The Etymology of Fire has been converted to HTML format. It will return as a single file PDF, but first, I want to get The Magic flute converted to HTML. All part of this strange idea I have that the process will go faster if I convert by format rather than work.
That managed to take both longer and shorter than I expected. The point being that The Magic Flute has been converted to HTML format. Next step will be to work on the single file PDF for both The Etymology of Fire and The Magic Flute. Hopefully, it won't take forever. Time will tell. It's grant season at work.
Okay, technically neither news update is going to be posted until after midnight, but I'm not really concerned about that. Both The Magic Flute and The Etymology of Fire are now available in single-file PDF versions. Lots of last minute fixes were necessary, which is why I prepared both at the same time. The idea was that I would be able to quickly apply one fix to the other, and this strategy sort-of worked. Next step is to prepare both in eBook format.
The ePub version of The Etymology of Fire has been uploaded. Random stuff has delayed finishing The Magic Flute ePub file so I decided not to wait. I had the opportunity to work on the cover image for The Etymology of Fire, and it went a lot faster than I was expecting. Now, I just have to hope the ePub file looks okay. I don't have a smart phone or other portable reader so I'm going on a lot of luck and blind hope here. It looks okay on the desktop eBook reader that I've got. Next, finish The Magic Flute file. Then, work on a copy, complete with ISBN, for Lulu.com. That may take more time than I want to think about. Have to consider how much to charge and if I want to bother with other formats like Apple myself or just let Lulu deal with it. There's some philosophical stuff here. How much of the distribution process do I want to hand over to other people and like that.
I've posted the first new short story that I've written in almost fiften years to the website. Vignettes don't count, but if they did, it's still something like nine years since the last short fiction. The new work is called Observation Time and can be found on the Fiction page. It's a short little time travel story that takes place in one room over the course of a couple of minutes. Inspired by the fact that nobody ever seems to remember the This American Life segment about the theoretical physicist who proved that time travel was possible. Oh, except maybe the writer/director of the movie Primer.
That's all of them. The Magic Flute has been uploaded in ePub format. That makes all three books available online in all three formats. I still need to go through all the bother of putting an ePub copy available at Lulu.com, which means I have to figure out how much to charge. We shall see.
In addition to the DRM-free ePub copies of The Etymology of Fire, The Magic Flute and The Faire Folk of Gideon that you can download from my website for free, you can now purchase the eBooks from Lulu.com. That's right. You can pay $3 per eBook for something already available for free. The big difference between the two copies is one says on the copyright page that if you like please buy and the other says if you didn't buy please buy, which is a weak differencce—I know—but there you are. The reason you would pay money would be to support the author, which would be a really, really nice thing for you to do. Hopefully, Lulu will by able to follow through on its claim of distribution partners, and the eBooks will start showing up in places like Apple's iBookstore. I have no idea how long this will take or even if it will work. Availability through Amazon.com is something I will still have to do myself so I don't know exactly how long it will take, but hopefully will happen in the next couple of weeks. No promises. This is all part of the modified Web Comics' Model that I am quite determined to follow.
All three novels—The Magic Flute, The Faire Folk of Gideon & The Etymology of Fire—are available for the Amazon Kindle and whatever smartphone or tablet computer that can handle the Kindle app. Supposedly, they are also going to be available through Apple's iBook app, but I don't really have a way to verify when that happens since Lulu.com is dealing with it.
It just occured to me that there isn't a single link on my website to the String Finger Theatre Don't Mess with Science T-shirts and coffee mugs that are available at Cafe Press. They've been available forever. I really should remember to tell people they exist since purchasing a T-shirt is yet another way to support my work.
The PDF version of the score for the Outgrabe for Violin & Double Bass is finally available on the music page. Now that the big eBook project is done I can finally get back to other annoyingly neglected little projects. Fun facts about this piece. It was comissioned by a fellow student after she heard the Outgrabe for Clarinet & Piano. It was also the last time I worked with the composition faculty. After this one, it all went downhill as I started to clash with them more and more. For people who claimed they wanted us to find our own voices, they sure got unhappy when we didn't sound exactly like them.
The PDF version of the score for Somewhere is finally available. I did make some minor changes from the Sibelius Scorch version that used to live here. Score no longer says for oboe and piano. Probably had enough people wondering how the oboist was supposed to sing and play. It's scored for tenor voice, but I simply never could trick anyone into performing it. So, I marked it for oboe in the hopes that my cousin might take a shot at it. The oboe and tenor ranges kind-of sort-of overlapping. I really got into the word painting when composing, which simply drove the composition faculty mad, and gave me my first real sense that grad. school conditions were gonig to deteriorate rather fast.
