Versatile Blogger Award

Imagine my delight this morning when I logged on to discover that I have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by P. Taylor at knit4profit. Thanks, P! I’m honoured.

The award also comes with the responsibilty of naming another 15 winners and to let them know by commenting on their blogs:

  1. himbo
  2. laila at infoglyphs
  3. Writer’s Guide to ePublishing
  4. The Writer’s (Waiting) Room
  5. harperpages
  6. The Mental Health Blog by Eva Tenter
  7. Courting Madness by Coco. J. Ginger
  8. Literary Man
  9. Eternal Domnation
  10. I’m an organizing junkie
  11. The Witty Herald
  12. 400 Days Til 40
  13. Anansi the Poet
  14. The Feel Good Tribe
  15. Lori’s Lane

Lastly, recipients are asked to list 7 things about themselves:

  1. I’m an author.
  2. I (want to) work as a freelance proofreader, writer and editor.
  3. I teach sewing lessons.
  4. I enjoy machine knitting.
  5. I dislike peanut butter. (It’s a texture thing.)
  6. I always wanted to be Dorothy Parker when I grew up, but now I’m loving the life I have created for myself.
  7. I have a pet parrot named Loki. (after the Norse god of mischief)

Thanks again, and do try to enjoy your Monday.

They’re He-e-re…

The day before my son was born, I felt an overwhelming urge to clean the house. They call it the nesting instinct. Today, one day before my Book Launch Party, I had an equally strong compulsion to clean. Partly because the house has been neglected in these past couple of weeks and partly to distract myself from worrying about whether my books would be delivered in time for the launch. I had a backup plan, but would not allow myself to indulge it until the last minute for fear of turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lately I’ve been practising positive thinking and I’m here to tell you it works.

My books arrived today!

It’s Al-i-i-i-i-i-ve!

It’s official: In the Fool’s Footsteps is now available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats.

Now, please excuse me while I get back to doing backflips…

Cover art by Matthew Marigold

Click here to purchase.

How Did the E-Author Sign Her E-Books?

When I first announced my upcoming book launch, a common question I’ve had has been whether or not hard copies will be available (yes) because people want a signed copy, and how on earth would I be able to sign an ebook? I pondered it and initially came up with nothing.

There are clever digital signature programs out there but I hesitate to rely on technology on the spot while people wait in line. Then I ventured into the scary and intimidating world of Twitter. There I saw something wonderful – a lightbulb moment, if you will. One of my favourite authors, Christopher Moore (@theauthorguy) was touring with his latest novel, Sacre Bleu, and a fan brought a handmade book jacket for an ereader that she asked Mr. Moore to sign. He took a picture and tweeted it.

I don’t know who the fan was, so I can’t give her credit, but I did steal her idea. Here is the result…

This is the template I used. I created a table in Word, sized the cells to the proper dimensions and inserted the picture.

The finished product after cutting, folding and gluing.

I think this lends a lovely tactility to an otherwise virtual experience. It’s a nod to the phenomenology of traditional books.

So far, my self-publishing journey has been giddy, nerve-racking and exhiliarating. As the launch of my novel approaches, the highs and lows are stacking up. This blog post could not have landed in my inbox at a better time. An inspirational commencement address by Neil Gaiman that rejuvinated the positive vibes one needs to pursue the dream of a creative life. Thanks for the great post, Hannah.

Hannah Karena Jones

My May 2011 commencement address was so bad, so completely depressing rather than inspiring, that it’s the only Bloomsburg speech in the past three years that isn’t posted on YouTube.

Officially, Eduardo Ochoa, the assistant secretary for postsecondary education, “discussed how Bloomsburg University has prepared students to be active and engaged participants in the global economy of the twenty-first century.”

In reality, the speech was about how, considering the economy, we would have to retrain for new career paths at least five times before retirement. Either because there weren’t enough jobs available for whatever major we were currently graduating with that day (are you getting the warm fuzzies yet?), or to get a better position, or simply because the industry we started out working in would go extinct. He talked about how we would be forced to professionally reinvent ourselves several times to stay employed; we’d have to go back…

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How the Enchilada Got Her Lid

Gather round, children. It’s time for another Enchilada story…

You may recall the anecdote about the squirrel who occupied the Enchilada for a week while my man and I froze our soggy butts off in the wilderness. You may further recall that said squirrel gained access to its vacation home through a small tear in the ragtop. It was a tight fit, but the squirrel remedied the problem by making the hole bigger. Resourceful little asshole.

