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Seriously_OpenBack.jpgI’m not going to put up a photo of the cut in my left-hand middle finger. That’s a relief, eh? While I was cutting some backboard in half through the thick edge, I let the cutter knife slip and it nicked my finger. I bled. I made a makeshift bandage out of mull and backcloth. Just for your medical information, this method does not work. However, if you go to TDGB 21, you can see me in pain.

I was making two A6-sized blank notebooks. The Seriously Humorous One has oddly numbered pages (i.e. not in the normal sequential order), a bookmark, kimono cloth as a book cover, a strap to keep it closed, outdents on the front, and an envelope on the inside back cover, and I estimate it is about 150(?) pages. It also has brownish graph paper so it can be used for easy doodling or writing poetry while riding the bus to work. 

YesMoatBoat.jpgYes! Moat Boat also uses graph paper but it is white instead of brown and it has a nice red cover instead of a kimono cloth cover.

However, Yes! Moat Boat has some of the same items as The Seriously Humorous One. It has a strap to keep it closed, a bookmark, and outdents on the front.

Unlike TSHO, the pages are sequential so we know it has 100 pages. It does not have an envelope in the back, because I have to practice making envelopes with more forgiving paper. It does, however, have pictures of eight people involved in bookbinding. The eight are:

  1. Cai Lun, the inventor of paper in about 105 CE
  2. Bi Sheng, the inventor of movable type although his was made of porcelain, in about 1041~1048.
  3. Aldus Manutius, the inventor of a whole slug of things: the comma, the semi-colon, the cheap pocketbook (A6), Greek editions, italics, and printer of the very odd and anonymous Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
  4. Johannes Gutenberg, the popularizer of movable type; although Bi Sheng invented it and, in Japan around 768 (?), a million copies of a sutra were made using movable type, it was not used by the leaders so it was not used by the common people either; Gutenberg changed that.
  5. Peter Shöfer, (or Schoffer) the creator of typefaces for Gutenberg,
  6. Nicholas Jensen, creator of Roman typefaces,
  7. John Baskerville, creator of, well, Baskerville typefaces, and
  8. Claude Garamond, creator of the Garamond typefaces. This post is using Garamond.


Giapan_Cover_4.pngDespite continuing to write on two novels (Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender) I am starting a third one. This third one, however, is an action-oriented, plot-plot driven Sci-Fi, Futuristic, War Story following the exploits of Sergeant-Major Matt McKenzie as he survives the war with one arm missing and is thrust into the Byzantine battlefields of Politicians. He is aided by his doctor, Vicki Hankla, who insists on helping even though she has hundreds of wounded soldiers to attend to. This is the

Fear Trilogy

It follows War, Peace, and the inevitable War Again. In the first book, McKenzie is a pawn of the military. By the third book, McKenzie is more in charge. I want each book to be about 50,000 words (about 250 pages) and the first book is already 15,000 words.

To make things even better, I have a Fourth novel (Stealing November). I have written the ending. I merely (Merely! he says) need to connect what I have written —

• high school student gets involved with drug dealers, murderers, mystic witches, and sex in the Congo, you know, the usual high school romance (minus the singing and dancing ala Glee)

— with the ending. Simpler written than actually Done, I think.

And, yes, I have a Fifth unfinished novel (Caraculiambro) that has laid dormant for a few Years! Yes, Years!

A murder mystery that is very complicated, especially for my brain. It is, of course as you know, connected to Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote as Caraculiambro in that novel is a giant Don Quixote hopes one day to capture and send to his one true love, although he never actually meets the giant. I might need to pare my novel down a bit. Maybe a lot.


TDGB 21: Two A6-Size Blank Notebooks (and my blood).

TDGB 23: The Envelope Book

Also available for your pleasure:




GreenBook_1JPG.jpegI made a book this week out of the book I sewed in the TDGB 16 video about using a link stitch. It has an upraised section that might resemble a skyscraper, but I had no real thoughts about it when I added them.

Three things about this book.

• First, it has a black strap to keep it closed.

• Second, it has a red book mark so you can find your place.

• Third, is has a new feature (for me): an envelope to hold receipts and slips of paper you collect over the course of a day. This GreenBookEnvelop.jpgversion of the envelope is too stiff but it is the first version. I hope future versions that I make will be easier, much easier, to use and stuff with paper. 

I know that normally the strap on the back page is usually under the endpaper and not above it. However, I wanted to have the light brown endpaper contrast with the dark brown envelope while the black strap accents it all. I don’t think it worked and will probably keep the strap under the endpapers from now on.


Giapan_Cover_4.pngI am continuing to write on both Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender. And, again, both are nearing their ends. I probably added about two or three thousand words to each. The main advantage of going so slow is that when I read what I previously wrote, I make changes which I think improves the book, and I correct mistakes which definitely improves the readers’ pleasure.

