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This past week I have spent a considerable amount of time staring at three versions of the book cover art which are exactly the same except for slight changes to color balance.  I have also been spending a lot of time making a red radio flyer wagon into a ride-on Thomas the Tank Engine, but that’s a whole other story.  One which involves a small person’s strong opinions, Halloween and quite possibly selling my soul to Pinterest.

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Decision, decisions…

I will admit to being a perfectionist so there was a lot of time spent trying to choose between the options.  The first printing (left in the above image) appeared lost a lot of the sharpness of the digital image and dulled a lot of the colors.  The second print (right), in an attempt to correct the colors, went too far the other way and all the colors became too bright.  So in the third attempt (middle) something I did, which I’m entirely sure how I did it nor if I could ever replicate it, managed to be a good compromise between the two.  The image resolution, however, remained stubbornly the same much to my frustration.  This appears to be the limitations in using Createspace, which is designed for the sort of stock photo covers flooding the market in self-publishing today and perhaps not able to handle the demands of rendering high-quality artwork.

But a decision was made, and now my print book is back up for sale.  Now I can attempt to get it into bookshops if at all possible, or carry around a few dozen copies in the trunk of my car to try to sell on street corners.  Whatever works.

Tonight is Halloween, as previously mentioned in light of my Pinterest exploits, but what that also means for me and many other writers is that at midnight tonight the clock will start on NaNoWriMo and a typing frenzy will begin as idealistic hopefuls try to reach, or surpass, writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’ve taken part nearly every year since 2009.  I honestly think that this is one of the best ways to try to get out a first draft, when all that matters is words on the page and the realistic expectation that it’ll be at least 88% drivel.  Finding and developing the other 12% is something you can worry about in December.  For me the use of its convenient and accusing chart, visualizing your pitiful progress in graphic form, is one of its key features.

This was not a great year for me.

This was not a great year for me.

The addition of forums to peruse during moments of procrastination is also helpful because there’s always one asshat out there who’s decided to set their goal at 100,000 words instead of 50,000 and wants to make sure you know how well he’s doing.  When you really need to wallow, however, there’s also the boards specifically aimed towards those in need of encouragement, so you could go there for some words of wisdom, or see if anyone else got any good advice or just plain celebrate the fact that you’re not doing quite as badly as those poor bastards, at least.

So, in conclusion, NaNoWriMo is helpful.  Maybe you should try it.

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