I had decided that I'd wait until I sat somewhere before I opened it. I wanted to relish the unveiling. Instead, as we walked, I ripped the bag open, desperate to see what it looked like.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Raimond Gaita's full endorsement is on the back, and on the front, his lovely words, 'A heartrendingly beautiful book.' The gorgeous front cover design wraps around the spine, and then onto the back. I think Marc Martin, the designer, has done an incredible job. You should check out his website to see some of his other work.
There was also a lovely note from my editor, Nicola, explaining that this is only the Advance Reading Copy and not the final book so there'll be mistakes.
Too exciting really.
We walked on to the Mole Creek Visitor Information Centre, which now houses The Superb Herb and an espresso machine. The Laurel Berry where I wrote so much of this book, is closed until September, so it's a slightly longer walk from our place for a cup of coffee. On one of the two glass tables, I set myself up in earnest to savour the moment while Farmdoc read his mail.
And what's my reaction? How do I feel? Well, my strongest urge is to treat this volume as I would any other new book: scrutinize the cover, read the blurb on the back, leaf through to the acknowledgements to see if I know any of the people thanked, and then turn to page one to begin reading: The Journey.
I read the words:
'It has been said that all stories begin in one of two ways: a stranger comes to town, or a person sets out on a journey.'
After all the hours that I spent writing, reading, revising, editing and then proofreading this book, what I most want to do now is to read it as a reader and not as the writer.
But also to admire it as a beautiful object and to decide which page I'll sign for my readers.
I guess how I feel is that I have been on a journey writing this book that describes my mother's journey with Alzheimer's. And now the book will have a life and a journey of her own. All I can do is wish her Godspeed.