Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kinda Wondrin'

  As you may know (Or maybe you don't. In that case, read last week's posts. I can't make ya.  But, it don't cost nuthin'), I'm thinking of writing a book about my time in the Navy.  I was inspired to write it after I wrapped up a week's worth of blah-blah-blah about my Naval career from the 1970s to the 2000s (I still don't know what to call the first decade of the 21st century).

  Anyway, I'd like to write it pretty much as those posts were.  In other words, a lot of pictures interspersed with loads of witty banter (or stuff written by me).  I'm thinking pictures are really important  for people who don't have a lot of time to read.  Or can't read.  Like people from New Jersey.
  Plus, having pictures allows me to make up an awful lot of stuff.

  My question is:  do any of you know the best software program I can use to make this happen?  I know I can insert pictures using Microsoft Word, but I'm not sure that would be "publisher-friendly".  

  A friend of mine with whom I served (please note my snooty use of the word "whom") in the Navy (and who-whom?-will figure fairly prominently in the book.  I'll change his name.  But, HE'LL know) suggested I use Microsoft Publisher.  But, I'm not really familiar with that.

  I guess I could use Photo-Shop to put goat heads on people, but that would probably get tiresome.  Unless you're into goats.  I won't judge.

  So, I go out to you, faithful followers (or people who stumbled on this site accidentally thinking "Penwasser" was German for "porn"):  what's your suggestion?

  I suppose you could say, "Forget the whole thing, you no-talent hack."

  But, I hope you don't.


  1. If you go on "Not so complicated " on blog Tyler has a lot of info on computer soft wear. It iwll be interesting to know about life in Navy. My brother is a retired cheif of US Navy. I hope that it is all good. This is Munir over here at Focus. Good Luck. My husband thinks that you will surely do it.

  2. write away, mr penwasser. i'm sure there's a market for your tall tales. but i have no idea what's best to use when attempting to get published. maybe i'd know if i had any aspirations of my own.

  3. I have no idea how to go about doing that...but you could always talk to buddies you served with and see if they mind their pictures showing? Or you can search the internet with a little blur block and place it over faces like the show COPS! haha. That'd be great.

  4. And I was just coming by to see you and say hi because I was away for a bit. And then I saw the crack about New Jersey. You just can't let me off the hook can you? haha. I wish I could help you there but I've got no experience in what you're looking to do. After all I'm from New Jersey. Missed ya Al.

  5. If you figure it out, let me know; I've wanted to do a book of my restaurant reviews and call it Munching My Way Around Maine.

  6. I don't have a clue. My daughter writes stories with Open office and there is a writer part but I don't know if that is what you want. What she writes, she publishes on the web.

  7. I once tried using MS Publisher. You don't need to be familiar with it, it works like MS Word, but you need to learn how to format your page layout. I heard that the US Navy once considered using In the Navy by Village People as their promotional song. Had to backtrack pretty quickly on that one!

  8. No idea what you can use but I think it is a great idea.

    Do any of the self publishing sites have any suggestions for acceptable formats?

  9. That's a book I'd love to read. I loved those little snapshots of your stories. And you know that pictures would be great for me (I'm not from New Jersey, but I do have a it's probably a wash). I'm excited for you!

  10. I don't know what software, but do a little research and go ahead,write your book and make your millions. How will you know unless you at least try. Don't let it one of those I wish I had done its or what ifs. Your witty, I'm sure you could do it. My husband was in the Navy, I'm sure you have a lot of Navy stories to tell.

  11. Sorry, I can't really offer advice. But I can offer a motivational cheer.

    WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! The book will be out of sight!

    Your welcome.

  12. I'm always down to hear the experiences of military personnel. I would also think Word would be the standard to use...but I understand why you're so hesitant.

    I also don't know what to call the last decade, but I do know that we can call this decade the Oughts, and thats all I care about!

  13. Hi all! I knew I could count on a lot of great responses. You all are the best! I'm going to research MS Publisher a bit, as well as self-publishing sites.

    Oh, Barb...? I love the New Jersey shore. Kettle corn, pizza, fudge, deep-fried ANYthing, saltwater taffy, bikinis (except on the French male tourists)....what's NOT to love?

    Could do without the chest hair on women, though.

  14. I'm more of a wordo than a pic person. But I think you got some great advice. I look forward to the book!

  15. I wish I had advice for you. I think it's awesome you're going to write a book about your experiences! Those are the best kinds of books, in my opinion. I love real-life stories.

    I'm currently writing a book of my own (short humorous stories about my time as a newspaper reporter). I've only been using Microsoft Word...

  16. Go for it. I'll read it, or, at least, enjoy the pictures.

    I'd like to know what you find out. Sorry I can't help. I keep hearing/reading about Smashwords and Createspace (I think), but I think those are for e-books. ??


  17. THUMBS UP to your new font! I like how big it is. :D

    And you look exactly like how I would have pictured you to be - very adorable.

    So after that compliment, I guess I should say something mean to balance things out. are SUCH a no-talent hack.

    P.S Writing about your time in the Navy is a great idea! I doubt there is anything better than Microsoft Word, but maybe you can ask around on Yahoo! Answers.

  18. 1] Do It
    2] Yes to goat-heads
    3] screw microsoft

    I'd read that book....

  19. @Lemons: I like how big it is, too. I just wish Mrs. Penwasser felt the same way.
    @Violet: I think goat heads would be a classy touch, too.
    @Mary: More pictures + Less words=less time trying to figure out spelling.
    @Robyn: Create Space sounds great. More space will give me room to store my moose collection.

  20. I have no idea, but I'll buy the book.

  21. Hi Al...Well, first things first, I gather you are still (big sigh) a PC user, reliant on Windows related programs...tsk, tsk, tsk.

    If you had a Mac (just sayin’) you would be able, for a mere 44.95, to buy Scrivener; a book writing program that is excellent.
    Click on this link to check it out. Scrivener

    Now...since I’m sure you are a Windows PC man, here’s my suggestion, breakdown (have a good cry) and buy a Mac! It’s just that simple.

    Okay, okay…here is the LINKS
    page on the Scrivener site - scroll quite a ways down and there is a whole section of book writing options for PC users.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Cheers, Jenny

  22. I'm am a Mac user (in fact, I'm using it right now). I do have a PC which I use to write my posts but I transfer them to the Mac when I'm done (because the Mac is what's connected to the internet. The PC is great because it's in my room and I can have peace and quiet. I'll check out Scrivener. Thanks for the advice!

  23. I hear you about the peace and quiet...hence my newly acquired writing room (The Lost and Found) at my work studio.
    I have designated Wed and Fri as my official "go to the office and write" days.

    I'm just waiting for the arrival of a 4'x6' magnetic white board to fill a wall in The Lost and Found - I can't wait to start plotting out a piece that's making a mess in my head! (I need to release the beasts)

    I really think it will be an awesome book, on your Navy adventures; your writing here is entertaining and interesting. the folks at Nike would say...Just do it!

    Cheers, Jenny