Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Effects of Full Moons on

Okay, so it's one full moon, and it most likely has nothing to do with my problems with But ARGH! anyway.

I have been busting my butt, straining my eyes, wracking my brain, beating my head against the wall and all the other cliched things that people do out of frustration for the past three weeks. Issue 5 of Epitaphs is done. I finished designing it, edited it, proofed it, redid the photos a few times, adjusted things, saved and resaved. Taught myself all sorts of tricks I hope I will remember for the next issue. Crazy me, I thought it would be smooth sailing from here on. But no. No no no. Uploading PDFs, embedding fonts, resizing, making things right, making things more right ... oh my gosh the list goes on ... is taking forever and driving me nuts!

I am no techie, my friends. I glean what I can from people and then search like hell all over the Internet to teach myself how things work. My gosh, I searched and searched until I located Swift Publisher (which I do recommend for the non designers like myself). Then I worked my way through that software, figuring it out along the way. Then I researched Decided to go with it, and struggled through that learning process. After THINKING I had loaded everything properly, I ordered my first "proof" copy. I waited impatiently for it to arrive. Only to find that I had loaded it IMPROPERLY and then paid $10 for two sheets of paper with my cover on it!

I was so proud of myself for finishing the magazine and having it available in the month I said it would be (and even the year, too!). Things aren't perfect, and I'm still working through them. Like links for the subscribers, breaking the news to subscribers that the magazine went bankrupt and has no money to send them printed issues anymore. (But, hey, they are receiving one free electronic issue for every paid for issue they have yet to receive, and that's a pretty sweet deal.) Some people are happy with the situation (hey, neither am I!), but most have been great about it and very understanding. Let's say that my dream of being able to quit my day job to do Epitaphs Magazine has blown away like so much smoke from the neighbors burning leaves. Oh, well. I'll keep doing Epitaphs until I can't do it no more. I'm stubborn like that.

I'm a little distracted right now. Bella is sick with a nasty head cold. She's my priority. And I'm taking off work to take care of her tomorrow, so Daddy's off night duty. Gotta run.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I blogged too soon

Okay, so I blogged to soon in my excitement (didn't I tell you I was like that?). I thought the mag was really for real ready to go this time, but nope. I'm still trying to get the cover figured out. Argh. Foiled again!

More later ...

Epitaphs Magazine #5 is here and fabulous!

Everyone, I am so very flippin' proud to announce that Epitaphs Magazine #5 is ready and waiting for you to buy it! I'm doing the Snoopy dance as we speak!

And not only is it available, it is in COLOR! You can also either buy a print copy or download it in PDF format right on your own little computer. Keep in mind, though, that the file is pretty big and takes a while to download, but it's a lot cheaper.

Since the mag is in color, it's more expensive this time. I'm also working with a new They make books, magazines and other publications available. I'm also working on putting out a black and white version of this issue, too, which will cost less. But that one will take a while as I have to reconfigure it to make sure the photos still look great.

For those of you keeping score, you know that this is the first issue I not only edited as usual but also designed. It has a brand new look (a little more journal like) and a new layout. But it still has the same high quality of articles and interesting stuff.

Our last issue was the "spooky" issue, which by the way is selling like crazy this month. I may even sell out soon! This issue is back to the cemeteries without the spooky stuff. There are tons of gorgeous photos (in color!) and great articles, including one on how to adopt a cemetery. The cover story features amazing photographer Jeffrey Netz. You will love his work. His photography was also featured in issue #2, the New Orleans issue.

When you get your copy of the new mag, please drop me a line to let me know what you think. I'm already starting on issue #6. Stories and photos are due in by Dec. 1 to make the submission deadline. So start sending your stuff in! My goal, now that I have full reign on everything, is to get the magazine out more often.

Thank you for your continued support of Epitaphs Magazine,, "Cemetery Walk," and me! YOU are the reason I do all this crazy stuff that I do!

Yours in taphophilia,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Farewell, Sweet Nola

This past Sunday our little Nola died. This is the first time I've actually said it, and really I'm just typing it. I've told people we put her to sleep, we put her down (which sounds terrible) or that we lost her. But to say she "died" is so harsh sounding. Of course, it is harsh. Humane, but harsh.

We adopted Nola at the very end of 2005. She was one when we got her at the animal shelter. She had traveled three hours from Fayette, Iowa, under the hood of a truck. She wasn't injured at all; she'd just taken a very long ride in a weird place. Even at the time, it made us tear up to think of what she went through to find us.

We had a pretty good couple of years (almost) with her. She was a fantastic cat. Everyone who knew her thought so. She'd play fetch with a ball up and down the basement stairs. She'd even give the ball to different people each time so everyone could have a turn tossing it down the stairs for her to run after. She was incredibly good natured. She loved to play and be a wacky cat.

Her favorite place in the world was on our screened in front porch. She always wanted out there. Unfortunately over the summer it was too hot most of the time, but we let her out as often as we could. Especially since she was sick for so many months. The doctor didn't know what her ailment was, so we weren't sure how to help her. We did what we could to make her happy and comfortable. It's so hard, though, because most cats don't show pain that much.

This past weekend, though, it was quite obvious she was very, very ill. She could keep nothing down and was barely eating. And she loved to eat. Even when it kept coming up, the poor girl still had her appetite. And no wonder, she was so thin. She must have been hungry all the time. Our once robust girl was skin and bones.

There is much less chaos in our house now. We've gone from three crazy cats to two. One stays mostly in the basement, and the other is back to her old princess self. The Nola chaos had been missing for a while since she was feeling so poorly, but there's a big hole in our hearts and our lives.

I know we did the right thing. We took her to the Animal Emergency Center to some of the most wonderful and caring people in the business. They made her last moments as peaceful as possible. The doctor administered the medication as I held our Nola and Bill and I were petting her. Her last moments were filled with love, as was her life with us. It's an almost physical pain in my chest just to write all of this. I thought we'd have her for a long time. She seemed to strong for so long. But we lost her and we miss her. I miss her.

I want to think that she is somewhere sitting in a window and snacking on some bread (she loved bread and would rip into any package of it if you turned your head away for five seconds). I want to think she had plenty of bouncy balls to toss around whenever she wants. I want to know for sure that she is happy and knows that we love her and miss her and that her mom feels awful about letting her down and not being able to make it all better.

Good night, sweet Nola. You brought us so much joy.

Your mom