Acknowledgments & Origins — Book One

I wish to deeply thank Dr. Rev. Ed Hird for reading my blog and remarking that I, “…seem to have an ambivalence toward technology.” He got me writing more about my love/hate relationship with technology exploring what that really meant to me.

When Ed Hird suggested I pursue the writing of this book, I had no idea of how to go about this sort of project. I had done some journalism and an extensive background in printing and publishing, however, a book was another matter. I was having fun though writing my blog and felt this project could allow me to blend my writing, photography and graphics backgrounds and interests.

For months I dictated thoughts into a recording app on my phone and then transcribed material which I then expanded on in various writings. I explored my past experiences and observations and opened my eyes and ears to what was happening around me everyday. I began to organize my writings into what seemed orderly for the book.

The book grew and grew. Soon I was juggling an unwieldily amount of material. I was overwhelmed.  I separated out what I felt was not necessary and decided to somewhat start over. 

Life in this technological world gets busy. Finding time to write a book can be difficult. I found I was procrastinating and the book was not moving along. I decided to follow advice I had heard about writing. Write everyday at the the same time in the same place and if nothing comes to mind, just write anyway. I decided to write for one hour a day. I found that the book chapters were accumulating with an hours worth of typed words. I could write a chapter and edit it the next day. This became my process and motto—write a book in an hour a day.

I was not about to write this book by pen and paper, so the computer became an important tool. I was already using a journaling application called MacJournal to write entries for my blog. However, a book would need something different. I had acquired some software cheaply in a bundle, so I already knew about the writing application Scrivener. I decided to give it a whirl. I wanted to also do the layout, but, I had no software for this enormous task and was not willing to shell out outrageous funds to upgrade the outdated software I used to use, nor move to the current industry standard which required a costly rental scheme. 

Along the journey of working on the book, I got involved in a small publishing venture which allowed me get familiar with some available graphics and publishing software. While I did find some graphics applications that were quite capable, and I found a page layout program for the project I was involved with, there seemed to be nothing for a larger project. 

A couple of the graphics applications I ended up using were not only quite powerful, the company was producing both desktop and iPad versions that were winning awards. In addition, they were promising a publishing program that would complete a triad of applications which would compete with the finest and most powerful professional software.

This book was written in Scrivener. The graphics and page layout was handled using Affinity Photo,  Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher. The Affinity products have all been developed as I wrote the book. As I was nearing the time to begin thinking about laying the book out,  Affinity Publisher for desktop went into open beta. I had signed up to be a beta tester, so I figured a good way to learn the software and provide beta feedback would be to start on the book.

I won’t say it was easy, but a late night got me several pages and a good design. Despite being and early beta version, Affinity Publisher was remarkably powerful, but not without a few beta quirks. It did have a wonderful feature that was perfect for stylizing the sidebars I had written. I was also able to produce a pull quote design that I had in mind. This all came together in several hours.

It was easy to select fonts. I wanted to use the font I first favoured while learning printing back in the 1970s. Garamond is a great font for body copy created by engraver Claude Garamond in the mid-1500s. Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith had invented the first printing press using movable type in 1439, so Garamond dates back to early days of original letterpress printing soon after the printing press was developed. It is warm, friendly, and reflects human handcrafted creativity. 

I wanted a non serif (san serif) font for headings, pull quotes and sidebars. In recent years I came across Avenir. I liked it as an alternative to the overused Helvetica and Futura, which I liked to use in my early days of typesetting. It was also a good alternative for Fruitiger, which I had used a couple of decades ago. It turns out that Avenir was developed by Adrian Frutiger the same person who developed the font Frutiger. Avenir is a humanist font which harkens back to first Roman typefaces created by Venetian printers. I was certainly delighted when I realized that the word Avenir is French for Future.

I would also like to thank a number of other people who did some early proof reading which helped me in improving my writing and in shaping the book. 

Finally, I really want to thank my lovely wife who has encouraged me to push on with the books even when I sort of stalled at times. She has some marketing experience to bring to the project, however, authoring and publishing books in any form is a new area of exploration for both of us. Although I may become frustrated or overwhelmed in the midst of this jungle of text, I still love you.


2 Comments

  1. change: I found I was procrastinating and the book was not moving along. I decided to follow advice I had heard about writing.
    to: I found (that) I was procrastinating and the book was not moving along. I decided to follow advice (that) I had heard about writing.

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