My Own Inverted Jenny

book cover imageI have a little confession to make. My book-publishing debut has a noticeable flaw. It’s not huge enough that the editorial filters of the publisher, or even my own oft-repeated scrutiny, caught it in the preview and proofing processes, but I noticed it, and I’d like to make it better. See, in the hard-copy and digital proofs that I checked before giving the go-ahead to publish, I didn’t manage to spot how low the contrast was between text and background on one of the two-page layouts, and it’s not nearly legible enough for my taste in the final print, even with my relatively eagle-sharp eyes.

So I’ve made a revised version of that page duo and a couple of other pages that were quite acceptable but I thought deserved a boost of readability as well as long as I was at it, and I have requested that the publisher allow an after-publication change. Those of you who have already purchased and received the book (I’m looking at you: family members; Mira, Diane, Gracie, Christine, etc, and a handful of others that I know of thus far) will probably know which typography I’m describing. It’s readable, but it’s an effort, I admit. Those of you who haven’t bought the book yet, I certainly hope you will do so but maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to give you an even more polished product if you wait until I give the thumbs-up to a tiny revision in a week or so. Now, at least you know the whole story of my neophyte adventure.

If you’d rather hang on to the original version of the book as it stands anyhow, I promise you that all but the one poem—all 165 or so of the others—are entirely readable as the book stands, and while I can’t in any way promise that this, my first foray into unintentional-humor publication (to be fair, the rest of the book is supposed to be amusing) will be my last, let alone likely to accrue the sort of megabucks value given the famous upside-down airplane stamp of my post title, I do hope that when I croak, you might be able to get a bonus by selling off the short run of mistake-inclusive prints to crazed collectors. So if you paid, say, ten or twelve dollars this week (and I see they’re already reducing the price on Amazon, so bargains can already be had) you may be able to sell the book in a couple of decades for thirty-six cents extra. Talk about a fantastic investment! Don’t say I never gave you anything exciting.

But seriously, I hope that you will think buying a book from me is a reasonable investment not only in my happiness and well-being but in your own good spirits, because that’s what the book was intended for in the first place: playful entertainment for semi-grownups in the form of my whimsical-to-wacky drawings and poems. With your patience and a little perseverance on my part, we ought to be able to conjure up such an interlude together one way or another, no? I thank you for your good humor and support. Have a lovely day, y’all, and I promise I’ll keep you posted on my progress.photoOf course, since I’ve already made the revision of my “oops page” to submit, now I’ll be getting started with the conversion of the (reedited) book file to prepare it for a Kindle edition, and will need to decide which of the many other books I’ve got on various ‘back burners’ will be next on my agenda for what will hopefully be mistake-free from the moment of its publication. That’s the plan, my friends.

Simplicity Itself

 

photoSimplicity, I think, is like most of the virtues and values that we humans might hold dear–those who have it don’t necessarily appreciate it, and those who talk the most about it tend to know the least about it.

The rich and comfortable are so obsessed with the idea or ideal of simplicity nowadays that there are magazines, fashions, classes and whole philosophical movements devoted to its study and cultivation. People will expend massive quantities of energy and spend large quantities of money on trying to simplify their lives and themselves, when very likely simply giving up the energetic striving and letting go of the amassed money would do the trick in a trice. (Perish the thought!)

The poor and underprivileged have ultimate simplicity forced upon them, and tend to choose whether to embrace the unsullied earthiness and quietly hardworking ways thrust on them by their circumstances or to battle against them. Probably a majority of people, both poor and rich, will always think the grass greener where they are not, and hardly give thought to how hard the next person is trying to get over the fence onto their own enviably other property. Dissatisfaction may be an essential part of humanity’s natural state of being, much as it naturally chafes us to think so.

On the other hand, looking at what dissatisfies us with as unsparingly honest a glare as we can might in fact shed some light on how to find better contentment, not necessarily by having more or less of something (tangible or ephemeral) but by giving it all its appropriate due and then saving our true love for the most meaningful virtues and values of all. At the very least, that narrows down the field for most of us. At its best, it frees us up to say that life is remarkably livable where we exist right here, right now, regardless of the shade or tint of the lawn. The simple presence of any one particular leaf of grass or bud of bloom in the one square foot of soil nearest to hand may be quite enough, at least for one simple day.photo