Wednesday, May 14, 2008
With encouragement from my husband Kent, I’ve made some pretty major decisions this week. Continuing to work on the lay-up of my third book, the Charm of English Pink, I have felt overwhelmed, as if I were slaving long hours over a project that has overtaken me by its sheer size. I knew this third book in the English Pink series would be large but I didn’t realize how absolutely HUGE it would become. I have been working at just the layup portion of this one book for the better part of a year now. Shouldn’t I be further along?
Late last week, I completed the letter H (of twenty-six) in chapter 3 (of nineteen!). This book alone may be 400 pages! Yesterday, after spending four long days on just three patterns, I let my focus become distracted and saved an already completed chapter over my work in the letter I! Having no up-to-date backup, I had no option but to begin the section again. Fortunately, I have a well-organized system for saving my prepared images and did not have to rework the pictures. In addition, it was only the first three patterns beginning with the letter I; I hadn’t lost more than I could handle…
With tenderness and understanding, Kent refrained from criticizing my lack of a good backup. Instead, he simply listened as I poured out the despair that had been building and, quite probably, created the perfect circumstances for my mistake. Later I was able to calmly access the whole situation. This is what I discovered:
The contents for this particular book covered too much time, too many pottering people and too many places. It is simply too ambitious for one book!
Each of the sub-categories within the enormous field of transferware deserved more time and effort than I had anticipated.
To strive for perfection is noble; to fall short of that goal is human.
Reworking the contents without destroying the intent of the original manuscript was not only possible but, probably, extremely constructive.
As I’ve aged − and mellowed − my work is better but does require more time.
This is what I have decided to do:
Limit the scope of this book to the 1830 to 1865 period.
Remove Chapter 6. All Things Pink Willow; POSSIBLY prepare separate publication. Hasn’t the best book already been done by Connie Rogers?
Remove Chapter 7. The Aesthetic Movement to its own publication.
Remove Chapter 8. Pink Wares for the Tourist; POSSIBLY prepare a separate publication. Do I really want to do this work anyway?
Remove Chapter 9. Post Aesthetic, Turn-of-the-Century and 20th Century Transfer-Printed Wares to its own publication.
Finish reworking the English Pink website.
Make no promises that require meeting a time schedule.
As I complete each publication, introduce it on the website.
Backup all future work AS IT IS DONE!
Remember the absolute joy of collecting, researching and writing!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Well, the reworking of the contents is complete. The finished product is as follows:
The Charm Of English Pink
Pots, Pot’tries and Potters
Foreword by R. K. Henrywood
The Best of English Pink: Using this Book
Part I. Pots
1. Pink Flights of Fantasy
2. The Series System
3. Designs in English Pink
4. Children’s Pink
5. Mysteries in Pink
Part II. Pot’tries
6. The World’s Potting Capitol
7. Smokey Staffordshire Sky
9. Burslem, Mother of the Potteries
10. Fenton, the Forgotten
11. Hanley, Largest Pottery Town
12. Longton, Smallest of the Six
13. Stoke, Parish Town
14. Tunstall, to the North
Part III. Potters
15. Potting Heroes
16. Family Trees
A. Produced in Pink, Not Pictured
B. British Registry Charts
C. Guidelines for Dating Transferware
Recommended Reading and References
The effort is still quite large but, hopefully, more manageable.
‘Back to work! Happy collecting!