“Shouldn’t we be working?” I creased another piece of paper in half and tucked it into the last of eight signatures. “Sixty-four pages, that’ll do, right?” There was pacing just over there, an anxious twisting back and forth just in the corner of my vision, outside the reach of my glasses. “Why are you doing that. There’s all this stuff to do.” I didn’t see the overly dramatic wave of the hand but knew it swept towards the laptop and it’s waiting screen. “In the morning,” I said, half in answer and half to the cat waiting to play with the thread I pulled through off the spool.
Ever wonder what’s going on inside a writer’s head when he or she isn’t writing? Well, above is a glimpse of what was going on for me last evening as I reached a point where I needed to step away from work for a while. Some days words will come with a fierce intensity that feel like a conduit for some torrential river. Other days the words seem to require piercing a vein and bleeding them out, one at a time, until I’m faint with the loss.
Yesterday was not the later, but it wasn’t the former either. It was somewhere on the scale towards the harder end and resulted in a desperate need to see no words at all. However, at the same time, I was still feeling like I wanted to create something. My mind wandered, my thoughts lingered on such things as are carrying significant import in my life, and I landed on my goal.
I decided to see if I couldn’t teach myself how to bind a book. There are many methods for bookbinding. I knew that the one I was most familiar with from my time tending a bookbinder’s shop at a renaissance festival was out of my reach. The skill, not to mention tools and supplies, required for those beautiful books was certainly not immediately available. However, when I visited his shop this past summer he had pointed out that one of the books I admired was actually an apprentice’s work.
Could I perhaps tackle my goal with a different method?
Onto the web I went and with minimal searching found instructions and tutorials for two different bookbinding methods. The first, and the one I’d admired in the shop, is called the longstitch binding . While the technique was quite within my skills I discovered after some searching in my supply closet that I didn’t have something that would work for the cover. Bother.
I looked at the other method. Coptic binding is a very old binding method and quite stunning. It reveals the the spine of the book, instead of covering it. I also had all the materials necessary to tackle it. Bonus! I gathered everything together, found a youtube tutorial, put The Tudors on the tv and off I went. All told the small book took me about two hours to assemble. I learned what to do in the next one as I went, but I’m still very happy with the results.
On a day when I was weary of words I suppose it’s altogether appropriate that I created a book empty of them. Today is another day, and the words are waiting, not a dammed river but shy creatures just out of reach. I suppose I’ll be attempting to coax them forth, soon.