imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I'M IN A CHRISTMAS KIND OF MOOD
Click picture to enlarge.
This is just one of the things I've been busy doing instead of blogging. It's a book of my stories from my short story blog, Briefs And Other Unmentionables. No, it wasn't published; I printed it myself.
It all started when I wanted to give my mother, who has everything and lacks for nothing, a book of my stories. She has no interest in computers; just mention the word and her eyes glaze over. So I decided that I'd print them and put them into book form. I decided against the 8.5"x11" paper as it's too big and floppy. I searched in all the local stores for paper in a smaller size and finally found plain paper note pads measuring 5"x8". Perfect!
I spent the better part of one day copying'n'pasting the stories, with pictures, into word docs. I added a table of contents, and on the back cover I put a bit about "The Author" with a picture of me when I was 3. My friend Jody is sitting next to me and my father is tying my shoe. My mother probably took the picture because she took all of the family snapshots even though my father was a professional photographer.
I printed two copies and had them spiral bound. I wrote a nice little note inside one and mailed it to my mother as part of her Christmas. I inscribed the second copy to my very good friend, Sue Watkins. She's been a tremendous source of encouragement to me, the nicest friend and a great writer, too. She's gifted me with several of her books; I wanted to give her one of mine. But before I mailed it to her, I thought how great the book would look if it had a perfect binding. A perfect binding would cost $30 per, whereas the spiral was about $3, so it was out of the question. That's when I wondered if I could do it. So I took a blank note pad and, using a toothbrush and some tacky glue, I gave it a perfect binding. It worked very well, so I printed another copy of my book.
And that's when I noticed that the very first story was missing TWO PAGES!! Correcting this mistake required re-formatting the whole book, including the table of contents.
Printing a book takes over an hour (it originally took two!). Assembling it takes very little time; it's the drying that takes time. After I slather on one coat of glue, I place it between two books wrapped in wax paper. Then I put it on a radiator and weigh it down with a 14-lb. box of kitty litter :-) When I add the 2nd coat of glue an hour later, I also add the "title spine." Then I leave it pressed between the books on the radiator over night. I finish it off with a piece of wide, clear tape over the binding.
I re-printed three books. Sue loved hers, and I can't wait to see my mother's face when she opens hers.
Are any of you making things for Christmas?