Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Is having a rough, albeit semi-productive day after a rather sleepless night (certain fun but persistent bedtime companions (not the cats) snore a bit too much when they stay over.) Nevertheless, I was up early and in the studio to make some promo copies of a new release, to scan and manipulate an upcoming cover, and get some orders in their envelopes. I need more week in my week, though. Another day or two to get done all I would like before Friday rolls along. I'm looking at another Saturday making some books (which is actually fine since as soon as I get home, laziness seems to seep through me like a sponge.) As such, I've been vascillating today between tiny highs (yay! my fave soda in a vending machine! yay! my pretty new bag arrived!) to general crankiness (You over there! STFU right now before I hurl a stapler at your head...)
But instead I will post more pictures of pretty things, in this case, some small decoated tins I made up in December for ths shop and am just now getting ready to post. They are just little desk tins with a pretty bird collage and filled with some paperclips and binderclips, but oh so adorable. If they've captured your fancy, you can get your very own, here...
Monday, February 25, 2013
This weekend, in addition to lounging about unfettered by reality, I made another couple of spring dress purchases and this 1940's beauty above (gotten for a steal of only $19 )Also in the face of reality, since my overspending has rendered me eating hot pockets for lunch everyday this week instead of my occasional take-out. But who cares if I am poor if I have beautiful things.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
So I am enjoying my three-day hooky from the world vacation and not doing anything even remotely productive (okay, I may give my windows a good washing inside and out if it's not too cold, but before the creepy spiders come back in the warm weather), but otherwise, I am sleeping, lounging, making my way through the end of True Blood season 4 and not doing much of anything productive at all.)
Response was favorable to the landscape pieces at Thursday night's opening. I always get a little hesitant to reveal things when I'm trying something new, especially art related where I have absolutely no training, like maybe I am completely over-confident and clueless. But all went well. When they come down in the spring, I will make them available in the shop (and since they are so small, no doubt very affordably if you are interested in getting your hands on one.) I'll also scan the entirety of the series, which I didn't have a chance to do before they went up.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Some of the ghost landscape postcard sized collages are hitting the walls as part of the Art of the Library series which opens tonight. A small smattering of which can be seen here..These were fun, interesting experiments of sort in color and shading and texture. I'm curious to see where the accompanying text pieces go as I work on more of them over the next couple of months and I will probably eventually make a little postcardish zine of them. (you can read a couple of the initial ones over at Projectile.) I'm sort of enamoured of how watercolors work on paper and hope to be using them more in collage pieces in the future, more as a layering medium over text and other images.
Monday, February 18, 2013
(a few people have asked me IRL about my daily do-ings with the press and how it is I do what I do, so I thought I might share some snippets of how dgp titles come into being, what I spend my hours doing on a daily basis, how the magic happens, whathaveyou.)
I'm a night owl who works at my
I usually have a small stock of the newest titles already made up, which will usually last me through the author copies, review/promo copies, and the initial burst of orders, but anything older I usually have to print and assemble copies from scratch. I also have random assortment of titles at any given time (I try to keep at least one copy of each book in the studio for sale during our events.) If I don't have any ready to go out, I will start my printing all the covers I need, then the insides. Then folding, bone folding, stapling. Assembly time varies, mostly in terms of trimming time (some are done on one side, others demand all three) Since I don't have a cool table top book press (though I covet one) I use a heavy circular base and some boards to smoosh the books. I'll leave them there overnight and then pop them into their envelopes the next morning usually. I'll also pack up any non-book things that have been ordered (paper goods, artwork, accessories). I try not to have to go to the PO unless it's absolutely necessary, so unless I have larger international packages, most things just go into the mail bin in the lobby.
I will then spend the remainder of my studio time laying out new books, cover designs, making correction to final proofs, or printing out a test run. I use this time also to answer e-mails, correspond with upcoming authors over corrections, cover ideas, tiny details. There are usally three books at a time in some stage of the process, so the releases tend to happen in clusters as things get squared away and we're ready to print. After I have the final version, I save everything as print-ready pdfs (I actually lay things out in word since I have access to that at every computer I might be on during a give day between the studio, home, and the library.) Before I'm ready to print, I will work on getting the webpages updated and the sales page up. We use ecrater, a great (and best of all) free e-commerce platform which allows me to just pop all the info into a template instead of designing a page from scratch. I also have to update the dgp mainpage with the new title and any additional details, at which point the book is officially released and available to order.
I admit what saves me is a pretty detailed system of alphabet coded e-mail folders with books and all correspondence, attachments, etc designated with coded prefixes that help me keep track of where we are with any given project. Over the years, I've grown pretty swift at doing layouts, choosing fonts, formatting documents, so that helps. I try to spend some time with each book again before we start the design process, thinking about what it might look like in terms of type, trim size, special needs of that particular book, etc. Different projects demand various levels of involvement on cover design, so I might be creating something from scratch (either making a piece of art or using found/stock images), getting artwork from an artist & adding text, or just popping in a ready made design we have worked out with an outside designer. I also try to set aside some time each day before I leave out to do promotional work, which means dealing with the snarl of social media things (facebook, twitter, pinterest, good reads.) Sending out requested review copies, promo copies, amd thinking from more of a marketing standpoint. Also, ordering supplies, printer, ink, paper, envelopes, et. This is usually the last hour or so of studio time, during which I pull things together and also plan for my next day and what I might need to work on later on at work when its slow and quiet or at home or on the bus. I do alot of proofing offsite, reading galleys and tweaking, which is why it's good to have access to word everywhere on all computers.
