Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Survived to Tell the Tale!

Okay, I'm going to write about the photo week, but I want you to check back on Monday for "Do you have a book in you?" Please tell your friends. Just to let you know, North Light is looking for artists who have something to say ... as I'm sure other publishers do. So, this will be what we'll talk about on Monday. I'll tell you what I did ... not that I'm an authority ... just the story of one person's pursuit.

The week was INTENSE. Today I'm in Florida and unpacking my tools and I was pronouncing the word in my head with the emphasis on the "IN" part of the word. Then I had a thought bubble, "Hey, maybe that's really what the word means "in tense" ... that you are in a tense situation. Oh well, this is how I occupy myself sometimes ... with crazy, nonsensical thoughts!

So, Monday morning arrived. I got to the "nice" warehouse-like building of North Light's studio ... it kinda looked like something from a movie set ... temporary walls, a kitchen-like setting ... many LARGE rooms with lights set up for photography. But I was like a deer in the headlights! I was so afraid I had forgotten something that, in fact, I couldn't find the "L" bracket and the hose clamp for the torch! So Rachel and I went to the hardware store ... which is something they admonish you about ... that the week isn't designed for the editor to be driving you all around picking up supplies you forgot! Ooops! It was only later in the week that Rachel showed me the bracket and clamp I had packed ... only I had stashed the box under a table with bubble wrap gently resting on top of them. So, technically, I didn't forget anything!

The days go like this. The editor sits at her computer and reads back to me the directions I wrote of how to make the projects. She reads it one step at a time as I recreate the piece. There were many times I modified the directions to something that worked a little better. Since I make nearly all of my own components, with the exception of most chains, it was a lot to do in a week.

We were shooting (no pun intended) for getting 5 projects done in a day. Monday we got 4 done, Tuesday was lunch with the sales reps and we got four projects done. Wednesday when Rachel picked me up at the hotel I told her we were getting five done that day. The night before I had looked through the Table of Contents and selected 5 projects, which I reread. I made notes of things I needed to do the minute I got to the studio ... like dipping metal into liquid enamel so it could dry by the time I needed to work with it. We got 4 projects done and had started the 5th.

The next morning I told Rachel, "We're getting 6 projects done today." She raised her eyebrows. By that I meant, 6 new projects. In fact, that day, we finished 7 projects, the one we had started the day before, and the 6 new projects I told her we would get accomplished. So, I don't know if you're feeling any tension when reading this ... but I am as I'm writing it!

However, during the week there was never a harsh word spoken ... only a supportive and encouraging environment existed. Rachel says the book will be "technique rich." There are a lot of metal pieces, which are simply made ... requiring no soldering, no sawing ... only cutting with metal snips and hammering. Most projects use a two-hole punch.

So these will be my last words about my book for a long while. What I want to talk about on Monday, is DO YOU HAVE A BOOK IN YOU!


Rachel said...

I agree, it was an intense week, but you handled it like a champ. Hope I wasn't too hard on you ;)

stregata said...

Barbara, congratulations! Another milestone - and yes, I could feel the tension! But I am sure it will be so worth it!
Am looking forward to your post tomorrow.
And not to forget, congratulations that you will be teaching at Art and Soul!

Barbara Lewis said...

Rachel, I couldn't have asked for anything more! Thank you!

TesoriTrovati said...

Thank you Barbara for this sneak peek. For those of us with a book in us ;-) this is an intimate look at the nitty gritty of what it takes. I know you say that this is the last time you will mention it, but I hope it isn't. I really appreciate all the work that you have done and what you are willing to share with us. I am so VERY EXCITED about your book (can I pre-order it yet?) especially now that you say it is 'technique-rich' and that the most I need is some snips and a two-hole punch. I already have those! I can't wait to see what you are going to write about next.

Enjoy the day!

Molly Alexander said...

Congratulations Barbara! I am so happy for you that your amazing talents will be showcased and shared with the rest of us! When will the book be coming out & can I pre-order it?

:-) Molly

SummersStudio said...

You are amazing! I can not imagine the pressure of getting all of that done in what ammounts to a very short time. I am so looking forward to your finished book.

Christine Damm said...

I was mentally rooting for you the whole time, Barbara! So glad you got to go first--ha, ha! Now I know what to expect. Thanks for the tip on North Light. When I took a course a few years ago on publishing a book, we were told that we HAD to go through an agent. I guess that's for fiction. Good to know that there's a better way. This seems like a very emotionally-trying situation and very compacted. We all know what we know-- it's trying to transmit it to others that's difficult. I just can't WAIT to see the book. I think there's enamel in my future!