Saturday, April 22, 2006

TIP Part 1 Preview

My goal is to blog every weekend, but last week a very special event took place near me in Long Beach, CA--the final local performance of the Quidam show by Cirque du Soleil. It was spectacular!

The big news this week is that I received a draft copy of the first of a 3-part series of articles on LMLK postage stamps in The Israel Philatelist (TIP; published by The Society of Israel Philatelists). There's a 99% chance it will be in the June issue, which unlike some magazines, will actually be printed & distributed in the first week of June.

Of the 3 parts, this one presents an update on related archeological activities over the past few decades since the last time TIP published an article on the subject. Highlights:

* How I became involved with philately

* The Z2U drawing by Bliss that served as a basis for the design

* A photo of the actual impression Bliss found

* A summary of LMLK debate issues

* Why I refer to the icon as a "winged light"

* An introduction to Type 484s vs. Pithoi

* A call for philatelists to examine their collections for serial #s

Altogether, Part 1 consists of about 2,000 words spanning 4 pages including 36 footnotes, a photo, a drawing, & a table of serial number ranges.

I submitted Parts 2 & 3 in January (each with about the same amount of content as Part 1), but they've been tweaked a few times since then, & may need additional tweaking soon. This week I discovered a new element on the 3-mil asterisk sheets, which may have bearing on whether it was printed last (the past consensus) or first (the side I'm currently leaning towards).

These TIP articles will serve as a nice bridge/intermediary to the content of LMLK vol. 2, which is mostly done, & has been since last year. I'm dragging my feet on its publication for 3 reasons:

1) I expect exciting new revelations from excavations at Ramat Rahel, Gath, & Nahal Tut over the next couple of years, & it wouldn't make sense to publish v2 prematurely since it summarizes all the sites. I'm also hoping the Burj data gets published.

2) The stuff that's missing from v2 right now requires a great amount of foraging through preliminary reports & obscure books on various Hezekiah vs. Sennacherib scenarios, as well as laborious illustrations.

3) I'm still within my projected estimate of 3-5 years from v1; & since I'm the publisher, I get to decide whether the schedule can slip, & I'm not against it slipping if it's for a good reason (see reason #1 above).

In other news, I finally have a book in draft form that will serve as a bridge/intermediary to LMLK vol. 2! At this moment it consists of 364 pages, but the draft font is huge, & I'll eventually shrink it to keep the page-count closer to 200. It will definitely be a cheap (~$9?) mass-produced paperback, unlike the limited-edition hardcovers for the LMLK series. I expect it to appeal to a much wider audience than the LMLK phenomenon draws. Believe it or not, I found a way to connect Quidam to this excursus, & naturally, the excursus to LMLK!

Details forthcoming... (Gotta have a reason to attract readers to this blog each week!)

Song of the week: "Running Wild" by Judas Priest (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 14-second sample; 174kb), 'cause what's the point in livin', unless you're livin' wiiiiiiiiiiiiild!!!
G.M. Grena

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