Gene Roddenberry had it right.

It hurts my head and injures my heart when I contemplate what the tiny percentage of the people that have power and money actually do with that power and money. It’s certainly not a jelousey issue for me, as it would not bother be much at all if the majority of these people were not either self serving, war mongering, or significantly lacking in moral fiber.

Life in the world for most people (the 99.98% the make up the rest of us) is very different. I think a vast majority of people really care about issues and think about things like war, clean energy, and toxic chemicals. Unfortunately most of us do not have the power, influence, or finances to implement our ideas for a better world. In this day and age, Power, Influence, and Money are the things needed to shape the world, but the people who want to shape that better world do not have these things. So many of them want more then just better things for themselves. They want a better planet, they want a better life for their kids, they want fluoride free drinking water. While These everyday people work full time jobs and sometimes a part time job too, they make in a year what a CEO spends on a weekend excursion. These people still rescue animals, and volunteer, and find time to organize protests. All with the desperate hope that someone is listening, and with the drive and intention to try to make the world a better place. Eventually a good deal of these people just give up.

Now in the minority (.02%) their are those with extreme wealth, influence, and power. That group is made up mostly of people who could care less about anything other then the acquisition of more money and more power. Just one example of this. The people that run Bayer and similar companies could easily stop making and using the chemicals that are killing off the bee population. It really could be that easy. Sure they would take a financial hit, but it would only effect people at the very top, who already have more money then they can spend anyway. And it would be a short term financial hit at that. So how is it that a multi millionaire CEO is not willing to stop making a product that is destroying nature when they will still have their millions in the bank? This person is essentially saying, I don’t care about the rest of the human beings on this planet if it means its going to cost me money that I already have an abundance of.

Have you noticed lately everything that is bad for your mind and body is really cheap? it’s a form of suppression by those in power. With the amount of Technology, junk food, and entertainment we have cheap and easy access too comfort is making the human species lazy, it’s keeping us complacent and stagnant. These wonders of technology are removing us from being connected to our own Humanity and the world around us. We eat our fast food, take our prescriptions, and gaze mindlessly at our phones all while the world is heading in a direction that very soon needs to be drastically altered.

I would love to see a Gene Roddenberry future for humanity. A future where currency does not exist, where humans work for a better tomorrow. Where crime is eliminated because the desperation to acquire wealth no longer exists, and science and medicine have been able to focus on recognizing and repairing mental illness.

When The acquisition of money is replaced by self exploration and working together to create a better world, to cure disease, and strengthen the human species. The “Race” will be over, and everyone of us that make up the Human Race will have finished in first place, with no one left behind.

From Star Trek TNG Season 6: Ep 1
While Mark Twain gets brought into the future he talks about not being able to smoke real cigars, among other things. This is one of my all time favorite dialogs between 2 characters among all of the Star Trek movies, and shows.
Mark Twain in the Enterprise
Deanna Troi: “Poverty was eliminated on earth a long time ago, and a lot of other things disappeared with it. – Hopelessness, despair , cruelty”…
Mark Twain: “Young lady I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the back of the poor. Where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself, and you’re telling me that isn’t how it is anymore?”
Deanna Troi: “That’s right”.
Mark Twain: “Hmm…Maybe…it’s worth giving up cigars for after all”

So I’ll wrap this up with the realization that I still have a huge school boy crush on Deanna Troi and wish you all to live long and prosper

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So that’s how to use wordpress!

I want to apologize for not organizing my thoughts into separate blogs.  I have now set up separate blogs. One where I will write about my work on Trizzella and share illustrations and projects.  I also now  have a blog dedicated just to picture books.  I would like to be able to manage 2 more regarding literature.  I think a Comic Book / Graphic Novel blog would be a lot of fun, and I would also like to have a blog about writers and novels.  But for now I think I can probably just barely manage this one. 

 

From today forward this blog will be more of an open journal, I invite all readers to share my thoughts with me,  I am often inspired by so many of the people I read. So I hope maybe I can do the same for someone else.  I  also resolve to start following people and leaving comments.   

 

I do not want the point of this blog to ever come off as negative, there is to much of that in the world already.  I can not promise everything I write will be Moonbeams and kittens.  However, when I do discuss sensitive or depressing subjects I will always do my best to try and balance those heavy subjects with a path to a positive outcome.

