Looking Back at the 1999 Seattle Protest of the WTO

In the past weeks, I’ve been closely watching the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and now in Hong Kong on Twitter and the news. Coincidentally, I found some old photos I took from the 1999 WTO protest here in Seattle, and wanted to share them for comparison. It’s interesting how some things have changed (communication, technology) and how some things remain the same (protests and efforts to contain them).

I was in my college years then, and was an idealistic, politically-active young man. Years have passed, and Buddhism, parenting and my experiences in Hanoi, Vietnam1 have tempered this over time, but it’s interesting to look back and remember my life 15 years ago. At the time, I was living not far from the local university, and when the protests started, I decided to take the bus downtown and see for myself. I only had a cheap, portable camera, so these photos are low-quality, but since no one had camera-phones back then, I hope they prove useful for history.

I grew up in the Seattle area, but I was surprised when I arrived downtown; it looked so different. All the major downtown streets were shutdown, and you saw lots of protestors like this:

WTO protest sign

Also, the police had come out in force to block access to the meeting:

WTO police line 3

By the time I arrived, the violence had already ended. However, things were very tense. At one point, I was with a crowd at 5th avenue, between Pike and Union and I remember we were standing face to face with the police here:

Sitting at the police line

We sat down (I took this photo while sitting), starting humming some song (I forget what), and trying to convince the police to join us. They were unfazed, and eventually I left and started looking around elsewhere.

Eventually I ran into these guys, the Anarchists:

Anarchists at WTO protest

The one woman on the left spotted me, so I didn’t stay long.2 But they were getting ready to do more protests. You can see their handiwork here:

WTO Anarchist vandalism

Again, I wandered around for a while. I think this is Pine Avenue facing south, again blocked by the police:

Police Line

Midday, there was a large parade that went through and I remember seeing many, many different political groups marching together: trade unions, environmentalists, feminists, socialists, etc. I even saw a parade girls who were protesting topless and wearing body-paint. This wasn’t nearly as exciting as you might think. :P

By afternoon, things started to die down for a while. There was a lot of heckling of the police, who didn’t push people out of downtown until evening,3 but neither side really moved. You could hear Bob Marley music playing at one street corner, Anarchists wandering around, curious people like myself, and some very strange “fringe people” in general. One strange guy kept making crow-cawing noises at the police. I couldn’t figure out why he was doing that, and I didn’t like his vibe. Anyhow, after hours of this, people were getting tired or bored. Somehow I managed to miss the violence both in the morning and evening, so I have no interesting pictures.

However, I hope that readers will find comparisons between now and then interesting. You can see the rest of the album here.

So, was it worth it?

For me, it was my first and only experience with a mass-protest like that. I was definitely opposed to the WTO, and free trade, and I still am because I feel it’s hurting smaller businesses and small farmers. The NY Times has a good, balanced article from 2013 on the subject. Lenin’s work Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism was written 98 years ago, but still remains eerily true of the world economy now:

As long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilised not for the purpose of raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalists, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries. In these backward countries profits are usually high, for capital is scarce, the price of land is relatively low, wages are low, raw materials are cheap. The export of capital is made possible by a number of backward countries having already been drawn into world capitalist intercourse; main railways have either been or are being built in those countries, elementary conditions for industrial development have been created, etc.

On the other hand, I also feel that change is inevitable, and sometimes change is pretty painful. For example, when the automobile was invented, the horse and carriage industry probably suffered greatly. However, the concentration of power and risk of exploitation is definitely a cause for concern 15 years ago, and it still is today, and will probably remain that way 200, 500 or 1,000 years from now when we are all dead and are bones are dust.

Thus, it is an ever-present struggle: to assert the needs of the people and restore balance where needed. The key is to remember why we do it. If we do it out of rage or anger, we pay the price in the long-run. If we do it for the betterment of younger-generations and the community, then people will be benefit.

At least, that’s my opinion. Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. :)

1 I am often reminded of a quote from the TV Show, Babylon 5, where the character G’kar warns his people not to overthrow a dictator and setup another one. I am unable to find the quote though, alas.

2 I’ve never been a confrontational person. Some might say I am a bit of a coward. :)

3 I had left by this time. Walking around downtown all day made me tired and hungry, and I think my wife was getting worried about me. No great revolutionary, am I.

