Kim Weiss Publishing Services
 





Will the ipad save real books — save book publishing?

May 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’m an Apple woman. An imac sits on my home office desk while a mac pro laptop gathers dust in the corner behind the door. To the right of the office computer at my day job (which I’m ashamed to say is a pc) sits my iphone in a red paisley case. A few times a day “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder interrupts my work flow, a song I love so much I almost hate answering the phone. I’m definitely a sitting duck for the ipad and probably will buy one for another reason I didn’t consider before hearing a heartening report on NPR.

The ipad might save my job. Save the entire industry of book publishing. Keep the ole paper and cloth book alive in the hands of us readers who like to take in a few pages before we doze off to sleep.

What am I talking about? I’m referring to the study* that’s recently been discussed all over the media about how the ipad’s lit up screen held  close to one’s face while reading actually inhibits the release of melatonin in the body.  That can spell insomnia.

Apparently watching television in bed before sleep is ok as long as the set isn’t resting on your belly.  And, I guest the reading light on your night stand or clipped to the headboard of your bed doesn’t have the same affect.

Thank goodness!

So, we can be a happy culture of daytime  ipad readers (and I’ll give a nod to kindles and nooks here).  We shall remain nocturnal readers of REAL books.

Especially if we turn off the flat screen tv monster across the room, at least before and after The Daily Show. I mean, come on…

I have to thank Apple (again) for another ingenious contribution to technology and have a personal request to ask of them. Whatever you do, please don’t correct the lighting apparatus in your brilliant new reading device. At the very least, take your time.

And, thanks for adding a little more longevity to my job here at ye old publishing house. We still like the smell of ink, the whizzing sound of the presses and watching the insides of books meet their covers for a healthy dose of glue along the bindery conveyor belt.  It’s pure poetry.

*UCLA Sleep Insomnia Center, Santa Monica, CA

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iphoto pause

May 13, 2010 at 2:07 am

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The Pursuit of Nobility- inside the book with Tim Daniel (author)

May 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Pursuit of Nobility

THE PURSUIT OF NOBILITY: Living A Life That Matters

Tim Daniel

Founder of THE NEW NOBILITY PROJECT

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1) What is Nobility?

Nobility is solving problems for the group you belong to. It is also how you solve those problems.  Nobility is solving problems the way nature solves problems and creating new things that make the problems go away, so that the solutions work for a long time without causing even bigger problems.

2) Who can you point to who is noble?

I know people in many fields who have a real shot at it.  The game isn’t over.  History will be the judge.  But they have always been there at the turning points of history.  It stands to reason they are there now too.  This is a “Find Waldo” project.  Who do you know that is noble and what can you do to help them?

3) Can anybody be noble?

Any one who pays the price long enough.  The price is very high and it demands an entire lifetime of making payments.

4) Do you have to be rich or highly educated to be noble?

You will need to be rich in something. Perhaps rich in creativity or courage or social skills.  And you will have to know a lot.  You will need to understand the real reasons the current answers don’t work so you can create new ones that do.  That is what real education is for.  It doesn’t matter where or how you educated yourself, but yes, you must educate yourself constantly to be noble.

5) Why should I care about these people?

You may be raising one or married to one.  You might have one as a student or employee.  If you care about that person it would be good to know what they require to be healthy enough to do their work in the world. Answer-finders are put together differently than answer-followers.  If you know whatmakes them tick you can work with them to bring out their natural nobility.  And when they are living their natural nobility the world will become a better place and we will all have a better future to look forward to.  So if you have children you will want these people to emerge in the world and do their thing.

And then it is possible that you are one yourself.  You need to know how to take care of yourself, if that is the case. This sounds elitist.

6) Are you saying some people are better than others?

At some things, yes.  And if the thing we are talking about is something that really matters, an area of competence that affects the lives of many people for many years I don’t know about you – but I want the most able person handling it.

I call it the “Captain Sully” principle.  Once the plane has been hit by geese, he’s the one I want at the controls.  He is better at that than me.  In that situation I, if I were at the controls I would get us all killed.

7) How can I know if I might be noble?

Read my book!  Seriously – if you have always sensed there has to be a better way to do things  than the way group does things now – and if you have been courageous enough to try new ways of doing things, even without your group’s support or approval – you might be noble.

On my website, www.thepursuitofnobility.com I have a Jeff Foxworthy kind of list.  I grew up Southern so I love his “you might be a redneck if…”    I laugh when I hear his routine because I am probably at least 30% redneck.

My list is – You might be noble if…and there are ten behavior patterns there that might fit you.  Check it out and see if you might be one.

8) We have a lot of problems on our plate right now as a society.  Is this the time to be talking about a New Nobility?

When we look at all the big, scary problems our country faces right now we may be tempted to feel despair.  We might ask, “why doesn’t SOMEBODY do something!?”  Well, those somebodies have to exist before they can do something.  The people I am writing about are those somebodies who will new solutions and see them through until they are adopted.

They have always appeared at the moment of our greatest need, at least in this country.  I believe they will do so again, but I think they need a nudge to stand up and be counted.  This book is that nudge.

9) What inspired you to write this?

I began to feel a creeping sense of alarm and despair in my countrymen about five years ago.   It has only grown since then.  That is not the America I know.  I wanted to remind us of who are and have always been.