I’ve also written about 10,000 words on a genre novel (most of my stuff can be categorized as literary fiction) about war, conspiracies, and terror. At the same time, I try to make the characters as real as possible.

I want this genre book plus the others (Calvado Pentalogy & Japanese Pentalogy) I have written online soon. Wish me luck.

Also you might have noticed this post was divided into Making Books and Writing Books. The podcast is similar. People who want to hear me ramble on about bookbinding can listen to the first part while people who want to hear me babble about writing fiction can skip merrily to the second part. Usually it will be half and half, but sometimes one will be longer.

YouTube_75x75.pngTDGB 16: Link Stitch




FearTheDead_Cover.jpgA trilogy of terror, violence, manipulation, politics, and war has plummeted into my lap. More importantly, the client has bequeathed covers to my desk. The question the client has – and I wonder, also – do they reflect the character of their contents?

Books 2 & 3 are not yet completed, but Book 1 is racing toward the finish line. However, the question remains:

What does this cover imply?

If you see this thumbnail on your online bookstore webpage or in a real store (if they still exist), what kind of story would you expect to be reading?

This, from the evidence provided, is Book Two of a three book series which covers War, Uneasy Peace, and Prelude to another War. It follows the main character (as most novels do) from his time as a soldier to his election into the main governing body where he finds himself caught between the Hawks and the Doves in a debate that may lead to war.

On the other hand, I have been slaving feverishly over two of my books: Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender. Or, rather, to be honest, I have been writing on Giapan and re-reading/editing/re-writing the parts of  Botchan’s Bartender I have already written. The main problem in  the latter novel is trying to find the killer. I think I have found the murderer so it is only a matter of molding the novel toward its end and laying enough simple small clues to justify the choosing of that character as the murderer. Is that clear enough? I hope so.

Giapan_Cover_4.pngFor Giapan, we are getting closer and closer to the ending. The tunnel at the end of light is in sight! (The cover has to be nudged closer to the final product, too. Covers, however, morph and evolve over time.). The main characters – The two soldiers (Teubner and Barahona) will, maybe, be separating from the nun (Galatea) and the Japanese artist (Giapan).

However, two things have to be resolved first. One, how do any of them change in the course of their travels? Two, does anyone fall in love? At the outset of this novel I firmly told myself in no uncertain terms that No! No one is going to fall in love. However, now, it looks like two characters are inching toward the precipice of that emotion. We shall see.

As I look over the past few posts I realize the number that are about bookbinding has decreased. This is a failing I must rectify. And Soon!


YouTube_75x75.pngVideos to Enjoy.


Caraculiambro_Cover.jpgLike too many authors, I have four unfinished novels, three of which I have talked to you about. Two are from my Japan Pentalogy: Botchan’s Bartender and Giapan. One is a murder mystery with a strong homage/influence from Cervantes: Caraculiambro. The one I haven’t talked about recently takes place in the Republic of the Congo and is an adventure/crime/ story: Heart of November. Why are they unfinished? Why, indeed.

Stealing_November_Cover.jpgI think one reason is I can’t see the ending. Giapan is episodic so it can go on forever, if I want it to, which I don’t. I haven’t solved the crime in Caraculiambro or Botchan’s Bartender yet. I have suspects in the latter, but not the former. This is a problem.

I don’t know why Heart of November is unfinished. Maybe it is but I forgot? The cover has bullet holes in it; not that the Congo is dangerous, but that the main character is shot at a few times and he shoots back. “Murder” is even in the sub-title, right? A dead (pun) giveaway.



 Link Stitch

Botchan_s_Cover_small.pngFirst, in the last (204) episode you heard the first page of my as-of-yet unfinished murder mystery Caraculiambro. This makes it the fourth! novel I have not completed. Four! Two are in my Japan Pentalogy and are Giapan, which takes place in 17th century Spain, and a novel which takes place in a small town in Japan:  Botchan’s Bartender. The fourth is Stealing November, of which we shall not speak at present, okay?

Botchan’s Bartender is a murder mystery but the most important part of the novel is not the murder but the characters that populate the small town. Included in the story are high school baseball players, a not-so-famous chef, the murder victim’s brother, a high school-aged woman, a smallish cult leader, an alcoholic policeman, and the bartender of the title.

The bartender is a woman who is escaping her past by hiding in plain sight by owning a very small bar in a very small town. She just might be a character from another of the novels in the Japan Pentalogy: The Year Without Days, about a very successful cult in Tokyo. 

I am hoping to finish Botchan’s Bartender sometime in the near future. Like, maybe, in a month or less. I want to finish Giapan, too, as they are the last two books of the Japan Pentalogy and I want that particular group of novels finished soon.

