The last two weeks this is what my days have looked like. Open eight frames in Photoshop. Resize each. Place them in a template. Copy-and-paste it into the next page in Affinity. Repeat two-hundred-fifteen times.

I don’t pay much attention about what’s in each individual frame. There’s action, violence, romance, and many familiar movie-star faces but if I start reading the story it will distract me from my task. If I lose track of which frame goes where the whole house of cards will fall like dominoes. Every now and again I have to backtrack because my mind has drifted off and I’ve repeated a spread or resized a frame incorrectly. It’s inevitable. I’m not a machine.

In the time I’ve worked on this thing I listened to the audiobook of Fleischman is in Trouble and tried and given up on a couple others. I want to give up on Fleischman at times but that would mean pausing the production line and starting it up again which is a process that feels more and more leaden as the spreads mount. I power through to the end of the story of a bunch of weaselly New Yorkers tormenting one another and unsuspecting passersby in their quest for the mythical work/life balance. It’s ridiculous but told just well enough that I can half-listen through my labors.

I’ve done this kind of thing for my own books but never for someone else’s. It’s an odd feeling. Because I’m self-taught in book-design I’m sure there are more efficient, better ways to do many of the things I do, but this is the only way I know. If I think about doing this every day for a living I doubt I’d last long. What it’s good for is a time out from my own thing. The mechanical repetition gives most of my heart and mind a break. They’re more engaged in the audio drama than what my eyes and fingers are doing.

I finish the first pass listening to Bronson Pinchot read Strangers on a Train to me.