult. I have some pretty strange dreams.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tah. And also Dah.

The Giddyne is
your Invitation
Segment: Sho Caudal #1 is out to the Subscribers and the people who have ordered a single copy. PDF, in their email.

Actualy, OUT.

Segment: Sho-Caudal #2 (or SSC as we call it around the shenter) is already finished and will go out  in September. We will probably set a date and release the next on on that day of every month.

You could be receiving one in your eMail. All the details are at Segment: Sho-Caudal's home page. Single copy, subscription by monthly PayPal payment, or subscription by annual payment, PayPal, or other options.

And the last scan has been received for Sholari v2n1. You've seen the cover, and we hope the insides will delight your Jorune-lovin' brain just as much as Steve Devaney's cover delighted your eyes.

And can Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid be far behind.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Real, with and without typos (error corrected)

Subscriptions are coming in. Requests for Single issues are coming in.

Confirmations of where to SEND the PDF are not coming in. Someone was kind enough to send me the error message they got when trying to send their preferred email address...

Really?

Subscriptions are coming in. Requests for Single issues are coming in.

Confirmations of where to SEND the PDF are not coming in. Someone was kind enough to send me the error message they got when trying to send their preferred email address...

Joe typed an "r" in the wrong place on a page of HTML code. It's only about 80 lines, at 72 spaces per line, so one character out of 5,760 was not correct and people couldn't send me their preferred email address for delivery.

Really?

Does anyone know a good, working WYSIWYG editor for Mac OS or Linux?

Komposer has a no-contrast black on dark blue, none adjustable button scheme that I cannot read.

SeaMonkey no longer allows a "Find" when working in raw code.

Blue Griffon is a nightmare with the inability of its interface to interface. The version has a formatting bar that runs down the left edge of the window, with no way to scroll down (Paragraph formatting).

DreamWeaver adds so much extra, self closing <x></x> lines of code it becomes a real nightmare when trying to fix bits of HTML. I can't tell if it is just bad programming, or the suits trying to create evidence you have been using their program without paying. (I used it as part of the Adobe CC package, one, said bad words and have not opened it since. Worse than DreamWeaver 7.)

Amaya and Adaptana are just too clunky for me to use.

Programmers tell me "just use a text editor". I do not find that to be an effective workflow - I am not a programmer. I work in the design, usually with a split screen. Working "type-save-open-browser-reload-open-text-editor, repeat", over and over and over and over is NOT preferable to "type, look, type more". I can use a text editor, but it is not my native language and I do not 'see' what I'm doing.

Typing...

<center><ul><li>Fuck off and Die</li><br><li>Eat Shit and Die</li></ul><br><br>Really!<center><p>

Can be done, but I'd rather choose center, bold, words, next line.

It also takes much longer, and opens the door to typos based on a) Joe's history of typos, and b) neuropathy that does my touch typing without the 'touch' part.

I can move my fingers and, IF I am on the home position (which is not always the case) I hit the right letters. Fascinating things when I lose my home positions one key over, in some direction. (Even *I* notice that.)

I'm a civilian, not a programmer. And THIS error was in a text processor.

WYSIWYG? Either OS?

If it helps, SeaMonkey was my go-to for YEARS.

Or is there someone willing to volunteer to clean up any of a couple dozen pages I do a month?

Trade. Or Barter. (You have to be very old to get the joke there.)</h2>

Friday, August 11, 2017

Things Just Got Real...

Segment: Sho-Caudal #1 is through the first two rounds of editing and just went off to the proofer and the Troublesome Thriddle, who got a draft too early and also edited.

This issue is all about the Timelines. From the first weaving of a Dysha, to the Harpesr at the very beginning of the Thanterian age. That means through the Shanthic age, with a long ass war; The Lamorri Invasion, their abuse of Isho and Expulsion; the Colonial Era; The Human Shanthic War and Shyee (with details on Bomoveris and Iscin); and then the Harpers, as Thantier keeps the dream of Earth alive.

First issue. 17 pages. No plots, just words words words. Very few pictures. Other than four Pictures of Lamorri. Have you seen Lamorri before? Do you know about Lamorri. It is background in some things that are really 'published', but ... you might like knowing.

My personal review is "Less embarrassing than any other Jorune product I've ever done."

And you haven't heard me talk about my previous work, have you?

Four and a half ways to get it, one of which only partially connected to PayPal, and of of which is not connected to PayPal at all. Really. All the details are here: Segement: Sho-Caudal home page.