Posted in Politics, Seattle | 6 Comments

What is the Buddha’s Pure Land? Another Perspective

Yesterday, I kind of had a small epiphany with regard to the Pure Land in Buddhism (浄土 jōdo in Japanese). The Pure Land is an interesting subject of discussion in Buddhism. It’s a big part of East Asian Buddhism, and a popular focus for lay Buddhists because the Pure Land is intended to be a refuge from the ups and downs of this world, but it also is a place where one can progress in Buddhism much more easily. However, Western Buddhists frequently criticize it as a “cultural” phenomenon and not true “pristine” Buddhism, so it’s regularly ignored. I’ve seen some Western priests dismiss it or joke about it.

Anyhow, a couple weeks ago, I was reading about the famous restorer of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Rennyo (蓮如, 1415-1499) who wrote this in a letter to followers:

このうへには、なにとこころえて念仏申すべきぞなれば、往生はいまの信力によりて御たすけありつるかたじけなき御恩報謝ごおんほうしゃのために、わがいのちあらんかぎりは、報謝のためとおもひて念仏申すべきなり。

….Over and above this, what should we take to be the meaning of reciting the Nembutsu? It is a response coming from one’s indebtedness [to the Buddha] (御恩放射) thanking him that one is saved through birth in the Pure Land by the power of faith in the present. As long as we have life in us, we should say the nembutsu thinking of it as a response of thankfulness.

(Gobunsho, letter 3, 御文書、一帖の三 猟漁

I’ve read this phrase before and thought it pretty strange.

But then, my little epiphany came after staying at my friend’s Catholic priory in Oregon a couple weekends ago. The community of priests there asked for no money, no donation, anything. My daughter and I were welcome to stay there for free. It was a nice room too with all the basics we needed. Because they freely provided this room and board for us, I wanted to give something back. I went and bought some pastries from a nearby bakery and left them in the priests’ kitchen, and we also attended Mass, and tried to be good guests.

The Pure Land of the Buddha is much like this too. The historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, tells people in the sutras “Hey, if you need a place to rest and recover, go stay at the Amitabha retreat center”.

Shan Tao's White Path and Two Rivers

So you call up Amitabha Buddha and you tell him you want to stay at his place for a while. Amitabha Buddha says “sure, come stay with me as long as you like. It’s free”.

You go there, and it is a really nice place: beautiful garden, free food, meditation classes, even free wifi!

You think to yourself “I don’t deserve this! I should do something to pay back all their kindness”. You want to do the right thing. So, you start attending the meditation classes, and you offer to help in the kitchen. No one expects anything, but the kindness of Amitabha Buddha really warms your heart and you want to help in some way. Or, you want to show appreciation by participating in the meditation classes.

When I was first exploring Buddhism, my interest was really in Zen only. Pretty typical for many people who first explore Buddhism because Zen just looks so cool. But I found I was never that motivated, and frequently lost interest, or pursued other religions. Then, when I visited Japan in 2005, I encountered a Pure Land temple named Chion-in which is a famous temple in the city of Kyoto. I saw a monk there chanting before a statue of the Buddha and was fascinated, so when I learned about the Pure Land, I was really moved by the story of the Buddha, the Pure Land and how anyone could go there. So, I started reciting the Buddha’s name (namu amida butsu) that night and kept doing it for years.

But people will say “How do you know the Pure Land exists?” or “Isn’t it just a Buddhist heaven?” or “Is this even real Buddhism? You’re not doing any Buddhist practices!” and so on.

I don’t think it matters though. If the Pure Land really exists or not isn’t actually that important. The story and imagery are important. If you moved by the imagery, and want to go there, then that is the same as being there. Why? Because either way, it’s in the heart. Whereever you go, the Pure Land is there. The kindness and beauty of the Pure Land provide a kind of spiritual refuge from the ups and downs of life, and the kindness of Amitabha Buddha who freely offers the Pure Land motivate people to do more good. I found it’s often inspired me when I felt discouraged in life.

The fact that the Pure Land is offered so freely to anyone who just recites the Buddha’s name is something inspirational, which is why it is so popular in East Asian Buddhism. Western Buddhists may not appreciate this point until they experience hardships in their lives, and feel very discouraged. It is hard to explain but kind of profound in a way.

