Did you think from that title that I am waiting for the upcoming book The Cabins of Wilsonia to be printed?

mug pencil drawing

I’m waiting for my email to get fixed so I can send it. I’m waiting for the sales rep from the printer to call me back so I can cement a few details. I’m waiting for someone at AT&T to actually answer my call. “All customer representatives are busy taking other calls. Please hold, and your call will be answered in the order it was received.” Been hearing this over some very irritating cheesey music for 29 minutes now.


Maybe I should proofread the file once more.


AT&T has cost me so much time and money in the past 3 weeks. Hours on the phone with Paypal, hours on the phone with AT&T, hours on the phone with Apple, hours on the phone with AT&T again.


When I began this project, I didn’t picture this sort of scene at the end of the project. Maybe I should go make a batch of yogurt or knit a bit on a sweater.

Waiting for someone to pick up the phone for 31 minutes now. I really really need my email to work.


Last week I spent hours deleting over 60,000 old emails. They used to be on the AT&T email site, but AT&T made “improvements”, which they didn’t bother to tell their customers about. Email quit working, and after a couple of hours on the phone with some very nice person with a very useless script in India, I was told I could pay for more “help”.

Never mind. I called Apple. I’d rather pay them than pay AT&T. That was about 3 phone calls, each one well over an hour. It took 4 days for all the emails to actually load so I could then spend days deleting them.

Thanks, AT&T.

Waiting 36 minutes now.

I sure hope the email at the printing company isn’t AT&T.


P.S. Update on Waiting: I held on AT&T for 80 minutes before finally giving up. Mechanical Man Voice kept reassuring me that my call would be answered in the order it was received. I think he is a liar. I called back and got someone, and it took 99 minutes of messing around before she admitted that I needed to call Apple again. Apple took about 45 minutes the next day, and I wasn’t on hold at all because I emailed my new best friend there who called me within minutes. He fixed another problem that AT&T caused. I love Apple. Bet you can guess how I feel about AT&T.

No More Proofreading!


“No More Proofreading!”  is the same sort of command as “No more caffeine for you, Young Man!”

mug pencil drawing

My husband Michael, AKA Trail Guy, has developed quite a fine eye for design and for typos. It may be his innate perfectionism, but I believe that almost 29 years of living with a Typo Psycho has had its influence on him.

He read through the whole book The Cabins of Wilsonia and found a messed up sentence, an ever so slightly sloped drawing and 4 chapter headings that needed tighter spacing.

There couldn’t possibly be anything else to correct!

So, once again, I converted the entire InDesign file to a PDF and am now awaiting a return phone call from the printer, Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan to verify my paper choices.

Then, I’ll send the book off and there will be NO MORE PROOFREADING!

The Cabins of Wilsonia will be printed as is.

I mean it!

Just a LIttle Bit More


I spent a weekend in Wilsonia, pre-selling the book, selling the original drawings, showing the place to my husband, getting reacquainted with cabin folks, and explaining the project and answering questions. (Usually I’m the one asking the questions, so this was a fun switcharoo.)

Park stream

Chuck and Penny were the successful bidders on this original pencil drawing (with color in the foxgloves) at the annual Wilsonia silent auction.

One of the main questions was, “When will the book be ready?”

It will be ready mid to late September. The printer/binder has said to expect it to take 6 weeks, so I figure it will be 8.

Meanwhile, I wanted to proof yet again.

This is what I found to fix:

1. A fern needed to be moved. Really! It is important to have your ferns properly placed.

2. There were 2 places with an extra space between words.

3. Two sentences got readjusted to look more balanced.

4. I added the word “Inc.” to the printer’s name on the copyright page.

Honestly, I want this book to be PERFECT. It might not be possible, but I will give it my best shot. Next, my husband will proof it for me. After 29 years of marriage, he has caught the Typo-Psycho disease from me.

