Pull-Quotes in Kindle Format 8

One of the problems with the new Kindle Format is backwards-compatibility. First problem was poetry and hanging indents, which Joshua Tallent solved most excellently: Backwards Compatible Poetry for KF8/Mobi

Next on my list were pull quotes. The old Kindle format never did pull quotes very well, but the new one will float them: very pretty. However… to be backwards compatible with the old mobi format, I had to lose the top and bottom border and use <hr> tags. (*shudders*) And then there’s that <hr> bottom/top margin problem, along with Kindle margin-bottom problem, as well.

I’d love thoughts and suggestions! Kindle markup is just ugly, sometimes.

I’m not 100% happy, but this is what I ended up with:

The Kindle Fire:


Old Kindle e-ink:


Kindle for PC:


Kindle for iPhone:


And the CSS:

/*Kindle Format 8*/
@media not amzn-mobi {
.pqg {
    float:right !important;
    width:40% !important;
    margin: 0;
    padding-right: .5em !important;
    padding-left: .5em !important;
    text-align: center;
    border: none;
p.after {
p.blockp {
    margin-top:10px; }

/*Old Mobi*/
@media amzn-mobi {
.pqg {
    text-align: center;
p.after {
p.blockp {
    margin-top:10px; }

And then the HTML:

<div class="pqg">
<hr class="nd"/>
<p class="blockp"><span class="gre"><i>
God loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.</i></span></p>
<p class="right"><span class="gre"><span class="smallcaps">&ndash; Ralph Waldo Emerson</span><span></p>
<hr class="nd"/>

<p class="after">

It’s the best I’ve come up with thus far. I can’t wait until the old devices are updated to support KF8, but I’m not real hopeful it will happen anytime soon.

What do you think? Suggestions?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Kindle Formatting | Tags: , ,

Another Year, Another Wish

It’s been quite a year. To sum up, I’m glad it’s over, I’m happy at how I’ve changed my life, I’m tired of change, I’m thrilled at how well my eBook company, the eBook ArtisansTM, is doing, I love my job, I’m sad I didn’t—as Neil Gaiman says—kiss someone who thinks I’m wonderful, and I GOT A PUPPY!

My year in Facebook statuses:


And every few years, I post my favorite blessing for the New Year by Neil Gaiman. I don’t really have any resolutions this year, and to be honest, I want everything in his benediction—especially to kiss someone who thinks I’m wonderful. Smile

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. May your coming year be a wonderful thing in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously.

I hope you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked, and you will have people to love and to like in return. And most importantly, because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now—I hope that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. And I hope that somewhere, in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

Isn’t that the best ever? Here he is, reading it.

And what is your wish for the new year?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags: , , ,

Still Grieving

I don’t remember if I made a proper post about Borders closing. Probably I did. But I’m still grieving. I know, it’s ridiculous, and there are plenty of people with much worse to grieve about, especially during the holidays.

Barnes & Noble keeps emailing me and asking me to comb through the hundreds (thousands?) of blog posts I’ve made in the last ten years or so to change all my links to Borders to links to Barnes & Noble.

As I posted on Facebook:

I don’t have time, I don’t care, and I LOVED Borders. I do not love you. I grudgingly appreciate that you’re still in business. Please do not mistake that for the eleven year—oftentimes daily—relationship I had with Borders based upon my love, devotion, and gratitude. Not to mention the memories, which I treasure. I will always miss Borders. The links stay as they are.

Borders has always been my home and my refuge. I’ve often said it was more a house of worship than any house of worship has ever been to me. All those books, so much information, and always the hope they hold the solution I desire, the knowledge I want, the inspiration for my writing, or just an escape from my problems.

And then there’s the community of people in the café. I miss knowing I can go to Borders and be among friends. I have a great café I go to, but it’s not the same, not even close. I love it, it’s awesome, and it’s the best café ever, but I don’t have a “circle” like I did at Borders.

When Barnes & Noble emailed me again yesterday, I got all sad, probably because it’s the holiday season, and with Tucson being my new home where I’ll be mostly alone during the holidays, I miss Borders especially.

It’s not only the people: I loved the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, too.

I miss Borders soooooo much.

But I think I’m going to rent a little shed and install a treadmill desk. How cool is that? I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting one for years, and I just don’t have time to do two hours of walking every night anymore, so I need to get my exercise in another way.

