The world is silent and dark at 5:00 am, with only a little orange light from the early morning fog-haloed street lights shining in the living room windows. Baxter and Ernie greet me drowsily from their beds next to each other on the floor, and, after I nestle into the recliner with an afghan to keep me warm against the winter morning chill, Ernie climbs into my lap (displacing my laptop as only a 20-lb cat can do). His purr and the refrigerator's intermittent rattling provide the music in the otherwise slumbering house. Why am I awake? Oh let me count the ways...
The Buyer's Market is three weeks away and I have not even begun the piece-list for the work I am taking for my primary booth. I say primary booth as, over-achiever that I am, I have two booths this year--a 10X10 and a 10X20. The 10X20 is for my current work in Morceaux de Verre, Todd's wire work with my glass, some small studio blown pieces, maybe the roll-ups, and my current line of pieces in steel stands from Black Cat (Bill and Elaine). I have been playing in my head with an idea for a new colorway, but I haven't progressed any further on it. The other 10X10 is a completely new direction in collaborative work with Black Cat: Kinetic glass and metal sculpture. The glass is a new thicker, cast design that is much more subtle and requires extensive cold-working (polishing, sandblast carving and etching). I have been working on those pieces, but am still (of course) behind.
Beyond creating the pieces for the Buyer's Market, I need to do all the marketing and support materials work. I still don't have the website for Siyeh Studio back up since it got hacked two (three?) years ago. I need a website for the new work (debuting under the name FeSiO--fay-zee-oh--a union of steel and glass) and I need photos and advertising (a pre-show mailing) for both. Need, need, need, it's all about need.
The manuscript for Book Deux is due May 1, though my editor has kindly offered me an extension to June 1. You might think the book could be finished any time, but as with other forms of entertainment, there are very precise seasons for new releases. Think of the summer block-buster movies. They aren't the March blockbusters. A studio saves the best of a certain genre of films (My Dinner With Andre would not be an example of such a film) for release starting Memorial Day weekend and going through the 4th of July. Likewise, spring is the best publishing season for how-to books, and, with a May release, I am already at the tail end of it. Note that I am talking about a May 2013 release if I turn in the completed manuscript by May 1, 2012.
Finally, I have a retail and teaching studio that continues expanding daily. Yesterday I officially hired two new staff members--Fawn Lowery and Linda Queen. Both have glass backgrounds, and both are uber-excited about working in a glass studio. Fawn will be teaching some of the Intro to Kiln-Forming classes on Sundays (expanded the hours again this year) and Linda is the second studio elf. Judy will be out for several weeks this spring, and Linda will be filling in for her. She will also take over management of the retail side of the house--cutting glass, managing inventory, supervising open studio, etc. Though I am *thrilled* to have new people long-term, short-term I have a whole lotta paperwork, electronic access and permissions to set-up.
Even with the new help there are responsibilities which are solely mine. The on-line class sign-up is not done. The new class descriptions are not on the website (for classes being offered February 4-5), I still don't have a retail POS system and the paper receipt books we have been using in lieu of computerized POS are just not adequate. If I didn't have enough to do, the February newsletter needs to go out by the end of the weekend.
The frosting on the cake of incompletes is tied, somewhat ironically, to Becky who does my books as best I let her (somewhat ironically as she makes incredible cakes too). I have 2011 business administration including W-2's, 1099's, sales tax, corporate tax annual filing, business license filing, income tax prep, and annual inventory all to get done by the end of the month--and I haven't even mailed in my payroll tax forms yet from earlier this month! I would also like a wee small idea of how I did last year that would come from up-to-date bookkeeping, but, honestly, who has time? Clearly not me as I haven't even been good at blogging recently!