This is your life

The only thing I have really came to understand in almost 4 decades of life is the meaning of the 4 following words”   “This is your life”..  It’s the only thing I really hope I ever taught my kids.  No matter what people believe you should be, think, or say.  This is your life, and it is far to short to spend it trying to live up to other people expectations.

Amass as much joy as possible, Leave your mark on the world if that’s important to you,  but in doing so try not to leave behind to big of a footprint on the backs of others, or the world itself  We are all just stumbling through,  someone will hurt you, you will hurt someone.  It’s unavoidable.  But life is meant to be LIVED.    Now that my kids are 16 and 18 and moving into the next stage of their lives I hope that is the one lesson they take with them. it was to embrace who they are and fulfill their lives with what they want, not with what other people want for them.

Using Createspace to Publish your picturebook. ( A Guide to Indie Publishing ) part 1 :: “The Rant”

In the last 3 weeks in the month of May I will add a new section to this 3 part blog in an attempt to provide a guide for people who want to publish their children’s books, art books, photography books, comic books,  or picture books through Createspace. Recently It has come to my attention that a lot of people do not even realize it is an option to use Createspace for these types of Visual Projects.    Createspace seems to come off as an independent printer for Novelists. In reality they are simply an independent printer that binds images together in specific formats.  This means if you work inside the guidelines of one of their many size formats, you can essentially print anything you want and turn it into a book.  Keep in mind their is a min number of pages you must meet ( around  20 ) and you must also have your images in the Correct Format, and Resolution

(Front and Back cover art for Trizzella’s Bedtime Picture Book first published through Create Space) Trizzella's Bedtime Picture Book Front and Back Cover Art

Please DO NOT let what I am about to say discourage you. There are some very real challenges that exist in self publishing.  But try to look at this as a learning process,  try and stay positive about it, take pride in the fact that you are doing this on your own. After you have successfully completed the steps to publish your first book you will have learned all you need to know, and worked out all the details to publish your next project much  quicker and easier. 

The reality is even if an Agent picks up your work tomorrow,  you are still going to be waiting 12-18 months before that book is actually in print.  So If you just accept now that your going to have to learn how do some new things, and your okay with that.  You can have  a physical Proof version of your book in your hands for less then 10 dollars in just a few weeks,  And most likely have a Final Version available on Amazon in 4-6 weeks. If you are lucky and your art is already in a one of the createspace ratios then you can do this even quicker.   I had to go back and change 44 pictures because I did not do enough research ahead of time on formats and ratios, and I still completed the process in about 4 weeks.  

You are going to have to learn how to format things, what the different formats are, and what file extensions represent these formats, You will need a basic understanding of things like Bleed Lines, CMYK color, RBG color, what a Print Ready PDF is and how to create one. You will  most likely find yourself using programs you have never used before, and spending time on youtube  watching instructional videos on how to use those programs.   Self Publishing is a lot of work!  It is not easy, and even though I personally have an extensive background in digital art, I had to revise my first project about a dozen times.    I think the most important thing I learned from this process is.  How much time I could have saved  if I had truly understood my format and layout   during the creation process rather then trying to adjust  for printer requirements at the end

Through my personal experiences with Createpace and independent picture book publishing I am going to attempt to help guide you through this process, and use analogies and comparisons to try and make terms you may not understand make sense.    My goal is to fill in the gaps that Createspace has not and try to make this process a little easier, and maybe even a little fun. I will also explain what some of the options for publishing and distribution are, I will explain what the advantages and disadvantages of being Amazon Exclusive are ,  and what ISBN you will want to use for your project.

If you are wondering if your going to need to invest big dollars in some fancy software, let me put your mind at ease.  I  personally used the Adobe CS6 suite to create my entire project.  But this blog is going to be written on the assumption that you do not have access to this software. So I will provide you with information on free and inexpensive software that will get the job done.  Everything in this 3 part blog will be from the perspective of a Windows 7 Environment.  However, the exact same methods should work in a MAC or Linux environment. You will just have to locate the software you need for  formatting.  As I do not know the names of any of the programs used in these operating systems.  