The PDF score for the Outgrabe for Solo Flute has been uploaded. It was comissioned by a fellow student who never performed it herself. I had to find someone willing to give it a try. Musicians are flakes, did you know? This is also the one that only got performed in a composers' recital because I managed to hide it from the composition faculty until the actual performance. The look on my professor's face when the performer started to play was priceless.
Fixed the typo in the lyrics of Somewhere. I'm not used to dealing with Sibelius' lyrics entry tool. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
The Fugue in B-Flat Major score has finally been uploaded as a PDF. It was composed for a graduate class on Invention & Fugue so it is a little square even for a fugue. Fortunately, it still turned out rather well and does hopefully help such that I really do know what I'm talking about. Also, I never would have done this subject as a four-voice fugue if left to my own devices, but the class demanded it. Three voices would have worked much better. You'll note that I dealt with this little situation by dropping a voice out absolutely as much as I could get away with.
The original Outgrabe for Piano has been posted as a PDF. The recording I had was in very poor quality, and my computer simply didn't understand how to interpret so I didn't really plan on keeping it available. I have finally been able to add enough performance direction to the score that Sibelius 6 could do a half-decent job of it. This has required me to re-title scores to show Outgrabe for Piano number one and number two. Outgrabe for Piano was the first piece I wrote for undergraduate composition workshop, and the two forces pulling at me in music. It's very telling that the first "invention" half took 2–3 months, and the second "prelude" half took 3 days to compose.
The score for the Outgrabe for Clarinet and Piano returns. This one took a lot longer than expected to finish. I still don't know why I insist on re-entering the scores rather than just let Sibelius upgrade the old file. Oh, well.
The PDF version of the Outgrabe for Horn, Violin, Viola & Violoncello score has finally been uploaded, and I've just got to do something about that naming convention. I was really pushing the boundary with this ensamble. Half the reason my thesis composition was called The Red King was to get around listing out all the instruments in the title. Naturally, I was the only person who cared about the naming convention. Never mentinoing it to anyone. I don't recall ever explaining to anyone why I was using "Outgrabe" as a catch-all name in the first place. Short answer: "why not?" This was also the straw that broke the camel's back piece between me and the faculty. Half-way through it, I switched composition advisors. It was never intended as a comp. workshop piece. I started it over the summer and only presented as much as I had finished on the first day of workshop as a how I spent my summer vacation kind-of thing. I even opinned that it was probably too tonal for workshop and had been started as much because I had always wanted to do a tonal work as anything else. The workshop teacher—for reasons I doubt I will ever understand—said I should continue to workshop it. I never should have let him talk me into it. Never.
Amazon.com has terminated my Amazon Associates account because I am a resident of California. I'm really curious to find out if this will cause a drop in their California sales. Not because of me. Can't say much of anybody was using my Amazon Associates link. Big loss. Whoopie. Still, cutting off all California associates. Only time will tell if they have hacked off a bit of their nose to spite the rest of their nose just because that's how much they really hate paying taxes. Or some mangled metaphor like that.
Well, it only took about six freaking months, but The Etymology of Fire is finally available at the iBookstore, which means you can read it on the iBook app in your iPhone, iPad or iPod. With any luck, The Faire Folk of Gideon will pass inspection soon and also be available. The Magic Flute—unfortunately—will have to wait until I can get a less pixelated cover put together. I have absolutely no idea how long this will take.
The music and score for my brand new String Vignette, No. 1, has been uploaded to the music page. With any degree of luck, this will be the first of many vignettes, which are intended to be short, single movement pieces. At least one more string quartet vignette and then move on to other instruments. If one of these little vignettes turns out longer than anticipated, then I'll simply slap the outgrabe label on it. Only time will tell if I will stick with the outgrabe instrument labeling convention or simplify like the vignette labeling convention I just invented.
The PDF version of the score for the first movement of the Red King Outgrabe has finally been uploaded to the music page. I've also gone ahead and uploaded a new version of the MP3. I think I've got the instruments balanced so that it doesn't sound too terrible. Oh, I also figured out how to reduce the size of the score so I've re-uploaded the String Vignette and Outgrabe for Horn and Strings scores. They don't use up quite so many pieces of paper anymore.
Good grief, I thought the wait would never end, but The Faire Folk of Gideon is finally available on Apple's iBook app. Crazy. I only uploaded both The Etymology of Fire and The Faire Folk of Gideon at the same time. Nothing to do but wonder pointlessly why one took so much longer than the other. The things I was simply never meant to know has increased by one, which is quite a trick considering you cannot actually add one to infinity.