南無阿弥陀仏

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu, Religion | 2 Comments

Astronomy and Why I Am A Buddhist

Recently on Twitter I found this post:

If you can’t see it, click here. This is a picture of the Milky Way Galaxy (銀河系, gingakei in Japanese) from the perspective of the International Space Station. Out there are millions and millions of stars, and millions of planets too.

I’ve always been fascinated with space, but when I was younger, I often felt a sense of contradiction between what I saw out there (space) and what I was taught in religion as a kid. I felt that I was somehow forced to choose between what an ancient book said and what the world around me said. Of course, I wanted to choose science, but I didn’t want to live without a spiritual structure either.

Even in my college years, when I experimented with a lot of other religions (Catholicism, Islam, etc), I still felt this tension and would get a little frustrated.

Then, I remember one time my wife1 and I were sitting in a cafe and somehow we ended up talking about evolution and Buddhism. Something she said (I can’t remember anymore) gave me one of those powerful “ah ha!” moments. And from then on, I became really interested in Buddhism. A year or two later, we visited Japan after we got married, and that convinced me even more.

Since then, I’ve never felt that same tension between religion and science like I did before. Sure, the stories and characters in Buddhism might not be real, in the material/historical sense, but they are real because they teach us something, because they inspire us, and because they represent truths that we know exist.

So, whenever I see the night sky, I often wonder if there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on other planets. Maybe they have 8 arms and green skin. Maybe they’re Klingons.2 Who knows?

But it’s a fun possibility to consider. :)

1 We were still dating at the time, but even then I often respected her view of things. She is my bodhisattva. :)

2 Buddhist sutras in Klingon language would be pretty funny.

Posted in Astronomy, Buddhism, Religion, Science | 1 Comment

Good Friends and Visiting Portland

“The friend who is a helpmate, the friend in happiness and woe, the friend who gives good counsel, the friend who sympathises too — these four as friends the wise behold and cherish them devotedly as does a mother her own child.” –Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31) translated by Narada Thera.

Recently, my daughter and I1 took the train down to Portland, OR to see an old friend of mine. I’ve known this friend since high-school and we keep in touch regularly. He is an ordained Catholic priest and since we were young, we enjoyed discussing religion and Asian culture with each other. We also watched a lot of Star Trek, Simpsons and Kung Fu on TV together which was a lot of fun. However, after college, he moved to different states training, so we rarely get to see each other in person anymore. This was a good opportunity to see him again, and see Portland.

Portland is a very nice city, similar, but maybe a little smaller and more relaxed. My friend told me that he thinks Portland people are more polite than Seattlites, which I tend to agree with. Also, unlike Washington State, Oregon has no sales tax (shōhizei in Japanese, 消費税), so I was surprised how cheap everything was: food, souvenirs, etc.

We took the Amtrak train down to Union Station in Portland, and after that we visited the Chinatown there. Here is a quick photo (sorry for the glare) of the Columbia River that seperates Washington State and Oregon:

Columbia River 2

After we met my friend, we visited the Lan Su Garden nearby, which was very pretty:

Lan Su Garden Bridge

Lan Su Garden in Portland 6

The garden has many buildings, including this one, which looks like the study room for a Confucian scholar:

Lan Su Garden in Portland 5

Or these stone tiles:

Lan Su Garden Tiles 2

Later, we went to the famous Powell’s Bookstore. The bookstore was massive, and had a large selection of new and used books. We found books for my daughter, my son and myself. Here’s my daughter reading a book:

Book Reading

And here’s some of the Roger Zelazny books I found (I purchased a few):

Powell's Bookstore Zelazny

My friend let us stay at the priory behind his church overnight, but we also took some photos too:

And here was a lovely statue of the Virgin Mary:

He also showed a few relics. This is a tiny, tiny piece of the cloth that Mother Theresa wore:

Mother Theresa Relic

…notice that the caption is written in Latin too. ;)

My friend the priest also showed us his office, which had a lot of traditional Latin liturgy books (like okyō お経 in Buddhism):

Latin Liturgy

and:

Latin Liturgy 3

My friend explained that the Catholic Church isn’t one church, but actually a group of churches around the world that all have certain things in common, plus follow the Pope as their leader. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest group but there other churches such as the Byzantine Church, the Armenian Church, Chaldean Church, etc. So, because there are many churches there are many ways to do mass. These different rites require training but my friend is certified by the Vatican to do 8 different rites, which is somewhat unusual for priests.