The four methods are subscription ($55 a year for at least 12 issues in the next year), or $5 a month for a year and a minimum of 12 issues), or just pick up one for $6. PDF, direct by email only.

SSC #2 is complete and will be out in September. SSC #3 is in the works.

Sholari Volume 2 Number 1 is complete and in layout. Really.

Like I said before - when it rains it pours.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And closer...

Got word from the editor she will be done with the last couple of pages, very very soon. Like later today? Tomorrow?

So SSC will go live in the next day or so.

PayPal has been set up and I will announce the page to do that on one of the four access plans.

Sholari has started layout. The last of the art is being scanned by a friend today. Maybe even now. So it will go live in DTRPG for PDF immediately, and print as it becomes possible.

Gomo Guide: Thantier is advancing.

SAK: Angel of Drail, likewise.

---

I have to say I am really happy with a couple of harmonics.

SAK - Sholari Adventure Kit. Also, the first word Tars Tarkas said to John Carter in the book that launched me on this whole science fiction/roller coaster ride. I had read Heinlein and Norton juvenile novels in junior high, but A Princess of Mars was life changes. As was the first used copy o fsecond edition that I found at Gamescape.

THAT issue of SSC #6, D Bruce Berry
And SSC? Segment: Sho-Caudal? SSC was also the abbreviation for Star Studded Comics, a fanzine with amatuer strips in the early 1960s from the Texas Trio. They were original a ditto zine with a four color litho cover, but the first issue I saw was the stack of stapled pages called Star Studded Comix #6, with a cool color cover by D Bruce Berry. It was on the kitchen table of my friend Wayne Baldaros apartment in Burbank about 1965. SSC gave birth to Batwing, which gave us George RR Martin as a fanboy, and SSC also fostered many artists that would later turn pro. It was just after I discovered A Princess of Mars - later that same year, in fact.

The old days of magic for me.

So to be working on a new SSC is very satisfying. As is new meaning for SAK. And being back into Jorune.

All good.

And maybe new magic for someone.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Boom

When it rains it pours.

Okay, I asked about anyone remembering the old Segement: Jorune while having problems getting DriveThruRPG/DriveThruFiction to function to bring books to you PDF and Print. I follow their directions and am wrong for doing that. I use the template provided by Ingrham and am wrong. I make the changes they demand, and am wrong. So I wanted something I can actually DO, not talk about.

Boom.

Things fell together really fast.

The project is called Segment: Sho-Caudal. It is a PDF-only, subscription only newsletter. That translates as SOMETHING I CAN GET OUT rather than fight with the Print on Demand masters of ennui who want me to peel them another grape before they will accept files. No, not a purple one, a green one. Not that shade of green. Too small...

I repeat. Boom.

It is Tuesday afternoon. The first issue will be for sale and deliver by ... the end of the week.

Segment: Sho-Caudal #1 is in the second round of editing with one of my favorite editors, who really improves the product, and when she is done it goes to another editor who is serving as proofreader. And then it gets into PDF but before it gets announce yet another person is performing as Troublesome Thriddle (That's his title, don't wear it out) to eyeball it before it goes out. THEN it will be available. We are looked at a few days.

THEN there will be four ways to nab it:

  • Option 1 - Subscription through PayPal. $5 a month. Direct through PayPal. A minimum of one newsletter a month. 
  • Option 2 - Subscription through PayPal. $55 a year. 
  • Option 3 - Subscription not through PayPal, but by check to me, or through Facebook using the little "$" symbol in the bottom of their chat window. That goes through PayPal but does not reqire that you have a PayPal account. If that isn't good enough for you, get a stamp.
  • Option 4 - One issue purchase. $6. PayPal only.

Unpublished sketch of the
monument to The Desti
 Delivery is by email. When you do your PayPal you will be taken to page telling you where to send you email address for your subscription. Then I hit Segment: Sho-Caudal Subscribers in my email program and remember to attach the PDF and - boom. Again with the boom. I hope I remember to attach the PDF. But if I don't, I will eat crow and send a red faced "here it is" email.

And Segement: Sho-Caudal #2 is already completed and in the hands of the editor. And I mean, completed! Words, Artwork and everything.

There are a couple of color art pieces in the first two issues, but they are glaring and out of place. I have made the decision that future issues will us an old retro design of Black-Plus-One-Color, and I set up a color called Spot. I change that color once and it ripples through all the headlines of the issue. It was a very popular graphic style in the 1950s and 1960s, but now becomes a nice retro feel for SSC.

