December 2001 Archives

12/30/01

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If you've looked around this site, you may have noticed the photo of Georg and myself, in which I have green hair. That photo was taken a few years ago. As it happens, right now his hair is green and mine is plain old brown. I'm hoping to fix that soon, but for the time being Georg is the only one with interesting hair.


Anyway, this morning we were having breakfast at Rick's, our favorite diner. At some point during our meal, the owner Deborah came over and mentioned to us that another customer had asked her about Georg's hair. She made a joke that next time someone asked, she was going to tell them that Georg was her son.


She said this in a rather off-hand way, but we were surprised. Particularly by the word another. Fellow patrons of Rick's are in the habit of asking the management about Georg's appearance?


We asked our waiter (who really is Deborah's son). He confirmed that yes, customers do comment on Georg's hair with some frequency. He relayed a hilarious incident -- months ago, he said -- when a customer pointed Georg out and Deborah replied, totally deadpan, "Oh no, they didn't seat him? Is he eating here again? How did he slip in?" To which the customer asked, "Is he mean?"


The waiter couldn't remember how she handled that question (or when exactly it had happened, although he did remember which table we were sitting at). For her part Deborah denied all knowledge of the incident. I'm still laughing over the thought of mean, green-haired Georg sneaking into restaurants. I've got to hurry up and dye my hair again. What on earth will they make of us then?

12/29/01

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There's a Costco about a mile from my house. It's been there for several months, but I have a free membership to Sam's Club through my office, so we've never gotten around to joining Costco. However, Sam's Club is in Cary, and there are two big problems with that: 1. it's far away; 2. I loathe Cary. So we don't get out to Sam's Club very often & don't make good use of the membership.


So anyway, this afternoon we finally went over to Costco and signed up. It was more expensive than I had expected, but they sell gas -- at a substantial discount -- so it won't take too long to save back the membership fee.


Costco is huge. We didn't even buy anything, just walked up and down all the aisles, and it took over and hour and a half. I guess Sam's Club is probably just as big, but there we know which aisle contain products we want, and which we can skip. I'll go back to Costco on Monday (when it isn't so crowded and we've had a chance to clean out the pantry and the freezer) and buy some things.


There are birds living inside. Finches, I think. They hang out in the cereal aisle. I wanted to give them something to eat, but the birdseed was all in boxes, sealed up pretty good. I wonder if they can get out, or if they live their whole lives inside Costco?

12/27/01

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Hey! It's me!


I know it's true because I recognize both fonts in their logo.

12/27/01

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So I stopped by the mail center this evening. There were three packages: one for Georg from his brother, and two from Llewellyn. One each for Georg and for me.


Production -- at least, our part of it -- is all done, and we aren't due to receive anything from Llewellyn. It's too early to be the finished set, and besides the boxes weren't big enough. But not too small, I realized, to be advance copies of the deck alone.


Could it be? So soon? Probably not. Barbara had written to me just today and mentioned that she didn't have a copy of the deck yet. Surely she'd get her copy before we got ours? But on the other hand, the weight was about right, and the rattling sounded like something solid when I shook it.


I had to know. The drive home was too long to wait. Standing in the mail center, I couldn't help holding my breath while I ripped open the package, and unwrapped...


A mug.


To be fair, it's a perfectly nice mug. It's deep blue, with stars on one side and the Llewellyn logo on the other. It was nice of them to send us something for the holidays. I think I'll take mine to the office.


It's just that, compared to what I thought was in that box, I can't help but feel a bit let down.

12/27/01

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12/26/01

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Hooray! I think I got comments working! At least, I think so. Would anyone who reads this please do me a favor? Post a comment -- just say "hi" or "test" or whatever if you want -- and if it doesn't work, email me? There's a form just below this paragraph.


Thank you!!!

