ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs Serial storyteller, poetry pusher, digital doodler, flâneur.

How to Format an EPub

English: A woman cuddling a pile of digital de...

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Ready to turn your damned-good-doggerel into an ebook? Or that collection of your grandmother’s delicious desserts? These “Six eBook Formatting Tools” from eBookNewser will get you started:

  • Calibre: This free tool will let you create an eBook for all of the major eReaders, including Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony eReaders as well as a bunch of others. You can transform news from websites into readable files on eReaders and even make DRM-free eBooks. But note that it does not support Word files.
  • Aspose: Using Aspose.Word plugin, you can convert a Word file into an ePub file. It is a pay service, but you can test drive the application with a free trial.
  • Mobi Pocket: This free tool lets you create an eBook from HTML and Word and image files. Image files –GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP– get automatically optimized for a PDA viewer.
  • Jutoh:This $39 tool lets you make books for Kindle, iBooks and Nook, among other formats. It can ePub, .mobi, .txt and .odt files through its in app text editor. It works in Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • This free tool lets you create your own ePub, Kindle and PDF files from within its software platform.
  • BookGlutton: This free tool lets you turn HTML books into ePub files

Did I miss your favorite ebook creation tool? Please tell me about it, and I’ll add it to the list. Thanks!

Do You Ever Stop to Wonder?

Do you ever stop to wonder
why erogenous and erroneous
are so close together
and yet so far apart?

Do you ever stop to wonder
why the green ink
spilling from my fountain pen
in paisleys and undulating hills
doesn’t seep through the paper
like water following
hidden seams in the earth,
seeping into streams and rivers
then emptying into the ocean?

Do you ever stop to wonder
if all roots grow down
into the dark, moist soil
or if a few are curious,
are rebellious and brave enough
to grow up to toward the sun?

Or why riffling through a magazine
in bed late at night
can cause the wind to blow
and the rain to fall
and the hoot-hoot of an owl
to echo in the woods
beyond your bedroom?

Or why you don’t lift off –
in a balloon perhaps –
and wait for the earth to turn
and then settle down again
in Tangier or Mumbai or Tokyo
without ever boarding an airplane
or waiting in a TSA security queue?

Or why you hurtle
across oceans and mountains
to plunge into the exotic
while neglecting terra incognita
in your own back yard?

Do you ever stop to wonder?

Storytelling at the Monti

Jeff Polish storytelling at The Monti

Laurels and hugs and lots of chin-chin toasting to Lisa Pepin (@lisa_pepin) for her poignant video “Storyteller” about north Carolina’s storytelling organization, The Monti including director Jeff Polish’s backstory. I’m fascinated with storytelling unplugged and with The Monti in particular, and I suspect you will be too after enjoying Pepin’s moving pictures and talking heads.

“As a storyteller it gave me validation for all those years that I was quiet… the stage is the best expression of myself… I’m bulletproof. It’s amazing. It’s probably the most amazing place that I live.” ~ Jeff Polish

I’m reminded of Michael Ondaatje‘s In the Skin of a Lion.

“It is a novel about the wearing and the removal of masks; the shedding of skin, the transformations and translations of identity.” (Contemporary Writers)

Perhaps you should read it. Especially if you enjoyed The English Patient. You’ll recognize Hana and Caravaggio, for instance… And you’ll recognize why Pepin’s tidy storytelling about storytelling at The Monti reminds me of Ondaatje’s storytelling in In the Skin of a Lion. Are you starting to catch my drift?

I’ve excerpted Polish’s comment, substituting an ellipsis before “I’m bulletproof.” Those two phrases which I removed — two phrases which are reemphasized dramatically in “I’m bulletproof” — speak to the puissance of storytelling that fascinates Ondaatje. That fascinates me. Drawing the storyteller’s mantle over our quotidian garb, pulling the cavernous hood low over our eyes, obscuring our familiar face, we become our stories. We are bulletproof. For while. And it is indeed an amazing place to live.

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