To Do or Not to Do

There’s been much to do — stuff being done and yet to be. Much junk in my head I want to pursue, and will.

I just wish I had enough days, or hours where I can find myself awake to get some momentum. What can I say? I try.

I’d been working on these little watercolors — tiny ones (5 x 7 inches) — that I was and probably will still use toward my next solo show, which will accompany my book launch. They are colored versions of the black line illustrations that are in the book with some words from the text next to them. But in the midst of doing them, I got a bit sidetracked. Some other stuff came up and my artist’s mind became preoccupied. And just when I was getting into the groove of cranking them out too.

On the Shrapnel blog, I’ve been talking a bit about where I’m at, what I’m up to, and a change of plans regarding publishing the book (probably). I’m still in waiting mode on a few things though, but some progress has been made. I finished the bibliography, the glossary, and most of the formatting decisions (typeface, placement of illustrations, headings, etc.) And no more waiting on an attorney. Now working with a great NY lawyer who’s been hard at work on my manuscript and giving me the legal advice I need. The proofreading has come to a bit of a halt, for now. Hopefully, my proofer will pick it back up again soon. Going through the proofing seems damn near impossible to get perfect. When working in the “Review” mode of Microsoft Word, “accepting all changes” doesn’t always make things right. Spaces get left open, words no longer have spaces between them, periods get lost, and not every single mistake is caught. I still have to meticulously go through it all and I’m paranoid that I won’t see everything.

As for what’s going on with the publishing, I’m not going with the independent that’s offered to publish me, despite how gracious.

And now I’m just waiting.

I’m still waiting on the music publishing companies of Neil Young and Stevie Nicks for permission to use a couple lines of song lyrics. Both have been taking a really long time, even with me checking in on them a couple times now. They can only apologize about about the delay because, apparently, they ask the artists personally, and they are very busy. I’m sure.

I’m also very nearly done waiting on two publishing companies (there’s a certain time lapse they have) that would stop me from moving forward with my new business plan to self-publish, or rather, begin an independent publishing company with mjp. That’s the real scoop. I mean, they’d stop me if, on the off chance that they’d be interested in publishing my book. One of those publishers is a larger independent women-run operation that I’ve been coveting for some time, but so what? They don’t publish many books a year, so the chances are extremely slim. Their response time will lapse in two more weeks, but the closer it gets to that deadline, the less likely they’ll get back to me at all.

The other response I’m waiting/hoping to hear back from is a senior editor for one of the Big 5. Don’t ask me how I was able to speak to her directly without an agent. Tenacity and luck. She has my proposal and 50 pages. If I don’t hear back from her by the end of next week, I’ll check in to see if she was able to look it over, or what the status is. That, too, is a long shot in the dark. However, she’s been returning our correspondence within 24 hours, even on Saturdays, so I’ll know something soon. Just in time for getting an answer on being approved for a grant to start the publishing company.

Bases covered, but waiting. Otherwise, all speed ahead for publishing in spring 2019. That’s exciting and it’s been a long fucking time coming.

Okay, so the other things that have been on my mind, and I know I’m going to forget something, are visual art-related. Like I said, I was working on those little watercolors and I’ve been distracted by the painting I abandoned just before I started those, which was a landscape type thing — a 23 x 30 inch watercolor.

Furthermore, very recently, I got super inspired by the paintings of Doron Langberg, an Israeli artist who works out of Queens, NY. It makes me just want to paint. Maybe even larger paintings again, and definitely in oils.

This work kind of reminds me of another abandoned project of mine, that also bugs me for not finishing, which was taking old family photos and painting these scenes on top of Thomas Bros. map book pages where they took place, then, matching them up with passages that my dad highlighted in his bible. A couple years later, I thought of taking out the text and just painting the images in oil on panels and making them less illustrative and more painterly.

Since we moved, I’d only set up an office and a watercolor station. You can see in the above pic it has my big Mayline drafting table in it, courtesy of my brother. I love it. All my oil painting gear are in boxes in the garage. I told myself I was not going to make larger work anymore. I told myself I wouldn’t make “big gestures” anymore, and I’d only work on paper, especially because of storage issues, the feeling of possibly being uprooted again, and feeling shame for the space I’d taken up with the art I’d made thus far. That’s what I said. I feel like I can’t go against it. If I said it, I said it. I mean, I wrote it down on this blog. Feels set in stone.

But then, last night, I was talking to mjp, and he suggested I set up my easel and a small painting space in the dining room. That made my stomach soar. I got excited! I figure, if I don’t buy anymore canvases or panels and just use the blanks I still have, what’s the difference? It’s the same amount of space as far as storage. As long as I’m excited about painting again, I think it’s worth changing my mind.

Well this was long.

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