12/26/01

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I had a great Christmas, how about you? Georg and I spent a quiet long weekend together. Everything was perfect, except that our plan to see Lord of the Rings was thwarted by a crowd of other people who had the same idea. Where did they come from? I've been going to the movies on Christmas day for years, and never saw a crowd like that before.


Anyway, other than that it was great. Right now I'm listening to Aluminum Tunes, a groovy collection of B-sides by Stereolab that Georg gave me. It's a great album even though the packaging is way too clever for its own good. There's a track called "Get Carter." I wonder if it's from the movie of the same name?


It's been a few days since I've posted here, but I haven't been inactive. Au contraire! I've gotten the online readings set up to do four different spreads, including the wonderful "Victoria's Chalice" which Valerie Sim created for the deck. However, Valerie suggested that we might want to check and make sure it's OK with Llewellyn to post spreads from the book on my web site.


I can't imagine Llewellyn will have a problem with it. After all, online readings will promote the deck! People can try out the spread on this site, and the book will include more detailed information and a transcript of an actual reading Valerie did with it. But in any case, I have followed her advice and taken Victoria's Chalice and Victoria's Sceptre off the site until I get Llewellyn's approval. In the meantime you can do a single card draw or a five card reading.


In other news, I finally got the ftp password from Amazon.com. So I sent them my cover art and some other text like a description, "back of the book" text, blurbs, things like that. I also sent info to Barnes and Noble and Books a Million. B&N hasn't done anything yet -- like I would expect them to in the middle of the holiday crush -- but Books a Million has already posted my info!


The web site is basically set up, but of course I'm still tweaking and adding here and there. Got some good advice from Marc, the Man Who Knows All About ASP, on how to make the online readings work better. It won't be noticeable to the user but the page should be more efficient, faster, and easier to add more spreads.


Right now, however, I am about to attempt an upgrade to Greymatter, the marvelous software that runs this diary. I'm a little worried about messing up the diary, but the upgrade might make comments finally work. (Y'all are supposed to be able to post love notes -- or hate mail, your choice -- to this site, but that feature has never worked.) Wish me luck!


(ps: if you have any desire to run your own web journal or weblog, I urge you to check out Greymatter. It really is wonderful software. Best of all it's open source, thus free unless you choose to make a donation. What could be better?)

12/23/01

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After working at it all day -- and I do mean all day -- I finally got one card readings working on the site. Next I want to add the ability to choose a spread.


Ugh. Must sleep now.

12/22/01

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Ahh, a long weekend! We always spend Thanksgiving with family, and then have a quiet Christmas without much celebrating. December is always so crazy that by now, I'm badly in need of a few days to rest and catch up on things.


I think I worked out the glitches in the page layout on a PC. Of course, it will be Wednesday before I can sit in front of a PC and check that. But hardly anyone will be web surfing this weekend, so it doesn't really matter if there's a problem I can't fix until after Christmas.


I added "notes on sources" to the card view. Should have done that a long time ago. Now people can easily find out who the figures are on the court cards. There are a few notes in the book that aren't on the web site, because some were added during editing, but (as I've mentioned before) I stupidly forgot to photocopy our galleys before we sent them back. So I either need to figure out which ones were added and look them up all over again, or else just wait until I get the printed book.


Also I added a list of upcoming events to the home page of the site. It made me a little uncomfortable to do that -- it seems arrogant to think that anyone cares what Georg and I are doing. But on the other hand, a self-effacing attitude isn't very helpful to promoting a book so I guess I need to get over it.


After the deck is out, we'll have book signings and such to list (if the bookstores will have us of course!). But in the meantime, there wasn't much to put up there -- just the art car parade in April and the New York Tarot Festival in June. So I padded the list with our radio shows at WXDU. The station has a pretty decent webcast, so people actually could listen online if they wanted to. I do myself, if Georg is on the air when I'm at work.


Also I sent cover art and "back of the box" text to Barnes and Noble and Books a Million. Sent the text to Amazon.com, but they still haven't given me an ftp password for cover art and sample card scans. Oh well!

