May 2001 Archives

A new tattoo

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I promised myself I'd be fiscally responsible and use the advance to pay off debt. But I couldn't resist a little splurge, especially since the celebration dinner came from a gift certificate. So last Thursday I got a small tattoo as my gift to myself.

I've been working on those last few cards, most of which are court cards. I got the primary image worked out for several (though not ready to upload yet). The Prince of Coins = Prince George (later George V), Princess of Coins = Princess Beatrice, King of Coins = Prince Albert (he's also the King of Cups), Prince of Wands = Oscar Wilde, and King of Wands = Benjamin Disraeli. I'm a little concerned about the Prince of Wands throwing off the system, as Wilde is the only person of all the Courts not personally known to Victoria. But his life -- brilliant creativity, personal magnetism, headstrong, self-destructive passions -- seems to fit so well with the card that it's hard to pass up.

I don't get to design the box or book (alas) but they are letting me submit a mock-up so that they can at least see what I had in mind. So of course, everywhere I look I see beautifully designed boxes that I'd love to imitate -- I mean, draw inspiration from. Yeah, that's it!

Georg bought a deck/book set called The Observation Deck with one of the most beautiful boxes I've ever seen. The box is two parts, made of sturdy cardboard covered with paper, and the lower half has an inner lip so it slides snugly together. Pieces of folded cardboard inside hold the book and deck in place. No big-box-with-tray! (Later I saw a deck called Rumi Cards or something with a similarly elegant box). I'm sure a box like this would be way too expensive for V/R. Sigh. I may still do my mock-up that way, just because.

I've been getting more email at than I used to -- a couple of messages a day from new people. I don't know how you all are finding me, but thank you for writing. It really means a lot. I try to answer everyone but sometimes I just don't have time, so please don't take it personally.

Copyright Good News

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Happy Memorial Day! The holiday that is supposed to be in honor of war dead, but is instead usually a celebration of weekends at the beach. Or, if you're like me, a celebration of staying at home communing with my G4. With occasional breaks to watch war movies if TCM is showing a good one. I'm hoping for Bridge over the River Kwai or 30 Seconds Over Tokyo.

Short update this time. We finally turned in the revisions to Llewellyn. And I finally got written confirmation of Dover's policy on use of their clip art in collage. I didn't use a lot of source material from the Dover Pictorial Archive, but I did use enough that Llewellyn wanted a letter from Dover on rights and permissions.

The books all say that you can use ten images from each book in a project. I had been told over the phone, a couple of years ago, that their policy regarding collage was ten images from each book per collage, no matter how many collages in the project.

Obviously this makes a big difference to a project which comprises 78 collages. Could I legally use ten images from each book, or 780? I was pretty well within the lower limit, maybe over by a couple of images from a couple of books. But still, that's enough to need written confirmation that "ten images per book per collage" is the real policy.

I had written to Dover last year, describing Victoria Regina, and received a form letter on rights & permissions that doesn't say anything about collage. I wrote back repeating that my situation refers to collage, but didn't receive an answer.

In the meantime, Dover has finally got a web site. A nice one too, with lots of functionality, and a design so closely based on that Dover must have bought an e-commerce package from Amazon (or else they have a copyright problem on their hands, which would be rather ironic but no fun for Dover).

Anyway their web site gives an email address for rights & permissions. Wrote to them last week, explaining again the question about collage and asking for confirmation of the policy I was told over the phone. Got back a one sentence reply that my information is correct. Wrote back asking if they could fax or mail a statement to that effect. Received no reply, and don't expect to at this point. I hope the email is good enough for Llewellyn.

In other news, I've gotten my head out of the sand long enough to realize that I don't have my greeting cards and postcards yet. They stalled out when I never got a quote back from the print shop. They've recently hired a sales rep, so not every request goes directly to the manager anymore (Don't get me wrong, I like the manager; he's just overworked & sometimes it takes a couple of requests to get a quote).

Anyway, I've taken it up with the new sales rep & hope to have prices for the printing by late next week. I need to get them printed soon, as I've already had to start filling out those quarterly sales tax forms. I'll probably be filling them out for the rest of my life.

That's all, except for a few links which I urge everyone to follow. They're unrelated, except that each one is mightily entertaining.

Animutation Central

I really can't describe this, but you need a sound card. Click the link marked Hyakugojyuuichi.

When I am King

A brilliant weekly comic.

Hatten 舐 Din

A Turkish song about hats, with the lyrics in Swedish. Why? I don't read Swedish so I have no idea. Click the picture of the man with hands pointing at him.

It's official

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It's official. The signed contract should arrive on Monday, we have a deadline, we're on Llewellyn's production schedule. It's finally starting to feel real. Last night Georg and I went out to a tony Italian restaurant to celebrate, courtesy of my employers. Dinner was exquisite, even considering that it was UNC graduation and the place was mobbed.

The release date, I confess, is a bit of a bummer: March 2002. I was really hoping V/R would be out by Christmas of 2001. Barbara says she tried to get it out earlier, but they're releasing so many decks in 2001 there's just no room for it on the schedule. Besides, the contract gives them two years, so I can't really complain. At least they didn't push it back six months for Christmas 2002.

The manuscript deadline is officially September 16. Up until now, V/R was just my hobby, personal obsession or whatever you want to call it. So I could work on it when I felt like it, and put it aside for a year if I didn't feel like it. Now it's a legal obligation. Yikes! I spent a week or so panicking at the thought of having a deadline, got over it, and spent the day writing interpretations for pip cards.

We don't have an editor yet. Apparently they don't develop a marketing plan, assign an editor, or any of that fun stuff until they have all the art & manuscript from us. I thought that all happened as soon as the contract was signed, but I can see why they do it this way. So I guess Barbara is stuck with us for another four months.

My author friend Judith says I can legitimately call myself a published author now, even though it won't be on the shelves for another two years. It's all good.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2001 listed from newest to oldest.

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