That night, while my daughter slept next door, my friend and I had a long, interesting discussion about religion. It’s always nice to have a good, trusted friend you can talk with about such things, and can share deeper insights into life and such. One good friend is worth more than 10 “buddies”, I think. We shared experiences with Catholic mysticism and Zen/Pure Land teachings as well. I hope to share some of these insights in upcoming posts. :)

Anyhow, the next day (Sunday) my daughter and I attended an 800-year old, traditional Latin mass called the Dominican Rite. Most Catholic Mass are in the local language, but many churches will still have a few traditional masses for people who are interested. The Dominican Rite was a bit too long for my daughter (90 minutes) but it was interesting because it was different than the regular Mass I’ve seen before.2 Seeing the mass reminded me of the Middle Ages somehow. Also, since I grew up Mormon, I have never heard a Church service in Latin. As a language nerd it was interesting.

After Mass, my daughter was a little anxious (she is only 7 years old, afterall ;) ), so we went to Washington Park, which is a very beautiful park on the west-side of Portland. It had a very large playground, and a lovely rose-garden too:

Portland Washington Park

After this, we had to take the train back to Seattle. My daughter had a lot of fun, and slept on a train a little bit. I was happy to see an old friend, share a deep discussion, and to spend some “Daddy-Daughter Time” too. Plus I came back with a lot of old Roger Zelazny books. ;)

Portland is a lovely city, and well worth visiting for a couple days/nights.

1 Little Guy is still a bit too young to travel, and my wife wanted some quiet time. When we came back, she was happy and glowing. Husbands, if you want happy wives, make sure to give them enough personal time! :)

2 In my early twenties, when I was first dating my wife, I was seriously interested in becoming Catholic for a few years, but something my wife once said ignited my interest in Buddhism more. Plus our first trip to Japan in 2005 really convinced me that Buddhism was the right path for me.

Posted in Language, Latin, Religion, Travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Children Over Parents: some Buddhist parenting advice

Hello,

Since this is the Fall Ohigan week here on the blog, I wanted to do another Buddhist post. This one is about my little boy, whom I call “Little Guy”. He is now 11 months old, and likes to crawl around the house and explore. Unlike his sister, he’s very active and curious. Lately, he discovered one of my daughter’s baby dolls. He was curious at first, and poked the doll’s eyes, mouth, and such. But now he loves to play with it, and will crawl around the house dragging the baby with him:

Untitled

The doll is kind of heavy, but he uses one arm to crawl, and the other drags the baby. :)

He even likes to sleep with the baby now.

My wife and I think it’s very cute. So, we decided we will buy him a doll for his 1-year birthday (coming soon) because this doll belongs to his older sister.

I know that some fathers wouldn’t want their sons to play with dolls or any girl toys because they believe their son will become too feminine. But when I see that my son is so happy, I think it’s great. I think it will help him be a good father someday too.

But more importantly, his happiness is my happiness. If my son and daughter are happy and safe, then that makes me happy. My pride as a man is irrelevant. I don’t care if other fathers think I am strange.

Oftentimes, parents project their hopes and fears on their own children (even if they are not aware they do this), but sometimes this can have negative effects on your children. Your children might feel pressured, or frustrated and then resent you later. A parent might push their kids to do sports they don’t like, then the kid will drag their feet and not want to do it. Then the parent will get angry, and the kid will resent things more.

It’s important to give children structure and discipline, but you have to have the right reason. Are you doing it for your own benefit? Are you compensating for something? Or are you doing it for the child’s welfare?

In an old podcast, the British monk Ajahn Brahm once said that you don’t own your kids. You are taking care of them temporarily, but they are separate people and will move out of the house someday and become adults. So, your obligation as a parent is to give them a safe, structured and positive home, so they can grow up in a good environment. Do not worry about your own accomplishments or your own self-image.

Just remember, you don’t own your children. But you are responsible for their happiness. :)

南無釈迦牟尼仏
Namu shakamuni butsu

P.S. This advice is true for one’s wife also! Fathers, you can’t change or control your wife. You don’t own your wife. You can only control how you react to her. So react with more kindness. You’ll see a positive difference.

