I finally got it together and finished that illustrated book I was working on way back when. Remember that? It was in the era when the baby stayed exactly where you put her. No longer.
I wrapped it up and sent all the files off to the self-publishing outfit Lulu. Then I gave them some money and waited around for a few days, and they sent me a real live book.
I don't seem to have messed up any of the formatting, either, which is a relief. The paper is a bit thinner than I would ideally choose for a picture book, but only a bit. It's nice! The pictures look good. The printing is pretty. I'm pleased.
The photos are a bit wan and fuzzy after all the shrinking and jpeg compression, but the real thing is as crisp and saturated as one could possibly desire.
I'd had the idea, when I was first working on this, that it might make a nice Christmas present. But now that it is done, I realize that this feels way, way too weird for me ever to do. It's deep into an uncanny valley between homemade and mass produced, with an unhealthy gloss of vanity press over the whole thing. Merry Christmas! I knew you'd love a copy of my self-published airport novel in which Harry Potter and a beautiful violet-eyed new student at Hogwarts uncover a conspiracy that links Opus Dei with radical libertarian terrorism and my cat, Mr. Snugglebottom. (Spoilers!)
So, you know, oh well, it appears that I will have to think of proper presents to give everyone, after all. Thank goodness I have devoted absolutely no thought to this project whatsoever. Maybe they would like some artisanally hand-gathered pocket fluff. You can never have too much.
It also occurs to me that I have no plans to render the house seasonally festive in any way. We have not so much as a bough or an advent calendar. Is this bad, do you think? Or is it actually a clever stratagem designed to take advantage of the last time, or at best the penultimate time, that we can get away with such laziness?
(If you really want to know, the thing is available on Lulu's website over here. You can't get at it through their search function, because I don't want Mervyn Peake's estate to get mad at me. Please don't get mad at me, Mervyn Peake's estate! It is not priced to generate profits; I just cleverly picked a format and degree of full-colorness that Lulu charges a fair amount for, to start with. You don't want a copy anyhow, so just enjoy gawping at the sale page.)