progress!

almost three weeks in here at wsw! it has been an adjustment. i forgot how exhausting it is to figure out a new place, meet a bunch of new people, get a routine down (i realized this is not the first post i’ve started with by saying that, but it’s still true, so i’m not changing it). on top of all that, i was also prepping for and teaching two classes of fifth graders in the intaglio studio (four sessions down, two to go, woo!), and trying to put together a coherent plan for the book i’ll produce while i’m here. yesterday was the first day i wasn’t completely exhausted by lunchtime. the general routine is to work in the studio or teach (just two days a week), break for potluck lunch, work more, take a break for a romp around in the woods, check for ticks (apparently lyme’s disease is really prevalent in this region, and with the warm temperatures, the ticks are out in full force already), work more, eat dinner with my fellow residents, fall into bed.

updates have been a little sparse because of the always-tired thing, and because book progress has been rather slow. the stuff that happens before i hit on an idea that i can run with is usually not very pretty or interesting, and the whole point of a blog to be at least pretty OR interesting, or pretty interesting, or maybe even–shooting for the stars here–pretty AND interesting?? right. well, we’re getting there.

i’ve been getting to know gramps (what i’ve decided to call the antique letterpress i’m using), printing some color tests, and yesterday DING! deanna helped me finally land on an idea for the book that i can really get behind (i made the tiny mock-up above). which is going to be really necessary when it comes to late-night printing and binding sessions, which i’m sure will happen before all’s said and done. this has been a really good experience for me in remembering to keep showing up, working through ideas in ways that makes sense to me, and trusting my gut. the ideas always come eventually, but not magically. for me it’s a lot of thinking and trying things out, and talking through things and asking lots of questions and making a LOT of mistakes, and sometimes getting pretty far down one rabbit trail before seeing the road i really want to be on. the more i work, the more okay with this process i become, the  more i can trust it. i really have been mulling over the content for the book for a long time, but nothing seemed quite right until yesterday. it really makes me feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and i’m anxious to get to work and see what happens next.

slightly related: deanna has been way better about tracking her progress here. she is working in the paper studio and is working on some really cool things!

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