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Posted: June 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, books, editing, Etsy, jewelry, life | 2 Comments »

I’m a puzzle girl. I like putting my brain through its paces, figuring out how something goes together, knowing that there is a solution and if I’m patient enough, it will eventually reveal itself.

Even though I have a Kindle subscription to the Plain Dealer, I still subscribe to the hardcopy Sunday paper so I can get at the two giant crosswords and the sudoku. (Yes, I know you can get those online, too, but it’s just not nearly as satisfying to me to work those online as it is to sit with pen in hand and cat in lap.)

The week past and the one coming, however, are ruled by real-life Tetris. Tetris of the calendar + to-do list kind. On my plate right now are:

  • A giant proofreading project — giant, I tell you — that’s waiting for query replies from the editor. That whole thing has to be on the way out of here Wednesday, after I hear back from the editor.
  • A more normal-sized proofreading project, not due for a couple more weeks, but I still don’t want to be stuck rushing on it, so I’m trying to chip away at it a little bit every day.
  • Show prep for two outdoor shows, one of which is tomorrow and the other next Sunday. Thankfully, I was able to spend all of Tuesday up in the studio and have plenty of stock, but I still need to price the new things, double-check that everything I need is where it should be, and pack the car for a crack of dawn setup tomorrow. This is what I’ll be doing tonight instead of attending the local Etsy Craft Party — which was always kind of a pie-in-the-sky, wish-I-could-be-there-but-yeah-right kind of thing anyway.
  • E-mail newsletters for myself and for Cleveland Handmade. Nothing too complicated about either, but still time-consuming.
  • A client meeting in Columbus on Monday to discuss a kind of rush-ish layout project, which is looking to be a bit more involved that I initially thought. I have to do a little OCR experiment today to prep for that, since it looks like there are no files to work from for at least part of the project.
  • Final preparations for my class reunion, which is three weeks away, and replies to a bunch of e-mails relating to it.
  • And, the bonus: A super-rush copyediting project from a newish-to-me client I’d like to do a whole lot more for, a book by one of my favorite jewelry artists. Serendipity. The kind of project I’ve been wanting to break into for quite some time now. It dropped in my lap yesterday, and it’s due Tuesday. Yep, four days from now, with two of those days already spoken for. Fortunately, it’s not a long project, and I can find the time that has been budgeted for it if I plan carefully, move some things around, and don’t get too distracted. (Hence the Tetris.)
  • I know I can make this happen and still maintain my sanity. But well-wishes are still gratefully accepted.

    tidbits: extra soggy edition

    Posted: October 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: books, cats, weather | 1 Comment »

    We’ve had a good, constant rain for the last few days, and I’m happy about it. I’m pressing to get a few minor projects wrapped up, and I don’t need the pull of a beautiful day to distract me. Hibernation mode has been good for the past few days.

    However, I did head out yesterday for my massage, which was badly needed. After, I wandered over to Borders and B&N and Books-a-Million, since yesterday was the official pub date for The Cat Lover’s Daily Companion, and I’m just dying to see in on a shelf. Call me easily amused. No sign of it yet in Borders, although they did have two copies of the dog version, which I did some editing work on, and I failed to check their stock to see what was coming. B&N didn’t have it on the shelf yet, although the clerk told me there were four copies in the store (I’m guessing in the back room), but their database had it under the very old first title, not the new title. (So, if you’re looking for it at B&N, you might need to ask for The Cat Owner’s Devotional.)

    bookonshelf1 copyBooks-a-Million is the closest of the three to me, but I rarely find what I want there and it has a weird vibe, so I don’t often go there. (And really, what’s with nearly a quarter of the store being taken up with religion books, when most other subjects are given five or six shelves at best?) However, they came through for me this time, and the one copy they ordered was sitting on the bottom shelf of the stunningly small cat section (two shelves), so I guess I should be honored. In trying to be inconspicuous, I managed only two blurry photos; this was the better one.

