Thursday, March 27, 2008

SoFoBoMo Early Lessons

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In the process of collecting on my free Shutterfly book, I learned a few things. Filling in the provided template is simple. Inserting your own pages created in Photoshop is no fun at all. Working in Blurb, on the other hand, makes inserting those pages produced in Photosop quite doable. I may not make my final decision based on this single piece of information, but for me, it puts Blurb way ahead in the race for POD.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trying to Get Off the Roller-Coaster

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I have been pretty busy this past week just hanging on through a dizzying ride of ups and downs. Within two and half weeks of our first open house, we had two excellent offers. Pretty amazing for this lousy market. We were giddy. Then we crashed to earth. One offer could still come through, the other may have gone forever. At one point, we had a schedule set up that would have had us here through April—meaning I would have done my SoFoBoMo project here and then dealt with moving in May, but that plan went south and now there are just more question marks. I got a surprise present from good old Shutterfly (I had tested their service a couple of years ago) offering me a free 8x8 photo book. Hooray! A great practice run in case I decided to go that route for printing. My deadline was March 26. Meantime, I pounced on the wonderful information Gordon McGregor posted regarding printing at Blurb and began burning some midnight oil. I collected a batch of images and, with my newly installed profile, I tweaked them to match the profile. Whoa talk about out of gamut colors—not a pretty sight! Of course, it was the perfect time for a glitch in a hard drive. I won’t start talking about how much I lost, because if I do I will cry and we all know that you don’t want to get a keyboard wet. Not a good thing.

Well, on the roller coaster, the thrills never end. Ultimately, I had to look at the realties of the timing on our house sale and the rigors of a 30 day escrow that could start any day. The SoFoBoMo project appears to be out of reach. (For one day, I considered going to Pope Paul (that’s Butzi, of course, whom I have named The Instigator) for special dispensation on the start date, but after reading his post today on “Jumping the Gun”, I’m glad I didn’t. Whew! He’s tough. (Only kidding, Paul) Seriously, I know I can always do this solo once we are finally settled and I know where I will be the following week. However, Paul is so right about the value of doing this along with the group. For today—don’t even ask how many times I have come up with a different scenario—I plan to begin my project April 1 and face the fact that I will likely have to suspend work if we go into escrow. I will almost certainly miss the deadline. At some point when this is all over, I will finish the project. I can limit myself to a total thirty days spent on the project and celebrate the learning experience, then look forward to next year—that is if anyone is left standing and foolish enough to sign up again. Meanwhile, I can work like mad to learn as much as possible, do what I can, and celebrate the efforts of other participants.

It has been an intense week filled with growth opportunities. (Sometimes, don’t you just hate growing?) I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the vagaries of the real estate game. I threw together a twenty page book for the free Shutterfly offer (hey, it gives me an opportunity to see how my normal editing holds up for their printing process). I experimented with a couple of cover designs and got past some of the intimidation posed by that job. I bought two new 500 gig hard drives and vowed to never trust another drive (I know, I know. It was only a matter of time) and to stop forever using Lightroom as a primary storage system. Details would only put my keyboard at risk. (I can’t say I wasn’t warned about Lightroom’s quirky and proprietary storage either.) I familiarized myself with the frustrations of adjusting to the Blurb profile and survived the shock. On the real estate front, we continue showing the house to a few prospects, while I strip more and more of the things from the house that make it warm, cozy, and mine.

Do they have a merry-go-round at this carnival?