Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Drabbles of Dune 

Highlights of Sandworms of Dune:

1. It had a happy ending, one that, if you are any kind of fan of Dune and/or are reading the book and have eyes, you will see coming a mile away. Well, ok, not entirely happy, but some characters were just doomed from the start of book 1, and that's just how it is, even for their clones. Others deserve happy endings and they get them, but in their own special ways.

2. If you are a fan of a certain person, as I may have mentioned that I am, you will be more than pleased with The Revelation of the Kwisatz Haderach.

3. It is a much faster read than Hunters of Dune. I finished it in 3 nights. Unfortunately that was due to most chapters reading like this: "Blahblahblah ghola blahblah Paul blahblahblah Duncan blah Oracle blahblah thinking machines blahblahblah."

4. These quotes:
When the forces are arrayed and the final battle is engaged, the outcome may be decided in only a few moments. Remember this: By the time the first shot is fired, half the battle is already over. Victory or defeat can be determined by the preparations that are set in place weeks or even months beforehand. - Bashar Miles Teg

True loyalty is an unshakeable force. The difficulty is in determining exactly where a person's allegiance lies. Often that bond is only to oneself. - Duncan Idaho

5. The worms are happy. And mutant. And there is nothing better than a mutant sandworm.

Downsides:

1. About 10 chapters worth of Captain Obvious statements.

2. Think Matrix: Revolutions. It's pretty sad when you have to rip off an ending from one of the worst sequels ever.

3. Like Sandworms, certain terms get repeated a bajillion times, thereby sucking the incredibly clever logic right out of the whole situation and making you wish that the hero would just turn evil and make it interesting again, although sadly that does not happen.

4. The movie will be just godawful, even if they do retain the previous actors from Dune and Children of Dune. The only upside is, Corrinos aren't in it, so we will not have to endure the melodrama that is Susan Sarandon.

5. The effort to create a happy ending for everyone that can possibly receive one eventually grows so utterly ridiculous it becomes hilarious. There are several people that are completely irredemable and yet manage to suddenly, at the end of the book, morph into a wonderful, modern person and share their Coke with the world and sing Kum Ba Ya. Right. Because thousands of years of evil conditioning and warped thinking can be overcome by a hug.

6. Speaking of years and happy endings and clones, without revealing too much, the idea that one person essentially raises a ghola of their previous love from infancy in order to restart the relationship later... Kind of creepy, don't you think? Brings the Oedipal complex to a whole new level.

As one blogger put it, fanfiction authors writing stories in their mothers' basements could have done a better job.

My suggestion for Book 9: Grow a
ghola of Frank Herbert to write it.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Healing Scriptures, 2nd ed. 


Healing Scriptures, 2nd ed.

Great news! After 2 years in the production phase, Healing Scriptures has arrived in its glossy paperback format. Mom and I first put this book together 7 years ago from all the scriptures she collected on health and healing as my brother and I were growing up. The original book was in workbook format, printed at a local printer with a color copy cover, featuring a sunset photo taken here in Jacksonville. We comb-bound every book by hand and sold them at a couple very small church book stores and online at our site, HealingScriptures.com.

Soon, the comb bindings started turning--so attractive--and we ran out of copies. Reprinting them at OfficeMax, which we did several times, was hardly worth the expense. We finally decided to re-design it one last time, like a real book, and my good friend Robby Rhoden offered to do it for free.

Then life intervened, from every direction. His wife had their second child, and he struck out on his own in graphic design. Our other business demanded holiday attention. We couldn't find the right printer. The costs of reprinting were skyrocketing. Copyediting within our family of editors added months. Figuring out how to apply for an ISBN number... The list goes on. In fact, I completed the website re-design to reflect the book over a year and a half ago! In the meantime, all we had to offer our site visitors was an e-book of the old version.

Finally, things settled down and the book took shape. After requesting estimate after estimate from a few harried printers each time the page count changed, expecting to pay several thousand dollars for books that would resemble programs and have stapled spines, we stumbled on BookMasters. Not only were their prices infinitely better, but the product was exactly what we wanted--a soft-cover, bound book.

After a few more hoops, the book is here and we're so proud. Another improvement--we used to send out little black-and-white, laser-printed bookmarks, cut by hand by yours truly, with each book. Yesterday, our new Moo MiniCards arrived in 7 designs, each one of the sunset designs from our site, with a scripture on the back.

Healing Scriptures Moo Cards

Here are all of our super vendors, to whom I'm so grateful:
Robby Rhoden
BookMasters.com

Moo.com

If you do have a small book project, BookMasters is definitely worth checking out. I'll be using them at least twice more this year for a family cookbook and for a freelance editing client who is printing a book of his poetry and prose for his 50th birthday.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Blackout 


Blackout

As charming as it was to clean fishtanks and sort junkmail by candle light, I'm getting a little tired of these storms...

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