“Don’t go looking for trouble.”
— Peter Follansbee
“I hope you lose everything so that your wife and daughter see what the fruits of obtuse narcissism reap. I hope you will have the experience of knowing that you have created extreme hardship for your family and that they resent you for the rest of their lives. It probably won’t happen that way, but a man can dream can’t he?”
— An email to email@example.com this year
I won’t lie to you. For the last four months I’ve felt like my psyche has been muddled in a mortar and pestle.
Since April I’ve been revising my book “Handplane Essentials.” As part of that process, I looked for contrary viewpoints to the ones I presented in the book seven years ago. My goal was to find objections or criticisms so that I could discuss them as valid (or not) in the revised book and give a more shaded and complex view of the craft.
I shouldn’t have done this.
I’ll spare you the details of my dark descent because we all have black times. But I can tell you the two things that pulled me out. Today we opened the Lost Art Press storefront to a throng of 50 woodworkers who liberated me of my excess tools. And there is nothing better than putting good tools in the hands of enthusiastic beginners.
Secondly, I came home afterward, drank a beer and saw an entry that James Watriss had posted on his now-shuttered blog about “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” Now, I like to read reviews of my work as much as I like squirrel porn, but I read book reviews because I know they will make me a better (though more rattled) writer.
James, like only a few other reviewers, saw the message clearly. He got the subtext. He basically called out “The Anarchist’s Design Book” for what it is: a birdhouse book for furnishing your entire house (and the houses of others). Plus what those ideas can do to your life.
You can read his complete review here.
I think I’ll have a second beer tonight, lie in the hammock and forget a few urls.
— Christopher Schwarz