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Friday, October 05, 2001

Apprehension

Up early this morning but in truth feel drained and slightly spread about the place. In this state, it's possible for me to wander about in a grumpy fug which makes me feel listless and unfocussed for the entire day. So I have to sit down and shine a light in the attic and see what's up there, clearing the cobwebs and blowing away the dust.

Dealt with several enquiries concerning In The Court Of King Crimson yesterday and today need to address the logistics of getting signatures for the hardback edition of the book. Just to clarify, the autographed hardback will only be available directly from Helter Skelter.

One or two dispatches from Chris Wilson - the hero of the design side. Chris has done an amazing amount of work way above and beyond the normal design brief. Yet with only days to go before the project goes to the printers, he continues to toil away, making adjustments, factoring in amendments, indexing and tinkering with typo's. Given all of the late nights, lost week-ends and Anorackory in extremis, you might think that Chris wouldn't want to go near another KC -related project ever again. Well, mad fool that he is, he recently signed up to do it all again with the Frame By Frame: the King Crimson Companion.

As a way of helping out with the donkey work, I'm going to go out next month to buy a scanner. Quite a bit of Chris's time was taken up with scanning the numerous press clippings which I've acquired. I'll get some advice from Chris about what kind to buy and I'm told they are as cheap as £50 although I don't know if they are any good at that price.

Working on a project like In The Court Of King Crimson has been very instructive. It's revealed to me the far corners of my prima donna tendencies and insecurities. I worked myself into a lather about being "edited" instead of trusting the process and seeing where it would lead. I wasted time and emotional energy over something that never came to pass.

My fear, you'll recall, was that the publisher would brutally hack away at the manuscript in order to fit the tome into a predetermined format. Looking back on it, Helter Skelter were nothing less than supportive, gently pushing the writer along, giving me guidance about the realities of what is desirable and what is possible. In the end Sean "not Helter Skelter's Sean" Hewitt and I trimmed the beast by 30,000 words and the thing is much better for it. Consequently, Helter Skelter had little to alter or change.

Sometimes you can get hung up on a detail and miss the wider picture, too close to be objective. So now the project appears to be in the final stretch, a new set of worries and concerns take over.

Will the printer do the job correctly ? Will anybody turn up for the launch or will it be a case of sipping a glass of flat coke, drumming my fingers in a disconsolate way, whilst wearing a paper party hat all askew ? And much worse besides. All part of the process.

Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from someone who knows a thing or two about sticking his creative jaw out in front and then deal with the hard knocks that come back - and they are just the self-inflicted ones.

Dear Sid,
When your book is published and you have to live with its lack of perception, ignorance, and blindness to read what was sitting on your face demanding your attention, then you will begin to understand life in the front line. But only, begin to understand. Making a record is like this. As you are dying, it will make more sense. When you are dead, I hope this doesn't trouble you. If it does, you'll have to come back.

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