P.P.S. If you are going to get a doll for a child, the French “Corolle” dolls are great. My daughter has one she still plays with, and when we visited Paris many years ago, we bought many accessories at a children’s boutique. The quality is great, and they are durable and easy to wash. That is very useful when your daughter drops her baby in the mud. ;)

Posted in Buddhism, Family | 1 Comment

Fall Ohigan 2014: Conduct Matters

Hi Everyone,

As is a tradition here in this blog, I like to give a little Buddhism “sermon” at certain times of the year, including Ohigan since the first post in 2009. Ohigan (お彼岸) is a twice-yearly Buddhist holiday in Japan. According to tradition, it was started by the pious Emperor Shomu who felt the milder weather would be a good time to reflect on Buddhism. Ohigan literally means “the other Shore” which is a euphemism for Enlightenment. You’re crossing the shore of ignorance to the other shore of awakening and liberation.

In practice, it is a public holiday in Japan, and many people will visit their hometowns to pay respects to their ancestors. Since it is a public holiday, many offices and businesses will be closed too.

Anyhow, for this Ohigan, I wanted to talk about something that I was reminded of recently, namely this quote from an old post about Rinzai Zen monastic life:

As we review these [monastic] regulations of the monks’ hall, their meaning becomes clear. In other words, by regulating one’s behavior, one’s mind is also regulated. The Zen patriarchs were well aware of this.

Normally, when people think of Zen, they think of the opposite: Zen Masters who are “crazy” and wandering the world free to enjoy life, etc. But here, we see that the Zen monastic life is actually very strict. Professor Robert Buswell, who trained in a Zen (Seon) Monastery in Korea said the same thing:

The testimony of the Korean monastic community, however, suggests instead that a disciplined life, not the transformative experience of enlightenment [through meditation], is actually the most crucial to the religion.

In fact, even the Buddha stressed the importance of conduct in such sutra as the Maha-Mangala Sutta (SN 2.4) where he describes the “highest protection” in life as:

Giving, living in rectitude,
assistance to one’s relatives,
deeds that are blameless:
This is the highest protection.

Avoiding, abstaining from evil;
refraining from intoxicants,1
being heedful of the qualities of the mind:
This is the highest protection.

In each cases, it seems like the “secret” to Zen or any serious Buddhist training is conduct and discipline first, then meditation. In other words, by disciplining the body, you discipline the mind!

I thought about this recently, and started repeating to myself “discipline the body, discipline the mind” often. When I feel like spending money I shouldn’t, I repeat this phrase. When I am tired and don’t want to do dishes, I repeat this phrase. And so on.

To my surprise it works.

You see, I always thought the opposite: if I discipline my mind, my body will follow. But the opposite seems to work better: discipline the body first and the mind will follow. I was mad at myself because I was lazy and not disciplined. Then I realized the problem wasn’t that I was stupid, I just wasn’t doing it the right way. Once I did it the right way, my conduct improved a little.

Yogacara Buddhist teachings seem to reinforce this idea too because each action “perfumes” the mind and helps color your subsequent actions like a feedback loop.

So what does this all mean for your average Buddhist?

I think it means that any effort to discipline yourself and follow a wholesome lifestyle will pay off a lot more than jumping headfirst into something like meditation. People want to meditate for a stress-free life and such, but if you follow wholesome conduct, your life will be less stressful anyway plus you will have self-confidence. Meditation works best when you have a foundation of good conduct, not the other way around.

But it also means that if you are having trouble following a wholesome lifestyle, don’t get mad at yourself; just try another approach. Sometimes, a different environment, different friends or small change in habits can really make a positive difference. As the Buddha taught, all beings are capable of becoming Buddhas (i.e. “Buddha-nature” or hongaku 本覚), but maybe just don’t know how.

Conduct is also one of the Six Perfections of Ohigan by the way. ;)

But what does it mean to follow a wholesome lifestyle or to discipline yourself?

In the Buddha’s own words in the Metta Sutta (SN 1.8):

Do not do the slightest thing that the wise would later censure.

So in other words, try not to do or say anything you might regret later. If unsure, just don’t do it. You’ll thank yourself in the long-run, and you’ll enjoy a life that is protected. You don’t need Buddhist charms or amulets if you live a guilt-free, wholesome lifestyle. :)

Anyhow, happy (and wholesome) Ohigan everyone!

P.S. If you need more structure, then try following one or more of the Five Precepts (gokai 五戒) as a personal vow.

