November 11, 2012 § 2 Comments
I remember what I forgot.
We practiced everything you know, all the gear, boots, socks, toe caps, mole skin, powder, vaseline, water bottles, hats, shirts to keep you cool shirts to keep you warm, shorts, suntan lotion, spanish, lunch with and without wine, long distances, short distances, sun rain wind fog, flats, hills, sunglasses, resting, not resting, handkerchiefs, chilly willies, and we were ready.
And when my sweet husband, in spite of it all, late in the 3rd day after 8 hours and 16 miles (just on that day) in his boots, got a blister on his heel, he took it really personally. He fumed. It wasn’t supposed to happen, we had prepared. We had practiced not getting blisters. But he did. And I got a respectable hotspot. Nothing that slowed us down, but when all was said and done and fingers of blame and irresponsibility were wagged, and glances of reason at possible purveyors and portends of blistering were examined, it was really pretty easy. Fact is, blisters are inevitable, the point is not to let them fester, and develop, and ruin your day, ah so there it is, the don’t let it ruin your day shot over the bow…
In spite of all my years of publishing, and all that I know about proofing, and all the proof reading I did, and did again, and again, ‘a kindness of strangers’ will harbor a typo, (only one I have discovered so far, the other one, rather a major snafu I had to correct, even though it meant resetting two pages already printed and distributed, which meant at least an extra day’s work…in spite of the many warnings never to distribute type before its time which I didn’t so much ignore as decided I didn’t need to heed the warning because I wouldn’t print the backside upside down, or mismatch pages in the signature, which I didn’t). It was a mistake of another kind altogether—
Where was I? Oh yes! Confessing that ‘a kindness of strangers’ will harbor an error. Hosts an error. Boasts an error one could say. Boasts an error I will say, and at first and second and third glance, just as I didn’t, most won’t even notice it, except for those who go looking for such things. And there are those who do.
Anyway, I remember what I forgot. Blisters (and typos) are inevitable. And my books such as they end up will not be perfect, and it’s not perfection to which I aspire…
that said, I remember now, I can now leap chortling with excitement enthusiasm and perfectly reckless abandon into finishing the project.
What small thing stops you?
(typographer’s note: typeface of perfection is poliphilus.)
November 8, 2012 § 5 Comments
Done but not finished, but justthesame booted out, or the cocoon the chrysalis of my centaur castle now that the story is formed, and printed, gave way. There’s that thing about typesetting, the time, the one letter at a time thing that captures you; keeps you, in the best keeping sense. A tactile, kinesthetic, sensual embrace, transporting you, holding you in the scene. In the story. In the telling. Certainly as long as the writing did. At least as long as the reading will.
A warp, a rift, a metamorphosis and now I’m done but not finished.
And glad as I was, as I am, to be unlashed, cut loose to play at other things and romp if I choose, I’m already mourning the loss. Of course there still remains the final denouement, the final distribution of the centaur cast of letters to their rightful places in the case to be ready for the next assignment.
Not to mention the finishing.
titles title pages colophons to finalize and print
books to fashion, assemble, sew
covers and endpapers and thread to gather
a deadline of sorts (open house Dec. 2) to meet
The said&done point is: it’s not quite done. And justas at the beginning, afraid to start, now, equally afraid to finish, I loiter, I dawdle and ruminate (to mix a metaphor). And godknows colophons and title pages take as much ruminating as the rest of the project in its entirety, I equivocate. I bore myself with the niggling.
The but, and ha! thing is, ending a project, completing it, is no less awe inspiring, andso frightening, as beginning it; a different commitment, a different risk, a different position. A different perspective. And so I’m standing again, in that spot, where one has to make take the leap, of faith, but even more so, of self.