Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Yes, of course, if it's fine tomorrow," said Mrs. Ramsay.

I had a consultation with my boss at the studio this morning. I was asking her about one of my projects. The other day, I spent about 4 hours printing maybe 30 words on eight, 9 x 9 sheets of paper. The only thing you have to know about letterpress printing is that it takes an enormous amount of time to set up the press. So, if you're going to print 8 things...well, you should plan on printing something else so you don't waste the effort.

I had nothing else to print.

So there I was setting up the press. I got everything ready, but something didn't look right on the proofs. Something was off with the ink. I thought I needed to adjust the roller height. So, I adjusted it. But, I did something wrong--and then the whole press was out of whack. I should have asked for help, but this was an extra project.

My choices: One: clean up the press and print another day (time requirement 1 hour + printing another day). Two: just print (time requirement 1 hour)

I knew I shouldn't have printed, but I did it anyway. I just wanted to be done. The print looked terrible. I mean, bad. But, I thought maybe I wouldn't care the next morning.

This morning, I cared.

My boss looked at me and said, Print it again. 
When I gave her a face, she said: Printing is hard. It's so hard. I used to cry at the press. No one was there to help me. I had to figure out everything by myself. 
Print it again. 

And so, I will print it again.

After this conversation, I went to the bookstore and purchased To The Lighthouse. I've never read it before, but the back says, "There are few exceptional and miraculous novels that have the power to change their readers forever." I will let you know how it goes.


  1. What's this for?May 20, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    You are letterpressing!!!! Gah! I love anything letterpressed! If you need help in the studio- or someone to just gawk and watch you work that machine- call me! Seriously. . .I'd love to watch/help.

  2. I bought To the Lighthouse on clearance from the BYU Bookstore many years ago. I started (trying) to read it but just couldn't make head or tail of what was going on (or why I should keep reading). I had a similar experience with The Sound and the Fury. I keep thinking I'll pick up both of them and try again at some point, but they're just not my priority right now. :(

  3. I Love To the Lighthouse! Well, I'm kind of a huge fan of Virginia Woolf. I've read several of her novels and some short fiction, but I still have a lot to go. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea (my Mom, who loves Faulkner, felt kind of like she was wading through Mrs Dalloway) but she certainly is mine. I think it's because I just savor being inside someone's head...which makes some other people just feel claustrophobic.

    I know this post is kinda old, but I just had to comment. I hope you like the book as much as I did. My favorite novel of hers is The Waves, though it's not for the faint of heart (or beginner Woolf readers). It's stream of consciousness to the max. Many have called it a book-length prose poem...which is of course why I love it.


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