Year 1, Week 4: Life Continues


This week started off with the move to Toronto to settle our daughter in to university, and spending some time with our son as she became quickly busy with orientation activities. So far, so good.

Other than that, we came back to our regular routine, but as empty nesters, another adjustment to make. The house is emptier and quieter, to be expected, but another thing to live it.

My book has become all-consuming as I have to attend to the myriad last details, and start the laborious conversion process from the media-rich iPad format to the more pedestrian Kindle and Kobo versions. And typically Apple (and other companies have comparable approaches), there is no simple conversion utility between iBooks Author and standard ePub. I can only conclude this is for competitive reasons as Pages, the Apple equivalent of Word, can save text in ePub.

From a creative point of view, and given the media rich approach, it was the right decision to develop the book in iBooks Author (I had fun!); from a workflow point of view, I am not quite sure whether it was more efficient than writing it in Pages to start with. However, the end result is the same: some ‘post-production’ tedium!

It has not all been tedium, however. Some good comments from a friend to help sharpen the conclusion, some suggestions by one of my brother’s to improve the cover, and some refinement of my ‘marketing’ strategy have kept my enthusiasm and interest up.

To further refine the conclusion and the ‘meaning of it all’ question, am reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, about his experience at Auschwitz and his observations and reflections as a psychiatrist on being human under such circumstances. Provides a broader context than my comparatively minor suffering.

We have been catching some snippets of the Republican and Democratic conventions over the past few weeks. What is striking is how both conventions try to portray themselves as open and inclusive through the range of speakers selected; the reality on the floor and platform, of course, draw the contrast between the two world views, perspectives and approaches. Great political theatre at times, boring and sterile discourse at others.

We are taking a week break at a cottage to recharge and help the transition to empty nesters, as well as steel ourselves for helping a close family member with lung cancer. As happens to many, just as we think we are through one trial, another one comes along. As Hitchens puts it so well:

To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?

 I expect that this break will do us good, helping us adjust to being ’empty nesters’ as well as prepare us for a likely difficult time ahead.


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