Meanwhile, the pre-sale price of $70, including sales tax and shipping is good through the months of July and August. If you click the button below, it will take you to Paypal where you can choose your quantity. If you don’t use Paypal, you can click on the Contact button above and I’ll send you my mailing address so you can buy your book with a check.

Pre-order Your Book


The Cabins of Wilsonia book is now available for a special time-limited pre-publication price.

pencil drawing of Wilsonia club house

I sold them in Wilsonia over the 4th of July weekend, and now you can order yours here.

The easiest way I know to do this is to use a Paypal Add to Cart button. It will let you choose your quantity on the Paypal page. If you don’t use Paypal, you may use the contact tab at the top of this page and send me an email. I’ll reply to let you know where you can mail a check and how much it will be. Checks still work.

After the books arrive, I will ship them to you.

If you buy the book now, it will come to $70 with tax and shipping. If you wait, it will be $86 including tax and shipping. When? More will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Are you ready? I sure am!

How Many Ways Are There To Proofread?


There are more ways to proofread a book than most of us can imagine. I want The Cabins of Wilsonia to be the most error free book around. I know it isn’t possible for it to be perfect, but I am giving it every possible check that I can think of.

Cedar A

Pencil drawing of outhouse on Cedar Lane without any retouching in Red/Green/Blue, AKA RGB

Two different friends read through the book for typographical errors. There were a few words that were omitted, a misplaced quotation mark or two, some comma problems, and a weird typeface problem.

This has no retouching but is converted to grayscale.

This has no retouching but is converted to grayscale.

Good to go, yes?


After the conversion problem, I decided to keep proofreading. Look at all the checks I thought of to do:

1. Quotation marks – all consistently with the period first and then the quotes? Nope, caught a few of those.

2. Peoples’ names – 3 different peoples’ names had a dash preceding the name. Why? Who knows? Now no name has a dash.

3. Has every single drawing been converted to Grayscale? Nope, one was still RGB, which stands for Red Green Blue.

4. Were the edges of every single drawing as clean as they could be? They were after I redid 12 of them!

5. Are all the files in the TIF format rather than JPEG? Of course! I’m not THAT careless!

Pencil drawing of outhouse, converted to grayscale, and all the imperfections have been removed.

Pencil drawing of outhouse, converted to grayscale, and all the imperfections have been removed.

Before I send the book to the printer, I will consider all the other ways to proofread. Who knew there are this many options?


The Rest of the Computer Challenge Story


I think I may have been lying on the floor by the end of yesterday’s posting.

Here is what happened next:

Mr. Funny Name sent me more instructions for Photoshop Elements, including a little image of a tool that he thought might return things to normal.

His little image was too small to see so I clicked on it to enlarge it. When it got big enough to see, I saw it had a microscopic switch for “Default Colors”. I clicked on that in my Photoshop Elements and voila! Back to normal!

So, Mr. Funny Name didn’t provide the answer, but he inadvertently gave me a tool to discover the answer. JustAnswerDotCom says they don’t charge if you aren’t satisfied, but they only say that at the beginning. Afterward, there is no obvious way to not pay. They didn’t provide an answer but accidentally showed me the way to figure it out myself. I paid.

Not a fan of Adobe products, nope not me. . . not at all. They do the job, but figuring out how to make them do the job is tricky business. This is the third Great-Big-Obstacle-To-Which-No-One-and-No-Website-Gives-An-Answer that I’ve encountered with learning to use this program, which is supposed to be the simple version.

If I weren’t so exhausted from the battle, I might be laughing.

The good news is this: all the weirdo-wackadoodle drawings have been repaired and The Cabins of Wilsonia is closer to being ready to go to the printer and I am ready to go to the cabin. (That would be in Mineral King, Land of No Electricity or Computers or Adobe anything, so there.)

Another Computer Challenge

I converted the whole book, all 176 pages of The Cabins of Wilsonia to a PDF following the printer’s instructions. This is what they require for printing, and they recommend that the client (me) look at this PDF before sending it to them. I did, and about 20 of the drawings looked like sludge. WHAT???

wrecked pencil drawing

Does this look like a pencil drawing to you?? It looks like a film negative (remember those?) to me.

