HIMYM Mother Revelation Anti-Climactic? Only if you read Yahoo!

May 14, 2013 by

HIMYM Mother Revelation Anti-Climactic?

I started writing this based on the Yahoo! review and the YouTube video of the revelation of the Mother on CBS’s long-running show, How I Met Your Mother.

How I met your mother

How I met your mother

After watching the actual show, I think the show was just where it needed to be, wound with the threads and twists that have made it fun to watch for so very long. But kids, let me tell you about what I was thinking from reading this review from Yahoo!

BEFORE WATCHING THE SHOW I WROTE THIS

Much of my life has changed as Ted‘s (Josh Radner) has stayed the same over the past seven/eight years of the How I Met Your Mother saga on CBS.  I’ve finalized a divorce and then found someone, gotten married, found out what I should have long before I got involved, had my life ripped apart, my heart broken (literally with a heart attack supported by both marriages) and now I find myself on level footing for what likely is the first time in my life. And here we still have “Ted being Ted,” but after Monday night’s season finale, we now know who “Mother” is going to be through the revelation of the YELLOW umbrella, the boots, the train ticket purchase, etc. It’s all coming together and frankly, I’m maybe wishing I didn’t know.

And let’s be honest here. The writers at HIMYM had a lot to overcome when they revealed her.  After all, we’ve been treated to the joys of Drumroll please, clearly one of the best romance episodes ever made for TV in 23 minutes or less, to the reintroduction of Victoria and then her passing from the show and Ted’s life once and for all.

Finally introducing Mom was/is a tall act to follow and I guess I’m just wishing there had been more to it.

AFTER ACTUALLY WATCHING THE SHOW AND NOT RELYING ON THE BAD, SHALLOW WRITERS AT YAHOO!

Yes, still much of my life has changed, but so has Ted’s. He’s done a lot of growing up in the past seven or eight years and his decision to flee New York after fixing up his house and coming to the conclusion that “she” isn’t in New York, but maybe Chicago, is spot on Ted. With the agony he anticipates feeling seeing Robin married to Barney, (that’s still weird to watch knowing Barney’s real life sexual orientation), Ted thinks it will be too hard to be around it all. Trust me, I’ve been in that situation before. It’s not a fun place.

But kids, let’s get back to last night’s show.

Each person in the show is headed in a new direction; one they don’t realize. Yeah, I know. That’s how life is. We make a plan, we think we’re going to live it out and then something happens that dramatically alters every plan we had. Makes you wonder if Robin and Barney really are going to get married. I believe there was an episode last year that says they didn’t.  Or did they?

We now know that Lilly thinks she’s moving to Italy though won’t entirely be surprised when she’s not. Marshall thought he was going to Italy but is now going to be a judge. Ted thinks he’s headed to Chicago and the girl “with cute boots that we can share cos they’ll fit me” is buying a train ticket to Farhampton.

In reading the Yahoo! version and then watching the clip, I was sad to see that we finally have an answer to the question that’s been there for so very long. After watching the show, well, there was a certain magic in how she was revealed because the set up of the discussion between Ted and Lilly, who always has been so good at pulling “do you like him/her or not” out of people.  It wasn’t a Drum roll moment, no, but it still was enough to say, “next season, we’re going to finally get a lot of answers and no matter how many we get, we’re still going to be hanging on wishing there was going to be more.”

 

 

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What Book Did You Read Last? How’d you choose it?

May 8, 2013 by

What Book Did You Read Last? How did you choose it?

How did you pick the last book you read?

How did you pick the last book you read?

The last book I read was John Ed Mathison’s When God Redefines the Possible, soon to be released for Kindle, Nook and iPad.  Today I was given a stack of books to read by a potential client. Yeah, that makes me a little different than most people. So how do you go about picking what to read next?

This past weekend I was going through some of the Lynda.com courses on e-Books etc. and stumbled on a reminder to do some connecting of other sites to GoodReads.com.  On their site I noticed a number of surveys they’ve been conducting.  Now these numbers aren’t scientific in nature–there is a huge non respondent biased, not to mention the vast universe of people out there who don’t go to the GoodReads.com website. But of the thousands who have answered the questions, the responses are quite interesting.

So how do most people who use GoodReads.com say they picked the last book they read? Well, actually, just like I did today. A friend said “Here, take a look at these.”  Most often there’s a different dialogue associated with such, I realize. “Hey, have you read…?”

Nearly 14,000 votes fell off to the next answer–they got the tips from GoodReads.com itself.

Seven-thousand more down in responses fell off to the third most popular answer–people found things in their bookstore.  Even fewer found them in a library. Just a few less relied on Amazon.  And then there’s the searing slap on the work of publicists–only 6 percent said they read a book because they saw something about it in the news media. Blogs didn’t do much better. Best seller recommendations were way down on the list, too.

So how do you pick a book to read?

 

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The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

May 7, 2013 by

The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

At Claxton Creative here in Dallas, we’ve done a number of print to e-Book and iBooks Author-generated conversions and one thing becomes immediately clear throughout this process–the print to e-Book conversion process shouldn’t be a matter of just replacing the print copy into digitized form.  No, it should be much, much more.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

eBook v. iBooks Author

On top of that, we take things a step further than most competitors we’ve seen online.  Yes, the EPUB formatted book can be read on many more devices than those built with iBooks Author, which only work on iPad and iPad mini.  However, the functionality of a book made with iBooks Author versus one in an EPUB 2.0.1 or even the “new” EPUB 3 format leave a world of difference in between.

