It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book in one (or two) sittings. Sure, the number of pages in Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is small, but “Before & After the Book Deal” is more hefty in size at 365 pages. Still! Both are beyond inspiring and page turners.
Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is a recent gift from my boss, that she picked up at the beyond wonderful indie bookstore Pagination. (All you have to do is give them a call, tell them how much you want to spend, and they’ll curate a surprise package of books for you!)
This tiny book is beyond inspiring! In the 1800s, a minerologist and helped compile these swatches of colors for botanists, scientists and artists to use to help describe the natural world (in a time before color photographs especially).
With our current access to seeing colors in all media, it feels slightly outdated as a catalogue, but so fresh and new at the same time. And pure poetry! “Wine Yellow” is a descriptor of the body of a silk moth, white currants, and saxon topaz. “Pistachio Green” is the neck of an Eider Drake, a ripe round pear, and crysolite.
I decided to do my own color coordinating. The juicy pink of my Black Box Rosé wine looks to be compared closely with “Aurora Red”, as seen in the vent converts of a Pied Wood-Packer, red on the naked apple, and in the mineral Red Orpiment.
Poetry! This tiny book and big concept has inspired me to start naming my own colors and creating a contemporary guide. Add that to the list of projects for later. Because right now…
The manuscript for “The Magic of Dreams” is due to my editor on May 1st, with the 150+ illustrations due on May 15th. I have a lot to do, but took two nights off to finish “Before and After the Book Deal” by Courtney Maum.
Wherever you are in your creative writing process, I can’t recommend reading this book enough. It’s the Dream Big power tool you’ll want in your toolbox. Maum writes as if you already have a bigtime book in the works, and cheers you on the entire way, even through the scary parts.
I wanted to share my copy with the members of my writing group, but I’ve highlighted and dog-eared so many pages that I think they’ll all just get a copy for Nibsmas (our gift-giving holiday).
The best parts of the book are because she allows you to think and dream big. Book tours! Nonstop email requests for writing blurbs for other people’s books. Speaking at conferences! At the same time, she acknowleddges that this is very rare for most authors, and cheers you on for the mere fact that you WROTE A FREAKING BOOK. It’s not an easy process, one filled with literal blood, sweat, and tears. So that whether you launch at an indie press with five friends, or a Big Five publisher with loads of publicity, it’s all a huge achievement and worth celebrating!
Once the whirlwind of edits are finished, and in the month leading up to launch day (July 2021), I can’t wait to revisit this! It’s making me feel like a smarter and savvier author-to-be.
What books have kept you up at night and inspired you to think bigger? I’m all ears!