I post stuff here on daily observations, but the most important thing going on in my life right now is working on our tiny homes book. By the time we get it out, it will have been 3 years in between major building books, the last having been Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008).
For a year I gathered info, filing it away in 5th-cut files folders (one thing I learned in my 5 years as an insurance broker was the importance [and technique] of filing). For the past few months, I’ve been doing layouts, 2 pages at a time, in no particular order. I grab a folder, print out pics, write or get text from contributors, and do a rough layout by taping down pics (which I size on a Brother DCP-9040CN color copy machine) and text with removable scotch tape.
This is old school, to say the least. These days, designers lay out picture books on Macintoshes, for Christ’s sake. My method is way slower, but I’m not locked into a digital process in the creative stages. I think you get a different product this way (kind of like rice tastes best when cooked slowly on a wood stove).
I watched a program on our local PBS station last week, an interview with 3 prominent mystery writers, including Elmore Leonard (master of tight prose). All talked about the process of writing a novel. None has a fixed idea, a worked-out plot, an outline beforehand. They start writing, and as they work on it, their characters take over, and the book gets created in the process — not plotted out and/or outlined in advance.
Hey, I thought, my books are like that. I gather materials, start assembling pages randomly, working on whatever catches my eye, and then gradually, the whole emerges. Surprise!
This is a wild book. People living in all manner of little cabins, yurts, boats, trailers, road vehicles, urban “capsules,” Vectors are coming in from different parts of the world, wildly disparate, but with the unifying theme of living in a small space. Simplifying.
This is FUN! Watching this book unfold. Yesterday afternoon I interviewed Dan Phillips, a builder in east Texas who helps single moms, low-income families, and artists (“…all under-represented in these times”) build their own homes for under $30,000… Jeez, don’t get me started…
I’ve resisted posting pics from book all along, I want to save them so people discover all these wonderful, creative, tuned-in ways of living in one kaleidoscope of a book. But it just occurs to me I can post rough layouts from time to time, so you can see a work in progress.
Back to the layout table…