Sunday, July 28, 2019

Beauty and the Beast Review: Intro

You may have noticed that I’ve been terrible about blogging lately. Sorry. Next week we’ll be starting a new blog series, which hopefully will help me to stay on track, as well as giving me an excuse to reread my favorite books: I’m going to be reviewing Beauty and the Beast retellings. (This might not happen every week, as there are still lots of other things to talk about.)

So far there are ten books I’m planning to review, listed at the end of this post. I’m only doing straight Beauty and the Beast retellings, not variants like East of the Sun, West of the Moon, because I hope to do this again in the future with other fairy tales, including ones that might count as variants. If you think of any other Beauty and the Beast retellings I should review, let me know!

These reviews will consistently have one major spoiler, because I think it’s a really interesting trend that needs to be talked about: I’m going to tell you whether the Beast turns back into a man or stays a Beast at the end of each retelling. About half the Beasts on my current list stay Beasts!

This series will begin next Sunday with Robin McKinley’s Beauty.

Upcoming Books to Be Reviewed (Not Necessarily in Order):

·         Beauty by Robin McKinley
·         Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
·         Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
·         Beastly by Alex Flinn
·         Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
·         Hunted by Meagan Spooner
·         Byrony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
·         Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
·         As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
·         Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Chapbook Guide

Hi! It’s been a while; sorry. But big news will be coming soon!
I’ve gotten a couple questions lately about how I make my chapbooks, so I thought I’d do a little tutorial blog.
First, I make a list of what I want on every single page:

Then, I make a sample book out of scrap paper.

Next, I disassemble my sample book. A page from the sample book looks like this:

So I know that I need the contents of pages 5 and 6 on one side of my paper, and pages 4 and 7 on the other (this is the easiest sheet since it’s the center of the book.) So this is where things get difficult, because it depends on exactly how your printer works. You’ll have to do some fiddling around to make sure all your pages get printed right side up and in order.
After you’ve figured it out, write it down somewhere, and save it! Also save your sample book. It will make it much easier to print more copies down the line.
I print the cover separately, on thicker paper. Then it’s time for book binding! You can do it fast, cheap, and easy with a stapler; I did that on my little sample book. 

It’s a little crooked, since this isn't a real book and I’m working fast. I usually use staples if I’m going to be giving a bunch of copies away to friends and family. If you want to make it a little nicer, you can buy colored staples.
The other option, the one I use for books I’m selling, is to stitch it. You need a sewing machine for this; maybe you could do it by hand, but it would require being really, really careful. The hard part about using a sewing machine is making sure the paper isn’t torn. I set my machine to the longest possible stitch. Then I ignore the foot petal entirely. Your machine should have a dial on the side, like this:
(Sorry for sideways image; my computer is In A Mood.)
This dial will make the needle move up and down. I do the entire book by turning the dial, slowly and carefully. If you use the foot pedal, the speed will tear your page, so this is the safest way. It can be tedious and time-consuming, but you only need one line of stitching down the center of your book. It will look like this when you’re done:

Tie off the thread on both ends—you should double knot it and cut off the excess. And you’re done! You have a chapbook. 
I hope this is helpful!

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