But - Boom Boom - Editor #2 just delivered all the text for Sholari v2n1 and while this background editing is going on with Segment: Sho-Caudal #1 and #2, I am doing the layout for Sholari Magazine, Volume 2 Number 1, and writing more material for Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid.

There is a clog in the pipe and when we get the clog cleared ... splush. There will be wet. Hopefully Drenched by Christmas and more wet predicted for the 2018 forecast.

I like all that.

SSC #1 is all about Timelines. SSC #2 is a mix, which includes the Thriddle's Debt and a new piece for what used to be called "Jaroon" (for the old folks).  And I already know what will be in SSC #3.

Boom.

Why am I not Sholari Joe? Because I am always a student. I teach, but I'm still a student. And it doesn't matter what world I'm on.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Remember the old Segment: Jorune?

Sho Caudal
Remember SEGMENT: JORUNE from the old White Wolf magazine? I've been thinking of doing something like that. My rolling notebook. I have 20 years of notes finding an outlet in Return to Jorune, but it is just making my juices boil.

For example I've been doing details on timelines from the end of the Shanthic war, to the arrival and explusion of the Lamorri, to the Tragedy of the Gift (yeah, it's coming), to the arrival of hoomanzie, Shyee and points up to last week, when the Dharsage Dandrenn's first grandchild was born.

And I'm thinking of a Sholari Joe notebook, or something like it. At least nine a year, probably more. Subscription as $5 per month. that would help my cash flow. PDF by email. In addition to the stream of project damming up behind the DriveThruRPG wall. Material from such a notebook will most likely wind up in a later product. If I stay alive, that is. (We can get the PDF up for sale almost immediately, but the print version will require a testicle.)

Maps. Historical details. Locations. Illustrations/diagrams. Dangerous stray thoughts.
20 people at $5 a month would make a significant improvement in my cash flow.

(Did you know Sholaris don't get paid shit, compared to your average aubrey stack cleaner who travels from farm to farm in rural North Khodre?)

So ... thinking about it. Anybody interested in such a thing?

I may take a steal from the past and do "Sho Caudal According to Dhar Copra Joe"... or ... "Dances with Shantha" or something, but the name Sho Caudal will be there.  (Segment: Sho-Caudal?)

---

I just posted this four times. I tried to copy a post from Facebook to put in the blog, but it came through with eight carriage returns instead of one, just as happened last week with another post. I deleted the other versions with the extra carriage returns - they weren't all that thrilling. But if you got more than one notification - sorry.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Broken Camel and the Straw

Really.

Is there someone with real world experience in dealing with DriveThruRPG. Tonight I got an email that has me ready to be in need of "film at eleven" and "he was always so quiet".

What has gone before:

I have been involved with Print on Demand for about ten years or so. DriveThruRPG has given "problematic" a whole new definition.

Annals of Tan Soor Historical Society
I did my first Print on Demand project with an outfit started by Ken Whitman, but he was already out of the picture by the time Annals of the Tansoor Historical finally arrived at my door, warts an all. My warts. Not theirs. Took one go-round and boom, it was done. That was 2006 - and I can't even remember the name of that company.

Recovery Ready, 2nd edition cover
Then I started using Lulu.com and Issuu.com for some books and a magazine, print and PDF delivery. Several titles there - I don't know who know. Simple Directions, Recovery Reader, Sponsor Magazine, Good Orderly Direction, The Work, and The Work Book ... several titles, several iterations. Not perfect, but better and better. I think all of those are still available through archive.org. Recovery Reader, 2nd Edition is my real flower out of that crop. Ditto, archive.org. So, seven titles brought to market. Not "no problem" but minor problems, quickly resolved and the publications were.

House of Angels playbook
A friend suggested I try CreateSpace for Amazon.com. Okay - and i got my plays The MAMA Law, Fever, Living int he House of Angels, and Assassins, all up in their system, no real problems. Novels - Climbing the Spiral Mountain and Song of Orphans, up, not real problem. Novella - Niall's Dream, up, no problem - less than two weeks from inspiration to book to sell. A collection of short stories The Taste of Fire, up, no problem.

I don't just do Jorune - and there are jobs I do for clients that I don't even list as 'mine', which are compelted, up, and more personal experience successfully getting books into the Print-on-Demand world - which have worked.

