Feed on

Today I talk about two kinds of book covers: the book cover artist’s design that has thought and work in it and the bookbinder’s cover that has thought, work, experiment, and defeat and victory in it. I have been experimenting with both. The book artist cover is more difficult than inlays and insets. 

I also talk about a Work in Progress titled Eating November’s Ruins. A novel of discovery for the protagonist that takes place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, specifically, on the Congo River and the city of Goma on Lake Kivu. Illusions and references to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness are spread throughout the book, but the protagonist knows nothing about it, of course.






First, my facebook page (now that people are leaving it) Facebook.com/tedorigawa.

I have access to PhotoShop and the learning curve seems quite lengthy, at least for me. Do I want to play with it or should I forgo the joy and stick with sewing, binding, writing, and printing out my novels? Given the amount of time in a day (24 hours) I might let others have the thrill of Photoshop.

PriestsCover500.jpgSpeaking of novels, I have a new cover for The Priests of Hiroshima (a time-traveling love story that takes place in 15th century Mainz, Germany and present day, Istanbul). What do you think of it? Too blue?


I have set up three books on the computer using InDesign and have printed out two. One more to print and then I have to finish writing another novel titled Feeding Vicki's Corpse. What are the three books I set-up and why do it again?

I set them up again because I have been reading about interior book design: leading, font sizes, margin widths, and content for the headers and footers (mostly the book title, the author's name, and pages). In each article I read I see something that could improve my own books, so I edit what I have to, I hope, improve them.

At the same time, I edit the content. I fix spelling & grammar mistakes, correct mis-used words (their there they're) and improve (again, I hope) plot points, characterizations, banish lazy writing, and try to eliminate clichés. 




Calvado_Cover_2.jpgThe first book is the second book in the Calvado Pentalogy — Calvado: A Deadly Love Story about a man with a deadly disease. It's deadly for the people he likes, not for himself. And he likes Calvado, once he meets and gets to know her. So, of course, he must leave her alone. He is a low-level scam artist and a struggling jazz singer. She, Calvado, the star of the Calvado Pentalogy, is a medical school student and a fashion model. Drug dealers and crazy people are involved.




Hiroshima_Cover.jpgThe second book is the third book in the Calvado Pentalogy — The Priests of Hiroshima: An Historical Love Story. In this story, Calvado is in Istanbul and discovers a unique antiquarian bookstore that deals only in books more than four or five hundred years old. She also discovers a cat with a mysterious power and portals to another time; a time when the modern book was being born and a forbidden love between a priest and a nun.




VSM_Cover_Small.pngThe third book I set-up is the fifth book in the Calvado Pentalogy — The Venetian Slime Woman: A Biological Love Story. An EPA water quality specialist falls in love with a biological freak, so to speak. The woman is from a small island off the coast of Venice but she is born from slime mold. The CIA — or is it the FBI or Homeland Security or just a rogue agent? — wants to capture her and experiment on her body.



My next assignment from myself is to produce e-books of the Calvado Pentalogy and sell them on either Smashwords and/or Amazon and/or iBooks. Or all three. Any suggestions?




04AB0A16-0AE6-4728-A09A-7B3025CA34A7.jpegFirst, I made the cover too small, then I made it too big. Finally, I measured it more carefully and managed to put it together. However, when it was too small, I spent a few days editing it: adding words, spelling other words correctly, erasing whole sentences, and adding scenes and depth

Then I decided to case it in anyway. I got some endpapers, glued them up and put them in nicely. Even the square was good; something I often don’t get right. And then... Yes! And then... I discover I put the cover on upside down. Practice practice practice, eh?

YouTube videos up at YouTube at Tedorigawa Bookmakers including, soon, one of this novel The City of Cocks.


I have joined the video online bandwagon and have three or four or five videos up at YouTube. If you cruise on over to YouTube you can see, so far, four videos of me making books - or attempting to make books. If you enjoy them, let me know.

Here is a photo of a blank notebook made from used parts. It is slightly smaller than B6 and has 140 pages, about. IMG_7245.jpgIt also has graph paper and coptic binding. With a handy strap on the outside to keep important documents safe as you cross international borders. Or keep a pencil in it.

This is apparently the back. I’ve already started to use it and it is indeed, handy. I’m using it to make one of my novels a bit better. I’m taking notes and making corrections plus making a list of main characters and minor characters.








IMG_7310.jpgHere is a small book the size of a pack of cigarettes. It contains two short stories that I hope to sell to an art company that is using old cigarette vending machines to sell art. Do they accept short stories? I will find out.




