Today is my fifth day without coffee. Not strictly without caffeine because I had a decaf on Sunday and some chocolate yesterday, but without that lovely full-flavored bomb of caffeinated alertness that I have been accustomed to starting my days with.

It’s been painful. I’ve been tired and lethargic. I’ve had a headache from Sunday through Tuesday, though it’s mostly gone by now. I really do like the taste of coffee at this point in my life and I don’t like going without it. But I am going to try as many things as I can to try and make my stomach stop torturing me.

In other news, I have ordered the proof copy of my Chamberlain Basin guidebook. I really like how the cover turned out. It took a while to get it ready because I needed to figure out the entire template. The Hike with Me books are down to a science by now. I just need to pick out the photos I want to use for the front and the back and make changes on my template. For the guide, I needed to do something different and that took more time.

I’ll be ready for the next one though. My experience in making the Hike with Me template has given me hints about what I’m going to want to remember for next time. In my Gimp file, I created a whole bunch of notes about what font I used and the sizes of the photos that I placed on the front. Even notes for the technique that I used to make the title and my name get a particular appearance.

I really don’t use the Gimp often enough to remember how I did things the last time. That’s probably something I should change. Working on covers once a month would probably be a good idea. And if I don’t have a new project, I can always redesign an old one because some of my covers could use it. I need to figure out ways to look more professional with my fiction covers. Non-fiction-wise, I think my covers are good, but I struggle with the fiction ones. They require such different elements. I’m looking right now at the cover of a book by Michael Swanwick called Bones of the Earth. The cover is an illustration of dinosaurs, with a fossil foot in the foreground, all faded into darkness above where the title and author are presented in gold embossed lettering. I can see in it by comparison where my covers are lacking, but I don’t know how to bring my skills and resources to the necessary level. And I can’t outsource at the level of income I make off my books.

A problem for another day. I’m quite excited to see the proof of the guide book. I think it will be a fun little piece, and I’ve got at least one more I want to write this spring.

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