Friday, February 27, 2009

Temporary Bindings

The printed copy of the Fair Maid is hot. I am so glad I finally got the courage to cut the book and make the scans happen.
Hope to print a couple of copies today. I am going to Herkimer tomorrow to look for a suitable binder to hold this all together when it gets sent out.
I was going to attempt to perfect bind it but I decided that for a publisher, all I need to do is wrap the entire thing up and send it out.
And then wait.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Online Now! The Fair Maid

Through the wonders of automated features in photoshop, I was able to turn this around from a bunch of .jpg's to a 160 page pdf, to an online publication on issuu in a couple of hours, and that included a 1 1/2 hour lunch and time to print a laser proof!
Now, to send this to the publishers.

Crop and Rotate

The cropping and rotating is going well. I am almost done already, and I only spent and hour or so on this.
My next step is to create a couple of dummy books. I need to be able to have a couple of copies. I have made a decision regarding the future of the book and the publishing of it. Since I want to shoot for the moon, I am going to send a couple to 2 different low brow publishers. It would be nice to have someone cover the marketing and publishing costs.
I investigated Blurb. Blurb wants $50.00 for a hardcover, or $35.00 for a soft cover for a book of this size. That's a decent price for a book. I am not thinking I can charge much more than this and make much money. I can see $60.00 as a stretch for someone to spend...and I have to knock off the shipping costs out of those numbers still. Not sure I want to go this route. It might work to make a sample book to send to the publisher...but I already have the ability to do this on the laser copier where I work. So for now, this book will be published here and sent away for others to evaluate.
I need to update my resumé and provide whatever paperwork these publishers require.
For now, I am concentrating on producing the dummy. I want to try doing a perfect binding. We have padding glue already at work. I want to do a simple stack on the glue and see if it will hold. Then it's just a matter of attaching a cover. I will have a completed book project to send away. Hopefully, this impresses.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scanning completion

I finished scanning the book the other night. It was a brain dead procedure. I didn't really need to pay attention at all just check the cropping and let 'er rip.
Now comes the first part of tediousness. The cropping and rotating stage. Each scan needs to be checked over and processed. InDesign will be my page layout program. I used to be a Quark fan, but when this has to go to pdf, InDesign will be handier.
The cropping should take me a week or so. I still have some time to make that decision regarding the publishing...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Introduction - Synopsis

I had just finished up working on my first completed collage journal, Dreamiverse. In this journal, I created an altered book, and did my art randomly on top of another publication. After I did the artwork, I printed it myself on the color copier at work and created my first animated CD to accompany it. This was so truly empowering and I loved the idea of having my artwork printed. I wanted to do it again.
Upon examination of the finished book, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that it was "just art" and not a story. Instead of loose artworks, I dreamed about creating an epic collage story, something with characters and a plot. I decided this project would probably need some words, since a long story only in pictures might be difficult to follow. I really didn't want to type the story. That would be too easy. I wanted things to be a bit more random and Dada, like the rest of my work. The words would also have to be collaged. And The Fair Maid was born.
I had an old ledger style composition notebook containing 150 pages. It was vintage, but pristine, and I was holding onto it for just the right project. It had ruled pages, but that didn't bother me much. This was the perfect book for the job.
At the time, I was living in the Adirondack Park. I had just moved there, after living in the Southern Tier for most of my adult life. I was psyched to be living near bogs, forests, and mountains. The surroundings moved me and entered into the realm of my artwork. I took pictures of the land around me all the time. I had developed this little dream of being an Adirondack artist. If someone thought about my or my artwork, I wanted them to associate it with northern Adirondack forests. I wanted to be remembered for the way I depicted this landscape that I love so much. The scenery around me would be a major component of the story and also the pictures that compose The Fair Maid.
Bogs were especially fascinating for me since the Adirondacks are full of them. On any given hike into the wilderness in this region, you will no doubt come across some acid boggy wet land. It's inevitable. Nothing feels more bizarre then sinking bare feet into the sponge-like moss in a fresh Adirondack bog. The plants that grew in the bog also intrigued me and I had all sorts of mental fantasies about possible events that could occur there. Pitcher plants, sundews, peat moss...these things inspire me and fascinate me. They would be great fodder for the book.
In my yard and surrounding me in every direction were the Adirondack forests. Dark, cool, absolutely still...they lured me in and I felt communion there. The plentiful balsams lend their peculiar smell to these woods, and everywhere there is a strong odor of sweet piney forest. I love this smell so much. I would bottle it up and keep it with me wherever I go if I could. In fact, I do possess 2 different little balsam bags full of balsam needles. Every now and then I crush one, close my eyes, and put it up to my face to smell it and let the smell take me to the woods.
These Adirondack plants and forests around me I took into my heart. I hiked often and painted or took pictures every time I could. I swam in creeks and hidden ponds or lakes. I got stuck in icky mud and muck, got eaten alive by black flies and mosquitoes, and I found long lost bridges and camps...Life was an exploration. This got through to my very soul. So when it came time to begin a story, something that I knew I would have to really delve into and spend a lot of working with, I knew that the Adirondacks is where I would begin.