12/20/01

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I've had a chance to look at the new site design on a PC, and there are a few glitches. On some pages the name at the top of the screen drifts off to the right. Whoops! I'll have to fix that this weekend.


I added a "white box gallery" to the site. I've heard people talk about decorating the white boxes that come with Llewellyn decks. I'm hoping that folks who decorate their Victoria Regina boxes will send me pictures, and I'll post them on the site. I made it explicitly not a contest because I thought people would be more comfortable sending pictures of their work if they didn't expect to be judged. The tarot folks I know seem to be more in the "collaborative spirit" than the "competitive spirit."


Also I visited the Amazon.com author section. They have it set up so you can FTP cover art, illustrations and pages from your book. Unfortunately, you have to ask them to e-mail you the FTP password before you can send the art. This seems like a real bottleneck in the system to me. But whatever works for them.


Anyway, I've got the cover art and scans of sample cards to send them, as soon as they send me the password. I'm also wondering if I should send them some text. I have the marketing copy from the back of the box and book cover (that's what I used for "about the deck" and "about the book" on this site). Am I supposed to wait and let Llewellyn's publicity department handle this? Or is it OK for me to send stuff to Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, etc. on my own?

12/18/01

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You've probably noticed that I redesigned the site. Unless, of course, you've never been to this page before. In which case this post will be meaningless, and you might want to skip to yesterday's post.


I tried to capture something of the "feel" of the Flash site, without the accessibility problems caused by a plug-in that not everyone has. I'm still getting the hang of style sheets, but I did figure out how to make a background image remain fixed on a page while the text scrolls over it. (If you don't see what I'm talking about, then your browser doesn't support that style sheet. Or else I did it wrong.)


Being a bit obsessive (at least when it comes to web design) I'll likely be changing things here and there over the next few days. If you notice anything really weird -- like for instance, a page still in the old layout, or text that's so tiny you can't read it, or something like that -- I'd appreciate it if you let me know.


Maybe on this go-around, I'll finally figure out what's wrong with the feature that's supposed to let people post comments to the diary. But for now, you'll have to use plain old boring e-mail.

12/17/01

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We just got back from a weekend in Staten Island with Georg's family. I must say, the people of Staten Island have an impressive level of devotion to holiday lighting. In Durham people put lights shaped like candles in the windows, and strings of lights around doors and hanging from the eaves. But Staten Island puts the holiday decorators of Durham to shame. Maybe it's just because the houses are so close together, but it seemed at times like every single square inch of the borough was covered with christmas lights. Some of the yards were so elaborately decorated, they looked like holiday displays at a shopping mall.


We only got into Manhattan briefly, to have brunch with a friend of Georg's. Georg's friend works for Borders and he said that his store (in Kip's Bay, near the NYU medical center) has already ordered two copies of our deck. Wow! I didn't realize that stores would start ordering it already. I wonder if that's true of all Borders, or just that one? Maybe there'e a big new age community in that neighborhood so they get their orders in early on tarot decks? At this point I was going to encourage anyone who lives in New York to go to the Borders at Kip's Bay and say hi to our friend. But on reflection, that might be a little weird for him, so I won't print his name here.


Anyway. I had the chance for a little sightseeing in Manhattan after all, because we drove from brunch straight to the Newark airport, and Georg chose a route that took us right through town. He sweated midtown traffic, and I got to see the city as we drove right past Macy's (too fast to see the window displays, but slow enough to be surrounded by a hundred holiday shoppers crossing the street), the Empire State building (I'd never seen it right close before!), a fantastic Chinese restaurant called Baby Buddha that I was pleased to see still there, and even past the closed roads leading to "ground zero." Which I hear is called simply "the site" in New York. We saw cranes in the distance but we couldn't tell if they were part of "the site" or ordinary construction.