P.P.S. Double-post today. :)

南無釈迦牟尼仏
Namu shakamuni butsu

1 Yup, this means alcohol too, sorry guys. ;)

Posted in Buddhism, Zen | Leave a comment

How Not To Publish Books on Kindle

Hi Everyone,

As folks might recall, I published a science-fiction book named Jack, Still Standing recently on Amazon as an e-book. I started the book 10 years ago, and finally decided to take a chance and publish it and I feel really relieved that I did.

The process of publishing an e-book was a lot harder than I expected though. I was impatient and didn’t test things carefully so I has some problems at first, and had to spend time to fix them. So, I wanted to share some advice to others who are thinking about doing e-books, and books on Amazon in particular to save them some headaches.

First, when I published my book, I published it with a pen-name because I wasn’t sure what kind of reception my book would get and I was kind of worried.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check whether the name was already used or not. Sure enough, the name was used by another, popular E-book author. I had some book sales in the first week that seemed a bit unusual. Then I realized they were probably buying the book because they believed it was the other author. I finally decided to use my real name and fixed the problem later. Book sales declined but at least I know people are buying the right book. :-)

But the worst problem was that the e-book format was messed up and unreadable!

You see, E-books are a kind of simple technology. Ebooks use the EPUB digital format which is based on XHTML. So, Ebooks are a lot like webpages. Similar technology, similar formats.

The trouble comes when you translate your book from its original format into the EPUB format. I had originally written the book using NeoOffice, a free wordprocessor for Macs, then later switched to LibreOffice which was also free, but had better support. However, when switching from one processor to another, the fonts had changed in subtle ways. It was impossible to see visually, but different paragraphs had slightly different fonts depending on whether they were written before or after the switch.

Worse, there were hidden carriage-returns due to copy-pasting. Originally, each chapter was a separate file, but I started copy/pasting them into a single file, but also copy-pasted paragraphs around. The result was that some paragraphs had improper carriage-returns that were invisible, but appeared later when converted for the Kindle. So, some paragraphs looked “crammed” together and other ones were too far apart.

Since I couldn’t see any of this on my computer, I assumed it looked normal and ready for publishing. The first thing I did was use the excellent tool called Calibre for the Mac, and converted my LibreOffice file to EPUB format. I looked at the EPUB file in Calibre and it looked great. Then I uploaded the EPUB file to my KDP account on Amazon, which automatically converted it to Kindle format. Again, I briefly previewed the first few pages, and it looked fine.

But then, when I looked at the “Look Inside” book preview, the formatting was terrible. Certain paragraphs had strange bold or italic formats, and not all paragraphs lined up correctly. I was confused by the discrepancy so I then went into my KDP account, and used the Kindle preview feature to look at the same book in all formats: Kindle, Ipad, etc. It turns out that the formatting issues only surfaced in non-Kindle devices for some reason, but that includes the book preview feature on the website.

The only way I was able to fix this was to take the original file, select all the text and reset the formatting to defaults. This removed all the hidden fonts and carriage-lines, but then I had to go through the book and add any special formatting back in line by line. LibreOffice makes this fairly easy, so it only cost me a couple nights of work, but once I uploaded the newly converted EPUB file again, I made certain to preview the book in all formats provided by Kindle. The format looked much better this time, and I was able to re-publish with confidence.

The lessons learned from all this was:

  • Check to see if someone else is using the same pen-name.
  • When converting from one word processor to another, reset all the formats for the entire document and add them back in manually just to ensure there are no hidden fonts that will appear later.
  • When uploading the EPUB file, use the Kindle Preview feature to see how your book will look in all formats. This will help you a lot because you can see your book the way a customer sees it.
  • To avoid cut and paste hassles, try to compse your document all in file, rather than 1 chaper per file. Or, before you publish, enable the word-processor feature to display paragraphs so you can catch any strange discrepancies.

Anyhow I learned some painful lessons from publishing my first E-book but I’m glad I did it though. If you are going to publish on Amazon please take this advice and I wish you luck. :-)

P.S. Now that that book is complete, I am working on a Buddhist book I always wanted to write, and the second book in the “Jack” series. Busy, busy. :) As I suspected, once you publish one book, it’s a lot easier to write and publish other books.

Posted in Literature, Technology | Leave a comment