Monday, July 21, 2014

Four years

  I guess I was afraid of jinxing it, but now giving a report about my use of Lightning Source is long overdue.
  I signed the contract with Lightning Source, printer and distributor of Print on Demand books in early spring 2010. My first novel, The Defenseless was published July 21, 2010, thirty-seven years after I had begun writing it.
  The technical aspect of it was easy, far easier than I feared in advance. It helped that I was experienced with digital publishing, but not strictly necessary. I learned more than I needed, really, about their operations, and I made the book virtually alone, everything from content, to cover and design, and pre-media. Lightning Source printed it and made it available for readers all over the world.
  Note that they are not a publishing company. They don’t do anything except the actual printing and distribution from cover and content files you provide, but I didn't and don’t need more from them either.
  I’m very pleased with Lightning Source and can recommend them to all self-publishers. Truth to tell I can’t point at one single thing I’m downright displeased with. There are minor issues in their preferences of what they offer and how they offer it I would have changed, but those are totally negligible.
  Their service is great. They don’t try to cheat you or withdraw from the duties imposed on them by the contract or anything. I would rather say they go beyond their duty to help if you should need it. They’re proactive and alert you if something is not right, and at the same time, if you don’t ask for help, they mostly leave you alone.
  I have published twelve books through them and hopefully I will publish the next twelve as well.
  The first eleven I made using Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat, focusing on simplicity. With Afterglow Dust I added Adobe InDesign and Illustrator as tools for both the content and the cover, and that inevitably brought more flexibility to the process. If I wasn't a graphic designer before I certainly have become one, now. Adobe Creative Cloud has truly surpassed my wildest expectations. The hype is actually true. You can make and edit photos, films, books, magazines and everything multimedia with it in a way far surpassing any competition that may be out there, and I don’t receive any money for saying that. This is just a pleased customer speaking. It is indeed cutting edge.
  Adding even more to my experience was me finally procuring my new camera, the Canon 5D mark III, which is nothing short of remarkable and unequaled as a professional tool.
  The last four years have been amazing, and I feel I still haven’t even begun to truly develop my skills and delve deeper into the multimedia experience. In spite of my long experience as a writer/artist, I feel like I've just started out.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fed up

  There was a protest against the Gaza bombing and against israel in general at the Blue Rock in Bergen today. Several hundred people attended, which is fairly good for Bergen, a surprisingly high number.
  Tempers ran high, really. I’ve been to quite a few of these protests, and you could see how many of those present were angry and downright disturbed by the escalation they have witnessed lately. There were more angry words, more shaking voices.
  I see that as a very good thing. Gaza, and Palestine in general need more than mere sympathy. They need action beyond the call of duty.
  What we have seen this week has been totally beyond reason, and when I say that I also include the total lack of condemnation from western governments. Both israel’s acts and the support their acts receive from western governments and establishment are totally unacceptable.
  Israel is the aggressor, one of the worst we have ever seen, and Palestine is the oppressed and maimed and killed and tortured and everything, desperately defending itself from colonization, occupation and genocide.
The sign says: "Charge israel with war crimes at the International Criminal Court

  The still dominant narrative spouted by israel and friends must be challenged head on and broken. Israel must be ostracized in the world community, and not know any peace before they start making up for all their horrible acts, and show by unequivocal acts that they will never repeat them.

  Texts and drawings like these were made all over the central parts of town.

  If you want to read more articles about Palestine on the Midnight Fire blog and web site write either Palestine or Israel in the upper left search field.