We’d like to bang someone in the marketing department at Apple over the head for their lack in marketing the difference between the two. In the video below even, we’ve shown you the contrast between 3D imagery in an EPUB 3 book and that of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  As we like to say, a book for iPad made with iBooks Author is like being in a museum where you’re supposed to touch everything.  Using 3D in an EPUB is like trying to play ping pong on a 1970s Atari on a black and white TV.  (Sorry Atari, but that’s pretty accurate. For clarification purposes, Atari was ahead of the time then.  EPUB 3 isn’t.)

Working With Print Authors

We often are approached by print authors who are ready to make a digital book and our first question to them is how much video do you want to add to your book?  We ask that knowing that our recommendation to them truly is going to be to make a book for iPad because the functionality, the file size, just the look is so much more alive and vivid than anything we have yet to see on a Kindle or Nook.  We have a potential client we’re trying to help understand this concept as she wants to do a series of YouTube videos and put them on a website for free. It’s our recommendation that instead they be added to a book for iPad because it will help make the book even more spectacular than what we already are talking about.

Besides, why give something away for free when there’s going to be high production costs and, more importantly, you can include it in your book for iPad and make some money back from it?!?!

Are You Wanting To Convert From Print to Digital?

If you’re ready to convert your book there are a series of questions you should be asking yourself.

  • What visuals can I add to my book to make it come alive?  This means video and still, hi-res pics.
  • Your book (for iPad) should include video. What videos could we shoot for your book to add a dimension that is presently missing?
  • What interactive charts or graphs would you like to include in your book that your printer said would cost too much to print and they didn’t want to expend the extra pages to include? We can do that on one page now, at a high resolution and they can be very cool.
  • What website pages would you like to have embedded in your book and let your readers visit without ever leaving your book?
  • If you could add digital magic to your book, what would you like to add?

If you know the answers to some or all of those questions, then we’d like to talk to you about making a book for iPad, and of course, doing an EPUB version.  Yes, more people will be able to get your book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but the one they get off Apple’s iBookstore will be the one that will make most people’s mouth’s drop and want to know what you can do next.

Let’s talk.

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Balance Ragged Lines InDesign Layout Stopping Full Margin Layout

Apr 25, 2013 by

Balance Ragged Lines InDesign Layout Stopping Full Margin Layout

We’re working on the layout of John Ed Mathison’s EPUB version of When God Redefines The Possible, now completed as a book for iPad and nearly ready for submission to Apple.

But our wonderful client also wants versions for Kindle & Nook and so we’re working on an EPUB version as well using InDesign.

But there was a problem in layout that happened from importing the text.

Adobe PDF

The manuscript we received from the client was in the form of a PDF.  It had to be copied and then loaded into TextEditor on the Mac and from there, loaded into iBooks Author and then over into Adobe’s InDesign for EPUB formatting as you can’t go from an iBooks Author format to EPUB.  It just doens’t work.

So when we imported the document from TextEditor into InDesign, it soon became apparent that there was something amiss.

And after some time in Lynda.com videos, I finally sent it to one of my InDesign gurus and asked what was up.

The answer came back quickly.

Turn Off Balance Ragged Lines

With Preview on, this became immediately apparent and quite honestly, this is something I never would have found without asking.  There simply are thousands of options within InDesign and sometimes, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’d never find it.

So for future InDesign layout work. If you have paragraphs that are not going the width of the page from margin to margin, try turning off the Balance Ragged Lines option in Paragraph Styles.

Here are two photos of how this fixed the problem.  Before and then after….

Balance Rugged Lines On

Balance Rugged Lines On

And After

Balance Rugged Lines Off

Balance Rugged Lines Off

 

As you can see, the lines of the first two paragraphs now go all the way across without wrapping.  Even with Show Hidden Characters On, there was no indication of what was causing this issue.

 

 

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iPhone Portrait Lock – I’ve Been Missing This

Apr 10, 2013 by

iPhone Portrait Lock – I’ve Been Missing This

There have been many a days and nights while lying on my bed or the sofa, etc. when I’ve begun texting someone or looking at my iPhone and because of it’s orientation, it spun around. I’d move the phone and it’d move again. And I’d move the phone and it’d move again. Finally, I just had to sit up and type out whatever I’d wanted to do out of frustration.

When iPad came along, I was glad to see they just added the switch on the side near the volume.  That was a lot of help.  But alas, no such button on the iPhone.

Now most of you reading this know I’m pretty up-to-date on the latest offerings from Apple. But this one apparently slipped past me.  So how do you lock the screen on an iPhone so it won’t turn while you’re lying down or whatever?

HOME BUTTON

By pressing the button on the left, you can now lock the portrait orientation on an iPhone.

By pressing the button on the left, you can now lock the portrait orientation on an iPhone.

My 16-year-old daughter about jumped out of her chair in jubilation that she knew some Apple thing that I did not. But here’s what you do.

Push the HOME button, the button on your screen in the middle at the bottom, TWICE while the phone is open.  A menu of options will appear–it’s actually all the apps that you currently have open on the phone. (If you hold down an app it will start jiggling and a red circle with a – sign will appear if you want to close the app.  This can be helpful if your phone starts running slowly and you have three dozen apps open….)

But if you slide the app icons to the right, you will come to a screen much like the one pictured here in the post.  See the icon with the circle and the arrow in the circle?  Tap that and it will lock your orientation on the iPhone.  You can then press the Home Button once again to return to the screen/app you are active in.

It’s that simple.

And yes, I felt a little silly cos I didn’t know that.  But it’s a great feature and I’m glad Apple finally has added it to the mix.

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Mad Men Season 6 Facebook Cover

Mar 19, 2013 by

I took some of the AMC promo art and made a perfect 850 x 320 pixel Facebook Cover. You’re free to download it and use it.

Download this Facebook Cover for MadMen Season 6.

Download this Facebook Cover for MadMen Season 6.

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