Speaking of which, Georg and his friend both mentioned an odd thing: the absence of the World Trade Center was a gaping hole in the skyline, but each of them had trouble identifying where exactly it should have been. Even Georg's friend, who not only lives in NY but worked in the building, for crying out loud. (No, he wasn't there when they collapsed.) Maybe it's because the WTC was the landmark that people used to find other things. They never used the other buildings to locate the WTC. I wonder if other New Yorkers have the same experience?


Just as it's impossible to write about a trip to New York without mentioning the World Trade Center, it's also impossible to discuss air travel without mentioning security. So I will say that security at RDU is much calmer than the last time I flew. This time there was no lady with a wand who needed convincing that my underwire bra is not a weapon hidden under my bosom. They're also fairly lax at RDU: I forgot to remove the pocket knife from my keychain, and sailed right through security with it in my purse. I didn't discover my mistake until just before we landed in Newark.


I left the knife with Georg's brother, who promised to mail it to me, and good thing too. The people manning security in Newark were much more alert. It took a lot longer; people had to put all jackets, sweaters, belts, even shoes sometimes through the x-ray machine. With my unerring ability to make myself late, I chose the slowest line of the three for us. I know, you're probably thinking that every line seems the slowest when you're in it. That's true, but this line really was slower. About three times as slow as one right next to us. I watched people move through that line quickly as we stood still, occasionally shuffling forward a bit.


The bright side of waiting so long was that we got to watch the x-ray operator for the next line. The image was multi-colored & he must have been able to do different types of scans, because every time he came to something suspicious he would press a button & the screen would flash different colors. We saw digital cameras, computers, a single spoon in one bag, and a bunch of things I couldn't identify. At one point he confiscated a pair of nail scissors. The kind with a 1/4" blade that come in a manicure kit. Good thing I left my pocket knife behind.


I have a problem with mispronouncing Newark. The one in New Jersey, that is. They pronounce it NEWerk, with the stress on the first syllable. But I come from Delaware, where we also have a town called Newark. We pronounce it newARK, with the stress on the second syllable, which rhymes with "park." In New Jersey the second syllable rhymes with "work," or another word I would mention if I were inclined to make jokes at the expense of New Jersey. Anyway, I'm sure I sound like a dumb yokel when I say "newARK" up there. I try to remember but it's impossible not to slip from time to time.

12/13/01

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I heard back from Joanna. Apparently there was some minor holdup and the book didn't go to the printer until Monday or Tuesday. It's probably a good thing I didn't know that, or else I would have spent all weekend thinking up minor little changes which I wouldn't want to ask for, but which would have bothered me immensely. There will be plenty of time for that after I get the printed book!


I asked Joanna about promotion and she said that someone from the publicity department would contact me eventually. I'd like to get started on that as soon as possible so I've started researching online. I found a mailing list called Internet Authors with some great information about promoting your own book. The list is intended for self-published authors who mainly sell their books online, but most of the advice works for me too.


On a related note, I decided that making thefool.com a Flash-only website would be a really stupid idea. The purpose of this site is to promote my deck, not to impress fellow web designers. So I have ditched the mostly-finished Flash site, alas, and will be starting over on Monday with a regular old site.


It's kind of a bummer to abandon all that Flash work. But on the other hand, going back to HTML means that I may actually get the site online before the deck is released. (Sometimes I thought I wouldn't get that Flash site finished until the deck went out of print!) It's easier for me -- both psychologically and practically -- to put online an HTML site that's not quite finished, and clean it up around the edges, adding functions like the online readings and the shopping cart, as I can. A Flash site seems like more of a discrete unit, so I felt more pressure to have it entirely done before going live.


It was a pretty site in any case, if I do say so myself. If you'd like to see it, here it is:

http://www.thefool.com/v2

12/11/01

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My Amazon sales ranking has improved! In the past few days I went from 1,463,026 to 1,303,772. How in the heck did that happen?


I had been thinking that our sales were at 0, and the number was just because they had to give us a number. But I looked it up online, and apparently they don't give books a sales ranking until they actually have sales.


