Madame Death

by Madame Death

Working on a Book

Read this first

Computer Crap

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Because computers are such a huge part of writing this book, I figure I would do a rant about my recent dealings with Windows10. A few years back, I read about Windows8 and then Windows10 and I immediately knew neither one was something I was going to like. I have been a loyal Windows user since Windows95. I love Windows7. I love it so much, I even bought a second PC, brand new fully loaded Windows7 professional with tons of space. And then I put it away as a backup Windows7 computer, still in its box. This was about 5 years ago.

While working on this book, I needed a tablet-like computer that was online for quick searches since my writing computer (Lenovo ThinkPad Windows7) is offline. It would sit next to me, and I had fantasies that I would be able to quickly just open it up and do a quick search, find what I needed and get back to work.

So I broke down and bought a SurfacePro

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Miles and Miles to Go

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When I first started researching this book back in 2004, I was using Word, and because there was no form or function on how it was laid out, I found I got lost and ended up on endless tangents that had nothing to do with what I was working on.

If anything, I collected a massive data compilation on certain subjects, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with my book - and by 2013, I sadly realized I was merely spinning my tires in sand and getting nowhere.

Looking back, I am glad I did all that research first. I feel like now I am more than capable in being able to handle this particular subject, in 2004 I was not even close to ready.

(And yes, I am going to repeat myself again and again because I can)

Then - I discovered Scrivner and suddenly, everything came into focus, start, middle, finish. All I had to do was pop in what was needed in each section. As I mentioned

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Cleaning Up My Cloud

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The last few days have been productive. I have been going through my images and organizing all the folders in my cloud, it is going quickly and I am extremely happy with my organizational talents, not to brag but it has been a lot easier now that I can finally see the “big picture.”

Working on three books simultaneously has been a huge challenge, and there were those days when I wasn’t sure where I was, there was just so much to go through and put in its proper place. These last few days, it felt like taking a big machete and just hacking down a jungle of folders and yesterday, I saw a bit of light peeking through.

26 Chapters in First Book - 26 Folders.
I have already gone through 16 Folders and have ten folders to go.
There are 2 massive folders in that last ten folders, but they will be fun, and most of the information has been culled and written and it will be nice to see them

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Unfollowed

I wish Social Media was not so fraught with hurt feelings when it comes to following and unfollowing. I was following one person who I liked, but then they used a photo of those fucking horrible Walter Potter Taxidermy Kittens from the 19th century as their main photo on Facebook, I ended up unfriending them on Facebook and unfollowing them on Instagram.

I have zero tolerance when it comes to humans glorifying stuffed bodies of dead animals. When I see it in Social Media feed, it just pisses me off and then I feel trapped, feeling like I am forced to look at stuff I don’t want to look at because I might hurt someone’s feelings if I unfollow them.

Fuck it. I went in and unfollowed a bunch of collectors whose stuff I really don’t want to see in my feed, seeing certain items just made me not want to look at my timelines or feeds anymore. I figured I just needed to man up and take back

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Discoveries

While I was researching a map in New York City, I found not one but two rather huge discoveries about the topic I am working on, and I was so thrilled to find them.

This information will add another yet another intriguing layer onto the subject of the book, and I am tickled to have found it before my upcoming trip.

Yesterday was spent checking and double checking images with copy, and I am pleased with how everything is lining up perfectly. One folder I am working through, I think I will be finished with it tonight, then the next two folders are HUGE. Once those two folders are done, everything else will go so much faster. I have two more huge folders after that, but they are nearly done, and all it means is just going in and cutting.

The two folders coming up will probably take me about two or three weeks to plow through. But it is OK, because I love the subject of both folders, so

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Two Days Too Many of Taxes

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Took two days off to work on taxes and I have to tell you, being away from working on the book, even after two days is torture. All I could think about was what I needed to do, what to edit, add, delete, revise – and instead I was stuck having to go over taxes.

So not much to report, three boxes will be arriving from my collector friend who is selling off his collection, and one box already arrived. I had to make room on one of my shelves for the first box of artifacts, and it should be enough for the next boxes of artifacts.

Once the book is nearly completed to the design phase, I plan to sell off most of the artifacts and of course, keep the best of the best for myself. But I am thinkin probably hundreds of artifacts will be put up for sale on my website at the same time the book is published. That way, everyone can know the history of each of these artifacts and maybe buy a

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Artifacts for the Book

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Today was a good day! I had a long-time collector tell me that he is down-sizing his massive collection and he is selling them to me first, many of these items I had never even heard about. I am beyond thrilled to received “first count” on this incredible collection.

He is currently weeding through his collection and I have been purchasing them in lots of 6 items per lot. The first box of Artifacts will be arriving today (Monday).

Also, I found a connection to the location we will be staying in New York to my book and am seriously excited because it is a “three-fer” meaning it has to do with three topics of the book. And I just discovered this connection just last night and I though I had already combed through everything and then I find this one little item and it blew me away it was so incredible. I like to say it is all about connecting the dots.

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Rummaging through the Cloud

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Tonight am going through the hundreds of folders with images I have up in the cloud and matching them up with what I already wrote on Scrivner. This way I can figure out what needs to go where, while at the same time find the best image that will fit perfectly with the topic.

This is going to take a while, I think thinking probably a few weeks. Then after that, I can finish up the first draft and then work on posters and update the website with more stuff for sale.

Also started researching hotels in New York for fifth research trip. I am so excited about this particular trip, I need to revisit a few cemeteries, drop off flowers on graves and take some photos. The hotel I think we will be staying at this one old 1880s hotel which is absolutely incredible and I really like the location. Only a three minute walk to the subway!

This time I plan on taking lots of taxis because my feet

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To Publish or Self-Publish

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I am still trying to figure out if I want to find an agent and publisher or if I should just do it myself. I bought InDesign and figured once I had a handle on things I would go ahead and do preliminary layouts on all three books, mostly just to see how they will all look.

I love the idea of designing these books, I have so many ideas that will include my posters, and new posters that won’t be printed up until the books are completed, as well as tons of incredible never-before seen images.

And then there is the dreaded “Design by Committee” which means a great design can become quite terrible very quickly when two or more people get involved, which often happens with a lot of inhouse book publishers.

But that is way far off on the horizon. Before I even think about designing any books, I want to get through a third draft for each book first. Then run them through editors and then

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The Book(s) Slog

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Last night I logged in 9 hours working on the books. I have a very tight premise and way too often I find myself wanting to veer out of my lane into tangent territory, and I have to keep reminding myself to stay on premise.

My schedule consists of getting up, reading the godawful news, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and going to work. Before I strap myself into my writing area for the night, I will go through my notes, saved images, items for the book, and organize everything so I am ready to work.

I make a double espresso and get a tall glass of ice water, and then head upstairs to my office. I have two rooms, one is for storage where I keep all the items I need to photograph for my book(s) and the second room is where I create. I have three desks.

  • One is a wooden teacher’s desk from the 1940s - that is where I do my hand-coding on my big desktop PC computer.
  • One is a wooden

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