I like writing and I’ve really enjoyed living in an age where we can write and share our words with not just the people near us but worldwide. This is a great time to be alive for the sharing of words and ideas.
I remember when I was growing up I really wanted to produce a book of my poetry. I was obsessed with the printing process and creating lasting works from my own words. I had the skills and ability to create a layout in PageMaker and I had enough works even then to make a small book of my works.
I would design, print and somehow sell or giveaway the books myself. I had no idea how to go about doing this though. There was not internet like we have today. We were still on the early days of modems and my family’s farmhouse got a blazing 26.4bps connection to the internet. This was just enough to load medium sizes pictures at a decent rate and in the early days of Napster, download a single MP3 file in a couple of hours.
I thought long and hard about getting my book into stores. I had no idea how to accomplish this. I had no clue how to get my book into anywhere but the local coffee shop where I knew the owners and they were family friends. I had no way to get my tiny book into a proper bookstore other than walk in and place a couple of copies on a shelf which I did think about. ((Not that I thought about any legal repercussions of that act at the time.))
I never did create a book for myself. Sure, I still thought about it. I poured a lot of my energy into creating the literary magazines ((Lit Mags)) for my middle school and high school. I always prided myself on seeing larger schools produce only a single magazine throughout the school year. Whereas, we always strove to produce two or in one year, three separate magazines.
I loved being able to get my work and the work of my peers into a magazine. We also took steps to creation a CD project my senior year of high school. Equipped with our school’s distance learning room that had long run out of funding, we plugged a couple of microphones into the system and get a pretty clean recording from the acoustic guitar, a capella performances, a full three or four piece band, and I believe a single monologue or something similar. ((I always kick myself I did not keep one of those discs in a safer place. I had a couple of copies but I think I gave them all out to friends and family of the performers who had not gotten a chance to buy one with the magazine.))
I’ve always had a passion for creation, especially in print. From the literary magazines I helped to create in high school to going on to be the Production Chief for The Commonwealth Times in college I’ve always enjoyed the feel of print. Seeing your name on a printed page is a small thrill.
I wrote a comedy column in the college newspaper for about a year and a half under a pen name. It got to the point where I had my page to fill every week for my Q&A style column. I was very fortunate to have helpful and nerdy roommates who always had a great question I could riff on for a couple hundred words. One of my favorite pages still remains my interview with the Magic 8 Ball.
Even now, as I write for the Larry Hunt newsletter which is a project my father is helping to run and produce. Both Larry Hunt and my father, Dirck have been in and around the copy and quick printing business since the 70s when it was still metal on paper and layouts were done by hand. It’s been great working with them to explore and explain the newer media of the day. Especially my recent Cloud Computing writing which prompted an editor from Ireland to contact me and I’ve recently written another piece on Cloud Printing for their magazine. So if you’re in Ireland, keep an eye out for it. I’ve gone truly international!