This is probably the longest this blog has gone without a new post, and I want to thank all the readers who have stuck with me. I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but I have gotten sucked into alternate universe of preparing a book for press. I had hoped to continue posting here at least intermittently through that process, but juggling the demands of the book and the studio have consuming most of my time. If I am going to make my summer deadline for the new book, I am going to have to put the blog on hiatus for the next month or two.
The upside is that the book that will come out this summer, Equine Tapestry: An Introduction to Colors and Patterns, has grown in scope. I originally intended it as the wished-for color version of the first volume, or more accurately, a color version of the first half which talks about the different colors and patterns. (The second half, which covers the individual breeds, had primarily black and white historical photos.) I also thought I could take the opportunity to expand some of the sections on the oddities, most of which were just mentioned in passing. I was particularly interested in expanding the entries on belton patterning, since I have come to believe there is more than one kind, as well as the various kinds of mismarks and somatic mutations. And of course, I could use more photos since color opened up the possibility to communicate so much more information. This opened the way for the “mission creep” that turned the original Equine Tapestry into a four-volume set! Well, now five volumes, since this new book is a supplement to the series.
It started with the belton patterning, and the fact that the outlines I used in Volume 1 were not really suited to showing the patterning. I needed a horse with a more clearly turned head to show the full face. I also thought that if I was going to do that, I might as well finish up the revised pony outline, too. The pony used in Volume 1 proved problematic because I drew him with long hair, making him a poor choice for any illustrations that communicated information about pattern outlines – which is most of them. So new outlines were drawn.
The new outlines encouraged me to think about gaps in the information in the original book, and before I knew it I had plans for more charts, and a longer wish-list of photos to include – and much less time for managing the blog or even my personal correspondence.
My goal for the next few weeks is to draw some lines on the scope of this new book so I can accurately assess my publication deadlines. Once I have that done, I’ll better know when the blog is likely to go back online. I will still be posting intermittently on the blog’s Facebook page, since I can usually do that fairly quickly. (I am an avid user of my personal Facebook page, since that allows me to keep some contact with friends and family even in the most obsessive stages of book writing.) Rest assured, though, that it only seems like I am being silent! And once the book is put to bed, I will be chatting here again.