Do you miss Borders?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

I Haz a Happy!

I am fiercely loyal. To a fault. So the other day, when a friend posted one of those super cute puppy videos, my gut reaction was “Pfffttt. I’m a cat person.”

BUT… I got a puppy! A puppy! A puppy!

When he walks beside me, he sorta bounces happily up and down. It is SO cute. You wouldn’t believe what a good dog he is. In the store, he never tired of interacting with the visiting people, BUT he wasn’t crazy excited, either; he was calm and relaxed.

I got a dog because I always planned to when two of the cats died. Thankfully, they didn’t die, but they’re going to the ex. :-( And I wanted a dog of my own to grin at me and keep me company on my walks. I walk a lot, so why not have a dog?

My biggest fear was that I’d feel tied down, and I’d want to go and do things, but I’d have to worry about letting puppy out. As it turns out, I can’t wait to get home to puppy.

Who wouldn’t want to rush home to unconditional love and adoration? He is SO excited to see me. When I wake up, he RACES across the room, like, “Mommy’s up! Mommy’s up! Mommy’s up!”

But last Wednesday or Thursday, when carrying him out in the morning, I fell off my top step and banged my head on the concrete. My arms were too busy protecting puppy to brace my fall. :-( So I lost about three days of work to a slight concussion, and I was oddly dazed, disoriented, and confused for several days. I mostly slept. It was freaky and surreal. My brain is clear again, but I still can’t run or laugh without the headache returning, so I expect it’ll be awhile before I’m normal again.

He was SO good though: he just patiently and happily sat in my arms after the fall, like “that was an interesting way to exit the RV!” After a few minutes, I was able to utter a whimper, and he licked my face.

His name is Padfoot Atari Worf, or P.A.W. I couldn’t decide between the three.

I luvs the puppy so much! He’s a cutie, right? It’s not just my bias?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

All Alone in the World

If you’re my Facebook friend, this won’t be news to you: Glenn and I split up after ten years. It’s been a year-long process, but everything was wrapped up and finished today. Emotionally, we did a really good job of ending it. No fights or insults or uglinesses.

I felt like I moved on in January or so, but a lot of his stuff was still here, so it didn’t feel as over as it was. I’m a minimalist and live in a small space, so it is a big difference to feel his stuff gone.

What’s weird is that with his stuff gone and two of my cats gone, I suddenly feel, to myself, like the person I was ten years ago. It’s almost as if the last ten years didn’t happen, except I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and teach a bunch of piano students.

It’s good.

Now I’m just working hard to save money so that I can have children. Loving the ebook production world, and trying to write enough so that I can pay all the bills with my royalties by January 2013.

Of course I want it all: husband, kids, love, sex, happy ever after. I’m real healthy and doing yoga—I feel in the best shape of my life—so I have a good amount of time left, but I can’t putz around. The new-fangled dating world isn’t for me, honestly. I’m focused on creating my happy ever after, and if a guy comes along and sweeps me off my feet, then a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

If not, then I can do most of it myself. I’ll make an awesome mom. My whole life has been preparing for this.

Isn’t it funny? If I could talk to my 20-year-old self, she’d be appalled that I’m not a full-time musician anymore and that all I want with my whole heart is a family.

I’m a little bit scared, but mostly excited. I’ve never wanted anything this much in my life. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get it. But then I’ve always been better at getting what I want if I don’t have a backup plan.

Have you been through a big split? Huge life change? Any advice?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

No-Kill Shelters

So in the split, I’m losing two of my cats. :-( And so, since I’ve always wanted a dog, and since I bug all dog walkers by interrupting their walk so I can pet and hug their dogs, and since I walk around my RV Park to pet and hug all the dogs, I thought I’d finally get a dog of my own.

And on Petfinder, I accidentally tripped across an ad that said IF THIS DOG IS NOT ADOPTED BY 5PM IT WILL BE EUTHANIZED.

And I felt horrible.

I felt awful.

I could save a life, and I’m not. But it’s not the right dog, and I’m not ready today, but maybe I should be. I don’t know. I understand the workers do that because they want someone to save the dog, but it’s an awful thing to do.

And that led me to Tucson’s only No-Kill Shelter: HOPE.

And I thought, maybe, since we’ve all asked for and donated funds for our various causes over the years, that maybe, you might want to send them a dollar or two, if you can.

