Thursday, October 14, 2010

with download come access and mayhem

I downloaded Open Office for Mac OSX a few days back because the manuscript for my book, Scary Spasms in Hairy Chasms: A Panoply of Paeans to Putrescence and a Cornucopia of Corrosive Coprophilia, was compiled on ancient Corel WordPerfect for Mac (OS 8-point-something) software. None of my other word processing programs was able to access the manuscript without creating weird ASCII jumbles, which is why I turned in desperation to Open Office.

Once downloaded and installed-- boom! The new software worked like a charm. I can now access those old, fin de siècle files, not to mention old papers written while in grad school.

This is great news for me. I've long wanted to put Scary Spasms in Hairy Chasms up on CafePress alongside Water from a Skull as a print-on-demand work, but I haven't wanted to re-type the entire manuscript from scratch, nor have I wanted to buy a newer copy of Corel WordPerfect just to be able to access my old files. The installation of Open Office now makes a CafePress upload feasible. I've even thought of expanding and revising the work to produce a Scarier Spasms in Hairier Chasms (title may be changed), though that's unlikely. What's more likely is that the original 2001 work will be slightly tweaked for style and content; a few of its poems and stories may be switched out or rewritten with newer, more current material, and that improved manuscript will be slapped onto CafePress. In the meantime, a "sequel" to the first book, composed entirely of the perversities uttered on this blog (the above-mentioned Scarier/Hairier), will be compiled, polished, and self-published.

I've long maintained that this blog is the place where I generate material that may end up in some sort of book. Water from a Skull contains plenty of essays that began life as blog posts. Time for another harvest.

(See sidebar for information on both books.)



Charles said...

I used OpenOffice for quite a while alongside MS Office, and when I did my last system wipe/install (which was some time ago) I just never bothered to install MS Office. I'm all about the OO now, and I can't really see going back.

Kevin Kim said...

OO is quite good for free software, though I still have formatting problems when transferring from OO to, say, MS Word for Mac. I've never tried transferring a "complex" document from one word processor to the other, though. By "complex" I mean a heavily-formatted document that includes block quotes, footnotes, a variety of fonts and languages, etc.

For my limited purposes, though, OO will be perfect.