Friday, April 20th 2012 - My Uncle Jim is known throughout our family kingdoms (Wassons, Russells, Relateds, and of course, the little-r russells) for many things, but one of his signature classics are "gifts of the spirit." I won't try to make, what will surely be, an imperfect explanation of his gift giving practices here. Instead, I'll say that I was blessed to receive a gift of the spirit from my uncle this Christmas. In the spirit of my quest to become Bookmaker Jake, he gave me a "Make Your Own Book" kit that came complete with blank pages, paste, a brush to apply the paste with, and an informative booklet on the history of making books. I don't know where he found it, but it gave me a boost of spirit to know that someone was rooting for me.
As the Canby Author's Fair approached, I was feeling in need of another gift of the spirit, so I asked my uncle if he wouldn't mind helping me turn his Make Your Own Book into a book. He was preoccupied by the blood feud at the time, but he agreed, and we met at his apartment for a book production scene, which began with gifts of sustenance from me. I think it was donuts.
We talked a lot about the blood feud and my uncle's Russells with the Big R geneology project "Epic Journey, which can be ordered for $95 through me if you want to buy the full meal deal 900+ page history of Russells and Relateds. But we also were able to get some bookmaking done in spite of my forgetting to bring my fat needle (we went to Wallgreens and bought an even fatter one). Uncle Jim, who graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in journalism and interviewed John Wayne, took the proof-of-work photos for this book. He also used his classic, handwritten signature to authoritze the fact that I did do some sort of work to give value to my homemade currency.
Overall this book turned out fantastically. I put some old Velcro from my grandma at the opening of the cover to give it a little rip-roaring drama each time you open it.
I'm especially proud of my uncle. We are both authors who have little, to no, chance of fame and fortune, but he taught me (by example) long ago that good Authors with a big A--like good Jedi Knights--do not crave such things. It's the Epic Journey that matters most. And this book was a good part of that journey.
PROP COSTS: $11.85 + (STORYTIME WORKED: 2hrs 57min x OUR EXCHANGE RATE (based on fed minimum wage): $7.25) = $33.24
This gift of the spirit was sold at Wordstock 2013 to this wonderful lady and her friend, who now owns it by proxy.