Monday, January 30, 2006

Sign Your Life and Firstborn Away

I took the weekend off! I had a wonderful, relatively relaxing family weekend (relaxation with a four-year-old is all about relativity) and am now ready to jump on the week. The mug today is New York--the fastest paced city I know and one whose speed I need to emulate--and the song is Madonna's "True Blue" from the album of the same name.

15 days till I leave for the BMAC. The show is in 18 days but I am giving myself two days to drive me, my stuff and my assistant (my Mom) out, and then there is one day for set-up. A little side note for those of you with kids who think ahead to the days when your children are out on their own and self-sufficient: Get over it. I will be 45 in June and my Mom still comes to my rescue when I get in over my head. She is flying out from Montana next week to do this show with me and then stay with Jessie while Dave and I take a mini vacation to California with some friends.

I am not ready for the show yet, but there are so many things which have deadlines between now and then that I am not ready for that I can't even worry about it. All worrying in its own time. That is my motto today. I have scheduled the afternoon of Saturday 2/11 and all day Sunday 2/12 to freak out about the show and finish preparations (booth design, etc.). Today I absolutely, positively MUST get the glass shipment from last week unpacked and put away (the kiln lid arrives this afternoon) and I have a load to slump before meeting with the photographer again tomorrow for the last BMAC pics.

But this post was not meant to be about the minutiae. No, the Big Picture right now is the book contract. Boy do they want a lot, in very little time, for even less money. I knew it was about Fame and Glory, but until I read the details, I was unaware of the Whip-the-Serfs aspects of the road to fame and glory and how my role really is defined as "serf".

I sent a commission off to a client in Chicago on Friday and he happens to be a lawyer who has also had a book published. After giving me his credit card information so I could bill him for the piece he bought, he proceeded to tell me a whole bunch of things I need to watch out for in book contract negotiations. Then he directed me to look on the web for more information (and recommended I get a lawyer). Friday a search in Google produced 29, 900,000 hits for "book contract". (Today the same search spit out 28, 500,000 entries. 500,000 attrition seems a bit high for the weekend, but what do I know about the internet?)

There are some really good articles out there and one of the best sites is the writer's guild. They even provide you with legal help to negotiate your contract... after you are member. You can only join the guild if 1) you have a book published (and not self-published--thus implying a contract) or 2) you already have a contract. Is anyone else stunned by the irony there? Luckily for me they also provide a page of contract tips.

I made lots of notes and shipped the whole thing--contract, web links, list of concerns--off to an intellectual property lawyer to look over. I can sleep at night knowing that I have a pit bull who is at least as good and probably better than their pit bulls (apologies to my lawyer, my uncle--who is also a lawyer--and all the other lawyers out there who might resent being compared to pit bulls. Please do not sue me for libel or slander or whichever one has to do with insulting in print). If I get screwed, I will do so with the knowledge that he did everything he could to prevent it, I chose to proceed with the book anyway, and I will not be surprised. And maybe he can save me and I won't become a first-time author horror story splattered in page five of the Chicago Tribune.

I close with a note on the pics scattered through this post: These are the new 2-D pieces I debuted at the One of a Kind show in December and am now moving to the wholesale market at the BMAC. I added four new color series of Morceaux de Verre, and I am really pleased with how this style is maturing for me.


Bill Paley said...

If you get overwhelmed with ennui, would you be a serf bored? And making a pilgrimage to the Pacific?

Bill Paley said...

Oh, and the glass art is beautiful work...didn't mean to ignore it...