    Overall, it’s been kind of a slow, crappy, unmotivated week. Little annoyances have been getting to me, and more than once I’ve had to bang out some nasty e-mail just to get it out of my head, then delete it. And I feel like I’m starting to come down with something. There have been a few bright spots, though. I finally got my new printer (through some clever maneuvers after one of those major annoyances); we got it set up last night and holy carp that thing spits out the pages quickly. And the printing is really crisp. And the pages come out straight (unlike the last printer, where everything was slightly crooked on the page). I’m working on a couple of really interesting projects right now, mainly in history and theatre. And I was able to pick up some fabulous beads at the wholesale bead show last week, so I’m hoping I’ll have time to dig into those later this afternoon.

    it’s a book!

    Posted: August 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: books, cats, life | 6 Comments »

    catsIt’s real! It actually happened!

    Wednesday the FedEx man suprised me and brought me the advance copy of my book nearly two months earlier than I was expecting to receive it. I’ve been walking around with a really stupid grin on my face ever since.

    I say “my” book, but it was a huge team effort, and I was most definitely the junior author on this one. Kristen and Iris both have loads of book-writing experience; I have loads of book-making experience, but not a lot of writing-for-publication experience. It was a really weird exercise to put on a completely different hat and sit in the writer’s chair, but it was also energizing. I hope to do it again someday.

    And I have to say that everyone I’ve dealt with at Quarry has been a joy to work with, and they’re putting out some really beautiful books (I had to go peek at some of the others in the series at the bookstore yesterday).

    Cleveland Handmade featured artist: me!

    Posted: December 19th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: art, books, Cleveland Handmade, Etsy, featured artist, holiday, joy, life, work | Comments Off on Cleveland Handmade featured artist: me!

    I am this week’s celebrity, and you can read my answers to the off-the-wall questions posed by the lovely smashing, who also took the photo of me that accompanies the interview, on the Cleveland Handmade site.

    December has been a whirlwind so far. I was expecting a quiet month, just a couple of little proofreading projects, then a plum writing project dropped into my lap. I’ll share more about the project when the details are more settled and I have something to link to rather than trying to explain it in all its quirkiness, but the jist is that I’m coauthoring a fun book about cats with two other writers. What this means in my universe is that those people who usually get a personal, handwritten note in the holiday card I usually mail on the first of December will get a form letter in their holiday card that might get mailed tomorrow. Or Saturday. And I’m going to continue to be really rotten about returning nonessential e-mails and phone calls into the beginning of 2009.

    This weekend marks the last of my 2009 shows, the Cleveland Handmade Last Minute Market. We had such a great time at the last CH Market that we decided to do it again. This time it is in a warehouse space in Westlake, on Canterbury Road to the north of Detroit Road (that link will lead you to more details and a map). I hope to see a few friendly faces on Saturday evening — come on by and say “hi” and see some really nice stuff from 22 Cleveland Handmade artists.

    PS: I’m using Twitter a lot to post little tidbits a couple of times a day when I don’t have time to write full blog posts. If you’re a tweeter, you can follow me there, or just check in under “What I’m Doing…” in the sidebar over there to the right —>

    this crazy business

    Posted: May 13th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: books | Comments Off on this crazy business

    Today’s New York Times has an excellent article about the unpredictability of the book business. The most interesting thing I take away from it is the complete lack of customer research in mainstream publishing, which is in part justified by the nature of the product, how no two books are the same, as much as Joe Schmoe Publishing might want to convince me that their latest offering is “just like Harry Potter.

    Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep is used as an example throughout the article. I read the book and can appreciate that she is a good writer, but I really didn’t enjoy the story or the characters and found the ending depressing and unsatisfying. The article touched on the offbeat promotional campaign used to sell this book, but noted that no one is certain what exactly it was that rocketed this book to the success that it enjoyed. It then reported on the disappointing sales of Sittenfeld’s sophomore effort, The Man of My Dreams, which, for the record, I also read and found it to be ultimately disappointing, although better than Prep, in my opinion. I have to wonder how many other Prep readers, like me, were drawn in by the hype, stuck with the book hoping it would get better, and were ultimately disappointed, and, unlike me, skipped the next one.