The story begins in Spring, with a fair maid that lived in a bog and filled pitcher plants. She was alone at first. Toiling in the bog, tending to the needs of the plants that grow there, that was her destiny. And then one night she had a dream, a sparkling dream of a man she would meet and come to love. The dream helps her come to the realization that she is quite lonely. The bog seems empty. Many moments are spent in despair as she realizes how much she yearns for someone to share her life with.
One summer day, she comes upon this man. He lives in the balsam wood, in a mushroom house. They do indeed fall in love and every day seems like a snapshot moment. The man decides to ask her to join him and live with him in the balsam wood.
This is a pivotal moment for the Fair Maid. Although she has wanted a partner for some time, and she is convinced that this man is everything she has ever wanted in a partner, she also remembers her duties at the bog and the pitcher plants that must be filled. Without her to fill them, they would certainly die. She declines his offer sadly, and returns to the bog alone. By now, it is fall and winter will soon come.
The Wizard of the North Wind comes upon her and asks her what is wrong. When he discovers her plight he has pity on the lovers, and he casts a spell. The bog shall grow next to the balsams.
Sadness and loneliness envelope The Fair Maid as she hibernates through winter, not knowing that a spell was cast will change her future.
Spring emerges once again, and the Fair Maid awakes to find that the bog is magically now right next to the balsam wood. She can tend to the pitcher plants and also be with her true love. They are together once more, and live in Adirondack bog bliss for the rest of their years.
And that is why a bog can be found at the edge of a balsam wood.

New Plans

I was talking with Chris the other day about the book itself and I believe I have some writing ahead of me. We were discussing the undercurrents in the book, and I was telling him about why I chose the plot of the story and all that. He encouraged me to write some of this stuff in a forward for the book. I do like that idea. I was working on it already in my head. The format is fuzzy for me, I may do some kind of Q & A, because there are some things about the book that would merit an explanation.

The scanning is already 2/3 done. I took out a sig this morning and was excited to see that there isn't much left. I am getting to the "new" segment, and I am liking that, since this is less familiar. The rest of the book has been fondled by me over and over and over hundreds of times throughout the past 5 years. I can recall each page and smile over the little things that tweaked me while i worked on it. The last pages, they were only finished up last spring.
This book has rested long enough. It's time for it's journey to a publisher.

The next segment, after the scanning, that's going to be rather tedious. I will have to go and crop and rotate all the scans and get them cleaned up and perhaps color correct should they need it.

THEN it's anyone's guess still at this point. I think the next step is to make a nice pdf out of it, multi page...and then print it 2 sided all nice on the copier. Then I can create a super fine copy of that will be worthy of sending out.
I could also format it for Blurb and self pub. Not sure about that yet. For now, the scanning has me busy enough.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

scanning progress

Finally came to a rhythm when scanning!This book has weird sigs and to take it apart without a complete fumble fuck...I have to cut a few pages apart now and then. Of course, the first cut hurt the most. At this point I am immune.
I am halfway thru. It is difficult to concentrate on each and every single scan! I end up with this kind of half ass little skit, where I put it on, and preview, turn around, put something away in the studio, turn back around and scan. SWITCH! With a hoop skirt and some music, it'd feel like a square dance!
I have done some research on where to print, and Blurb seems to have the best review for color work.
Have NOT decided whether to split this into a 2 or 3 part book yet, tho. Not sure about what to do on that. I guess what's the dif? If you buy one book for 60 bucks or the alternative of 2 books for the same?
I don't know if anyone would spend this kind of change on MY book. I know a self help book is one thing. This is not self help. It's fairy tale. fiction.

It's all so secret. I don't tell many people about these things, and this blog is oh so quiet. Seems so cool to have such a big secret. Somehow, I need to go from only ME knowing it, to EVERYONE knowing.