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Thursday, February 7, 2013


I usually make my mini-books by improvising from material that happens to grab my attention in any given day.  Well, this next book unfortunately cost me money, to wit, $1.84!  That's the value of the four stamps I had to input into this book for its interior content ... but let me back up. 

First, yes, I know it's February and I have yet to put away the Holiday cards:

What can I say? I love the holidays!  But I did try half-heartedly to begin clearing them up ... only to get diverted (but of course) by this one card that I thought could make a good cover to a mini-book!

I picked up the card and brought it with me to my studio dining room, where I espied (always wanted to (mis-)use that word) some unused stamps with the holiday reindeer theme on them. 

The proverbial flash bulb turned on, and I knew what book I'd write.  First, I cut up the card for a cover to a 2" x 2" book:

It only took a few seconds to put my idea together and the result is as follows: You open the book to the copyright (yeah, like I'm so concerned) page and title page featuring, um, the title: WHAT REINDEER THINK:

You next open the page to the visual of a (partial) Fat Santa I'd cut out from the holiday card and cut in a way to emphasize his girth:

Then onward to the interior:

As you see, the four stamps are what comprised this past Holiday's official theme stamps by the U.S. Postal Service (what? no more Saturday delivery? are y'all nuts!?). That's why the last page, which features "bios," credits the USPS as "illustrator." And "captioning" each image is a line from a poem I wrote just for this project.  Said poem:


          gets heavier and
          heavier each year--

          it ain't the Ipods or Ipads...

No need to contact Oslo for that poem; we're just having fun here, aren't we!

But lest one of you think I'm not taking Poetry seriously enough, do note that this poem, too, is about judicious attention to the line-break and making sure each line stands on its own.  The first draft was


           gets heavier

           each year--

           it ain't the Ipods or Ipads...

This first version's lines aren't as emphatic as the final version, don't you think? Not to mention that the repetition of heavier makes the point, uh, weightier.  And perhaps you'd agree that the coupling of the middle lines into a, uh, couplet ... visually emphasizes a belly bulge within the body of the poem. Ahem.  Like Moi said, judicious line-ing.  Poetry lesson du jour!

Now that that's out of the way, where then shall we "shelve" this serious poetry book?  Oh, but of course: to be enjoyed within the Tomato-Red restaurant booth by Mary Scheller!


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