I guess a couple of people must have pre-ordered V/R. Wow! That's amazing. I thought everyone would be thinking about Christmas presents, and I wouldn't get any pre-orders until sometime next year.


At this point I feel obligated to point out that, if you can wait a couple of months, I'll have my shopping cart set up on this site and you can order the deck direct from me. Not only will you get a signed copy that way, but you'll also get the satisfaction of "supporting the artist" (a thinly veiled way of saying I'll make more money from the transaction). On the other hand, unlike Amazon I'll be selling it for list price. So I can't blame you if you buy it from them and save $10.

12/7/01

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I got the revised illustrations turned in yesterday morning. There were messy bits around the corners in all of them except the one for the minors. So I ended up redoing almost all of them. Uploaded them to my ftp server on Wednesday night.


To be on the safe side, I also uploaded the complete files with all the layers. That way, if there was something wrong with one of them, I'd be able to fix it right away & not have to wait until I got home last night. Fortunately, it turned out to be an unnecessary precaution.


Hollie wrote yesterday morning to let me know that she'd received the new illustrations. And I didn't hear from Joanna. So as far as I know, the book went to the printer yesterday, and that's that.


Now I'm wondering, what do I do next? The cards are printed and the book is being printed. I wonder what the next step is. Am I done?

12/5/01

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Apparently we celebrated the book's completion a little too soon. Yes, there's still time for one more problem!


Apparently they had a meeting this morning, and decided to go with the rectangular border instead of the oval border for those chapter illustrations. But, my illustrations were designed to fit into the oval border. Argh!


I can't say I wasn't warned. Joanna did tell me that they were considering two different shapes for the images. But somehow I got the idea that they had settled on the oval one & so I didn't make any effort to accommodate the rectangular shape.


Joanna says that only one collage needs to be redone. But I want to see them for myself. I think they're going to look funny, with crowded middles and empty corners. At least now I don't have to worry about what to do tonight :)

12/5/01

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Joanna faxed the pages to me and I faxed them to Valerie. Much earlier, obviously.


This evening we celebrated completion of the book (we hope) by going to see Waking Life. What a spectacular film. So many movies are enjoyable only so long as you don't think about them. How refreshing to see a movie entirely about ideas, and gorgeous to boot. I had seen stills, but they don't do it justice. Images shimmer and ripple like, well, like a dream. Which I guess is the point.


If you've seen Waking Life, write and tell me what you think happened to the main character. Linklater said that the movie does have an actual storyline, & it's supposed to crystallize for us at a particular moment. I have my theory; what's yours?

12/4/01

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Several exchanges with Joanna today. She's finishing up the book, and it goes to the printer on Thursday, so we have to sort out any last-minute questions in the next day or two.


First, she sent me the text for the "about the book" page at the beginning of the book. It's a couple of very flattering quotes from Brian Williams and Tom Tadfor Little.


There was one small change to Tom's quote: in the original, he described the components of good art and said "This is the only collage deck I've seen that really achieves that level of success artistically." In the blurb, the text about what makes good art is omitted, and instead he says "This is the only collage deck I've seen that really achieves success artistically." That makes Tom sound a bit more blunt, but it doesn't change the essential meaning of his statement, so I guess it's OK.


Then, I wrote to Joanna and suggested changing the order of the book illos. I think the one with old Victoria and the Jubilee decorations is a stronger image, so it might work better at the beginning of the book, with the introduction. She said that she's going to be working on the illustrations shortly & so my suggestion wasn't too late. Whew!


Next, Joanna wrote back to me. I had gotten the name wrong on Mary Greer's forthcoming book on reversals. I had suggested it for further reading on reversals. I guess it's tacky to recommend a book you haven't read. But I'm going on the assumption that it will be as good as all her other books & therefore worth recommending. Besides, her book will be out by the time people read my recommendation. So anyway, Joanna gave the correct title and asked if that was the book I meant. Which it was.