The music and score of the Red King Outgrabe second movement have been uploaded. This was tricky because of the finger clicking and instrument tapping or whatever it is called. Still had to substitute other sounds, which don't really fit. But, what are you going to do? This second movement of my thesis composition is also what I always thought of as the faculty pleasing movement. Done to demonstrate that I really could sound more like what they wanted me to sound like if I tried. It's also the only place in the whole three-movement composition where the twelve-note row is spelled out, so to speak.
I've finished a second String Vignette and uploaded both the music and score to my website. I'm debating just a bit what to do next. If I write another String Vignette, it'll start to look like a suite or something. All connected in some ineffable way. Don't want that. They're all independent little monkeys. Nothing to do with each other outside of the instrumentation. However, if I do move on to other instruments, does that mean that I am done with string quartets. Couldn't hack any more? These are the stupid things that race through my mind. At least, the vignettes have accomplished one of their stated tasks. They were both done without the slightest thought to proper form and design or what other people might consider proper, good music.
It only took forever and a day plus the creation of a whole new cover, but The Magic Flute is finally available on Apple's iBook app. This means that at long last all three of my books are available for both Apple's iBook app and Amazon's Kindle.
Okay, this is spooky. I've just uploaded the PDF score of the Red King Outgrabe's third movement, and that means all of the scores have been converted. I'm done, and I can't wrap my brain around it. This probably had a lot to do with why I went through the whole long-winded and wholly unnecessary process of re-entering every score by hand rather than just letting Sibelius' conversion function work. Of course, it probably won't feel quite so weird in another five minutes. After all, I really did just finish converting and reviewing the score a couple of minutes ago. Haven't given myself time to process.
I'm trying out Amazon's print-on-demand service, which is called Createspace for some reason. Currently, this version of The Etymology of Fire is only available at Createspace's website, but it is supposed to become available directly from Amazon in a couple of days. I'm also planning on going through the extra hurdle of making it available at bookstores, which is something I've never actually been able to accomplish before. We shall see how it goes. This has required accepting a Createspace ISBN for the book, which turned out to be a much harder decision to make than I thought. Psychologically and philosophically , it was staggeringly hard, but I won't bother trying to explain now.
Both The Faire Folk of Gideon and The Magic Flute are now available at Createspace.com. I don't know how long it will take, but these revised versions should also become available via Amazon.com. Theoretically, Createspace will make all three books available to bookstores and libraries. No idea if this will actually happen since it is kind-of based on demand from bookstores and libraries. We shall see.
I've managed the trifecta. All of my books are now available for Apple's iBook app, Amazon's Kindle, and Barnes & Noble's Nook eBook reader. I'm really surprised. For whatever dumb reason, I was convinced it was even harder to get stuff into Barnes & Noble's eBook reader than Apple's iBook reader. Last time I checked—which was years ago I must admit—it was all but impossible to get books into Barnes & Noble. They only wanted to work with the distributors they wanted to work with etc. and other such non-sense words. Yesterday, I discovered they had simplifed the process, and today they are there. Now, that's service.
All three of my books are finally available in mass-market paperback editions from Lulu.com, which is something I never actually bothered to get around to before because the mass-market editions are more expensive than the trade paperback editions. This just makes me mad. The mass-market editions are smaller. Look, they are smaller. I don't understand why they are more expensive. Guess whatever arcane magic is done to create print-on-demand books simply doesn't care about page size. Only cares about the sheer number of pages. Therefore, the mass-market editions are more expensive. Live with it. Sigh.
A whole bunch of my short stories are now available on my website in ePub format. I forgot to convert T'gin Whitemane. Looks like I only have that one saved in HTML format. Not even an old word document. I'll get around to converting it.
I had been thinking about making ePub versions available for some time but hadn't really wanted to go through all of the bother of first creating Adobe InDesign files. They are only short stories, after all. I knew there was an OpenOffice extension that could do the ePub conversion without the need for the InDesign step but had never bothered to look into it before. So, I have finally installed the Write2ePub OpenOffice extension. It works great for my short story files. Still needed to do a lot of extra work in Sigil once the files were converted, but I didn't mind. I'm actually glad I did it. The Write2ePub extension formats ePub files differently than InDesign so I was able to learn a lot about ePub formatting by comparing the two approaches. Turns out to be really simple, and I had been intimidated by the format for no good reason. It really is just XHTML and CSS2. Downright disappointing. I am now in the process of once again revising the formatting of my three novels. Don't know when I'll get around to actually posting it. Probably post the iBook version last because of the extra hassle involved. We shall see.