Chapter 3: Bookmaking Boot Camp in Balance (August 2011)

One of the most challenging and necessary parts of writing The Living City and becoming a Bookmaker was (and still is) finding a balance between the worlds of bookmaking, employment, and enjoying my life with family, friends, and Emily.

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I was lucky to have Bob the Crystal Miner as my "work director" and friend. If it wasn't for him My Bookmaking Boot Camp training wouldn't have been nearly as successful. Unlike ninety-nine percent of my other paid working roles, working for Bob at Spruce didn't take anything away from my quest to become a Bookmaker. In his own way, Bob was supportive of my "strange book binding projects." And, in my own way, I was supportive of his outstanding crystal mining story. In fact, he discovered one of the season's best vugs while I was making a book for him using a detonator cap box and one of his busted jack-hammer hoses. 

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In another world, I might have become a Crystal Mining Assistant (or what miners call a Mucker) instead of a Bookmaker. Mining with Bob and his right-hand man Archer was fun. Most people paid Bob for the wild pleasures of crystal mining at Spruce, but I was lucky enough to get paid to roll rocks off cliffs, hike in one of the most beautiful settings I've ever seen, get a workout packing crystals, pyrite, beer and other supplies up and down the mountain, and be there when the Thunder God went "Boom!" 

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That's me using a 9v battery to spark a blast that sent rocks the size of large dogs flying off one of Bob's mining benches. 

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August also saw two new Special Guest Stars, Will and Kate the Hot Springs Caretakers. They helped me develop my first dynamic bookmaking theme, The Hot Springs Scenes, Books I through VII.