Friday, March 02, 2007

Happily At Play

Happily At Play

2007 March 02 Friday

Today I had a block of four free hours before I had to leave home to head out to Meijin Hospital for my MRI scan, scheduled for 1415, with a mandated 1355 arrival time. My daughter was at the daycare and my wife, whose plan was to meet me at 1530 for the consultation with my hematologist, was at work.

So I set to work on a project which I had long contemplated, building the covers for my second book of poetry, GENGHIS LOTUS POETRY COLLECTION. I was disappointed with my first book of poems, ARC OF LIGHT, simply because it was so stunningly slim.

GENGHIS, I'm glad to say, will be a meatier book, and putting it together has given me the motivation to revise old poems and write new ones from scratch.

To make the covers, I had a template to work with, a template in the format required by Lulu.com for standard paperback books, 1838 pixels x 2775 pixels, and this I could easily change to a different color with Microsoft Paint.

I used Paint to make the artwork, a piece to which I give the name YOKOHAMA BOLERO.

I used OpenOffice to make a text document featuring the book title and my name in Georgia. I have decided, for this book, to do what you're supposed to, and stick to just one font for the cover. On one earlier book cover I had a mishmash of Times New Roman, MS Engravers and Algerian, which is definitely not the way to go, but which, even so, pleased me.

I used my PrintKey screen capture program to extract the Georgia text from the OpenOffice *.odt document and to put a black frame around each piece of captured text. I then used Paint to color the black frame red.

I then used Microsoft Photo Premium 10 to collage all these images together. Much as I hate Microsoft, MSPH10 is a marvelous program, which will happily eat bitmap, png or jpg files, collage them together and save them in the format of your choice.

My plan for the cover was to have something lively and colorful. And, for the back, I chose to replicate the cover of CANCER PATIENT, since a bunch of the poems in GENGHIS LOTUS POETRY COLLECTION will be cancer poems and death poems, to which CANCER PATIENT has relevance.

I got started on the cover at just after 0900 and it was a wrap by 1240, by which time I was almost out of time.

All going well, the covers will be displayed at the top of this blog entry.

I have a lot of work still to do on the poetry book, but hope to have it available for sale by the end of the year.

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