Rendered Fat Content


Charles Herbert Moore,
Copy after
Vittore Carpaccio:
Much Reduced Study of the Dragon in
Carpaccio's Picture of St. George and the Dragon,
in the Chapel of S. Giorgio dei [sic] Schiavoni, Venice
, 1876
"I'll never be much more than not quite a rank amateur …"

Once assembled, my manuscript must be printed before one more round of rereading and review. The formatting's not quite right, meaning I've entered the long-dreaded PickyDetails part of this Publishing process. I've long dreaded this stage because I have not even nearly mastered my manuscripting software, which seems by any measure an absolute behemoth. It does too much for any app even to attempt. Being a purported master of so many realms, the user who seeks no more than an informal relationship seems sunk from the outset. A unique vocabulary seems at least necessary to make any headway, and I still have not begun to master even a pigeon-English dialect for this one. The app comes with hours of detailed tutorial videos which introduce the app in curious slices. These videos induce sleep better than a bootleg prescription of Nembutal. Five or six years of experience with this app still leaves me well within the Naive User classification.

The question comes down to how I might accomplish this.
I know what I want but have yet to discover what that's called in this app's language. I'm confident that this app does what I want it to do because earlier manuscripts I assembled with it did this thing I wanted. I used that earlier instance as a template for this latest assembly—or I certainly thought I had—so I feel baffled that the sample print did not print chapter titles or break pages at the start of each chapter. It also seems to have embedded a pound sign between random paragraphs. I have not determined the logic behind the pound sign placements, so I'm debugging an unwanted feature while trying to figure out how to add some features I thought I already had but didn't.

I've tried using the helpful Help menu. This one displays animated examples, but I haven't yet stumbled upon the proper language. If I were to believe the Help menu, the word Title only relates to text formatting in this app. I'm sure Title must have some deeper meaning within the mysterious world of Publishing. This DIY-ing can be so damned frustrating. My appreciation for seasoned professionals soars as I crawl through the Publishing world's twisted halls, managing to propel myself nowhere while expending enormous effort not getting there. I imagine that I might invest a week and just start over. (I've tried this several times before.) I could enter the video tutorials as if this is the first time I've seen them, which wouldn't be that much of a stretch since I can't remember their contents. The app's probably seen several new releases since my last attempt, so the videos will undoubtedly be "new and improved." However, I doubt that they would hold my attention any better than they did the last time. They're like math: perfectly reasonable while incomprehensible. I must lack some background that would have rendered these videos understandable.

I will ultimately figure out even this great mystery. Eventually, I will stumble upon a way to print titles and lose the pound signs printing between random paragraphs. The solution will not seem stable. I will not understand its nature, so I will not deeply trust it. I will finish my printing, still trying to figure out my medium, distrusting my ability to make any future use of the manuscript. I will translate it into a Word document, a form of embalming useful for distribution but rendering the document forever after uneditable, and I will go on to assemble another manuscript. That one, too, will turn out askew, sideways for the purposes I'd intended. That one, too, will require that I become a detective and hunt down some corrective injunctions I'll most likely stumble upon. I will not then or ever after become anything like a master of this manuscript app, let alone a master of Publishing. I'll never be much more than not quite a rank amateur at the PickyDetails of this profession. I foresee much video watching in my immediate future.
©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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