Today's mug is the Starbucks Skyline Series Chicago. Chicago is and always will be my favorite because so many great things happened to me in that city: I met my husband, I met my best friends, and I started my own glass studio in 1987. I also spent a not inconsiderable amount of time in the University of Chicago's graduate program in linguistics pursuing a PhD (and catching a Master's), and a much smaller bit of time as faculty and then staff at Northwestern University pursuing a career outside of glass and realizing the futility of trying to work in an office setting from 9-5.
So here’s the news… As is my want, I placed an ad in the Regional Showcase in the January edition of the Crafts Report magazine. In it was a picture of my latest sushi set: a red platter with orange, yellow, turquoise, dark blue and green plates in the paisley series. It came out in mid-December and a few days later I got an email from the executive assistant to the president of a well-known publisher of books on crafting. She wanted to know if I, as a professional glass artisan, would be interested in authoring a book in my field. I said sure! Who doesn't want to see her name in print? So she asked me for a resume and some more examples of my work as my website has a beautiful front page (a gift of from a very dear friend) but the rest is non-existent. I sent it all out. She wrote back that it looked good and asked me if I would prepare an outline of said book to make sure my ideas matched what they were looking for. I angsted. I angsted for several days until I woke up one night and from 2:30 am till 4:30 am (some of my best time for thought and anxiety) I figured out what needed to be written.
Then I sat down with my Starbucks Skyline Series Chicago mug (see, you knew that intro was going somewhere) and I began to craft an outline. I sat at my kitchen table in the hard wooden chair until my butt was numb and my feet were frozen stiff, and I wrote everything I had thought of the night before. It took literally four hours. And when I saw it was done and sent it out, I was at peace. The publisher’s response was “Wow!” followed by “Can we get a few more examples of your work, please?”. So I Picassaed. Picassa is a wonderful, free, picture management software owned by Google. I allows you to gather together in one viewing all the pictures that are scattered hither and yon across directories, computers and external storage devices. I found pictures of work that I had forgotten I had and I sorted and picked and chose and sent. Five emails with an average of ten pictures each. The response, again, was “Wow!” followed by, “Hope to get back to you at the end of this week or early next week”.
So Friday came and so did a phone call. “We would like to offer you a book contract, are you interested? We would like to go to press in Spring 2007 so you would need to have all copy to us in September. We are looking at a hardcover format with glossy color photos about 128 pages long. What do you think?” My turn to go “Wow!”
So that was Friday and today is Monday. The contract goes into the mail to me tomorrow and I am to go over it with a fine tooth comb and ask any questions I may have about it. I am not naïve: I am a first-time author writing contracted non-fiction. My chances of altering anything in the contract are slim to none. But will I sign it anyway? Can’t think of any reason right now why not.