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About Artsia Luna

Ben Kross portrait picAcknowledgement: Humble thanks to all those family and friends who have helped keep me in the business of being alive in difficult times. I'd like to thank history for its lessons, the past for it's treasures of wisdom which can subsume each of us in a life's work just to get up to speed, let alone to venture into our futures well equipped with the sweetest lessons. Many thanks to love and thank you for visiting friends.

It is well known to many writers that it is somewhat frowned upon, within the industry, to self-publish. Some feel it's somehow sneaking past the guard, and/or adding nothing but noise to an already crowded market full of mediocrity etc. Artsia Luna is a self-publishing experiment which may hopefully grow and offer others a place to publish and flourish as great writers and artists. As an experiment, the type of copyright protection applied to various works may change over time, but the basic philosophy will be the same:

This leaves many things open for debate of course..

Q: How does it get delivered?
A: In any published form beginning with the web. There are some interesting new models for paid delivery which will be considered in future - artists do have to eat too. Traditional print will be an option only when it can be afforded - that may take some time. Of course anyone interested in funding projects for themselves or others into the future in conjunction with Artsia Luna are encouraged to get in touch.

Q: What is meant by "easily accessible"?
A: Light and fast web site, towards standards compliance (at least transitional) and eventually, with a view to being fully XML strict compliant (including adhering to accessibility guidelines more completely - ie., to accommodate screen-readers for vision impaired users). Most viewable file sizes should not be too large to view in a reasonably time-frame - original files at full resolution, if made available, will not be default download link. If a large file is a default download, it will be labeled as such, and a file size and download time estimate for different connection speeds. Inclusion: It is recognised that not everyone in the world has broadband and mobile devices are still slower in general also.

Q: What about freedom of expression?
A: Nothing new there. It is perfectly reasonable to publish artistic works without fear of repercussion from heavy-handed government or others. Artsia Luna will deal with possibly "offensive" published works by labeling them as "for adult consumption, contains adult themes/nudity" etc. These types of works, if published, will also be available only to those consenting to view such material. Art is not for everyone - but the Internet is. Membership of Artsia Luna to various freedom of expression organisations will eventuate soon. Frankly, it's hoped that there will be no complaints about the content of the site to begin with.

Q: Helping others to publish?
A: When there's enough traffic coming to the site, it will be feasible to offer the opportunity to benefit from this, to other artists. Once again, not so much about "saving the world" (although that's a fine thing) but more about just getting on with it - whatever that turns out to be.

UPDATE (Jun 13, 2010) - the first published items by another artist, can be found on the poetry page - I welcome Grant Heaton to and thank him for his contributions - I think he's going to be a wonderful poet and know that if you like some of my writing here, you'll be sure to love Grants works. Cheers Grant! (all rights reserved and remain with respective holders - please ask about reproduction.)

Q: Another Open Source nut?
A: Again, like the last answer. It should be supported, because it empowers people with the ability to communicate. There will be a page on this site with links to all the great software available out there. I'd like to write this site to XML now, except that the groovy editors to 'do up' the schemas etc cost some US$500 plus, and extra module add ons are more etc. However, I like the fact that soon, there will be an alternative out there.. perhaps Open Office 2 will have a great XML tool when I have a look this week. Until then, I'll write my freehand HTML 4.1 transitional kludge - which works just fine today.

This site is written in HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN. Some of the CSS workarounds and bug free implementation tricks are sourced from all over the net, including A List Apart. This site's pretty much being developed by brute force, the old-school way - the 'notepad' replacements used are tools such as Scite and gedit (using Linux 99.9% of the time - really, you owe it to yourself to at least try Ubuntu if you're a curious PC user). You may find some typo's if you're lucky. Let me know if you do - but I'm using UK/Australian spelling so words like 'colour' are meant to be spelled or even spelt that way. Images are done in a variety of programs. In Win it was Photoshop Elements 2.0, one of the only commercially available software programs used apart from the previous operating system. Now it's the Gimp in *nix. The web hosting is on DreamHost, via farcool another site of mine (gentle plug), an Australian based business (registered early/mid 2007) which is launching its web services soon. For now offers web design, domain services, hosting and consultation.

Disclosure: Apart from plugging here on this page, other income streams from this site include donations and the DreamHost affiliate link at the bottom of each page - when visitors click it to visit and then sign up for hosting there without inputting any other coupons or affiliate codes, then I will receive a payment from DreamHost for sending you their way. I honestly do recommend them wholeheartedly these days. Last year I had some doubts about recommending anyone, but they have become quite a difficult choice to overlook and I'm more than happy with their system and they're kind of light-hearted which makes a change from all of the overly corporate hosts around. As well as having their own easy to use panel, they allow root access via ssh and new options now for VPS hosting (both http and separate sql, unique IP's in the mix etc) at reasonable rates for the more web savvy among us also. I don't place outside advertising on however I may at some point add in some of my own 'gimmicks' such as those ubiquitous "tell a friend" forms along the lines of "click to send this poem to someone special" - which probably counts as crusty marketing to some degree, but it will be in house and not some third party script or viral marketing code snippet. Lastly, at some point I will be adding a section where you can purchase original paintings or photo prints and perhaps I'll have some CD quality music to sell too in time, with no DRM built in (As much as I know how it is to be a musician watching the old business models grasping at such solutions, I never want to punish people for loving music - that's that. If you love it and want to share it across your devices then good on you. I don't like lock-in in any technology.

I hope you find some entertainment here so far among the poems and music samples. It's been an extraordinarily busy year or two for me and I'm looking forward to adding more art content soon. One side project involves digitising a few hundred old cassettes full of music and I know I'd like to share some of the more finished songs with you when they're done in a few months or so. I'll also be doing some more works in oil after a long hiatus - tabula rasa.

Thanks for reading and all the best, Ben

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