HIGH STRANGENESS OF THE ANOMALOUS KIND
As the preparation for press continued, so did strange incidents continue to happen. They were not quite so dramatic as the one at Dragon’s Ridge, but still very spooky. There definitely was some very intense energy surrounding this project, and it was well out of my hands.
“My Other-Worldly Overlords”, as I somewhat sardonically started to call them, communicated to me that they wanted a manual-type presentation and preferred a spiral bound edition. However, friends of mine who were in publishing warned me against doing anything of the sort. They claimed that due to the metal spiral bind I would have extensive shipping damage and subsequent returns from the distributors. It would also have no spine to print the title on, so bookstores would have a problem both displaying and shelving it and, on top of that, it would cost me more. I called my printer, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, and asked for a quote on a spiral bound edition. I was floored when I heard the price. Yes, this would definitely cost me more, so I started preparing everything for a normal perfect-bound edition.
Right, like I had anything to say about this book. “The Overlords” intruded on my thoughts, asking me why I was considering a perfect-bound edition. I told them that they had just thrown me into beaucoup bucks with their insistence on a spiral bound book, so I was choosing something less expensive because of my budget. They then asked me how much money did I have to publish this book? I thought for a millisecond arriving at the figure of “none.” After that admission, they astutely called my attention to the fact that saving money was a moot point because there was nothing to save and I didn’t have enough of it to print either edition anyway. I suddenly realized I might actually be speaking to a bunch of Vulcans. I could almost hear Spock saying, “But that is illogical.” Unwilling to battle the extraterrestrial debating team, I prepared to concede for the umpteenth time.
When I came home later that same evening, I was strongly urged to go to my computer desk, open a specific drawer, take out my Mac manuals (back when they actually published them), and open them up.
“What?” I thought extremely loudly. It’s way too late to start learning this computer and reading its unopened manuals. They insisted, so I started peeling off the unbreached, protective plastic shrink wrap that held them all together. I opened one of the manuals for the first time and there it was, a metal spiral bound publication with a gatefold that formed a spine and, folded again, created an additional flap that served as a bookmark. Point made. Brilliant. And I don’t have to read the damn things. Thank God!
In the morning, I sheepishly called R.R. Donnelley again and asked for another quote. This time I wanted to know what a book with colored wire binding, a gatefold cover that created a spine as well as a bookmark, and then shrink wrapping them in threes to prevent shipping damage, would cost me. Thinking my request might not be clear, I asked if he was familiar with the Macintosh manuals. My representative said, “We sure are. We print ’em.” Case closed. “My Overlords” won.
As if that maneuver were not enough, the following night I was accosted by them once again. This time they led me to my closet where I found a book on galaxies that I didn’t even know I had. I started looking through it and all its awesome pictures, but was stopped dead at the Rose Galaxy, their galaxy of choice for the cover. (I have not a clue why, so don’t bother asking.) They then showed me how they wanted it done in a rainbow of colors depicting the full spectrum of light, with this specific galaxy as its foundation.
Newly liberated from my false sense of budget, I hired a brilliant air brushing artist to do this job, while handing him a picture of the Rose Galaxy to base it on. When he finally called me over to pick it up, he asked hesitantly as he handed it to me, “So tell me, uh, who is this Intergalactic Council, uh, exactly?” I immediately knew they had gotten to him, too. I felt a little remiss – I really should have warned him. I sincerely hoped that Mayan glyphs had not started pulsating from his studio floor, but I didn’t dare ask him.
As I started home with the Rose Galaxy under my arm, I wondered who else I hired that they would possibly send into a melt-down. Luckily, there were only two more casualties after this one.
Continue to the next exciting adventure of –
I Will Blend No More Forever – Part XVIII