This is when duct tape entered the Enchilada’s life.

I will never forget the day my man came home with silver duct tape that was 12 inches wide. I can say with only a little exaggeration that I have never seen him happier. Winter was coming and he was over being cold and wet in his car. By this time, she had lost all four hubcaps and was sporting an impressive collection of dings. The most impressive of all came from being pinned in by two police cars on the day she was stolen. I was pregnant and we had been doing groceries–

But that’s another story.

The silver duct tape roof got us through a couple of winters. And then I found something on the internet that I couldn’t put out of my mind.

Two over, two under. Easy peasy.

I outlined my idea to my BFF and we were off to the races…

Thirty-two rolls of black and white duct tape. I really wanted black and purple or lime green, but I wasn’t the one who had to drive the car and I really wanted to live another day.

Recipe for stupid shit: two crazy women, one sunny day, 32 rolls of duct tape, a case of beer and eight hours with nothing better to do. Toss and serve.

I repeat: thirty-two (32?!) rolls of duct tape.

Almost houndstooth art car.

About the Author

Karen Hoffman lives and works in and around the rattle and hum of Toronto. Aside from In the Fool’s Footsteps, she has also written a play called It Just Is that was produced in 2007 at the Junction Arts Festival in Toronto. Karen is also an avid blogger and hatcher of plans. To learn what is currently incubating, follow Karen on Twitter at @foolsfootsteps or subscribe to this blog.

Drumroll please…

When I decided to self-publish my debut novel, In the Fool’s Footsteps, I challenged myself to spend as little money as possible on the venture. That’s partly because I have limited funds and partly because I love a challenge. I have publishing work experience and thus the skills to design and format the digital and hard copy versions. I also expect that my marketing and event planning work experience will come in handy.

Although I have an eye for and some training in page layout, I am smart enough to recognize my own limits. That’s why the cover art is the one area I decided to make a financial investment. I commissioned Matthew Marigold to photograph and design my cover. I just got the first mock-up yesterday and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Cover art by Matthew Marigold

In the Fool’s Footsteps will be available for purchase on Amazon on June 1, 2012.

Contact 2012 – Norman Felix Gallery

Last night, I went to the opening of one of this year’s Contact exhibits that included my wonderfully talented cover artist, Matthew Marigold. Matthew was exhibiting with a number of other artists, some of whom I had the chance to meet, at the Norman Felix Gallery at Queen and Bathurst. It was a superb evening.

Rather than gab on and on about it, I’ll just show you the pictures – please note that my photography does *not* do justice to the beauty of the pieces.

Hobnobbing at the Norman Felix Gallery’s Contact 2012 exhibit.

The work of Matthew Marigold

Again, my amateur photography does not do the work justice. If you’re thinking it looks 3D, you’re right. Matthew’s work includes gorgeous photographs of flower arrangements with actual dried flowers superimposed and held in place with resin.

Myself and the artist on the red carpet. Tons of fun.

One of the other exhibiting photographers, Roger Guetta. His work is gorgeous *and* he’s a great guy.

Roger looking cool.

Andrew Pistagnesi

Andrew Pistagnesi, another talented and fun-loving photographer, with his work, “The Old” and “The New”.

Book Launch Party – June 1, 2012

There is no going back now. Today’s ‘to-do’ was to announce my book launch party and it got done. (Excuse me a minute, while I hyperventilate a little…)

I set up the Facebook page and sent emails to (almost) everyone in my contacts list. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve just stepped off a cliff, but considering the book title and themes, it’s totally appropriate. I’m also feeling energized as I make my way through the self-publishing process. The hard copy is almost formatted, the ebook is ready for a final proof and my cover should be ready next week.

And then there’s planning a huge party and rehearsing the reading…

Somebody pinch me.

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