By the way, Botchan is a famous book by Japanese author Natsume Soseki and is now a word to mean the son of a rich family who dresses up nicely but has no real understanding of street life.

On YouTube is my latest video: TDGB 16 Link Stitch. Please check it out.

YouTube_75x75.pngTDGB 16: Link Stitch


An SF-ish novel about a woman who cannot die and the government agency that wants her dead. Will an EPA water specialist save her? Or die trying?

3_Red_Kimono_Books_.jpgI made three books one of which is the Speaking & Eating Kanazawa guide and Japanese language assistance book. After photographing and talking about them in Episode 203, I started another book; a graph paper notebook. What I should have done instead was edit and write Giapan and Botchan’s Bartender, two of my Japan Pentalogy novels which should be finished before you can say Procrastination. However, I didn’t, so there you are.

In the photo, the book with the kimono cover on the right is the Speaking & Eating Kanazawa book. If you’re coming to Kanazawa and don’t speak Japanese but do sometimes get hungry, this is the book for you. The kimono-clad book on the left is a graph-paper blank notebook. The red one in the middle with the closing strap, is a graph-paper blank notebook on light brown paper.

In this episode, I read the first page of a novel I began hundreds of decades ago. Well, at least half a decade ago. Caraculiambro: A Giant Mystery.

Caraculiambro was a giant Don Quixote talked about in his eponymous novel. He is never actually seen, just put up by the knight as what would happen if he ever came across a giant. In Giapan, Caraculiambro appears as both a giant, mean, and helpful (eventually). In this book, he is a giant and a private detective. 


Page One of Caraculiambro: A Giant Mystery

Caraculiambro_Cover_One.jpgCall me Caraculiambro. Some years ago, I forget how many, I was forced from my home in Olympia - home of the gods! - by intolerance. By the small minds of ordinarily-sized people, of which I can proudly state I am not. They called me names to my face, whispered behind their hands whenever they saw me, and the younger, more hot-headed ones would often chase me with baseball bats or tire irons. They always chased me in gangs of five or more for they knew fewer would not be able to subdue me.

The ordinarily-sized people called me names like Frankenstein or Quasimodo. They obviously did not know Hugo’s mythological creature was a short, misshapen hunchback and Frankenstein was the deranged medical student of Ingolstadt, not the poor hand-crafted creature of his insane experimentation. As if these poor people could read. If a comparison could be made I would dwarf Frankenstein’s nameless creature by more than two feet. And I would tower over Quasimodo like the spires of Notre Dame over-shadowed that poor misshapen man’s entire life.

My doctor hesitated using the word ‘giant’ around me but that is what I am. I am a giant. Twice the height of a normal man and twice everything else: weight, hand size, shoe size. Everything. It is for this reason and this reason only the people I encounter fear me. It is as if they believe if I were no longer on the planet, they would be better. A common misconception among ordinary people: if there were no differences between us, we would be happier. 

The most intolerant were the zealots of religion; any religion. I was, in their view and words, an abomination, like pork, lobsters, and homosexuals. I’m convinced the more zealous the zealot, the less they are able to read. If they had read Genesis, they would have discovered that I am a Nephilim, the offspring of female humans and the gods that roamed the earth after God created the day and night, stars, and life. They think I’m joking, of course. Perhaps I am. I must face my life with humor or my tears would be a river that will flood the earth anew.

After a group of thirty youths brandishing clubs and bats chased me out of town, into the woods at the base of Mt. R–, and through the night, I decided to fight back. Not against all thirty that night, of course, that would’ve been suicide. And not with my fists and muscle, which would have been easy, but counter-productive in the long run; violence and hatred only begets more violence and hatred. And I would probably have landed in jail. No, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Siddartha, and Hester Prynne, she of the lettered stigma.

As intolerance forced me from Olympia, I fled to the city of S–, which I refuse to identify. I established myself in S–  as a private detective. I investigated mysteries that ordinary people could not understand. I was determined to be both the best detective and the most indispensable. I would, like Hester, who became the perfect Puritan woman, become the ideal businessman, and a run a very profitable business. Ordinary people would have to accept me because successful people can not be denigrated by the smaller people. At least, that was my goal. It worked out slightly differently.

After this, he gets involved in a land speculation conspiracy that leads to a murder and the disintegration of an extended family. Want to read more? Let me know.

To see me talking about Speaking & Eating Kanazawa, click on the logo


TDGB 015 Speaking Kanazawa

email: tedorigawa.bookmakers@gmail.com

CityofCocks2.jpgI cased in 3 notebooks last week and two of them are lined notebooks available for purchase. More on that later. I was going to case in five notebooks but I discovered some Horrendous errors in two of them: a printing error that made the page shift to the right waaaay too far making the photos in it unusable. Plus a pagination error. I mean, 45 shouldn’t follow 68, right? Am I right on that? Good.

