Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beating My Head Against The Screen ...

This is the most frustrating part of the whole book process!

The drawings are all done... they looked fine when scanned in at 600 dpi... but then when I need to convert them to CMYK for the printing process, each page turns into MONSTER FILES that are 265 MB and up!

My poor older Mac running Photoshop 2.0 just doesn’t have enough memory to handle playing around with files that size unless I want to watch it think for 10 to 15 minutes between each command.


Somewhere along the line, I have to compromise.

I hate compromising when it comes to the inner perfectionist’s sense of quality control.

I feel like I have been compromising and compromised all week!

I’ve done all the driving while Nick recovers his sense of balance, purchased birthday presents for parties, driven a rocking chair to school for a Rock-A-Thon, packed the sleeping bag, air mattress and other sundries for an Explorer sleep over, driven to volleyball practices & meetings, driven to doctor’s appointments.... until I am ready to scream!

When the going gets tough... the tough hide in the basement, stay up late and work in the peace and quiet once everyone else has gone to bed.

I am sure that when I hold the book in my hands, this will all be worth it....

but right now, there isn’t enough chocolate in the WORLD to ease this frustration!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tests, Trials & Tribulations...

All of the drawings are done!

As with the last book, one coloured pencil barely held out until the very end. I may have to start a collection of teeny, tiny pencil bits in a jar as trophies!

I am amazed that I actually got them done considering all that has gone on in the last few weeks.

I had my test. Preparing for it was horrible... then I couldn’t eat for 48 hours. Did I ever mention that dragons get very grumpy when they aren’t fed?

The day of the capsule endoscopy test, they told me to dress in loose clothing. The only problem is that I don’t own any loose pants any more. I gave all my larger sizes away when I lost my weight 6 years ago... so I had to borrow a pair of Nick’s. I headed off to the hospital and they hooked me up. Here’s how attractive I felt....

Here’s a peek at the cool belt that held the data recorder for 8 hours during the test. It recorded everything that the camera sent during its trip through the dragon. I kept waiting to hear Miss Frizzle announce another field trip on the Magic School bus every now and then...

Here’s how many wires and pads were hooked up to the dragon underneath the loose shirt. Pulling them off at the end of the test made the dragon roar a bit. They were so sticky that I am still scrapping off little patches of grey adhesive almost 2 weeks later in a few spots.

The dragon was VERY happy to get this test over with. No children or husband were eaten in the process... but it was close. Even dust bunnies under the couch were looking tasty!

Last week, we had more snow storms roll through. Monday the 11th probably should have been a snow day because the wind was wicked and the snow was blowing sideways. A few buses came close to going off the roads and one or two school buses did run into trouble but no one was hurt. Wednesday the 12th, there was a storm that brought snow then freezing rain and then rain all in one day. The roads were horrid and school was canceled, so my whole family did the happy dance while I tried to work with everyone underfoot. Wednesday night the temperature plunged and everything turned into a giant skating rink. The stores started running low on salt and sand as everyone tried to cope. Thursday morning school was canceled because there was very little traction whatsoever. Again with the happy dance... though the girls got a bit grumpy when I actually made them work on the projects they had due and had put off the day before due to snow day glee and a massive Barbie game. I am such a mean mommy dragon!

Friday morning everyone was back at school for belated Valentine’s Day events and projects that were due. I drove Nick up to work, took both girls and their projects as well as Teacher Appreciation Week baking to the school. Bethany’s class had to make robots (not working ones) and she made an adorable bunny that scooted around on coaster. Can you believe in all the chaos that I forgot to take a picture before it went to school? I hope it comes back in one piece! Bethany was also heartbroken to learn that her teacher had fallen on the ice and broken her wrist the day before, requiring surgery to fix it! Poor Madame! (Bethany is in French Immersion)

I headed off to one of the local schools with my portfolio to fill in for a rescheduled author and illustrators day. One of the presenters had been unable to make it on the Friday and I was a fill-in. I had a great time right up until lunch when I got the call to come to the office.

Nick had been trying to get a bunch of kids to come in off some dangerous ice on the playground at his school when his feet went out from under him. The Vice-Principal was calling to let me know that Nick had split the skin on the back of his head and that they were taking him to the Emergency Room. Needless to say, the last hour of presentations was a bit of a blur. I raced to the hospital as soon as I was done (after calling my Mom in a panic to meet the girls at the bus stop). The ER was full of broken limbs, cracked ribs and other “slip & fall” injuries including one other man with a wound almost identical to Nick’s! 6 hours, 9 stitches and a “mild concussion” later, I brought my poor hubby home. I decided not to post the totally gross picture of his stitches that I took with my digital camera so that he could see what the back of his head looked like. It made him quite woozy... and I don’t want to do the same to any blog readers!

The weekend was a blur of taking care of Nick and working on drawings, getting ready for Sunday School, youth group a concert and the last part of volleyball tryouts for Erin. There is a new provincial-level team for girls 14 & under that she’d tried out for on Thursday night. She was good enough to be asked to go with 7 of the other girls to play in a tournament on Saturday that needed one more team to round things out. The girls met for the 1st time that morning, practiced a bit together and... went on to win the gold medal and the whole tournament! Erin was VERY proud and is thrilled to have officially made the team as of last night.

This morning was more snow, freezing rain and then POURING rain for about 6 hours. The streets are skating rinks once again with an inch or two of water on top of all the ice. We’ll have to watch the weather for the next few days and hope the temperatures stay ABOVE freezing until more of this horrid stuff melts.

I am SO glad to have all the drawings done. Now I just have to take them to be scanned tomorrow and build the final versions of the pages in the computer. The end is in sight...