Then, there was another question about the correct layout for the Victoria's Chalice spread. The text says that card 3 and 4 slightly overlap, but that's not in the drawing I sent Joanna. I think all the confusion has been caused by my interpreting an ASCII diagram Valerie e-mailed to me, and then trying to draw a layout based on that. So I forwarded the question to Valerie. I hope she gets it in time!


Then Joanna suggested that I fax all the pages on Victoria's Chalice to Valerie. Which is an excellent suggestion, except that we neglected to photocopy the proofs before we sent them back. So I don't have anything to send her. It sounds stupid, but at the time we just didn't think of it.


I asked Joanna if she could fax the pages back to me and then I could fax them on to Valerie. I hate to put her to that trouble. If only I'd remembered to make a copy of the proofs!

12/4/01

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I'm on Amazon.com!


My Amazon sales ranking: 1,463,026. Bestseller list, here I come!

12/4/01

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Okay, so I didn't get around to posting again last night. You can hardly blame me considering the excitement of the moment. I don't normally like to post such big photos to my site, but just this once I can't resist:


Victoria Regina Tarot


And here's a photo of the entire sheet.


The photos don't do it justice. The cards look fantastic. They are truly better than I could have hoped for. The lines are so crisp; so much detail is preserved. The color is good: bright and even, with strong blacks and clean whites. They must have worked on the blacks, because I don't remember the originals being that even and smooth. In fact, I think the printed cards look better than the originals overall. Although I haven't seen the originals in well over a year so it's hard to judge.


Even the "bad" cards -- the ones I knew would be a problem, like Justice and the Ten of Cups -- look good. And the ones which started out with good crisp source material are just stunning. It's funny now to think about my agonizing back before the contract was signed, when Barbara warned me that they might have problems printing the art. All that worry that I'd end up with 78 muddy little messes. If I'd only known!


The backs are nice, with a simple black and white design and that "Victoria Regina et Imperatrix" medallion. They're very light & open. It makes a nice contrast to the fronts, which of course have heavy coverage with a minimum of white space. As I've said before, I kinda wish they had been able to add color to the backs. But if it was a cost issue, then I'm 100% behind their decision to invest instead in high quality printing for the fronts.


The paper stock feels good. It seems like I've heard complaints in the past about Llewellyn using flimsy paper. But this one feels nice and sturdy. It has a good heft when you snap the edge of it against your finger. (I'm sure there's a word for that, but I have no idea what it is. Anyone in graphic design want to help me out here?)


They even smell good. I think that fresh ink off the first printing of your own tarot deck must be the best smell in the world. I know, I'm getting a little silly here! Under the circumstances, I hope you'll make allowances.


Some of you probably already know that most Tarot decks are printed in sheets of 10x8, or 80 cards. And of course, all of you know that there are 78 cards in most decks. Which leaves 2 extra spaces on most sheets. Most publishers print title cards, information about the deck, or ads for their other products on these extras and stick them in with the deck.


(This is the reason, I think, why there are 3 Magicians in some printings of the Thoth deck -- because Freida Harris did 3 versions before she and Crowley came to an agreement on the card. The publisher decided to offer consumers a little bonus by including the two discarded versions on the extra cards. As far as I know, there was no divinatory purpose to the extra Magicians, although many tarot readers have come up with divinatory uses for them.)


Llewellyn uses the extra 2 cards for promos that they can hand out at bookseller conventions and etc. They printed 2 sample cards -- the Magician and the Queen of Coins -- on one side and some information about the deck on the other. I like their choice of sample cards very much. I'm fond of both those cards, and I think the Queen of Coins will appeal to anglophiles who may (I hope!) want this deck as a novelty, even if they're not interested in tarot.


