Tuesday, September 07, 2010

August redux

Well, thanks August - it was certainly fun and exhilarating, but I think I'm ready to get off this wild ride. I'm finally stepping out of the whirlwind and seeing everything that swirled around me (and I swirled around) for the past 4 weeks, and I'm surprised that I've managed to emerge fairly unscathed. Exhausted, yes, muddled and disorganized, most definitely, but breathing in the crisp fall September air and ready to move on. Well, maybe after just a few more days of cleaning, re-organizing, and breathing.

So here goes: it started with a six-week workshop at BookWorks, The Printed Book (still ongoing, with just two classes left). It's with a phenomenal group of super-talented women overflowing with ideas for book projects. They're in the final stages now, moving into printing and binding the books they've been planning for the past few weeks.

During this time, I was finalizing lesson plans for my first semester-length class at Warren Wilson College, Intro to Papermaking followed by BookForms. This school really blows me away, with a working farm that feeds the students and top rankings as an eco-centered campus. I'm so thrilled to teach here for a semester, and hope that it will continue for many years. My students have really impressed me already with their creative thinking, and the faculty have been incredibly kind and welcoming. I think the Papermaking class is going pretty well so far, but I'll be checking in with my mentors Tim Barrett and Frank Brannon for suggestions and advice.

An then, the biggest event by far was getting married, to my long-time partner Scott (we've been together for almost 10 years). We had a small, quiet ceremony with family at Lake Lure, NC, and spent the week with them in a cabin on a nearby river. It rained on the day of the wedding, but the rest of the week was perfectly beautiful. The idea was to spend a lot of time in the water, and that's exactly what we did - riding on inner-tubes down the river more times than I can remember. It was the perfect weekend of quiet relaxation mixed with thrills.

And then, a week after the wedding, I taught an Introduction to Letterpress workshop at BookWorks. It was one of my favorite workshop yet, because nothing really beats the fun of three days of letterpress printing, and showing other people how. By this point, I had completely lost my voice from a combination of constant talking and a little cold I picked up from Oliver. It was a strangely quiet workshop with lots of whispering and hand motions, but still fun. I just feel bad for the students who had to listen to my troll voice when it started coming back on the last day.

And just when I thought August had reached maximum capacity, the September issue of Verve Magazine comes out, with an article about me and my books, and a photo of me on the cover, trying my best to be the 'sexy librarian' they were looking for to grace the "Get Smart" issue. It was a lot of fun to be interviewed and photographed, and it was a special treat to have someone do my makeup and hair in preparation for the big cover shoot. I was feeling very rock-star that day, albeit a little out of my element.

So, if you're one of the people wondering why I still haven't answered your email, I hope this explains my MIA status. I'm slowly getting back to my non-rock-star life, and really looking forward to some quiet time in my studio.


Katherine said...

A lovely, full life you are leading, Jessica. Wonderful news all around. You somehow escaped all the Mercury in retrograde shenanigans that seem to have plagued other people (if you believe in all that astrology stuff, anyway). Three cheers for you and Scott! Big hugs from Iowa City.

Heather Lucille said...

OMG superstar beauty! I l-o-v-e this photo of you! Hooray! This is so cool!