Finishing a project is exciting and wonderful. It sways you with a wave of accomplishment and power. Or at least it does me. However, this euphoria is somewhat tempered by the fact that the projects are a tad late. Late. Not extremely late, but, yeah, well, late. In fact, they are so late that I am beginning work on a 2019 Schedule this week; one I hope to finish well before January 2019. I hope.

Both schedule books I finished were delivered to their owners well before March 1st. One was delivered about February 26th and one was delivered February 28th. Well after noon, however. Fortunately, the monthly calendars start not on January 1st but on March 1st. They both go from March 1, 2018 to March 1, 2019. Both also have plenty of space to scribble notes and draw doodles.

The first one, seen in Episode 170, is yellow and made from an old t-shirt.

The latest one – as you can see at left – is blue-on-blue, coptic binding, 160 pages, and is, despite a glaring error, a success. The glaring error is missing a hole in the front cover with the thread. I had to go back and start again. However, with this particular book, I started about four times. Each time the text block was a little off-center so I backed up and tried again.


The music is by Maya Filipic from her Stories from Emona. She has some music on Jamendo here: https://www.jamendo.com/artist/340652/maya-filipic

And here is some from YouTube:




MayaSchedule_Front_2.jpgI wrote a pentaology - five books in a series that aren't actually in a series. They are companions. They share characters and glide nicely between time and place. One is called The Year Without Days. I have called it the Year Without Days for a long time – while thinking of it, while writing it, while editing it, while setting it up on the computer, while casing it in. The Year Without Days. Why, then, did I print The World Without Days on the cover? And a not-so-good cover it is, too.

At least in today's accomplishments I can list a 2018-19 Schedule that came out fairly okay. Rounded corners and lots of weekly pages, monthly calendars, and three yearly calendars (2018, 2019, 2020). I used an old t-shirt for the cover material and backed it with thin shodo (calligraphy) paper. I didn't attach the paper so well and some of it came off, but generally, this was a good book. I give it to the proper owner by mail tomorrow! Only just in time – the schedule starts in March 2018, not January. Lucky me.


CityofCocks2.jpgNot my latest novel but one of my latest. The latest is called Feeding Vicki’s Corpse while this one is called City of Cocks. This is why the title is (Roosters) on the download instead of the actual title. Don’t want parents of little ones to get all frantic; however, please think British English and Biblical English as in the cock crowed three times (Mark 14:71). But let’s skip the religious tangent for a moment and rush back to the novel itself.

I’ve read chapter one on this podcast and I should warn you, the last chapter is a variation on the first chapter except with, of course, a happier ending.

City of Cocks is a poetic murder. Which means one character is charged with murder while two others (his wife and his wife’s friend, Max) try to prove his innocence. Max is a well-known, poor, alcoholic poet who has traveled on his poetry to England and India (at least). The novel is about the people in a small town on the Oregon coast who Max meets. He meets drunks, policemen, a legless bartender, and a ghost. It is the ghost that helps Max the most; not with solving the murder — spoiler alert: the murder is never solved! — but with his drinking.

This is the first novel in my Small Oregon Coast Town Trilogy. The other ones are Feeding Vicki's Corpse and Fighting Für Frëibetjer. They are companions, these books. As many of the characters overlap and their backstories in one novel become more prevalent in another. However, they all stand alone, too. Neither Vicki nor Für are completed but almost.

Another three books to finish sewing, casing in, and enjoying!


Thumb.jpgI have sacrificed cash to the gods of hosting and have the ability to return to you fine folks via a podcast. Thanks for standing by whilst I do what I do. Besides which I toasted my thumb while cutting a potato and subsequently had both a nice dinner and four stitches.

I do, however, have many books to bind. I am writing two novels, one of which I hope to finish in November. Novel One is The City of Cocks about roosters & chickens, a murder in a small town, false accusations, an alcoholic witness, and the growth from immaturity to maturity in a 40ish-year-old poet.

The second is Giapan, the fourth book of my Japan pentalogy, which stars a nun, two guards for a tax collector, and a Japanese art appreciator. They travel from South Central Spain to Guadalajara during the time of the Spanish Armada, the author of Don Quixote (Cervantes, who is the tax collector and really was in real life) and their adventures plus development. I don’t think anyone is falling in love with anyone.

More to come! 


In this episode I attempt to teach you how to make a slip case for your books. There are no pictures to study, only my words. I hope it is successful. If not, please ask a question in the comments and hopefully I will get back to you with an answer. Of sorts.

Or you can slip over to Sage Reynolds’ YouTube channel. Specifically his Slip Case tutorial . He even puts on the inside cover and outside cover.



- Older Posts »