I Can't Wait to See My Name in Chinese Characters
Back in the early 1980s I started a project that would keep me going for the rest of my life, and still occupies much of my time today. The first desktop computers had become available, and I jumped on the chance to buy my own little Apple Macintosh -- the kind with a 6 inch screen built into the CPU case. It had a very large hard drive of 20 Mb. (That's right, twenty megabytes!) At the time I didn't think I would ever be able to fill so much space. With that equipment at my disposal, I started work on the Numerology software, not realizing that it would become an on-going project for the next three decades.
As far as report writing software goes, and the hundreds of text files needed to create a text database that would cover every possible number combination, the Macintosh worked fine and kept me busy day and night (12-hour days were the norm, not the exception). It took me almost three years to write the first Numerology text database. And that was only a start.
A problem arose when it came to creating calculation and charting methods for personal Numerology charts. I had designed a single-sheet layout of a Numerology chart in prior years and was using that particular charting method daily, calculating and drawing the charts by hand. I liked my layout because it allowed me to oversee a complete chart without having to flip pages or shuffle different sheets.
I decided I wanted to create a software program for this charting system. Unfortunately, the Macintosh was not up to the task -- it didn't have the CAD capabilities required. I needed a computer that could run AutoCAD, which has its own programming language called LISP. In those days, that program was the only application available that could be customized to create the kind of color Numerology charts still part of my current Numerology software package. I was forced to acquire a PC in addition to my precious Mac. I bought a Compaq 284, I believe that was in 1985 or 1986. The ChartMaker software has since been upgraded several times and was long ago pulled out of the CAD environment.
By 1986/87, both my color charting program and the first Numerology report writer program with significant capabilities had been completed. From then on, the project would take me through more computer upgrades, Numerology software upgrades and add-ons than I can count. The Decoz Numerology software package now contains the most expansive and detailed Numerology report writers on the market. (It's downloadable from Decoz.com, with four free modules ready to go: The Chart Calculator, which simply lists all the numbers in a personal Numerology chart the old-fashioned way; a black and white version of the ChartMaker capable of drawing personal charts in my preferred single-sheet layout; a limited version of the Personality Profile report writer; and the game Zooker. The other programs require activation codes.)
In addition to work on the Numerology software programs, I wrote the book Numerology; Key To Your Inner Self, which came out in 1994 and has sold steadily ever since.
It was published initially by Avery Publishing. Today Perigee is the official publisher. When Avery first bought the manuscript, I suggested a colorful cover design. They ignored my design but theirs was as colorful as mine, so that was fine with me. In 1996, the book was made available in Russian. I have no idea how well it sold, or if it sold at all. I never received any royalties beyond a small advance -- and I mean small!
Obviously, the Russian publisher didn't ask me for any input in the cover design, and to this day I don't know what it's supposed to convey. The back cover in particular is intriguing. If you have any ideas, I'd love to know. It just looks like a cartoon of a monkey divided in sections, like one of those diagrams that tell you where a particular kind of meat comes from in a cow.
Another version has been available in India for some time. Again, I don't know how many copies have been sold. I did not receive royalties. Not a dime. Not even an advance. And no, they never asked for my permission. Versions are also available in Dutch and German, and so it goes...
A couple of weeks ago, I agreed to the sale of the Chinese language rights to a large and reputable Taiwan publisher. The advance is reasonable and this particular publishing house will pay royalties as agreed. They have a long line of well-known authors, and offices in Taiwan and New York. Obviously, I am very happy about that. After all, at last count there were a lot of people who speak Chinese. And of course, I am looking forward to some feedback from that part of the world. China, after all, is the seat of mankind's civilization.
And as an added bonus, pretty soon I will know what my name looks like in Chinese characters. That should be interesting.
I'm now looking for a world map and a box of crayons so I can color in the areas where my book or my software is translated and available. With English, Russian, Chinese, German and Dutch colored in, I got a decent head start. I'm just waiting for Spanish, Portuguese and French publishers to get their behinds in gear; I don't know what's holding them up. After that, I am going to take a break. Rest up a bit.