One is Speaking Kanazawa which has both language assistance (Japanese and English) and reviews of coffee shops and restaurants.

Speaking Kanazawa has proven popular with several citizens of this city and is in the process of being edited. There have been some errors! In Japanese! That must be repaired before it is released into the wild.

Feeding_Vicki_s_Corpse.jpgSpeaking of jumping into the public, my two murder mysteries, The City of Cocks and Feeding Vicki’s Corpse have Still! not been edited! I must be the laziest human in this room. Please wait for exciting updates on this possibility!


YouTube_75x75.png New Video!

TDGB 013: Three Notebooks


SixTexts.jpgI had ten days off from ‘real’ work so I spent a lot of time at home doing home things. But once I rambled back to the studio here I started making books. I have six paperback-sized books (A6) that soon will be available to everyone! I hope to make editions of 12 of each book and sell them rapidly, as we all do. The covers will probably include kimono and indentations.


They are:

  1. Yes! Moat Boat
  2. Yes! Moat Banana
  3. The Seriously Humorous One
  4. The Seriously Humorous Notebooand, of course,
  5. Hunting Kanazawa, which has been renamed to Speaking Kanazawa.

The first four will probably cost around $8.00 (or ¥800) each. Three & Four  are graph paper notebooks of 100 pages each with no pictures. One & Two have small pictures on one page of inspiring people.

Yes! Moat Boat has pictures of people related to books such as the inventor of paper (Cai Lun), the inventor of movable type (Bi Sheng), the popularizer of movable type (Gutenberg), and folks like Peter Shoffer, Nicolas Jensen, Aldus Manitius, John Baskerville, and Claude Garamond, who invented the typeface you’re seeing here.

Speaking Kanazawa is a language guide and tourism guide to selected restaurants, coffee shops, and bars in Kanazawa. Very useful if you don’t speak Japanese.

Odd_Cover_2_Big.jpgFollowing my inspiration from Europe, I have experimented with better (?) more creative covers. Things are not going exactly to plan, but that’s the point of experimenting. I’m working on adding designs to the backcloth covers that I currently make. This first picture is of bookcloth on bookcloth in geometric design. 

Following that cover, I made several more smaller covers. Not actually covers but experiments in construction. First, I made the Odd_Cover_Tada.jpgdesign slightly bigger than the whole I cut in the bookcloth. Then I realized I didn’t have to do that, I could just make the design cloth bigger than the hole. 

Here we have the back of another pair of covers. I’m using leftover bits plus a postcard to a Jun Tada exhibition from last year as endpapers. 

Odd_Cover_1_2.jpgHowever, once I made the design paper slightly bigger than the hole, but bigger, I realized when I ran a bone folder over the cover, the design paper formed an edge around the hole which wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted the edge to be in the same shape as the hole. If I make the hole square, no problem. If I wanted a letter or number, it is a problem.

I must continue the experiment and continue improving my art ability (if I actually have any art ability, that is.)

YouTube_75x75.pngCheck out my YouTube channel for two new — and mercifully short (about one to three minutes) — videos about these covers and my two jobs at Tedorigawa Bookmakers.


IMG_9262.jpgI jetted off economy to Europe for three weeks and thoroughly enjoyed myself in Vienna and Budapest. I learned a lot about both places, visited museums, attended a concert, ate great food (of course), and talked with people — in English, I might add as I am among the unfortunate who speak neither Hungarian nor German. 

Here is a photo of me standing beside a Gustav Klimt painting titled Blind Man which is found in the Leopold Museum in Vienna. I thought the red of my shirt, the red of the wall, the whiteness of the portrait’s subject’s hair and my beard made for a nice photo and memory of my trip.

Also on plans for soon is a lined & graphic paper paperback-sized (A6) blank notebook with photos of people who are either inspiring and/or have something to do with bookbinding such as the creator of the Garamond typeface (this article is written using Garamond), Claude Garamond; the creator of the Baskerville typeface, John Baskerville, as well as the inventor of paper (Cai Lun) and movable type (Bi Sheng). Hopefully, their faces on your notebook will inspire you.

Another project includes finishing Giapan, my Don Quixote-related novel about two guards, a Japanese artist, and a defrocked nun in 1600s Spain and placing it for sale as an ebook and as a Real Book with interior design by me.

A one-minute video about my European Inspiration can be found on YouTube with the inspiring title of:

European Inspiration

Speaking of which, here is my


YouTube Channel

and my

Facebook page.


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