I sent off the first third of my book to the editor two weeks ago. A recent email stated that he likes the illustrations. He will write about the text later. Dad (who has no contact with the industry) read an early draft and typically enough stated that I am not writing a real textbook, since it is actually readable. Mom corrected a few typos. (Spellcheckers? We don't need no steenkin' spellcheckers!)
I am polishing the prose as I go along, working in sections (as I do when I animate) and using humourous examples when possible since the method works when I teach. There are comical illustrations as well as negative examples , some of which were given to me by a very helpful student. Examples of his much better recent work will be published right alongside the weaker work to make sure that people don't get the wrong impression.
My writing style can be verbose so I edit out repetitions and keep the text short and sweet. The first eleven chapters please me and got a good and fair crit from Greg Ford and Ronnie Scheib, who are acting as unofficial editors. Chapter 12 is underway but a sudden health emergency with Gizmo has slowed me down a bit. Poor cat has to go to the vet since meds made her sicker than before. I do this on the weekends and so this takes time out from the writing, but one must prioritize things. Student work will be used for some of the illustrations and this should give a nice mixed flavour to the proceedings. Many animation books only contain drawings by the author, and this leads to a one-way mentality (as in 'only one way to do this'.) It's important to show the way other artists handled their projects. Particularly students. When considering a faculty hire, I want to see a reel of students' work rather than their own showreel. Good student work is the best advertisement for a good professor.
Weather here was bright and very cold and we had the first snowfall in a week and I was never gladder to see it. There is something desperately wrong with sixty degree temperatures in Rochester in January.
The new computer is chugging along beautifully though I no longer have the picture publishing program. Oh well, must find another. This is a double drive monster that effortlessly handles very large files. I got it just in time, the other one was dying fast. Dad claims he has resuscitated it, but the repairman claimed the disc was skipping. Anyway, Dad is welcome to use the old laptop if he can keep it alive.
And I registered with Tina Price's new company, the Creative Talent Network for a very reasonable fee. It was amazing to see all my old Disney colleagues there, even those who are still there have a site. Tina was always a real self starter and this could be an interesting association.
I've got to send her a disc of some of my artwork. She's kind enough to set up a page for me onsite. There's no way I can do it with all the other stuff that is going on.
The Academy dvds are a royal pain to deliver here since they all have to be signed for and the deliveryman has an irritating habit of coming when I am at work. Fortunately I have someone who will sign for them for me when I'm not here.
The best films I've seen so far have been GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (both sure nominees for Best Photography and probably a couple of others as well.)
My main objectives: get the cat well, get some more writing done, and get ready for classes next week.