Lately I've been trying to steal a little more time earlier in the morning or late at night for my own stuff, collages to make, poems to write, manuscripts to go over, stuff to ready for submission. As much as I like bringing other peoples books into the world, I get cranky when I haven't been getting to my own projects. I find it works if I block off some time at the beginning of the day to work on on collages, writing pieces, my own little books and zines.
Then it's off to the
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Our annual winter zoo visit yesterday was very chilly but fun, and included the usual favorites, the Lion House, the slow lorises (lori?), the fennec fox, and the sand cat. But also, a teeny tiny baby gorilla that was human baby-sized and just learning to crawl. We sort of walked briskly between buildings and by passed lingering at the outdoor displays, but we survived the 20 degree temps and went to dinner afterwards.
Today, I am library-bound, though it is very quiet and already I have written a piece for the new chap project I'm working on. I'm juggling between three different projects, possibly four, and still in a steady stream. While the other two are intended to be artists books, I'm thinking this newest one might be a good entry for some chap contests in the spring. (I still have antelope moon floating in the ether, but it's a little to short for contests. I'm going to try a couple more places when they open up in April with it, but might end up just issuing it myself if no one bites. Either that, or just finding a journal that publishes larger groupings of poems all at once. I've sent a few of them out there and am waiting on responses individually. I'm trying to send off one submission a week and so far, have garnered good results thus far, so we'll see.
Last night, I spent hours looking for a dress, part of which was inspired by something I'd posted on polyvore a couple years back and partly which was in my head. The original version was way too spendy and out of my price range and only seemd to be available in a small or x-small. I finally found the above after much searching and wound up ordering it immediately. Of course, I also found something else I just had to have and my paycheck from Friday was burning a hole in my pocket, so I will likely be eating ramen noodles by the end of the month, but at least I'll have pretty dresses for summer.
Friday, February 15, 2013
the shared properties of water and stars
There are a number of things that created the sort of inspirational soup from which the storyline of this project developed, including marathons of American Horror Story, my love of Gregory Crewdson’s photography, a simultaneous fascination and aversion of logic/story problems, and a love of fairytales and animal myths/fables. I started writing with an eye toward developing an overlapping narrative between several characters that is at times almost story problem like. I am also intrigued by the line between domesticity and wildness--what happens in households and neighborhoods versus the natural world that teems at its doorway and nevertheless creeps in.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I was very careful to keep the characters more allegorical and nameless, so I’m not sure that I really see them as people enough to make casting decisions.
A suburban fairytale in the form of prose fragments and story problems , the shared properties of water and stars explores the intersections of domesticity and wildness, between restlessness and action.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Initially, all I had was a title (which actually turned out to be completely different from the final one) and a general idea to write a sort of suburban fairytale and interwoven storylines. I was also interested in the format of logic problems against the backdrop of illogical situations and how I could use those to form a narrative.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest.
There are some sexy parts, well sometimes sexy-disturbing, but sexy…
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
the shared properties of water and stars is due out from Noctuary Press, a cool new press devoted to innovative cross genre work, in April 2013.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
So the week has begun with more collages and amazing middle eastern food and journal acceptances and lots of poetry writing afoot (including a piece for radio ocularia, which had fallen stubbornly silent lately) But I do adore this little circle series and plan to make some prints for the shop very soon, and maybe some new notecards and such. I am also itching to make some journals to try out my Zutter Bind it All which has been languishing since Christmas. And more hairclips, and headbands, and earrings, oh my (so many plans and so little time to get them finished --or in some cases, started.)
In book news, I've been working on some covers for the next round of titles, and there are three others just about set to release in the next week or so. Since we are for the most part caught up in the schedule, the more swiftly we keep up, the more room we have to squeeze some additional books late in the year when we open again to submissions over the summer, which is a good thing. So I am holding steadily to the rails and making great progress. I am also spending 1-2 additional hours in the studio as such, which means some early mornings, but so far, so good.
Today was cold blustery day that shook the studio windows and has now left the grassy areas with standing water a glassy sheet of ice. In it's blusteriness, however, it felt a little like spring, so I am willing to hold on like a kite string, even if it's a very small thing.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
The days continue to be wintry and grey, but I have my productivity down to a system, which seems to be yielding favorable results. Sometimes I feel like routine is this net that is holding everything all messily together. If it breaks, I am up shit creek. But still, we are moving into February, which means spring is this tiny glimmer just barely over the horizon and I have been writing full throttle on a new project (having abandoned the thing I am, again, supposed to be working on.) But there are also new collages and new studio buddies (see above) and the remainder of my houselhold projects from January (my linen closet and bathroom are spotless, which leaves only the bedroom to finish up this weekend). I am hoping to finish up all this stuff and turn my attention back to some fun, crafty things before the end of the month I've been collecting supplies for over the winter.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Sunday, February 03, 2013