I did some purposeful work today, but I generally keep Sunday’s free for whimsical forays in directions I hadn’t planned to go. Here are some highlights:
I added the free app Pointer to my iPhone, which enables me to control a PowerPoint presentation using the iPhone and my MacBook Air. I haven’t figured out how to draw boxes on the computer screen with any accuracy, but there’s obviously some Wow Tricks to learn with this little beauty.
Amazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP) is blowing my mind with possibilities for Kindle publishing. I first tried it by uploading A Poet’s Progress at Bennington, made up of my first assignment in the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program. It’s now available for 80 cents, which honestly? I’d say it’s is overpriced. If you can wait a couple of weeks, I plan to take that one down and replace it with a new version that will contain all four of the “packets” I prepared in January through April of 2001, for my first teacher, the poet David Lehman. This will be a 23,000-word tome of comments on the reading that David assigned me, as well as original poetry.
What delighted me this morning was the realization that I could insert photographs into the Word document, which enabled me to amplify the text with scenes from New Zealand, where I was traveling my first semester of the Bennington low-residency program, and of the Djerassi Resident Writers Progam in Woodside, California, where I spent several weeks finishing a book-length poetry manuscript. The photos will look okay in black and white on the Kindle, and they’ll look even better in full color on the Kindle iPhone app.
Because I purchased the $9.99 Kindle edition of Joshua Tallent’s excellent Kindle Formatting, I could probably have made my way through this Word document on my own, setting styles for different levels of headlines and section headings so the booklet will look good on a Kindle. But I emailed Joshua and learned that he can take on the project for his reasonable fee of $60 an hour, and he estimated it will take two hours or less to whip my manuscript into shape. When it’s ready, we’ll submit it to the DTP and within 48 hours, it will be available on Amazon for purchase for 80 cents. To learn more about Joshua’s Kindle formatting services, click here. You can also hear him as my interview guest in Episode 22 of The Kindle Chronicles podcast.
Speaking of Amazon, I’m very happy to see that they have lowered the price of this blog from $1.99 a month to 99 cents a month. This means that I will keep subscribed when my 14-day trial ends! I feel silly spending even a dollar a month to subscribe to my own blog, but I’m here to tell you that I definitely will be receiving that much pleasure each time a post magically and wirelessly travels from WordPress on my MacBook Air to the paper-like eInk screen of my Kindle 2. This pleasure reminds me of the delight I’ve always felt using blogging software. There is the text entry box, where the writing gets done, and then there’s the attractive finished product, which I can see using “Preview” in WordPress. I find that I proofread better when I’m looking at the Preview, so I switch back and forth toward the end of the writing. And by the time a post hits my Kindle, my words have been transformed yet again, to something more substantive and, somehow, real.
Darlene and I took a walk to Kinko’s this afternoon, so I could do some condo association prep for a hearing we’ll have Wednesday, when a homeowner will appeal a fine related to our building’s Pet Policy. After the Kinko’s session, we settled in at Peet’s Coffee on 16th Street for an hour or so, reading our Kindles.
With a busy week ahead, it was wonderful to wander through Sunday without a plan and end up so grateful for what turned up.