If you are still  reading this most likely you have a great picture book that you love, a book that you want to share with the world.  Unfortunately because of the soulless corporate formula that publishers are using these days, it is also safe to assume that you have not been able to get what is probably an amazing book published through traditional methods.  But guess what?  its okay, Indie publishing is the future,  writers, artists, and musicians are making real money. As indie publishing grows, systems like Createspace will surely develop more user friends procedures.   Big publishing houses know this, and are holding on for dear life.  They are trying to make as much money as possible by selling books that they know will sell, books they do not have to take any chance on, and books that they need to do very little to promote. The fat cats in publishing industry are not thinking about you, or the others who might enjoy your work,  they really don’t care much about your stories, or your art.  They are thinking about the bottom line, and thinking about buying a second summer home before their world of Corporate publishing is demolished by the ever -momentum-gaining wrecking ball that is self publishing.  The traditional publishing industry now reminds me so much of the music industry in the late 80’s.  And look,  music in The United States is almost non existent past some Corporate formulated performers.  I do not include Agents in my criticism of this industry because honestly I think most agents are bound by the rules of the publisher and the agency they work for, and even if they personally love your project they will have to pass on it, if they know its going to be hard or impossible for them to sell it.

     Part 2 Coming  5-16-2014

Part 2 of this blog will guide you through the createspace navigation system, explain formats and resolutions. I will also show you how to layout your pages for Picture Book Printing using a free program called “Open Office”, and explain how to convert those page layouts into a Print Ready PDF file. 

I am going to give myself a few days to do this, because I want to be able to include screen shots , explanations, and visual aids to make this as easy to understand as possible.

 

 

Independant Publishing rocks.

Without indie publishing the world would never have been exposed to:

Children’s book Author , Fashion Designer, entrepreneur    :  Sandra Harvey –  known best for Trizzella, but also the creation of  amazing new magical worlds, of interesting characters, animals, and adventures.  Also known for creating amazing gothic fashion for women, and amazing form fitting culinary jackets for women.   Sandra Harvey has also been nominated by AVMA for her Direction of the Cotton Candy Animated Short Film, and recognized by Annecy International Animation Film Festival for her role in the creation of the Animated short “Lac Annecy”

Author:  Hugh Howey   –  know for the best selling novel Wool. Wool is currently being made into a movie and translated into 22 languages.

Musician: Lindsey Stirling   –    Know for a very unique fusion of Dubstep, HipHop, Classical Violin, Video Game music,  and Dance.

 

These are just 3 of many artists, writers, musicians, game makes, and film makers that took their destiny in their own hands,  found success and enriched the lives of others. 

 

Please support the art, literature, music, shows, and games that you love that enriches your life everyday.

Please support the art, literature, music, shows, and games that you love that enriches your life everyday.

I have to say I have really enjoyed Lindsey Stirling’s remake of video game tracks. Other then that I honestly did not know where she came from, or much about her back story.

I found out just today that she was a contestant on Americas Got Talent, or some other soul crushing show to puts artists in competion to be judged by business men and women… Apparently she was told on Americas Got Talent that her ideas, and her music were horrible and she would never go anyplace with it.

So just a few minutes ago I watched part of the original Americas Got Talent episode. One judge said that at one point in her performance it sounded like she was killing rats. And that the world does not need this type of music. So If you watch the original episode of Americans got talent, you can see that the judged just ripped her apart.

I then watched a recent interview with her she talked about how her experience on Americas got talent made her cry, it broke her heart, and for a minute she considered quitting, then something inside her told her to keep going. She was going to prove them wrong.

Over the last 2 years she has released most of her music through youtube, working with other independent artists, to promote each other. getting people to sing on her tracks, and collaborating on compositions.

This week her album released at #1 on itunes, and #2 on billboard charts. And it now being sold at target.

This music is so different the anything that has ever been considered by the music industry. Thank God the world is changing. Artists, Writers, Musicians, deserve more then to be judged by some business people who have never created anything in their lives. And The general public is starting to become more aware. I think the average person is tired of the publishers, Corporation, and producers telling them what they should listen to, what they should like, what they should read.

There are of course a very few wonderful exceptions to this, but for the most part The Publishing industry, the motion picture industry, the video game industry, and the television industry, and the music industry have been churning out Cookie Cutter corporate formula crap for so long. Taking no risks on new ideas, and just stuffing their wallets full of dollars. It looks like they are not going to get away with it anymore. Artists, writers, musicians, game programmers, and filmmakers are publishing themselves, cutting out the middle man, making more money, and being able to stay true to their own work.

What an Awesome era we are entering. If you like her work, buy her album. I know a lot of people just download the things they want for free from Torrent Sites. I am not here to judge people, I am just going to ask that you Please Support the art, literature, video games, and music you love that enriches your life everyday. If you do download torrents, at the very least consider buying the ones you like through a legitimate transaction.

Lindsey Stirling Video