February 10, 2014 | Posted in:Celia, Personal Art, Sausage-making, Writing

The Fading Celloist by Laura Palmer

The Fading Celloist by Laura Palmer

Is it still procrastination if you do something productive with your time? Or is it just a poor choice? I’m not sure which I’d rather be accused of.

I’m in the process of splitting my 225K manuscript into two manuscripts of ~125K each. It’s aggravating; while there’s a natural splitting point, that split point is not an end. It’s the equivalent of the way they broke the Harry Potter, Twilight, etc movies into two parts. The first movie ended, but it didn’t truly conclude.

While I could have done a straight split of my book and called it a day, it would have ended and not concluded. I don’t think that’s a good situation to be in as a debut author, so additional writing and rewriting was a necessity. I was also concerned about having a downer ending, since the mid-point of a book is typically when things get worse or backslide for the hero. I therefore committed to fundamentally changing the story to give someone, anyone a positive outcome in book 1.

I really did not want to do this. I’m a little worried the new ending lessens the impact of something Really Important that will happen in book 3. The Really Important event is so important that it was one of the first things I envisioned about the Muses series five years ago. But – c’est la vie.

My Opinion of You by Agnes-Cecile

My Opinion About You by Agnes-Cecile

That’s the dark truth of publishing. It sounds great – you can write what you like from home and have adoring fans! No, the only thing you are guaranteed is working where you want. You probably don’t get to write what you want. You will probably change your book to appeal to a theoretical agent. Once you get an agent, they will have revision notes. Once you get a publisher, your editor will have revision notes, too.

So here I am, rewriting a book I thought I finished months ago. I’m not always in the mood for it. When I procrastinate, I might blog. I might work on photos over at LauraInDigital.com or MyEgyptianMau.com. I might make brownies – or some artwork.

I was in a surrealist mood as per my twitter stream this weekend so I hunted down some pictures of people with giant eyeballs for heads, melting mouths, etc. The photo to the right is one I stumbled onto. It’s not truly surrealist, but I really like Agnes-Cecile’s work in general so I thought I’d show it off a little.

It’s fun to look at other people’s art, but I wanted to make something myself. I had a photo of myself playing cello in a mask that I thought had a lot of potential. I had been working on ‘painting’ it for a few weeks but it was boring me. I got the idea to grunge it up instead, and I think it was a great choice. There are several grunge layers atop the painting with some music-note highlighting.

The Fading Celloist by Laura Palmer

The Fading Celloist by Laura Palmer

From a conceptual perspective, her hand on the cello is intentionally decaying. Her eyes are closed, and her face is masked. We see nothing of this woman except the blue mask. It is also the clearest part of the image because the fake face endures the longest, and her music the shortest.

You could choose to see a statement about modern celebrity here, but I would rather interpret it as it applies to Nyarteme. In Artists of Song and String, the third book of the series, Celia is a celloist who is forced to play for her captor. She shows him a fake face, and he goes to startling ends to strip her of her mask and change her music to his liking – hence her fading hand.


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