Making a very special book by hand will always be more personally gratifying than producing it by dispassionate commercial means. Short stories are the platform where I explore these three elements. I believe a short story is like a small window where we, as readers, can peer in to see a brief, intimate view of other’s lives—their habits, desires, and interests. Inside that window we might also discover a mirror reflecting back our own lives and how they might be so much more than we ever expected.
To me, a handmade book appears at the junction of content and process, activities that are shared by two people. It requires the collaboration of two people who each understand and appreciate what the other is trying to accomplish and who are willing to share their efforts. A writer provides me with the exciting stages of the story, the development of character and plot, the economy of words, and the inevitable change of direction as we near the story’s end. Then it is up to me, in collaboration with the writer, to handle the handcrafting process. I am guided by my feelings, my intellect, and my abilities. I begin and end the process where my heart, my mind, and my hands shape the design, set the type by hand, create the illustration, choose the right paper, letterpress print, bind up, and case in – all efforts attesting to the excellence of a story. My aspiration is to craft a paper haven for each story, a place recognizing the story’s beauty, dignity, and power, as well as creating a forceful memory and art work made of ink on paper for each reader.
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