I made a list of the wrecked drawings and began reworking them in Photoshop Elements. Got about 1/2 done, and my eraser tool went wacko. I don’t know what I clicked on accidentally. The so called “Help” wasn’t helpful.

I called my friend in Seattle who has been my main helper but apparently her smart phone had gotten separated from her, a previously unknown condition; she DIDN’T ANSWER!!

I searched all over the internet, found a place called JustAnswer.com and used my Paypal account to spend $36 to get an answer; this was pure desperation!

I could have gone out to the studio to work on another project, but instead thought about curling up in the fetal position under my dining table, holding my cat and putting my thumb in my mouth. Meanwhile, I reconverted repaired drawings to PDF and saw that what I fixed prior to the eraser tool’s betrayal turned out well. This was encouraging enough that I was able to stay upright and keep working. Breathe, breathe, it is o k a y.

The only urgency was my self-imposed COME ON ALREADY!! attitude as I waited for Mr. Funny Name, the “expert”. I don’t need the books until November. October or September are fine too, but there is no urgency. (This was my self-talk to keep from losing it.)

So what happened? Guess you’ll have to tune in tomorrow. . .

Final Decisions


Did you know that the more decisions one has to make during the course of a day, the more depleted one’s mental strength and willpower become?

This could be why I feel tired. (Or is it the mural I just finished? Maybe it is that old treatment plant for the neighborhood water system that I helped demolish. . . )

Wilsonia cabin photo

Here is the next slate of decisions before The Cabins of Wilsonia goes to press:

1. Re-evaluate the cover and end-sheet colors when the paper sample arrives.

2. Decide when enough proofreading is enough.

4. Figure out how to convert the whole shebang to a PDF. (Will the computer challenges ever end??)

5. Figure out the price of the book.

6. Figure out the right discount to offer as a pre-sales incentive. You all have to have a reason to hand me your hard-earned dollars before a product is available!

Will I see you in Wilsonia over the Fourth of July weekend?


Not Yet Printed and Already Out-Dated?

There is one last drawing that needed scanning. I drew the cabin several years before I decided to make the book The Cabins of Wilsonia. The photo taken with my old digital camera just isn’t good enough for the book!

I called the customers/friends/cabin owners (all those roles and titles have blurred) to ask if I can borrow back the drawing. The wife and I discussed a trip to Clovis or a trip to Wilsonia. The drive to Wilsonia is prettier, and it is actually closer, so that’s how we did this.

It meant leaving Three Rivers at 9:30 and just blasting up and back quickly (Driving 245 down fast was FUN!!) because I needed to get to Exeter to work on the mural on Rocky Hill Antiques. After retrieving the drawing, I did a short drive around Wilsonia.

Look! The road signs used to look like this:


Now they look like this. AND I saw 2 roads that are NOT in the book – Kearsarge and Muir. it’s okay – there are no cabins on them. Probably used to be. . . sigh.IMG_0731
Fern 8

And this charming, mysterious, always boarded up, and never occupied cabin now looks like this:IMG_0730

Well! Who knew that the book would be outdated before it even goes to press??

More Decisions

Look at what I get to decide now:

1. How many books to print

2. What color of cover material

3. What to say on the About the Artist page

4. What to put on the cover of the book

5. What to do with the extra pages that will be necessary now that I’ve written the Acknowledgments and it ran to two pages and now I need to add seven more so there are multiples of eight (not sixteen, thank goodness) but really only six because I forgot about the About page. Phew. Breathe, chicky-babe, breathe!

I’m sure there will be more decisions ahead. Every time I think I’m almost there, the location of “there” changes! That is the world of self-publishing, and I’m THRILLED that I get to make the decisions instead of a publisher.

extra deer

Doesn’t this deer look a little baffled? I can relate.