Monday, October 11, 2010


AH-64 ApacheImage via Wikipedia
Dear You—

Being Irish, I don’t really approve of working seven days a week (arguably certifiable behavior) but that is pretty much what I’m doing right now as I prepare to get my books up on the web. Initially, they will go up as e-books, but print will follow as soon as possible afterwards. 

I tend to think of this phase as THE GREAT LEVITATION in the spirit of: "I've never actually seen anyone levitate but I'm told it is possible."

I’m a great believer in the future of e-books, but suspect that the formats will be complementary (up to a point). The latter is a subject for another day, but I have noticed that if I really like an audio book, I will look for a physical copy as well, perhaps as a way of appreciating the original somewhat better. One’s cognitive abilities are definitely affected by the method of presentation.

I confess I had no idea how much work would be involved though that is scarcely surprising given that I have never done anything like this before. Previously, I always had help with my web site – my son Bruff being my webmaster and co-designer. Now, I’m doing everything myself both because Bruff has his own commitments, I currently lack the resources to hire talent, and because I am finding that I’m achieving a greater level of understanding of this new world by operating in such a hands-on way. 

It’s taking as long as it is for a number of reasons. I’m going to list only 10 this time around: (1) This is the first time. (2) I have no natural talent with computers. (3) Although I have a good visual eye, I’m neither graphically trained nor do I have the software required. (4) I’m constantly revising what needs to be done as I learn more. (5) Each social website has its own little ways which need to be understood and mastered. (6) Mastering the interaction between the social media is no easy task in itself, both in practical terms and conceptually. (7) As I learn more I’m constantly raising the bar despite being very aware that time is critical. (8) I’m dealing with five titles. (9) I am cursed with a perfectionist streak. (5) There is a great deal of writing and re-writing involved.

All of this reminds me of my experiences flying in an AH-64 Apache helicopter back in the Nineties. There it was explained to me that although no one switch or control was impossibly difficult to learn, a pilot was faced with some 17,000 possible combinations – the whole experience being given a whole new perspective when people were shooting at you. Well, I don’t have tracer coming at me as yet – it’s a relatively uncommon hazard in Seattle – but I suspect the number of options an e-world explorer like myself is faced with would make even an experienced Apache pilot (and they don’t come any tougher) raise an eyebrow.

I was going to write “sweat a little” but Apache pilots are so cool they don’t sweat. They claim that Blackhawk pilots certainly do sweat and are inferior human beings. You have to love aviators! 

I implemented one decision over the weekend. I’ve decided to give each non-fiction book its own blog site so started the process by setting up the TITANIC NATION: How to Avoid Icebergs: The Case for Fundamental Change In The American Way Of Life website at 

In future all my blogs on the U.S. Economy and related matters will end up there – conveniently leaving this site free for writer’s angst.

Apache pilots might not sweat – but authors certainly do.


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