Ants in My Pants

Do people even say that anymore? I don’t, but I’m aware of the phrase. Maybe it’s only appropriate to say it to children. That’s probably where I heard it, when I was a child, in the middle of the last century… Whatever.

I’d planned to take today off. Nothing but formatting work and a final readthrough to go with Bandit’s Moon. Then out the door Wednesday, and into Blood for Blood.

Did some shopping this morning. Got a haircut.


(and boy did I need it…now I’m good till June, when Blood for Blood comes out…). Paid some bills. Changed my cellphone plan. Did a little of this, a little of that.

Tonight, I planned to watch the director’s cut of Das Boot, which I haven’t seen in a while. Tedium with moments of sheer terror. Much like Charlie Welles’s life. The director’s cut is three and a half hours long, which I figured would take me to bedtime.

But 45 minutes into the movie, I got ants in my pants. I felt compelled to start formatting Bandit’s Moon.

It has nothing to do with some kind of imaginary work ethic. I’m the laziest bastard I know. But not so much with creative projects. There was a tiny irritation somewhere in my head. Work to be done, and you’re watching a movie.

I could have ignored it. But I’m weak.

So I went ahead and assembled the main body of the Kindle version of Bandit’s Moon. I didn’t go nuts and add the title page and the other front matter, as they call it – nor did I actually export the .mobi file. I know when I do all that, I’ll have to do a couple of hours cleaning up small issues, going through it 10 times, first with the Kindle for PC program to find the places where it likes to specifically change the text color, which gives me an invisible black-on-black screen and get a general idea of how it looks. Editing the HTML by hand to fix to the problems.

Then half a dozen times with the Kindle previewer, checking out how it will look on Paperwhite, Fire, etc. I am kind of…well, obsessive about the formatting. I’ve done a “look inside” on too many indie Kindle books to find something that looked like it was formatted by a drunken chimp to let that slide. A reader might think the book sucks, but by God, it will look good.

And then I’ll put the paperback version together, which is usually pretty quick – mostly setting margins to account for gutters and getting the page numbers right and in the right places. That’s not especially difficult.

But I had to do something to move the process along tonight. And I did. So I’m happy. And I can go back to my movie…

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