I make life difficult for myself.
I’ve reported previously that my submission to present papers at 2 conferences in different cities in th esame week were both accepted. The subject for one was the Ukraine war and the place of poetry in translating the unthinkable, while for the other it was my ‘discovery’ of Ida Pender – Squizzy Taylors notorious lady friend of the 1920’s in the archives of our National Library.
So, can I just get on with the job of preparing two papers to present? No. Not really. That wouldn’t be my style.
I decided that before I can attend to the actual presentation papers I needed to formalise my work in the two different areas. What do I mean? Books, of course. I decided I needed to turn the raw materials into tangible books.
For the Ukraine presentation, I have passed that hurdle. I produced three collections – two based on the images that inspired the original writing, and one grounded in the referenced news articles that so caught me up.
The Ida project was different. It had grainy rotten old news articles that I wanted to use but that needed to be cleaned up. I didn’t know how, but was learning. Still am learning. How to fit it together was also an issue.
I couldn;t bring myself to read and revise the material until I had the images sorted and placed and a cover . . .
For the life of me I couldn’t settle on what to do for a cover. There is soemthing in this about a little learning being worse than none, because I found myself being hypercritical of every possibility I came up with, whereas once up a time not long ago I might have just banged it out and been happy. So it goes.
As of today, the images and newspaper articles are reasonably cleaned up and placed. I can’t realistically make them much better, though more slillful practitioners might. Also, a cover.
I have finally put together a cover that I can live with. A little cleverness, a little color, an era appropriate font, and intersting cover content as the main image behind the text.
This is all in my own very humble opinion (today), of course.
I think I can now get on with content editing and then finally prepare the paper that I have to deliver.
I don’t know why but I have the sense of being a bit of a fraud if I turn up to speak in an informed manner about this or that but don’t have the ‘product’ in my hand to wave around as a kind of proof of worthiness. All a bit psychological, I suspect.
Anyway, from despair to ‘on track’ and ‘on time’ in the space of a morning. I’ll take that.