Having self-published one book, a novel, Like a Child to Home, a work of fiction, vaguely autobiographical with a few camouflaged twists and turns, I set to work on a prequel. It continues to be, as Canadian Senators frequently say about the hoary old Canadian Senate, a work in progress.
Other companion fiction projects have accompanied said prequel, all existing in the same, yet slightly different, narrative universe, each plucking, in the assorted dusty pockets of my mind, my creative strings.
Along my writerly way, I have also assembled two non-fiction compilations of essays written about my life on Denman Island. These jewels, generally captured under their respective headings, Confessions of a Gentrifying Soul and DIRA Diary, were not originally designed to be collated into books.
Nevertheless, some time ago, I began fiddling with the notion that one or the other might actually have some cachet beyond my idiosyncratic Island. Hence, the assembled Confessions of a Gentrifying Soul is in the process of becoming Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul.
You notice the subtle difference, I hope.
How did this come about?
This past May, in response to a small note in the Federation of BC Writer’s on-line newsletter, WriteOn, seeking non-fiction manuscripts, I sent a finely-honed query letter to Silver Bow Publishing. Within days, they expressed interest. Since then a publishing contract has been signed, a mock-up of a cover has been conceptualized, the work itself is being edited (clearly a necessity, I believe) and I’m over the moon.
Being, of necessity, a modest sort, I am trying to contain the joy to be had. For instance, to use the term synchronicity, a concept probably best left to my friend, author Ro DeDoming, and her book, Out of the Blue: Musings on Synchronicity, Silver Bow Publishing is headquartered in New Westminster, my long term adult home town.
For me, there was an immediate affinity.
Slightly less synchronistic perhaps, but it entertains me nevertheless, SiIver Bow asked me to take a photograph for the cover of the book. “Confessions” is somewhat of a memoir, backstopped by my dozen or more years as an unapologetic, inadvertent agent of change on Denman Island.
What one image could capture that swath of guilt?
As I pondered this unanswerable, I roamed the WEB.
Some years earlier, I had engaged in a similar search to find a near-perfect image for the cover of Like a Child to Home. It took a number of months to settle the matter then. I am that much older now. There is less time to dawdle.
In any case, as luck would have it, I found what I consider to be an iconic representation of change, of the old and the new, in a matter of hours. It took a few further hours to determine that the photographer, Wilf Ratzburg, lives in the town I grew up in; Nanaimo. A selfless and very practical beta reader and friend, Mary McDonough, also lives in Nanaimo. And once lived in New Westminster.
The circles were colliding like bowling pins.
These observations may seem like small details, synchronistic butterflies at best, but the gratification found not only in having a second book poised to achieve its get-up-and-go, the comforting harmony of time and place, but also the process of fashioning how this it will find its literary legs, all of this is a great pleasure, for me. A great pleasure indeed.
Needless to say, I will keep you all posted.