My Indian Self

This book played a huge part in my childhood.  It was probably the most leafed-through book in my house.  The last I remember it was so tattered by use that I dared not pick it up.

Indian Crafts & LoreMy parents had no idea at their wedding in 1950, that they would spend the first year of their married life in New Mexico.  The Korean War recalled my father back into the Air Force, where he was the only PFC in the management offices of Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.

They both developed an interest in Indian culture.  One of their neighbors was the son of the chief of the Jemez Pueblo tribe a short distance west of the city. My parents were invited to a number of tribal ceremonies and became good friends of the prince and his wife, a Bostonian. I suspect that it was the friendship that stimulated their interest in Indian lore, and it’s probably when they bought that copy of Indian Crafts and Lore.

I thought about that book many times since and several times, I looked for a copy on eBay and Amazon.  The last time, a couple of weeks ago, I found it on Amazon.  Leafing through, I can recall studying every picture and every description.

The Last Days are Like a Practiced Ritual

I save the text of my book as a FTP file and upload it to the publishing site I’m using.  The site then displays the book, as it should appear on paper, and I turn each page with the mouse, making sure nothing has gone wrong with any of the text formatting, graphs or images.  If that’s OK, then I purchase a proof copy of the book at a discounted price. A week later the book comes in the mail and I go over it, page by page, looking for any problems. I don’t actually read the book again.  Any typos that have made it through all of the re-readings I’ve done, are welcome to stay as far as I’m concerned.

Waiting by the Mailbox
Waiting by the Mailbox

I did, however, take the time last week to re-read the bio, which was the last thing I wrote before starting the publishing process. “Buzzer,” I found a problem.  I had gotten “twentieth” and “twenty-first” centuries mixed up.  That would have had people scratching their heads.

I also found where an image had slipped and was covering up exactly one paragraph of text – completely.  I don’t remember how I found it – and the book really could have done without anyone ever reading that particular paragraph.  But shift of text would have been repeated on the following pages, which could have rended the table of contents and the index inaccurate.

I’m waiting now, by the mail box, for what I hope will be the last proof copy.