Monday marked the six month anniversary of my wife Lynn’s passing and it hurt! It also put me in a non-creative, very sad state of mind. I knew that staying in the house studying and reading was not helping me, so I ventured outside my home, and went to a mall. Now, in this sleepy part of Florida (other than South Beach is there a non-sleepy part?) finding entertainment and shopping opportunities involve travel. I’m relatively new to this area, and am usually alone, so I don’t really know my way around. Garmin navigation system to the rescue!
Between my Garmin 670, my iPhone, and MapQuest I can usually make my way out of a dark room. I punched Shopping and Mall into the machine and out came two possibilities, one 14 miles north; the other 21 miles south. Being a person that is respectful of our environment, I opted to go north. Well, Crystal River Mall, I learned later is called a (s)mall, by the locals. It has three anchor stores, and a loose assembly of smaller stores, organized as a triangle – all enclosed under a tent, for God’s sake! One wonders who came up with the tent concept for a location that is absolutely flat, and 4 miles from the Gulf of Mexico!
There is a point to all of this, I promise. When one of your anchor stores is a Kmart, you are a long way from civilization! Wandering around the (s)mall I had to purchase a birthday gift and I was immersed in one of my favorite pastimes – people watching. Penney’s was the best of the alternatives and in I go. I headed to the Men’s Department and found a decent, but small assortment of goods. It pays to shop in October. The Christmas goodies are in the stores and the complete selection of sizes and colors are there.
Gift purchased, I wandered around and ran into the Christmas Shop. It was like walking into a brick wall. Christmas was Lynn’s favorite time of year and we made a point to hit (all) the Christmas displays in the various stores, every year. She was like a little child during the season – for about three months. Life with Lynn was always wonderful; at Christmas it was extraordinary! Without her, I don’t know what I’m going to do? All I know is that it crushed me for two days.
My design house, Five Rainbows, is located in the very northern part of Michigan. It is extremely rural (I vacationed in that area as a child) and quite flat. Google Earth tells me that their business is about a mile from Lake Superior. “The Bomb” which is what the media is calling this recent storm, absolutely knocked them back into the 19th century – for a day and a half. I sure hope they have great (computer) back-up strategies as all of the work that they are doing for me is digitally-based.
With the arrival of payday, I was able to make some additional investments in Views from Sandhausen. I purchased the ISBN’s for the book and put the money away for the next payment to Five Rainbows. That will be needed as soon as the cover design is finalized. “ISBN” stands for “International Standard Book Number”. For me, they are sold in blocks of ten. I’ll need at least four for the various formats that will be offered (hard cover, soft cover, Kindle and ePub). It is also a racket, in my opinion.
You will never believe, as I did not despite books being such a large part of my life, all my life, what this effort involves! It has certainly altered my perspective and forever more, I will look at a rack of books differently. An awful lot of people work very hard to deliver the Best Sellers to the rack in your store. And with 1,000,000 titles published worldwide, per year, it is not an insignificant industry.
Happy reading, Cliff