GOMO GUIDE TO THONEPORT, first version, Lulu.com, not problem, first attempt with DriveThruRPG. Problems. Got word DrivethruRPG now offers direct royalty payment for participants, so that moved it a leg up. It also accesses the audience I'm trying to reach with Return to Jorune titles. A few weeks of back and forth, but we got it up.

Thoneport Reboot
Started putting together Return to Jorune, got an artist and did a reboot of Gomo Guide: Thoneport. the troubles began. MONTHS of back and forth, then I couldn't upload files because DTRPG uses Flash, which I detest, but I set up one browser to use Flash and could upload. Five or six versions of files later, it finally went live.

I starting having several months of chaos with Apple, hardware and software, resulting in me getting a Windows machine which did not work at all (it may have been damaged in shipping), and finally getting a MacMini. But the upgrade of OSX to 10.12.5 meant I could no longer use the Adobe Creative Suite, on which I had come to depend. I got a client to include me on his Adobe Acrobat Creative Cloud for access to the same programs compatible, but ... that's what it took.

Cover by Fred Lang
Tried to bring my novel SONG OF ORPHANS to DTRPG, and after four months of no-go, nogo, No Go, Just Go I gave up. there is no SONG OF ORPHANS on DRTPG. And it looks like there will be no SONG OF ORPHANS on DTRPG. Part of the problem was DTRPG said for me to go to Lightning Print/Ingrahm for templates for the cover. I did. That was where the real pain began.

I contacted my rep with DTRPG, who was instrumental in getting the reboot of GOMO GUIDE: THONEPORT into the system, to ask if the cover I did for the forthcoming SHOLARI V2N1, without the Lightning/Ingrahm template from hell, would be acceptable.

He just wrote me to say that I had to reformat it for PDFX-1, not PDFX-2000.

I have NEVER used PDFX-2000, and I have been using Adobe Acrobat since version 1, 1993. This is not my first rodeo. And I have never chosen PDFX-2000, never, ever ever ever ever.

Never. Everevereverever.

And my camel broke. That was the straw. This is my broken camel.

Screen shot of PDF settings
I had chosen PDFX-1. I have a custom Distiller setting for PDFX-1 for DrivethruRPG, which is oddly enough not PDFX-2000.

Then he said they cannot say if the cover works until they have the interior pages? Really? The had no problem dealing with rejecting the cover for SONG OF ORPHANS - 8 times, without the interior.

Oh, side note. Lightning-Ingram template? You fill out a request, I asked for a 352 page book on white paper, 6x9. They sent me the template. I used the template. then it was rejected because cream paper is not in the options available for DrivethruRPG. I did not ask for cream paper. Where the choice says "Paper" the options were "White" and "Cream" and I chose "White. so i did it again, and they rejected it again. And again, then they said it had to be CYMK, which it had been but I regenerated a PDFX-1 PDF using CYMK on white paper, and they rejected it for not being white, but cream. And again. And stripped away everything to do it all from ground zero, and rejected again. And again again.

I have been going with DrivethruRPG because of access to their audience, and paying royalties to my editors, artists, and even other writers. I keep a slice for production, prepress, management stuff. but nobody gets anything if there is not product to go out.

So I pulled SONG OF ORPHANS completely. I cannot eliminate the project from my publishing files page, so I have files listed as "Go Away" - "X Song of Orphans" - "Do Not Use" so I don't accidentally get a rerun of the old headache.

AND there is a hardcover version of the book that failed. I did not order a hardcover version. I have done a hardcover version of RECOVERY READER, which is nifty and good to hold. And I have considered a casebound hardcover with dust jacket, but not just now. And certainly not through DTRGP.

So I am asking for help before I wind up on the News.

Does anyone know the simplest way to get from my computer to the sales list on DriveThruRPG? Even if it means starting from Zero. A different cover generator. A different layout generator. I'm willing. If I have a sytem, I can plug in the products piling up behind Sholari Volume 2 Number 1 to fit into that production process, we can start looking at a product a month. Not four months with NO product as a result. I will cut off some of the royalties in my publishing nightmares section. 

Help?

And I'd rather not wind up on the news. It's so hard to get the shotgun on the plane.

Part of the Map

Sho Caudal
I've been working on Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid in the background, but that also means I'm working on The Angel of Drail, and Gomo Guide: Ponteer. It is based on discussions with Andrew Leker, studying maps by Miles Teves, writings from Sholari James, and application of different physical sciences to the planet. A good deal of my understanding of Sho Caudal outside the major canon of Burdothian propaganda comes from maps.

