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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The final task for The New Creative Artist

Closing the book on The Book, so to speak. North Light returned all the artwork for the book several weeks ago, but I was in the middle of an attack of shingles that seriously hampered my productivity for nearly a month. Meanwhile, everything else piled up, as well, including bills to pay, my student exhibit at Hithergreen and preparation for a creativity workshop coming up next week in Dallas. Everything seemed to pale in comparison to the job of returning the slides and transparencies to contributing artists. They have been so patient, not nagging me to return their slides. Even though I turned the book in to the editors in September of 2005, we were still juggling illustrations for space and suitability up until the book went to the printer in January or February, 2006. The production people needed the originals for comparison during production. But I finally decided last week to put everything else aside and get the slides returned. More than 400 slides were submitted by 65 artists. I had requested no more than five from each artist. Some artists sent as many as 38 and 29. My policy is to select five of those and ignore the rest. (Please remember, there isn't any advantage to overloading the author, in case you're asked to submit a specific number. It's just an extra burden for the author, who may not appreciate it.) I haven't counted how many were actually in the book, but every artist who submitted had at least one and several had two, three and four. I checked in every slide or transparency against the Art Log I had submitted with the manuscript. Then I sorted them and put them in my alphabetical files. I checked each artist's slides against the permission form they had signed to be sure all the slides were there. Then I printed an insert to place in every package. (I had too many left over, so I guess some didn't get into the packages.) I had already printed mailing labels, so I processed each envelope, selecting one of two sizes of envelope and cutting pieces of cardboard to protect the envelopes from folding in the mail. I stamped each one "Do Not Bend," put on a return address label, weighed it, applied postage and sealed it. Three from Canada and several oversize pieces had to be processed at the post office. The job took me two-and-a-half days of continuous work. It's nerve-wracking work. You might ask why I didn't get help to do this, but I did that once and a slide I had checked in personally turned up missing. I hate it when that happens. Well, it's done, now I hope the PO doesn't lose any of them!

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