Wednesday, November 28, 2007

let me clarify..

Ever wonder why I show so many images of sleeping dogs here? (note Sally is sound asleep here) It's not because they're always like this. NO WAY. They are crazy barkingheadloonybinpooperheads. They chase EVERYTHING that drives by our corner from window to window. I know about every squirrel, every cat or rabbit, every mail man or UPS truck that visits our house on the corner of two streets property. This is the natural inclination of two mixed breed bird dogs. They're, in polite terms, high energy. Let's try again. High Strung. No, how about complete offtheirrockerscrazy heads.

As you might imagine, the antibiotics haven't really fixed me yet. I'm letting it all hang out. I feel bad, the opposite of high energy dogs. (yup, it's day three on these enormous pills, and I've called the doctor. Something's got to give) So, when both dogs were sound asleep in puddles of sunshine in my office, I pretended this is what life was really like. Just for a sec.

And while Harry is showing the whole world his private parts right here on the blog...I'll explain what else I'm up to, this week.

Ever wonder how the photos for a heavily illustrated book get chosen? Well, in the ideal world, there is a wonderful relationship between an editor--the one who helps choose photos-- and the writer. (Luckily, I have that. If you're reading this, dear editor, you have been so fabulous about this stuff, so kind and consensus- oriented, that it's hard for me to express.) There's also a cooperative photographer. We'll get into that later.

For a book about fiber events and festivals, that photographer takes hundreds (think 700, easy) photos at each festival. You might have noticed the professor doing this if you saw us, it was hard to miss. Then, the professor and I sat down the week after the festival, and we cut out, oh, say 600 of those photos. Some were blurry duds, too dark, too light, or unfixable in a hard to describe way. These were painful sessions at the dining room table, when we were tired, frustrated, and suffering. I hated cutting pictures of people I liked. I hated choosing just one photo of that special sheep. What, doesn't everyone feel that way about the sheep?

The incredibly cooperative photographer/professor puts these selected images in a secret location, online. We waited until all the travelling is over, and then now, I work with the editor. We narrow the 100+ photos for each festival? Into 5 to 8 shots. It's hard. Excruciating. We've just finished 5 chapters' worth. I feel like I've run the photo selection marathon and psst...so many more to choose yet.

Meanwhile, the cooperative photographer/professor has also helped do shots of the projects, with models. Those who know us realize we're not the high fashion stylist types. We get what we think are the most fabulous shots. Then, the kind editor makes her suggestions. Turns out not everything was as fab as we'd hoped.

Photographer/professor/husband may go on strike soon. He is jealous of half of Europe when it comes to strikes. He's very cooperative. Yes, dear. Only, there is no money in this right now. He must be a professor the rest of the time so we can, you know, eat...and all those pre-meds can study genetics. We miss taking breaks in our lives. I am sick and cranky. He is tired of taking knitting related photos. (I know, is it possible?)

This is what part of my desk looks like. Below, this is what the other surfaces look like, cause you never know when you're going to need handspun (prop) or handcards. Never mind the guestroom, which has gorgeous knitted design samples stacked up everywhere.

In the back of my mind, I hear the comments that happen after a knitting book comes out. "I love those big glossy images, but..why couldn't they just show the sweater better?" Or, "I posed for a picture, why didn't they include me?" Or, "My sheep/fleece/booth/alpaca/rabbit/border collie was gorgeous. What were they thinking, not including it?!!"

My inner photo editor is coming out, and it isn't pretty. I've chosen photos for 5 events at this point, no projects chosen yet, and at least as many events to go. Please, have mercy when (IF!?) the book comes out. Be kind.

Oh, and I wouldn't mind a cheering comment now and again. You can't imagine how many times a day I pop over here for positive reinforcement....and yes, I too hope the antibiotics work, and soon! Crankiness can become overwhelming.

11 Comments:

Blogger Nancy said...

The purps must know the days are shorter and they need all the sunshine they can get (just like us!) Get well soon!!!

November 28, 2007 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

Those photos of your desk/table and the boxes look like my life. Isn't writing and publishing just so glamorous? Hang in there! There is nothing like holding that first copy of the book in your hands. You'll know you earned that moment.

November 28, 2007 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Hope you're feeling better (and glad you had energy to comment on my blog!).

Then again, maybe you need lots of sleep and good homemade soup as much as antibiotics. Could it be you're run down from all your travels? from the stress? Could be.

I'm just delighted you're this far into your book. Hang it there, and get more sleep. (I'm a big fan of sleep...)

November 28, 2007 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Roxane said...

I came, I read, and I was touched. I'm so happy that you're finding the selection process collaborative, if not entirely enjoyable. Picking just a handful of photos out of a pool of so many great contendors is beyond hard. You've been a trooper and your work and your passion will jump off the page.

November 29, 2007 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger annmarie said...

what a task to cull through all those pictures...I'm tired just thinking about it! Just imagine what it's going to feel like to see the one that *do* make the cut in print, though. :)

November 29, 2007 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous terri said...

Oh sweetie, you're going to be fine. You're just sick, and tired, and cranky. You need a break. And chocolate. Take a minimum of 24 hours off, completely off. No fiber. Do a puzzle or read a book you've been saving. When you're finished with the book you'll have some fresh energy, and a new eye to see all those pics. Ask me how I know.

November 29, 2007 at 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

Do take care of yourself dear - I second the soup plan.

It must be unbelievably hard to cull photos that I'm sure you got very attached to. Could you sneak in a thumbnail gallery at the back of the book? Or save them somewhere online for people to see?

Rest, relax and make sure you put your feet up often ((hugs))

November 30, 2007 at 3:23 AM  
Anonymous ilana said...

harry looks so sweet!!!
joanne- whatever pictures you choose will look great! all sheep are special and i know you'll find the right ones to spice up the book. we can't wait to see it!

November 30, 2007 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous deb-ky said...

I am so excited about your book. I am, really, trying to wait patiently (not my best attribute). So, first, get well, then keep on working on the book. I CAN'T WAIT!

November 30, 2007 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Wait! We're living the same life...
- spazzy, 'high energy' dog
check
- agonizing endlessly over hundreds of photos
check
- home office awash in props and scattered 'creativity'
check
- no money
check
- no time, cranky, tired
check, check, and check

Luckily I don't have to do all your travelling, I can't imagine that. Oh, and I'm not writing a book. Thank goodness. Just the regular full-time job that pays for this crazy business I started!

It'll get better, Joanne. Just think how great it will be when your book is published!

take care! Feel better soon!

November 30, 2007 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Warm fuzzies to you my dear.

November 30, 2007 at 2:16 PM  

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