Previewing for Kindle: “YOU’RE SHRUNK!”

Don’t you remember John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn saying that quote to the lawyer J. Nobel Daggett?

I have been researching how to release Holly’s bad hair day short story. I finally opened one of the mobi files I generated in Kindle Previewer to see how it would look on several devices. The text is fine, and the art looks great, even in Kindle Paperwhite. I was worried about that one, how would Batton Lash’s wonderful art translate to grayscale? It looks fine.

But Kindle HDK and HDX 8.9? The cover art shrinks. It is still perfectly visible and nice looking, but there is a big white border. In every other mode, the art fills the screen, and with Batton Lash’s cover art, that is glorious. I tried other Kindle books on my Mac in Kindle Previewer, and the result was the same. Open in Kindle HDX, and … YOU’RE SHRUNK! I wonder why that is?

As for thumbnail art, I tried shrinking a copy down to 90 pixels wide, and the title is still visible and the art is still clear. But my name vanishes. Big deal. I’ll think about that next time.

P.S. Actually, I won’t be wondering. I emailed a few friends and relatives about the shrinking art, but this is not going to stop me pushing the story out. It really needs to go out so I have room for more stories, and so I can get the process down to push out more stories.


I am STILL fixing to post to Amazon?!?!?!


I decided to go with Kindle Direct Publishing Select. Sure, I will have to be exclusively on Kindle, but only for 90 days. (Does it then revert to regular Kindle Direct publishing? Can I do Kindle Direct Publishing Select the first time I publish? This is my first independent short story!


I exported from my Storyist to mobi. My titles were a mix of capital letters and non-capitals. So I fixed that. And my blank lines were gone. I use them to indicate time passage or a shift in a point-of-view character. Steve Shepard told me how to fix that with option-spaces on my Macintosh. And I cut down the cover art size (same resolution).

Late last night, I realized that the reason Holly had a headache in this story was that in an older draft, she had a towel wrapped around her head to hide her really bad hair. But I got rid of the towel. So I got rid of her headache today. Holly does not need one to throw a temper tantrum. Also, I read the entire story aloud and made final tweaks. Like not saying “sniff” too many times (twice or so is plenty). And stomping out final typos, like “Go” instead of “GO”.

The first time you drive down a road is when you hit all the bumps. Boy, do I ever want to push this story out and go to the next one! I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

P.S. The novel beckons again. My recent chapter about 5D glasses giving Cal a very intimate view of Holly’s writing has gone over very well at open mics.

Showing Package Contents in Mavericks

pacifistI have an older blog about messing around with my mobile tech and my Macintosh. One post was about retrieving text from a broken Pages file. I had to open the file from the Action menu in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. That was a year ago. Today, I tried opening one of my Storyist files that way. Guess what. Show Package Contents is not on the menu in Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) except for applications.

That’s not good enough. I want to crack open any file I want. I googled. First, I found how to show hidden files by running this from the command line for those of you feeling a little daring. (I did not do this, I already see my hidden files, so I must have run this type of command ages ago.)

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE && killall Finder

Anyway. I wanted my Show Package Contents back, and I found an app that does it: Pacifist from charlessoft. Works fine, but it does a countdown each time it opens until you pay $20. Fair enough, I like supporting the indie spirit.

The Boondocks is missing its creator

060106booniesThe fourth season of The Boondocks is now airing. Without the involvement of its creator, Aaron McGruder. I followed the comic strip for years. I adored the following cartoon series. Smart writing, lots of bleeps (although the N-word is never bleeped), and the animation is gorgeous, like the very richest anime. Aaron knows, as does Amanda Conner, that it is all in the face. Especially the grandfather’s face, old faces have those deep lines that show rubbery emotions. The face of the long-suffering lawyer guy was great last night. Aaron’s influence lives.

Yeah, I admit it, I watched it last night. I liked what I saw. Maybe I am not hard to please (some people felt it was a retread). But I hate the thought of the show being done without Aaron. Having your life work being done without you? Must be like losing your children.

Aaron has a statement here. I should have known that Aaron would be a gentleman about this. He’s way too smart to be anything else.

If my Holly stories ever take off, and some TV guys say this ought to be a TV show, I will think about Aaron, and about Cartoon Network’s treatment of the Green Lantern, Young Justice, and Thundercats cartoons (the last one being a reboot that was a helluva improvement on the original). And maybe I’ll look for some small indie company instead of the bone-marrow-sucking Hollywood thing. And maybe, to quote Charlie Brown, I’ll flap my arms and fly to the moon.

I wonder if Keith Knight might run into that someday, he works really hard. Hollywood. It swallows you, digests you, and eliminates you. San Diego Comic Con, anyone?

P.S. Aaron says that The Boondocks has a “relatively young audience”? I am 58 years old, you young whippersnapper!

Two Holly stories ready to go: super karate and bad hair.

fault-zoneI sent a short story to the Peninsula Writer’s Club Fault Zone publication. Holly’s fight with the Karate Queen (the Queen loosely based upon poet Tina Gibson from that club, who nicely demonstrated her karate for me, not on me, thank goodness). I’l see if they accept it. If not, there’s always rewriting and Amazon.

I’m also about to finally send Holly’s Bad Hair Day to Amazon and Smashwords. MacWorld, GDC, the Fault Zone deadline, and a major rewrite to my novel’s outline diverted me a bit. I made one last editing pass tonight. It is ready to be converted.

P.S. I missed a deadline for the San Mateo County Fair publication because I did not pay attention to the deadline being at 5pm, not midnight. I tried to send the prologue for my novel. Sigh. Shoulda read the fine print.

P.P.S. The novel outline still needs a little tweak.

I just added another story excerpt.

The Upcoming Stories page is now only a stub, since I now use that page only as an item in the main menu. I moved the excerpt from Holly’s Bad Hair Day (soon to be on Amazon and Smashwords, if I upload them right), and I added an excerpt from The School of Superpowered Knocks (just submitted to Fault Zone).

P.S. Watch for a new web page very soon. The Holly art that Batton Lash has done for me.