The Light of a Thousand Suns!

Thousand Suns by Michal Dziekan

Image: Thousand Suns by Michal Dziekan from Inspiration for Digital Artists



(They tell me I should start using your full name in case you’re searching or something)

Cady Stroble!

Those who know tell me that you’ve withdrawn a house-size amount of money. Have you found a place? Have you stopped running?

My heart brims with hope.

Hey now! Put Your Lights On!

      Put Your Lights On - Santana Feat. Everlast


Sigil: A Free Utility for Editing epub Files

I’m doing these epub posts bass-ackwards, but that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me.

So how did I correct the problems with my epub file reported by Pagina epub checker? How did I prepare the epub file in the first place?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sigil. If you google sigil you get this wonderful definition:

an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power

But what I want you to do is to google download sigil and look for a reputable site from which to download the epub editor.

Once you have it installed, come back here . . .

Okay, so now you have Sigil.

See, an epub (or a mobi) is just a zip file of the content html file and all the support files. If you want to check this out, just change the suffix of any epub or mobi file to zip and check out the contents.

Sigil is a free Open Source epub editor that lets you edit the epub content xhtml files and any image files, including the cover, plus images within the content. It also lets you define both TOCs— the table of contents within the book pages and also the table of contents that lives behind the scenes in the epub collection of files.

Sigil guides you toward creating separate files for each of the chapters and guides you in creating the cover jpeg— you still need to supply an image of the right size.

You can load a validator into Sigil, but I used epubcheck (see previous post on validating epubs), which provides the file name and line number of any problematic code. You go into Sigil and fix the problem just like that: surgical strike.

See, an epub or Kindle is mainly html code, probably assisted by a css style sheet, which Sigil guides you toward.

If you’re building your own epub, you want Sigil.

And do you know about Kindle Previewer? It will convert an epub file to mobi, which is the Kindle format. And it will let you preview the mobi file in the various Kindle capabilities.

I think that covers it, but I’ll add anything if I think of it.

Validating ePubs

homepage of idpf: The International Digital Publishing Forum

The image is of the homepage for
IDPF: The International Digital Publishing Forum

If you decide to distribute your epub through Smashwords, it will get validated, and Smashwords will not list your epub until it passes validation. But the errors they provide are of little help.

You want to run your epub file through a utility called epubcheck to validate it and receive error feedback that’s helpful. There’s an online version available at

IDPF’s EPUB Validator

You can run a version on your desktop by grabbing the Open Source utility epubcheck.jar and installing Java on your computer.

GitHub is a source for the zip file and has a wiki on epubcheck:

For the .zip file:

The main GitHub page for epubcheck:

The wiki starts here:

Okay, so now you’ve got epubcheck.jar. You need Java to run it on your linux or windows or macintosh computer. You’re probably best off googling java download to get the most recent info for your situation.

For Windows 10, the FAQ:

For Macintosh Sierra, the FAQ:

If you’re running Linux, you’re too cool to need my help.

Okay so now you’ve installed Java on your computer.

This gives you the ability to run a .jar file from a command line.

So Windows people bring up the Run command line and enter something like:

java -jar C:/epubcheck/epubcheck.jar C:/test/name of the .epub file

Mac users go into the Utilities folder in Applications, launch Terminal, and . . .

I’ll tell ya. I don’t know what we Mac people do at this point, ’cause this is when I went to the GUI page of the epubcheck wiki:

where I learned about Pagina epub checker:

And here is where I’m at, about to fix the nine errors in my epub file.

What errors? My epub is now valid.

Pagina epub checker gives you the file name and line number of each error, making it easy peasy to fix the problems.

I now have valid epub and mobi files on this site.

epub passed the Smashwords validator

Free Kindle and ePub of Chrome Cady: A Quote Woman on the Run

Chrome Cady book cover

Free downloads of Chrome Cady: A Quote Woman on the Run:

As Kindle (22MB):
Free Kindle

As ePub (10MB):
Free ePub


If you see Cady, let her know about all this.

Religion ∩ Civil Law = ∅

Religion and Civil Law do not intersect

I think some people conflate the spheres of religion and civil law. They are two separate realms, just as religion and science are— and we have many religious scientists of faith.

Jesus’ declaration that marriage is between a man and a woman lives in the realm of religion.
The laws giving gays the right to civil marriage live in the separate realm of civil law and are based on the concept of not excluding one class of citizens from the rights and benefits of civil law.

A president who supports gay marriage is not turning his back on his Christian faith. He is acting in accordance with the First Amendment separation of religion and civil law.

Let me add that we still have prayer in school—we just don’t have someone telling us what to pray, because we don’t all pray with the same words.

I prayed in school many times and was never arrested for it.

And while I’m on this soapbox:

You can still say Merry Christmas!

Those of us who wish people Happy Holidays are honoring the different beliefs that don’t all celebrate Christmas. We’re being inclusive, not exclusive.

The Gender Spectrum

Gender spectrum

In Nashville, Tennessee, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently declared that God created men and women and that’s that.

XX = female
XY = male


As fetuses, God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has us all start out as girls. Sorry to you who believe Men Are Supreme: you started as girls.
And even if you’re solidly XX or XY, it takes some good fortune for you to come out matching your sex chromosomes.

In congenital adrenal hyperplasia, overproduction of hormones in the adrenal gland causes XX beings to look like boys.

The SRY gene on the Y chromosome that triggers testes development could be missing or dysfunctional, leading to an XY being who looks like a girl.
Or the SRY gene could find itself on an X chromosome (chromosomes swap material all the time), leading to an XX being who looks like a boy.

I’m solidly XY but if you did a line-up of genitals, you’d probably call me a girl, ’cause I’m intersex with ambiguous genitals.

Another condition is androgen insensitivity, in which an XY being doesn’t respond to the male hormones in his body. He will be be born looking like a girl, like our beloved Trace.

A number of those beautiful girl runway models guys ogle are actually androgen insensitive XY beings.

And unlike our beloved Trace, the vast majority of androgen insensitive XY beings are happy living as women, which brings up the slippery aspect of psychology.

Cady was fully XX, but said she never felt feminine, yet sure didn’t feel masculine. She always said she was somewhere in that gray zone in the middle, and could totally understand those whose feelings don’t match their sex chromosomes.

And every one of these beings I listed is created and loved by God.

Helpful links:

The American Psychological Association explaining intersex (with access to other transgender pages)

A page from the National Geographic site explaining gender identity

From the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on the science of transgender identity

From Men’s Health: Three Signs You Started as a Girl

Faith Gone


Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.

And the dark comes through these windows on the wind
Makes those votives glow more brilliantly
Well if passion can lead to prayer
Maybe prayer can give us faith
And if faith is all we’ve got then maybe faith is all we need
— Rich Mullins, “Wounds of Love”

I got no faith.

Faith ⇶ Gone

Where are you?