So far – as of May 20, 2013 – in need of cropping which I cannot do (dang!) –

ladder sit 2


As I have mentioned it is taking me far longer to make the cover of the book, Story Without Words, than it did for me to write it.  At this point, while I appreciate the creativity I was born with, and while I am grateful for each piece of tape, drop of glue, measuring instrument and piece of paper I have as a resource toward this construction, I actually feel afraid that because I have not a cent to hire someone to make this cover whatever I bring to this task is not going to be GOOD ENOUGH.

At the same time I deeply understand that what I have, what I can do using the best of my abilities and resources, HAS to be good enough because that is all I have to offer.

I began this work by creating the pieces that go into the scene (not shown here, only the pink prison-barred walls) a month ago.  I am nearing the end of my road although what lies ahead remains daunting to me.  This piece is created to stand exactly where I have placed it.  I see I will barely have room given the width of the room to get the whole thing (the bottom 6″ piece is not attached in these pictures) into the camera’s frame.

I have no way to crop or adjust the photographs.  I HAVE to rely on my daughter or son to do that for me when the time arrives.  How will I light this?  I have no idea!

whole trials 001

This is typical of what the gluing lamination process using wood glue has looked like for many of the separate parts of the image.  Finding ways to get the laminated pieces not to curve once they are dry has been a challenge!

whole trials 002

I have been concerned about the problems choosing a middle range tone for the background creates for the visibility of the lettering for the title piece.  This shot was taken outdoors and it seems OK, but I will not be able to photograph outside due to the fickle random-appearing very nasty dust devils and wind gusts the high desert provides.

I hired a 10-year-old boy to print out the lettering for me.  He was SO PROUD!  He even walked differently with his triumph showing after he finished his task – on lined notebook paper.  I brought his words to an office supply store for enlarging, used brush strokes from a De Grazia calendar for the coloring….

whole trials 003

I have similar artistic messes to clean up when I am finished with this image – finally – in many areas of my house.

whole trials 004

Grateful for every tool and roll of tape….

whole trials 005

Up there to the left is a picture of me when I was 11 months old – a rare picture-taking day – there is joy on my face.  Now the whole image needs to be leveled, squared, plumbed.  There will be my name plate attached at the bottom.  There are cardboard towers to the back on either side to brace the top piece.  Each of these need to be braced with weights.

whole trials 007

The piece with the black and white circles is added here.  I have a long ways to go to get the walls straight, everything straight and level.  The camera and I are right at the opposite wall – this is going to be a tight fit to get this 3′ x 4′ (approximately) image into my camera’s view.  The far sides of the pillars will determine the width of the image, and then given the final ratio for the ebook cover the height will be determined by that exact width.

Taken from this far back I do not like the cover lettering, so off I go to fix that problem.  I also see that when I aim the camera at the center of the image, still to be exactly determined, the rough top of the pillars shows – so off I go to fix that problem as well.  I also don’t like the blue at the top.  I don’t like the yellow and orange.  Changes, changes – why is it so difficult to make up my mind?

I guess I would call this next stage of this creation the ADJUSTMENT phase!  Will I have anything useful to show for all of this work?  Yet to be determined.


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  1. I think I’ll have to check out that BBC show, Bramwell…there’s another one I want to see – think it’s called “Call the midwife” or something like that?

    My recent experiences have driven home to me how appalling I find most of our culture’s child rearing & education practices are. It seems to me that we’ve created a world so out of touch with nature and so clueless about the nature of nature OR nurture…

    One day last week, when I was assisting on the playground, I asked one of my favorite teachers: “Do you ever find yourself wishing that all you had to do when you came to school was…just love each of these kids fully? That you didn’t have to worry about whether they’re doing this or that ‘academic’ project? That you didn’t have to worry about anything else but whether you’re loving them as much as you could in any given moment?”

    Her answer increased my already huge respect for her…

    “Every day. Every single day…”

    I thank god that I had a few teachers, starting with my kindergarten teacher, who could give me at least a tiny taste of what I was so missing at home: a sense of feeling I had some value, if only because I was doing something ‘right’ in the school setting.

  2. Linda,
    I love watching your creative process unfold, so thanks for sharing it with us!

    Not only are you a consummate researcher/writer, but a damn creative artist, IMHO. And I’m amazed at your creations – I think that they’re made out of such humble materials adds an extra something – extra emotional power or something (not exactly sure what the proper word is)…

    Maybe an ‘added dimension?’

    Whatever you choose to call it; it’s great!


    • I needed to read these words NOW, Sandy. I am beginning to HATE this THING! Determined to see this to completion, no matter how many changes I have to make along the way!

      I am needing to add PINK – and I sure have feelings and thoughts about THAT! Of course I am the one who added the pink into the image to start with – more on this later

      Just THANKS so much for the support, affirmations, encouragement – and VALUING of ME – and this humble project! xo

    • This is humble, Sandy. Humble. Is humility the absence of ego?

      Someone told me I suppose about 8 years ago (one of the times I was homeless) – as I continued to work on my research of which you know so well – that I could never write a book because I was a nobody who knew nothing.

      I do feel that way very easily as I tackle this cover making. A nobody who is accomplishing nothing.

      Adding the pink, emphasizing the pink – thinking about struggles of women in our culture to be recognized as being somebodys – I am continuing to watch the BBC series, Bramwell, about a woman doctor in 1895 – how women in England were treated – how they were regarded.

      I think about my daughter’s struggles in her profession in a male dominated university environment – she still faces very similar – though perhaps a BIT more underground – attitudes and actions by men against women. (I know you as a male see other sides to this picture, as well.)

      I think with the pink – about my great grandmother, my grandmother who achieved her master’s in 1918 – about my miserable BPD stay-at-home mother – who was not taught, encouraged, even allowed to choose her own life as a woman…. And of course I think about myself as a woman, as a mother…..

      Well, there’s more – but back to the cover art alterations….

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