From the info on the promo cards, I found out the list price: $34.95 in the US, or $53.95 Canadian. That's the same price as other current full kit sized decks (the ones in the big box with a big book and white box inside). So the velvet bag -- which retails for $12.95 -- is included for free. What a bargain!


I can't begin to describe the feeling, to see my deck all printed and laid out like that. I'm so tempted to cut one of the sheets apart, so I'll have an actual deck. An actual deck! that I could shuffle and lay out! The thought of it has me nearly hyperventilating. But no, cutting the sheet would be a mistake. I'll get plenty of decks, cut & shrinkwrapped, soon enough. I've only got two sheets and I think I'd regret cutting one up.

12/3/01

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The press sheets are here!!


!!!!!


They look fantastic. Better than my best hopes. I'm going to take some photos & will post again later tonight.

12/3/01

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Whew! The chapter illustrations are all sent in. Well, not really sent in -- uploaded would be a more accurate description. I set up anonymous ftp at my web site and put all the images there, for Hollie to download. The files were too big for e-mail (8 to 30 Mb each), so without that option, I would have lost a day using FedEx. Isn't technology grand?


The bulk of the art in the book will, of course, be reproductions of each card. But these are the new images for the first pages of each chapter, and a few other places. You, dear reader, get first peek:


--an "Amazon of the Bow" for the dedication page

--collage for the first page of the introduction

--collage for the first page of the major arcana

--collage for the first page of the suit cards

--collage for the first page of the court cards

--collage for the first page of the readings chapter

--young Victoria in military uniform (not sure where this will go)

--two choices for the appendix on collage:

the source image for Temperance, or

the source image for the Magician


The hardest one to do was the readings chapter -- the one with old, fat Victoria holding a tarot card in her hand. In the original image the Queen was holding a baby in her arms. As I'm sure you are aware, a baby occupies much more space than a deck of cards! Fitting the cards in under her hand and pasting my high priestess in place was fairly easy. Erasing evidence of the baby was much trickier. In trying to match up the backgrounds, I left some blurry areas that I fear will look a bit funky when it's printed. (How do professional Photoshop wizards do it?)


For that matter, I'm not sure how well any of these will reproduce. But I guess all we can do is give it a try. They've done so well with everything else that I'm hopeful on this too. Even if the book art doesn't turn out so good, compared to all the things that have gone marvelously right I'll hardly have reason to complain.


I also sent captions for a couple of these -- the source material for the appendix, and the military Victoria. And, to my amazement, I finally found out the name of this one book that I'd used! A very kind person had sent me photocopies from this old book in her possiession, and I had used several images from it: the mandala in the Wheel of Fortune, the young raj in the Two of Swords, and the ruins in the background of the Five of Swords.


Since I had never seen the actual book, I didn't know its title, author, etc. All I knew were the captions at the top of each page. Well, today I finally found out the title! It's called Great Races of Mankind, published in 1893 by John Clark Ridpath. Judging from the pages in my possession, it's a survey of ethnic variety around the world, with a point of view that must have been quite sensible a hundred years ago, but now seems shockingly racist. It seems to discuss the rise and fall of various cultures, and the author pulls no punches in identifying the racial groups whose current status he considers a "degradation" of former glories.


Anyway, it's probably too late to add to the book. I fear I did nothing but add myself to the category of "pain in the ass authors" by suggesting it! But it's still nice to have the info and know that my bibliography is finally complete.

12/3/01

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I am officially in awe of people who work in digital collage. It's hard! Much more work than good old scissors and glue. These chapter illustrations are taking me 2-3 hours each, and I did 4 yesterday. My back, wrist, and head all hurt. One more to go before I send them to Joanna. Then I'll write and tell you all about them. (after a nap!)

too!! much!! fun!!

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We had our first official event today: the Chapel Hill, NC Christmas parade. What a blast! Thought not without technical hitches, the car was a hit -- especially with kids -- and it was loads of fun to add temporary decorations like Christmas garlands and my favorite, big, brightly colored inflatable rainbow trout.

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