Pocket Book Plans

Our neighbor down the road, who keeps track of such things with gauges and graphs, reported that each month from December to March we had double our average rainfall.

Garden and ground are soggy – I only stab quickly at pop weed and pick handfuls of daffodils. Our dependable lawn mower guy mowed once, but his tracks puddle in places. March became a planning month.

My clever friend is planning a kitchen remodel. She wants to keep the sunshine and apple green paint, but widen a doorway and arrange appliances for convenience. And it’s been fun to hear of our younger son’s Los Angeles garden plans coming into reality. Phone photos show newly smothered-by-cardboard lawn piled with mounds, which will turn into rich soil. These sturdy garden beds will help realize his plan for a backyard vista of “just sky, bushes, and trees.”

Here, while the rain poured down day after day, I dreamed of summer trips and a visit by my young friend and her mother in August – when rainy days will be just a memory and the grass dried brown with heat and sun.

And I’ve been planning for possible artists’ books – an old form inspired by a modern form. In Hawaii, I used the bed as a work surface and spread out various pieces of the blog – images and text reminders – trying to discover a book structure. I wanted to capture some of what I love about making the blog, but in paper form, not one-of-a-kind but to print in multiples. I began to imagine a series of “pocket books.”

Trying to push the technical details a little ahead each day, I made a rough dummy of an accordion fold book that can stand up, using one big sheet of paper, printed. In my plan, full size images on each accordion page, reduced and folded over, make back pages with pockets (to hold the printed essays).

And I’ve been thinking about what web people call “content” – what I think of as subjects, themes, concerns – the stuff of spirits rising – writing and drawing, food and Frances, making everyday things artful, travel and family. When I spread out some of the essays and images, I get hopeful thinking of little volumes, not organized chronologically like the blog, but adapted into gatherings with titles like
Birds”, “Gardens,” “Drawing,” “Beans,” “Weather,” or “Virginia Woolf.”

I hope. A plan’s a start.

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