I lived overseas and I know the rest of the world looks to us to find the new way of doing things.  We are the “can do” people, that is a very noble trait.  We figure it out and move on into a better future.  We can’t let that be swallowed up by our despair.  I don’t believe we will, but we need individual examples to follow to remember who we are.

I have good news.  We still produce them.  I have met them and worked alongside them.  I wanted to tell their stories.

10) What qualifies you to write this?

I have spent my life trying to find the answer to one question: Why do people stop growing and start dying, both individually and organizationally?  I made educational and career choices that allowed me to pursue the answer to that question.  Here’s what I discovered: We stop growing and start dying when we don’t have a noble example around to show us we can keep growing and creating, right through the problems we face.

11) What is the New Nobility Project?

My inspiration is the National Geographic Society.  That organization links together ordinary people interested in understanding the mysteries of nature with professional explorers who reveal those mysteries, and then come back and share what they discover with the larger membership.

The New Nobility Project will be a  non-profit organization that is open for anyone to join.  Just as the National Geographic Society probes the hidden limits of the natural world, so the New Nobility Project will probe the limits of human potential when in comes to solving really hard problems in the real world.

We don’t know what the upper limit of human potential are – but we know most of us live below it!  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in where that limit is and how it might be approached.

The New Nobility Project  will identify, cultivate and support nobles who are doing things that matter in the world and then share with anyone who is interested what we learn about how these people go about it, and provide opportunities to help.

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Homage to mom – my mom – happy mother’s day

May 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

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Mother’s Day. Later I’ll be wheeling my 86-year-old mom through the doors of La Veranda for a nice, slightly pricey Italian meal. Maybe they’ll give her a carnation, or if luckier, a rose. Our favorite French place – with the to-die-for crepes – closed which was a convenient Mom’s day destination and roses were always part of their dinner package. Fortunately, my Pittsburgh-based sisters cover the flower ritual for this Hallmark holiday and leave me with another one.

My job is to be her on-site escort for a meal she wouldn’t normally get to enjoy the rest of the year. A little splurge for both of us. I expect to dig deeper into my pockets or rather my American Express credit line but know it’s worth it to see my mom dressed up and happy.

Chances are her purse will match her shoes which will match her belt which inevitably match her fashion ensemble. Even at 86 she’s a fashion plate who knows how to make the most out of a particular color. She’ll ask me if I like the way her beautician did her hair this week. Do I think it’s too long? Too short? Which way do I like it better and don’t you think it should be a little longer in the back?  Or what do I think about her betraying her long time hairdresser because her substitute three weeks ago gave her a better haircut? How could she do that? After all, Susan, or whatever her name is, gave her chocolates for her birthday last year and was responsible for referring the lovely woman who would become her aide.

When my mother stops asking me about the cut of her hair, that’s when I will begin to worry about her. Never mind that she’s not clear on the movie she saw last night or how badly she’s been balancing (or not balancing) her checkbook.

It’s her hair. Such an obsession with the state of it that I’ve felt its imprint inside of myself –on the top of my head where being satisfied with a haircut has occurred maybe once in my lifetime and rarely lasted through that week. It’s a blessing and a curse. It verifies that I am my mother’s daughter in yet another way and how that neurosis runs rampant in my DNA.

For me, though, it’s a very small price to pay, one that only annoys a few friends and family who are plagued with listening to my latest whine about length, texture and hair color.  I suppose it’s better than inheriting prejudice, greed, or the admiration of Sarah Palin. I could have had a Republican mother or one who had a gambling addiction or couldn’t read. It could have been a lot worse.

Her hair is its natural age-progressed white now and she looks more and more like my grandmother. She sits in the same chair or in her bed a lot like my grandmother did in her eighties but she stays mentally sharp in ways that surprise me. Like her mother, she’s dredging up great stories that I’ve never heard before at this stage of her life and bestowing some treasures on me to store in my heart. She’s performing that tribal rite of passing down stories, the great oral tradition that some choose to record on paper but I take in and inscribe in my psyche over salad or tea.

I read to her more current stories from my tiny iphone. Usually from my blog, sometimes a literary morsel from the internet. Leaning towards me with her hearing aids turned up she smiles as the words pour out of my mouth. I’m not sure she hears all of them. My silly stories are sailing into her psyche for fleeting moments and she is temporarily distracted from her aches and pains, the state of her checkbook, and the cut of her hair.

It’s a precious time now between my octogenarian mom and me. Even though she’s as stubborn as ever, we argue less and say we love each other more. She has a hard time getting around these days but when it comes to dinner out in a nice restaurant her iron will powers her to show up ready-to-go in her perfectly coordinated outfit and her perfectly coiffed hair.

I’ll be picking her up in about 8 hours and making sure the brakes are locked on the wheelchair when she gets up and at all costs will avoid treacherous curbs on our way into the restaurant. Chances are the din in the place will rob her of some of my conversation but I can already see her smiling in my mind’s eye.

Bring on the garlic rolls and pasta course. Get the Chianti ready for me.  And, make sure there’s a piece of tiramisu with my mother’s name on it or rather, make that cannoli. Mother’s Day at La Veranda, here we come.

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What else is there to say????

May 1, 2010 at 11:49 am

ahhh

ahhh

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