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A Copywriter’s Blog
Letting others speak for me Ben Levy 28, August

I hate lorem ipsum. As a writer, I feel honor-bound to scorn it. It is the epitome of laziness. But between hurricanes, evacuations, and weddings this weekend, I don’t feel up to a post right now. So, if you’re looking for a humorous paragraph or two, Check these out:

http://slipsum.com/

http://hipsteripsum.me/

Will try for a real post later this week.

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Friday Feature: Happy Dance Ben Levy 25, August

You can buy my book on Amazon now. It’s a mere $2.99 for the instant download.

If you have a dick, a kindle, and at least $2.99, it is definitely the book for you. It is also definitely the book for those who don’t have a dick, but still have a kindle and at least $2.99. It’s a fairly egalitarian work, despite what the title may suggest.

And of course, you can always follow the link to the right for the dead-tree edition.

I’m so happy, I could do a dance.

See what I did there?

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Well. That was difficult. Ben Levy 24, August

Behold!

IMAG0440

It only took me twice as long as I’d expected to get my book kindle-ready. Which isn’t too bad, considering I had no idea what I was doing.

See, I had assumed this program called Calibre was going to do all the hard work for me. The plan was to export my original InDesign doc as a pdf, put the pdf into Calibre, and let Calibre export it as a mobi (kindle) file.

Turns out it was slightly more complicated than that.

The short version is that pretty much everything you do to properly format a print volume in InDesign is the exact opposite of what you need to do to properly format an epub in InDesign.

See, in a print document, what you see on the screen is more or less what you see on the page. So a properly formatted InDesign page might look like this:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 10.43.38 PM

Note the carefully aligned tabs and paragraph breaks.

And now here’s what a properly formatted kindle page looks like in InDesign:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 10.41.55 PM

I remind you, that’s PROPERLY formatted. That is the final layout for that page. On your kindle, it appears as a gdamn Rembrandt.

You can see why this took me some time to wrap my head around. It was three weeks before I really understood what I was doing. And I knew I was finally starting to understand, because I was able to open up my file, look at it, and decide beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had to completely scrap the last three weeks of work and start over. Which was when I wrote the following list of reminders to myself:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 9.51.03 PM

But none of that matters. Because now, there’s this:

IMAG0440

And in a few days, it’ll be available as a digital download from Amazon.

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Delay of post due to this Ben Levy 21, August

This week’s post will be delayed, because I spent the weekend working on this:
IMAG0438
There are just a few final edits I’d like to try and make, and then it’ll be finished. Definitely this week, maybe even tonight. And then I’ll post about the frustrations. Oh, the frustrations I’ll post about.

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Friday Feature: The Think Tank Ben Levy 19, August

Apologies for the delay. The last few days have been as busy as days that are too busy for me to post. Or come up with a good analogy.

Thankfully, this awesomeness is more than worth the wait. Without hyperbole, I can say that if you only watch one Friday Feature, it should be this one:

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Apologies for the lack of update last Friday. After the dermatologist informed me that the mole/birthmark/ugly-thing I’ve had on my face since I was 8 is probably pre-cancerous* and needs to be removed, I got distracted.

*For those who don’t know, just about anything on your skin that isn’t a freckle is classified as “pre-cancerous”. I don’t have cancer. Don’t freak out.

They biopsied a piece of it, a procedure that left a hole barely requiring a single stitch. I was expecting them to cover this with one of those adorable little circle band-aids no one ever uses. Instead, for reasons I’m still not clear on, they covered this minuscule, so-tiny-it-took-me-two-days-to-find-it-in-the-mirror stitch with a humongous bandage. The sort you use after you fall off your bike and leave the skin that was previously covering your kneecap all over the road. The kind of bandage that suggests your insurance premiums are going up next year.

On my face.

And then I went to work that way.

Of course, a bandage like that is going to raise questions. But I didn’t want to make this awkward for my co-workers. So rather than wait for them to ask, I simply waved good morning and volunteered an explanation:

“Knife fight.”

“Squirrel attack.”

“Game of Truth or Dare.”

“Learning to juggle chainsaws.”

“Nail-guns are tricky.”

“Gentleman’s duel.”

“Jumped through a plate glass window saving orphans from a burning church.”

What? I never said they were the right explanations.

Incidentally, I was told removing the birthmark-thingy will leave a scar. I said that was fine as long as they made it a badass one. Like, it should go through my eye.

Turns out some Dermatologists have no sense of humor.

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lion-os

I had intended to write a review of the Thundercats reboot last week. But watching the premiere was a near coitus-like experience, and as soon as it was over I fell into a contented sleep and only just woke up.

(That means I liked it.)

Warning: if anyone reading this is concerned about minor spoilers or preposterous sexual metaphors, you shouldn’t keep reading.

I said before that I was cautiously optimistic about this reboot, but I didn’t expect this. This… was like an orgasm accompanied by the trumpets of angels. An angelgasm, if you will.

Artist's conception of an Angelgasm

Artist's conception of an Angelgasm

The best reboots update a nostalgic memory with something awesome enough to please your adult palette as well. Like being able to smell your mom’s chocolate chip cookies baking during an orgy.

The trick of course, is that you obviously don’t want your mom to be the one doing the baking, cause that’ll ruin the sex. And you can’t just buy cookies from the store, because there’s nothing nostalgic about that at all.

That’s what’s making me so happy about this reboot- these are definitely my Thundercats. They look similar, sound similar, and behave similarly to the Thundercats of my youth. Lion-O is an overconfident child, Cheetara rescues him in the knick of time, and WileyKit and Kat cause trouble.

In other words, the cookies smell just like I remember them.

And to compliment the cookies, the sex I mean plot: A brilliant explanation of why Cheetara runs impossibly fast and hits people with sticks. Snarf as blessedly mute comic relief. A backstory setting up technology as a semi-mythical thing no one believes in until a group of mechs show up and knock down the walls.

Having just included robots and pokemon rejects in my orgy, I confess the metaphor breaks down slightly at this point. Consider it proof of how difficult it is to get a reboot right.

thundercats-2011-remake-anime

There were one or two things that I missed. Jagga’s sacrifice didn’t seem anywhere near as emotional as it did the first time, and I really miss the origin story of the 80s version. Not that this one is bad. I just consider that one high art.

But these are my Thundercats. And when the Sword of Omens is held on high, the smile on my face is best described as “shit-eating”, and my ecstasy reaches a peak best described as… as… as…

……zzzzzzzzzzz.

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Friday Feature: Nazi Zombies Ben Levy 5, August

As a long-time fantasy aficionado, I assumed I was already acquainted with the various implications of “zombies”. Which is why I was so surprised when my brother sent me this video. It raises some excellent theological queries about shambling undead.

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