Showing posts from January, 2012

Having Standards vs. Being a Royal Pain

One of my significant life lessons going on right now has to do with how to figuring out how to insist on high quality product without being the person people see emails from and say "Ugh, I can't deal with that right now." In terms of things I care about, "good enough" has never been an option for me. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn--trust me, it's more often a curse than a blessing.

The trouble with never being able to reach that point of "good enough," is that I constantly doubt. Every time I submit something, whether it's a drawing for a project, or an editing pass of a manuscript, or even put a meal on the table, I worry that I have not outdone myself enough for the creation to pass muster. After all, I could have done another layer of hard pencil tone over the grain of the drawing to make it just that much more satiny. I could have combed again for sentences that were less than artfully constructed. The enchiladas might have …

The First Mile Marker in the Marathon

Much to my surprise, I hit the editing deadline I had hoped to conquer this month.  Last night, with enough time to sit down afterward and pop in Russel Crowe's Robin Hood for an hour or so, I applied the final line edit to my novel. (And for the sake of calling it something and not just 'my novel,' let's go with Curse Bearer for now. It may prove to be a working title like Sword of the Patron did, but it's closer to pleasing my publisher as titles go, I think.)

Anyway, this first pass of publisher-requested edits has been a lesson in what makes a person an author instead of a hobbyist. Editing is hard work. It has its fun points, as you see the exfoliation of all the padding, redundancy, and just plain author self-indulgence, but there are also points where its a war. Self-doubt, vision, publisher expectations, artistic debates, and just plain fatigue all face off in a new Battle of the Five Armies. It's no wonder I'm relieved to get to the first milestone…

Plaster Dust

Have you ever worked at any length with plaster of Paris? We did a unit about molding and casting in my three dimensional design class my freshman year of college, which involved the use of quite a bit of plaster. I thoroughly enjoyed the plaster lathing and later, the casting process, but the one thing I did not entirely love about plaster is the way it sucks the moisture from human skin like some kind of alien species. My hands were a cracked ruin while I worked in plaster. But the final products of the labor were always gratifying.

Why in the world am I telling you this? All for the sake of what has probably already become a bloated metaphor, but if you've been reading my blog posts for any amount of time, you're likely used to that from me. Anyway, I must admit, I am in a spiritual state right now that is as dry as a box of powdered plaster--so spiritually dry that I fear my parched state could be leeching the life-giving moisture from anything that comes in contact with …