Technical Difficulties

Every day this week I’ve worked on cleaning up images and getting the document ready for print format.  Unfortunately I’ve had technical difficulties. 
First I had to learn how to change the dpi (dots per inch) of each image.  Fortunately it was fairly simple once I had the right program. 
Second I had to take the new images and clean it up.  Because my images are drawings that have been scanned there was a lot of gray surrounding the lines.  For a digital image that has to be cleaned up as well which I did but when you increase the dpi then more imperfections appear.  In print , the gray surrounding the lines makes the image blurry or fuzzy.  With 45 images for the entire manuscript it is time consuming to pull each one up in Paint and use the eraser to go along each line.  However, every spare moment I’ve had this week I’ve been working on them.
Unfortunately, I’ve had additional technical problems.  I sat in my office chair early in the week and one of the wheels broke off.  Now if it had just fallen off, duct tape would have fixed it but it actually broke.  This meant I didn’t have my comfortable chair.  At first I was using a dining room chair which is okay for short periods of time.  When I spent any amount of time in it though, my back and legs hurt worse than normal.  Ken brought up an old office chair from the basement last night and it is okay but still not as comfortable as my chair. 
This mean after I worked on fourteen pictures last night I couldn’t stand to be in the chair any longer and had to give it up for the recliner.  With the precision work I have to do, I need a desk and solid surface for my mouse to be on.  I’m down to eight pictures with each one taking about an hour or so depending on how complex the picture is. 
Since I had to redo all the images, I made a point of double checking that they were working.  I uploaded a partially finished manuscript to CreateSpace to see if their system liked the new photos.  This gave me a double check that all was well and I just needed to finish the images.  I was thrilled to find that the document had no errors and the images looked amazing.  Plus by doing that I was able to rearrange images so they worked better. 
Images in a digital format have to be in line with the text.  There is no creative placement.  With print I’m able to move them around and place them where I think they look the best rather than where they work digitally.  While it has been a lot of work to change up the images, I feel like it has been a good lesson learned as it has allowed me to produce a better product.
At this stage, all I want to do is work on finishing the images.  Unfortunately, I have a lot to do this weekend.  My todo list is filled with grocery shopping, errands, gift wrapping, food prep and so on.  I’ll still carve out time though.  Barring any more technical difficulties, I’m hoping to have a paper version ready by the end of the weekend.  Fingers crossed and chair situation resolved, I hope to accomplish this.  Then I can look at poetry books next.   
While you are out shopping, take a look at Secret Past too.  It is available here:
Available on Barnes and Nobles:
Available for sale at:https:
Available on Amazon:


Friday I spent the day working on inserting images into a manuscript.  This sounds like a simple thing but it isn’t.  The image has to be the right size.  Some of the images had to be cleaned up which meant pulling it into paint to use the eraser to get rid of smudges. 
As I was working on these images zoomed in to like 400% their actual size, I realized there was a fine line between touching up and changing the art.  TJ Jahns created the images and scanned them to me so I could use them.  She did a phenomenal job with creating the images.  I love them more every time I see them and every time I work with them. 
She worked hard and long on these pictures and I want to make sure that the images are kept true to her work.  At the same time I had to adjust the images to fit the manuscript.  This meant erasing some smudges, resizing, and so on.
It is easiest to work with them when they are quite large – 400% mostly.  It is tedious and time consuming work but well worth the effort.  As I’m staring at the image and trying to decide if this pixel or that one are necessary or integral to the picture, I thought a lot about how a change of perspective can change your opinion or beliefs. 
Maybe a step back or a step closer will make me (or you) see whatever I’m struggling with in a different way.  A friend brought in a hard copy of my book.  I haven’t ordered any yet so it was my first time seeing my name on an actual book.  I would like to say I relished the moment but I was at work and busy.  However, it made me realize how much this means to me to be published, to know that people are reading my words (hopefully liking them) and to know there is something lasting that will continue on. 
Perspective changes as we change how we view things.  It makes me wonder what I can do to change my perspective on other things in my life. 
This philosophical moment brought on by overwork on the computer and image editing.
Secret Past is available here:
Barnes and Nobles: