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1.30.2011

Blog

My dad has a lot of books sitting on the shelves of what we call the "man room," books that nobody reads but him - and even that I'm skeptical of. Some of the books are actually mine, but the generalization remains: he's still the only one who reads them. One of them, though, I plucked from the shelf a while ago in a rare attempt to educate myself on the internet phenomenon I so regularly take part in. It's Hugh Hewitt's book Blog, and it's sitting next to me right now.

Somehow it managed to land on a different bookshelf - my own - and has been there for over six months. Most of it is geared more toward political or current events blog-dom, but it does provide an interesting, Hewitt-esque perspective on the history of similar social phenomena. The most interesting aspect of the book is it's current relevance - and irrelevance. Published in 2005, the book is self-consciously outdated at six years of age.

While most of the things Hewitt acknowledges are still significant today, his rallying cry for all types of everyone in business or politics or any field of knowledge to find their corner of the blog market and stand ground . . . well, I'm not sure we need to hear that anymore. I'm pretty sure everyone's already done that. The battle now is not so much about content, but traffic. Long ago, I learned about the paralyzing nature of choice. Take one quick look at my Google Reader, and you'll be backing slowly away.

My real question from all this has little to do with blogs and more to do with the infinite nature of the internet and how that affects how our brains process information and how that affects canon and communities and . . . oh, all sorts of things. But because this is not a professional blog, because it is a personal blog read by only a few, I will leave this post at that. No conclusions. No grand statement. Not even a book review. So there.

1.25.2011

East to Adonia

I am biased about this book for a number of reasons. For one thing, I obviously published it. For another, the author is a good friend and once roommate, so of course I am more than supportive. But the fact remains that if you are looking for a good adventure story, fantasy novel, or general children's series, East to Adonia is a perfect choice. The story begins with a fascinating character, twelve year old Mercator Robinson, who has a unique ability to draw maps of anything and everything that exists. He cannot map a place that is not real, but he can map literally everything that is - from his sister's closet to the wastelands of Siberia. So it is odd, to say the least, when he finds himself using the new mapping kit his uncle brings him for his birthday to draw an island he's never heard of before. Suddenly hurled headlong into a new and mysterious world, Mercator finds himself standing on the very landscape he has been mapping with no idea how he got there - or how to get back home again. Then he meets with a princess and her talking horse, gets himself kidnapped by pirates who sell him to a wicked duke and... well, anymore and I'll be giving too much away. The point is, this story goes from one moment of awesome to the next. It is classic fantasy, classic adventure, classic kid-spirited fun.

1.21.2011

Fontastic

One of the perpetual projects in my little publishing company's life is the development of our company logo. This is my favorite project, as it involves the use of fonts. And I am rather a font fanatic. I have spent the last few hours trolling dafont.com, which is a wonderful website of free and mostly-free fonts for personal and often commercial usage. Rather than download every font I like, I sketched out my own versions of each of them as they inspired me. I thought I'd share them with you here, and if any of my noble readers have preferences, feel free to shoot me a comment. I am hoping I have determined the font-of-choice by the time the new website is ready to go up. After all, what's a corporate website without a corporate logo? Here are some photos of my most recent selections.



1.18.2011

Happenings

Rather than recount all the details of things going on this week - professionally, at least - please click through to my vocational blog at zovabooks.blogspot.com for a few updates on this week's book releases. There you'll find updates on the print and ebook release of favorite blog reader Jenny Bellington's debut novel, East to Adonia (proper review to come) - as well as the incredible ebook release of Michael Blake's historical masterpiece, Dances With Wolves.

All this activity should shed a little light on why I've been a bit tired lately - not to mention hard to get a hold of. Fear not. I will return to the light of sociability and friendliness as soon as I win this year's HGTV Dream House (which I would link to, except I want no competition).

1.07.2011

Dancing with Words

For interesting reasons I will not go into right now, I am currently rereading Dances With Wolves, the inspired novel behind the 1991 Academy Award winning film. I have just glanced once more over the words of the first page, and I cannot quite explain my feelings. This is the first book I am reading in this new year, and I feel blessed by it. It reads like something I would have encountered in my days as a creative writing student. It is a lesson in how to do this craft we call writing. It is beautiful.

The 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray of the film Dances With Wolves comes out in a few days, and I have a number of reasons for hoping that this book garners new and due attention. But foremost among those reasons are the simple facts that this book is beautiful, that it is a precious and honored representation of our Native American forebears, and that those who read it do not walk away unchanged. Thank you, Michael Blake. We still remember you.
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