And I’m trying to work out this puzzle: if I adopt from a kill shelter, I save an animal from being euthanized, but I’m supporting a shelter that kills. If I adopt from a non-kill shelter, then I’m not saving an animal from euthanization, but I’m supporting a no-kill shelter.

How do you solve that puzzle?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

How to Set Ebook Prices

I get this question a lot. Mostly, I say “I don’t know.” It’s not that I don’t have opinions or ideas, but I don’t want to give advice on something that could, potentially, lose someone money.

But iampariah did in the video below, and I think he did it super well. I think there’s another price range, $3.99 – $4.99, that deserves it’s own range, though. Just my opinion, but what he said about $3.99 – $8.99 is really more for the $5 – $8.99 range.

I’d be interested in what people think of the $3.99 &ndash $4.99 range, both from readers and from authors who’ve experimented with that price range.

From a theoretical standpoint, I like that price point. It’s fair and good payment for the author, and still cheap for readers.

Mostly I’m thinking fiction here, by the way.

What do you think about ebook pricing?

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Crazy, Crazy Change

The ebook world is crazy, lately. As you’ve probably heard, Kindle is embracing an entirely new format. This is a great thing: books are going to pretty much be almost as flexible as web pages, now. The possibilities are (well, I’m a writer, so I hate to use clichés, but…) endless.

But change stresses me out. I find that the first day of a change, whether it be a bug or a bad change or a good change, I can hardly eek out any work afterwards.

And then the next day?

The ever-changing ebook world is why I love it. It’s so exciting!

If it stayed the same, I’d get bored and quit.

But today? The first day? There have been so many changes lately, that I’m stressed out.

I do love it, though. :-)

So what? Do I now delete all my Kindle Formatting posts? I’m sorta glad I never had time to finish the series.

Do you need time to process change?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Ebook Formatting,Kindle Formatting |

Let It Change

The last few years have been so much change, that my first instinct when I want something I don’t have is to change me or my life or something.

But I’ve done most all my changing. I’m usually happy. I love going to yoga, doing belly dancing, doing my work, etc. I can’t really think of anything within my control to change.

And so I think I’ve entered a period of my life where I’m on the right path; I just need to walk it.

I can’t even think of a resolution for my new year; I’m already on the path to all my goals.

The last year, my body has changed a great deal in reflection of the change in my mind and life. I don’t know what else to change, though. Something must need to, because I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m trusting that if anything else in me needs to change, yoga will make it happen.

Yoga does change me internally. It makes me feel so happy and joyful and loving, and focusing on work is easier. So I am relaxing and breathing and being present.

And being patient. (Now there’s a hard one!)

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

This, My 38th Year

So you already know today’s my birthday, since most of you are on Facebook. When I was little, a birthday was cause for celebration because I wanted to get older. And I wanted to get older because I wanted freedom. And then I wanted respect. And gradually, a birthday was a cause for celebration simply because I’d managed to survive another crazy year on this earth.

This year, though?

I feel total terror.

I pretty much feel like the rest of my life, all my future possible happiness and worth as a human being, rides on how much money I make and what I manage to do in this next year—all so that I can have kids.

No pressure or anything.

I am so terrified, I can’t tell you.

Don’t Get Pregnant was drilled into me from a very early age, so somewhere along the line, I guess I got the idea that it was wrong, bad, something I should avoid at all costs. And being sick for a decade in my twenties never gave me an opportunity to question this.

I hate that I missed that decade. I’m ten years behind!

And marriage? My father drilled into me that I shouldn’t get married before I was thirty. And so I never went for it.

So here I am, thirty-freakin-eight, late to the game, and I took way too long to realize I wanted these things quite a lot.

I suppose if I have children now, I have a good fifteen years of experience of teaching and watching kids grow up. And I’ve done a lot of living, so I can’t help but hope that will make me a better mother.

Part of me keeps thinking that I need to explore and consider what I want to do if I don’t end up having kids. If I don’t meet the one and get married, I can bear that, but I’m not sure I could bear not having kids.

But backup plans have never been my thing. For me, a safety net would be the same as planning for failure.

I spent a lot of time this summer exploring myself and exploring Tucson. It was wonderful, but this year is just heads-down and work.

Terror has its uses. It’s good fuel for productivity. :-)

What was your most terror-filled birthday? How’d your year after that work out?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

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