Confession Time

Well, you should probably expect an ongoing series on the subject of change and self-improvement. I’m in desperate need of both.

First, I have really sinned – or at least transgressed – against God, myself, my family, employers, you name it – by becoming addicted to multi-tasking. A study came out awhile back that no matter what your personality profile might say, no human being honestly multi-tasks well. Some do it better than others, but none of us do it well. However, the more we attempt to do it, the more it raises serotonin and dopamine levels in our brains. In short, we need the high of multi-tasking the more we try to do it. I do it far worse than others, and I’ve tried to pick up speed at that.
It’s worse than Keanu Reeves telling Sandra Bullock to speed up the subway train in order to jump the tracks. (I’m assuming you’ve seen “Speed.”) Hello, Keanu. The train’s jumping the tracks no matter what speed it’s at because the track ends and the brakes are out. The subsequent wreck should have killed both characters. Fortunately, they live in Hollywood Physics Land. I don’t. My trip into muli-tasking mania has made my life a disconnected Hell on Earth. So I’m slowing the train down in increments. Trying to break my addiction to so many stimulants in slight waves, rather than going cold turkey. And I’m trying to remember to pray more instead of relying on those stimulants.
What stimulants could she possibly be taking? Easy. They’re called email (msn and google accounts), this beloved blog, facebook, twitter, the list goes on. And on. And on.
More on this topic later. So who’s with me? Addicted much?

Changes Are A-Comin’

I had an epiphany this morning, thought I can’t say it hasn’t been a long time in coming. It has. There will soon be changes to this website in preparation for the next phase in my career. I don’t want to go into too much detail yet as I know how I work and recognize that this will probably take longer than I want it to. However, I will say I intend to launch something new and say goodbye to something old this year. I dislike changes, but I think it will be for the best and it has become a resolution.

What about you? Have you made any resolutions? Do you intend to?

Gita Wolf: The Art of Book Making

I’ve taken pieces of this from one of Shelf Awareness’s articles last week. Here is the link to the original article, which has more information and pictures than I was interested in saving and uploading here.

The eye-catching titles and artwork from Tara Books is utterly amazing and even more so to those of us who know how big publishing houses work versus Tara’s production. “I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail” is based on a 17th-century poem and illustrated by Ramsingh Urveti in the traditional Gond style from central India. It is gorgeous. But that’s not what makes the book amazing.

What’s so special about Tara books is, they’re handmade. Gita Wolf’s “The Very Hungry Lion,” painted in the Warli style from western India, has sold more than 49,000 copies, all of which were made one at a time. Tara also recycles misprints as “flukebooks.” These are unique notebooks (none are identical) for $11.99. Can we say early Christmas shopping? I thought we could.

Tara books and Gita Wolf are on a mission to save the art of bookmaking. Together with her collective of artisans, Wolf is establishing a Center for the Book Arts in Chennai. The center will house a gallery, a bookstore and work space for artists. Makes me want to move to Chennai.

The Great Race, coming in June 2012, by Nathan Kumar Scott,will use the Mata-ni-Pachedi painting style from Gujarat. It is the first time this style of artwork will have ever been seen in a book format. In the future, Tara Books plans to work with artists in Mexico’s Mayan community and presumably other ethnic peoples.

For obvious reasons, Tara Books titles have won the Bologna Ragazzi Award twice. Tara is not about the mass production of reading material, but about the art of each book. When books are made with such love and devotion, they become cherished items. In a world that’s increasingly widening the gap between those who are educated (or financially capable of education) and those who are not, what can be more important than cherished knowledge and thought?

I LOVED this whole concept. What about you?

Merry Christmas!

Sorry, folks, no post this week, but MERRY CHRISTMAS!

New Market

A new market/method of publication has come to town, but I’m honestly not sure I like it. It has too much room for misuse, but let’s see what you think:

PUBSLUSH is an entirely new kind of full service, social non profit publisher: readers decide what books get published, and for every book sold, a book is donated to a child in need.
The process is simple:

Writers submit the best 10 pages and a summary of their manuscript.
Users read, share, and support (a.k.a. pre-order) their favorite submissions. They’re only charged if a book is selected for publication.
Once a book reaches 2,000 supporters, we publish it (ensuring only the best books get published). PUBSLUSH provides all the services and support of a legacy publisher.
For every book sold, a book will be donated to a child in need.

Sounds like a good deal and it is. Kinda. A child in need receives a book. A struggling author is published. What can go wrong? Well, once upon a time my husband’s cover art for my book was in a competition. Don’t get me wrong, Dear Hubby is an AWESOME graphics artist and has done many Indie book covers as well as independent illustrations by now and I do think he deserved to place in this competition. But should I have asked friends and family to go vote? I’m not sure. I did NOT ask them to vote for Mourn Their Courage’s cover, but I’m sure many people did without checking out the other incredible covers. A fact that has haunted me. You see, that sort of competition ends up being one of how many friends and family do the individual competitors have. The DH won, but I’ve always been haunted by the question of, “Did he win fairly?” There was some stiff competition and it was a landslide vote. Not what we were expecting. So yes, I have problems with this sort of thing.

What do you think? If you do use Pubslush, how will you ask folks to vote?