Monday, January 04, 2010

Paving the way for a perfect '10

Before I get too starry-eyed about the present and future (so much easier now that the antibiotic fog has lifted), let's review '09. I finished A Tango Diary, made progress on the Schack family tribute, and sent Ataturk out to the masses—via my distributor Vamp & Tramp.

We packed up our show at TaborSpace this weekend, and lo, but two of my three pieces sold, so that starts the new year on a winning note. Right now, 2010 is all about write now, and so today I set my timer (per Chuck Palahniuk's writing advice) for an hour and I bent knuckles to keyboard and I wrote. I wrote until the ticking faded away, until I was digging deep into soul and memory finding the best words to describe the flavor-punch offerings at Beijing's Jiaozi King and imagining my way back to when I first dug into China.

The best thing: When the alarm went off, I kept on writing. I floated on that creativity high until the wee one's nap ended, but the buzz lasted all afternoon.

That's right, the Chinese bookbinding manual, a contender on last year's list, is in the No. 1 spot now. Every time I check into Statcounter to see my Web traffic in detail, I'm always shocked to see the number of visitors coming to my site on account of their entering "Chinese bookbinding" in a search engine. Sometimes they stay for a long time, too, hopefully gleaning inspiration and excitement for books and their history.

It's an international crowd, with many surfers shooting in from Paris, especially, and Vietnam, Malaysia, even Laos. The other week I noticed someone from Botswana had gone looking, yes, for "Chinese bookbinding" but decided to spend a few minutes with Ma Nao Books along the way. So this manual goes out, perhaps, to that buddy in Botswana (jambo rafiki!) and all those looking to learn more. I plan to include not only technical information on making some of the oldest bindings but a personal narrative of those formative months learning in the cradle of the craft.

So here's the new year's list per usual,

To do
• Update Web site
• Chinese bookbinding manual & memoir
• Editing on Suely Mesquita project
• Schack family tribute
shutao commission
• New York Chinatown book collaboration with the Harleys

To move forward
• Saucymorons
• An Adventurer's Guide to Rose City Cemetery

To consider for development
• World trip
• China times
• Essay on what newspapers were for Roy
• Portland bridges in Polaroid
• Chiyogami tea caddy and cell-phone recharging cradle
• MFA program


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