Saturday, July 3, 2010

One should never judge...

A superficial examination may provoke one to assume I’ve abandoned blogging. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have taken a bit of a sabbatical from writing and checking in on my blog friends, that is without question. It all has a purpose, dear friends. Bow Tie Guy and I have been in the midst of nurturing a development, if you will. No, no, not that kind of development. More precisely, we are cultivating an embryo of a business. Every spare neuron, not occupied with our day jobs, is devoted to cultivating our joint endeavor. It’s terribly exciting, I will say that, but it also leaves few idle minutes. More will be revealed at a later date...

When I’m not toiling away in the office or devoting my evenings to research (sincerest apologies, BTG), I’m in pursuit of inspiration. I’ve spent the better part of my adulthood helping build some incredible (and lousy) brands. Having, now, the chance to construct my own, I’m finding myself with an insatiable desire for stimuli. Music, graphics, the way the light hits the leaves on the side of I-66 at 8:17 am - it’s all consumed, recorded and stored within my internal hard drive.

I was having one of those moments, traipsing around the web, where I was continually stumbling upon inspiration. A post from the Neo-Traditionalist introduced me to the most delightful bookstore, Slightly Foxed, in London. Whilst scrolling through the photos of said establishment, I narrowed my focus on a most charming book cover for Parrot and Olivier in America, by Peter Carey.

The script of the title and the winsome illustrations set my heart racing. I immediately searched Amazon and found this.

Thud. (That was the sound of my head colliding with my desk in utter boredom.) A few additional seconds of digital sleuthing produced this Australian version:

Still not as brilliant as the first but much improved, in my opinion. I will never understand why British and American books require different covers as we share a language. What I can confirm, however, is that the Brit designs typically leave my heart aflutter.

(The book, for those interested, is a work of historical fiction about French author and political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville. de Tocqueville is imagined through the character Olivier de Garmont, a French aristocrat sent to the New Word with John “Parrot” Larrit, who is responsible for spying on his young master for an overprotective mother. What ensues is a tale of a “mid-nineteenth-century Oscar and Felix” set against the backdrop of America’s infancy.

The description above distilled from


  1. Wowie, good luck! Do you mind if I ask what your profession is? I run a communications firm in another political capitol, and do a lot of branding as well. I think I'm in the same boat as you in many ways - running my firm, trying to renovate a victorian farmhouse, raise two kids (under 18 months!, and I've a side business I'm trying to launch. I know how hard it is. My own bloggin has suffered. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I can certainly related, that you're not alone, and that I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and BTG! Cheers.

  2. Nature, nurture - both require patience and great care.
    Wishing you well in the building and creating of your latest endeavor.
    I will soon be going under construction and I am seriously pondering a break - in order not to completely undo all the nurturing I have done to create my loyal blog followers.
    let me know how your embryo grows.

  3. Now children can quote the most quoted man in the world! I found you on PVE and love your blog. Thanks,

  4. The dull covers required of English books published in the US are attributable, I think, to a lack of imagination, and, possibly, to generally lower average IQs: 'Keep it simple for the stupids,' etc.


Inspire me! Go on, I dare you.