Sunday, December 9, 2012

Heartfelt Gifts Of The Season...

First beautiful gift I want to share with you.
Today is the day. The convoy of trucks, stacked with evergreen wreaths made right here in Maine, rolls on to Arlington Cemetery and other cemeteries, across the country. Volunteers will be waiting at each sight to place the red ribboned wreaths at the graves of our country's heros. A beautiful tribute.

Now here's a brilliant recycled gift for my Picture Book writing friends. I received it from
Chitra SoundraManic Muse, and she gave me permission to share it with you.

Using Presentation Software to make Picture Book Dummies

The picture book dummies I make are crude, messy and anything but picture perfect. My arts and crafts training extend only till folding a letter into an envelope. In spite of my labored cutting, pasting, folding and coloring, I just couldn’t make the dummy presentable or something I could take into a class to read.
That’s when I figured out a shortcut. I wondered whether I could use Microsoft PowerPoint as a tool for making picture book dummies. Let’s gets plugged into PowerPoint.
Check if your PC/ Mac has Microsoft PowerPoint. You can use any of the freely available presentation software to do this. I use Microsoft Powerpoint because it is installed in my Mac.
Step 1: Start the presentation software.
Step 2: Click on File-> New -> Blank Presentation
The first slide always comes up as a title slide. That’s what you need too. Enter the title of the book and the author name here.
Step 4: Insert a new slide
Step 5: Choose the kind of layout you want – if you are going to create the dummy with sample images, then choose a template that has an image.
Tip: Image is called clipart in PowerPoint.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you complete all the slides for the picture book.
Tip: You can open your story draft in another window and cut and paste lines, slide by slide.
Step6: Press F5 (or Click on View -> Slideshow) to see the running presentation.
After you view the slideshow, you might want to rearrange the slides. You might have to remove a page or add a new one.
Tip: Save the presentation before you proceed further. Press Ctrl + S to save.
Deleting a slide
Step 1: Click on View -> Slide Sorter
Step 2: Click the slides you don’t want and press <del> on your keyboard. It’s gone.
Sometimes you might not be sure about deleting a slide. You just want to see how the story flows without it. In this case, you can hide a slide instead of deleting.
Step 1: Click on View -> Slide Sorter
Step 2: Click on the slide you want to hide
Step 3: Right-click and click on Hide
Adding a new slide
Step 1: Click on View -> Slide Sorter
Step 2: If you want to add a slide between 4th and 5th slides, click the gap between slides 4 and 5. Now press Ctrm+M, a new blank slide is available.
Rearranging slides
Step 1: Click on View -> Slide Sorter
Step 2: Drag and drop a slide from one position to another.
Step 1: Click on File -> Print
Step 2: Choose the type of Handout you need at the Print What dialog. You could choose 6 in a page or 9 in a page.
Step 3: Use Print Preview option to check how it would look on a page.
Step 4: Hit the print button once you have made the choices.
You have created a virtual picture book using PowerPoint. The number of slides in your presentation matches the number of pages in your picture book. You can visualize the story better.
With this tool, you can now spend more time on writing that winning story. Don’t worry about making a dummy anymore. Just plug into PowerPoint.
The song that just happened to start playing behind me is, It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.  I truly believe that it is. Sometimes when one day turns to another, we're not non caring, it's just that we forget the needs of others around us. For me, it's the joy of Christmas that prompts me to do the extra things that I try not to forget all year long.
Have a great day, a great holiday season, whichever holiday is part of your life. Share your gifts!  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Mona, for sharing! I tend to believe it's a wonderful time of year, too. :)