Coffee heat rising

Publishing: Proceeding Apace. Decluttering: Ditto.

 Holy mackerel! It’s been TWO DAYS since I last posted here. How two days passed in an hour and a half escapes me…  Just now I’m engaged in preparing and preposting two months’ worth of bookoids for the Publishing Empire. {heh…maybe that’s what I should’ve called the current enterprise!} That is a much larger job than it seems.

It entails creating covers for 16 books (plus boxed sets, which just now are on-the-side jobs); obtaining ISBNs for each one (a truly time-consuming nuisance: you’re doing well if you can get one ISBN registered in under ten minutes); reviewing, correcting, and updating copy for each book; and posting cover image and contents for each book to Amazon.

I’ve learned you can enhance efficiency and reduce distraction by doing all of these tasks for a bunch of books in one sitting (actually, it’s going to take about three or four days…), rather than breaking in to whatever you’re doing to jump through the endless hoops for one book at a time. And you can post the completed MS and cover art at Amazon and “save as draft.” If you’ve done every step but the last one (and done each step right…), all you have to do on the scheduled “publication” date is go back into your Amazon “bookshelf” and click “publish,” thereby saving yourself a lot of time-consuming hassle on that date, when you might want to be doing something else with your time.

So, here’s an OPINION POLL:

Which of these do you prefer: the one with the black Roberta Stuart byline, or the one with the red?

Draft cover Daniela 2 LO RES

Draft cover Daniela 3 LO RES

The question is, which “Roberta Stuart” byline would be most visible in an Amazon thumbnail? Black? or Red?

Demonstrate the POWER OF THE HIVE MIND and cast your vote for one or the t’other! Tell me in the comments to this post which one you think is more effective.


You’ll recall the last time I visited these precincts, I was considering whether to get rid of the fancy Christofle silverware in favor of some stainless flatware that can go in the dishwasher. Well, my friends, the deed is done. And, after traipsing all over the Web and all over the city, I finally found a set that’s not too cheesy and not too expensive at…so obvious, why didn’t I think of it before this morning?…Williams-Sonoma!!

I did indeed go over to Sur la Table. Total wasted trip. The one set that looked like it might be OK when viewed online had all the heft of plastic. Just junk. And they way they had their flatware displayed — jammed upright into random containers — confirmed that the proprietors regarded the stuff as junk, too.

Revisit Crate and Barrel’s: unappealing, lightweight, not so very junky, but junk.

Across the city, driving driving driving Arrived in another mall that hosts a Williams-Sonoma and a Pottery Barn. At the Williams-Sonoma, in addition to scoring a couple of tasty snacks, I found two sets that appealed. One — the coolest of them — had heavy handles that unfortunately were made of pewter: “hand-washing recommended.” Saleslady said that translates as “handwash, period.” Defeats the purpose. The other was this brushed steel retro design reminiscent of the set my ex- and I bought shortly after we were married, yea verily way back in 19 and ought-67. It was moderately weighty and not displeasing in appearance.

And marked down 20 percent.

Just in case, it was over to Pottery Barn to check out their wares.

Forthwith, BACK TO WILLIAMS-SONOMA. Pottery Barn had a couple of attractive designs but they were…oh yes. Silver plate. Purpose defeated again.

So I purchased the following:


Not too awful, eh? These little gems can go straight into the dishwasher. And, although they’re not as elegant as a set of fine Christofle, they have a decent heft to them and they’re distinctive without being obtrusive.

Kind of interesting, this flatware safari. If I’d ordered the stuff online that appealed to me, from Sur la Table, I’d have been very unhappy and probably would have ended up traipsing to Scottsdale to return the junk. Overall, I went to five brick-&-mortar retailers plus an unknown number of online sellers before finding a design resembling what I wanted. And really…I don’t think I’m that picky! There’s nothing extraordinary about these pieces. Well…except insofar as they display a modicum (and I do mean modicum) of quality.

Think of that.