Monthly Archives: December 2012

One day

30 December 2012

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

Jack Kerouac

Batman Bookshelves

30 December 2012

The title says it all.

Batman Bookshelves

Link to the rest at Etsy

It’s a plane!

30 December 2012

A test to see if WordPress is still eating videos.

UPDATE: Why yes, it is.

YouTube videos work just fine, but videos from other sources sometimes have problems.

When I’m composing the post, I drop the video embed code in, preview the post, which looks fine, schedule the post for later publication and preview it again. It looks great.

Then, somewhere between that time and the publishing of the post, the embed code disappears.

Here’s a second try with the post immediately published instead of scheduled for publication.


Smashwords preparing to launch epub option

30 December 2012

From Smashwords:

Smashwords Direct alpha testing underway.  We’re preparing to launch Smashwords Direct, our direct .epub upload option.  One year ago in my 2011 annual year-in-review over at the Smashwords Blog, we made a commitment to launch SWD in the second half of 2012.  We’re working to fulfill that commitment.  We’re nearing completion of a beta version of SWD.  The first iteration will enable those of you with professionally designed .epub files to replace your current Smashwords-generated .epub with another .epub.  It’ll also allow authors to upload .epub files instead of Word .doc files.

Link to the rest at Smashwords and thanks to Mary for the tip.

Record book sales over Christmas signal fightback against digital world

29 December 2012

From The Telegraph:

The sale of print books over Christmas was the strongest in over three years, signalling a fightback against digital ‘ebooks’.

. . . .

Celebrity titles were particularly popular, helping sales of physical books break through the £75m mark, the strongest weekly performance since Christmas 2009.

The week’s sales were 20 per cent up on the previous one, and £1.4m higher than the year before.

Authors and publishers have hailed the boost in sales as proof there is still room in the crowded market, where the growing popularity of digital ereaders like the Kindle and tablet computers like the iPad have eaten into book sales.

It comes after digital fiction sales almost trippled during the first half of 2012 while physical books fell away. Similarly children’s books and non-fiction digital titles enjoyed a massive increase in sales.

Link to the rest at The Telegraph and thanks to J.J. for the tip.

We write

29 December 2012

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

Anaïs Nin

The Joy of Books

29 December 2012

A reprise of a favorite.


J. R. R. Tolkien to Christopher Tolkien – 28 December 1944

29 December 2012

From The American Reader:

J. R. R. Tolkien to his son Christopher, discussing new chapters of his Lord of the Rings trilogy; a beautiful, disquieting Christmas experience; and the hatred of democracy among the philosophers and oligarchs in ancient Greece. At the time (1944), Christopher—his youngest son—was away from home, serving in the Royal Air Force. 

. . . .

I am glad the third lot of Ring arrived to date, and that you like it—although it seems to have added to yr. homesickness. It just shows the difference between life and literature: for anyone who found himself actually on the stairs of Kirith Ungol would wish to exchange it for almost any other place in the world, save Mordor itself. But if lit. teaches us anything at all, it is this: that we have in us an eternal element, free from care and fear, which can survey the things that in ‘life’ we call evil with serenity (that is not without appreciating their quality, but without any disturbance of our spiritual equilibrium). Not in the same way, but in some such way, we shall all doubtless survey our own story when we know it (and a great deal more of the Whole Story). I am afraid the next two chapters won’t come for some time (about middle of Jan) which is a pity, as not only are they (I think) v. moving and exciting, but Sam has some interesting comments on the rel. of stories and actual ‘adventures’. But I count it a triumph that these two chapters, which I did not think as good as the rest of Book IV, could distract you from the noise of the Air Crew Room!….

The weather has for me been one of the chief events of Christmas. It froze hard with a heavy fog, and so we have had displays of Hoarfrost such as I only remember once in Oxford before (in the other house I think) and only twice before in my life. One of the most lovely events of Northern Nature. We woke (late) on St Stephen’s Day to find all our windows opaque, painted over with frost-patterns, and outside a dim silent misty world, all white, but with a light jewelry of rime; every cobweb a little lace net, even the old fowls’ tent a diamond-patterned pavilion. I spent the day (after chores, that is from about 11.30, as I got up late) out of doors, well wrapped up in old rags, hewing old brambles and making a fire the smoke of which rose in a still unmoving column straight up into the fog-roof….. The rime was yesterday even thicker and more fantastic. When a gleam of sun (about 11) got through it was branching spray against a golden light and, high overhead, a pale translucent blue. It did not melt. About 11 p.m. the fog cleared and a high round moon lit the whole scene with a deadly white light: a vision of some other world or time. It was so still that I stood in the garden hatless and uncloaked without a shiver, though there must have been many degrees of frost…..

Link to the rest at The American Reader

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