I also did some meditations on the symbol that appears on Miles 2nd edition world map, or the world we know. It is in the lower left of that map and is the Shanthic symbol for what we call "Jorune". Jorune is an Earth word - the name of the astronomer who detected Jorune, about 140 years in our future (it used to be 160 years, but that was 20 years ago). "Jorune" is taken as a direct insult to Shantha, and there are certain people who like insulting the natives by insisting on using a word that is offensive to them to designate their own world. Kind of like calling the Shantha "aliens". Shantha do not separate the words for "world", "spiritual life", and the concept of "now". Humans seem to have a problem with that. And it drives Thriddle crazy.

But back to thoughts on future books in the Return to Jorune stream.  I did a map for Sea Of Cerridus. I did a color version, too, but it is too much to deal with all at once. Really pretty. That's why I think it would look nice on the back of three different books.
The foundation map for Sea of Cerridus

Part of this map will be on the back cover of Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid.

Part of this map will be on The Angel of Drail.

Part of this map will be on the back cover of Gomo Guide: Ponteer.

I know what Ponteer means now. It means "Shards" - broken glass. The "mountains" of the ithmus reveal something horrible happened in the past and there are straight line impact folds. Jorune is a silcon heavy world - hence skyrealms and crystals. Silicon becomes glass which heated, and brittle glass when heated suddenly. There are very few things that create sudden, extreme heat for a 500 kilometer square region of a planet. Yeah, that will be explained in Tan Iricid.

The Burdoth map mentioned in text.
I really want to do the Jorunigraphica, but will have to keep focusing on tight little areas. this map covers about the same square mileage for the Burdoth map which includes Heridoth and sections of Dobre, Doben-al, Ros Crendor, East Trinnu, and the island and waterways outside Ardoth Bay. But the Jorunigraphica requires cooperation with Sholari James, who answers emails at an even lower rate than Andrew Leker, and it would take a LOT of time to do the real maps... so, I'm just going to focus on a small geographic area at a time.

I know secrets about Drail. I love revealing secrets - it's a good thing I'm not in the military or intelligence communities because I would have been in the news for years. Andrew was absorbed with his creation of Burdoth, and I consider Burdoth beneficiary of the highest tech levels on the planet, but not really a place I would want to do anything more than a brief visit. My heart remains in Ponteer, and I get to tell people why in the next several Return to Jorune books.

And I need to move onto the Eastern continent. Dobreh, Yobreh, Hobeh, Lundere. I have thoughts about them, too. Horrible, horrible thoughts. And the Northern continent - Voligire, Gilthaw and Sharden. Who got time for that?

This is what I do while waiting for the final edit files for the layout of Sholari Magazine Volume Two, Number One. I also am expanding my notes for Sholari Magazine, v2n2. That means warp work - The Red Gate, the Blue Gate, and the Black Gates (there are a lot of those, which is not good).

And I'm expanding the notes that will go into The Angel of Drail, which includes colonial information regarding the Seraphim GuardTrarch culture, with the surprisingly cosmopolitan nature of a school in the mountains of Drail (the headmistress may be of interest to you). There are two cool pieces of Earth-tec new player may fight over - a very unique armor based on research in our own so-called 'real world', and a device for people addicted to education. Of course, this is science fiction and we don't have to be worried about anyone being involved with that.

I still do not have a functioning scanner and have to use my phone (with a great app called ScanBot) to take pictures of new art for layout, but I am old fashioned and insist on real scans of the real art for it to go to press. Bad thoughts about Apple - the problem is their new upgrade, which does not address my all-in-one-printer-scanner. It print, but it will not scan. Yet. I have a really old Canon Li50 scanner in the back room, where I also have a really old Mac laptop running 10.6, which MIGHT allow me to scan. We shall see if that works. (I suspect the really old scanner will not work with the new OSX upgrade which is the source of my current menu of woes du jour, because it doesn't work with the much news all-in-one that worked fine 36 hours before the software upgrade.)

But I think I'd trade all of this for a really good night's sleep.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Retake. Oooo, final cover.

oooo. We have a final cover, final cover copy, final cover art, final layout. Now, moving on to the interior layout... and then up to DrivethruRPG.com for sale... and back to Gomo Guide: Tan Iricid. (I love this cover, tbw.)

The real cover is much larger, of course, and wrapped around an interior.