The new writing year began with the shattering of a dream.
As so often, my plans had been different, but I should’ve known better after all the lost manuscripts and countless other mishaps.
The blog posts so far have been primarily about progress and various participants in the interview project. But in addition to organizing this book, I’ve been working for several months on another project very close to my heart, the children’s book: The Dairy of the Garden Fairy.
An entry should fly to the children as a pilot project in the form of an activity book in German and English and come out around this time, in February.
For over six months I’d been working with an illustrator on developing the characters. Even family, friends and neighbors were roped in to give feedback on the hairstyle of the main character. Finally, it was ready to take off. The manuscript had been revised, translated, and proofread several times. The concept from the hands-on pages listed, a plant recipe attached to try at home.
Full of anticipation, getting ready to bogey down on my inner dance floor, I envisioned it in front of me. The diary of the garden fairy and the kids who happily filled in the activity pages with colors and glitter. I saw myself with the book at my fingertips, nestled between llamas and alpacas at a reading in the farm in Tyrol, where I was not only allowed to research the animals for the story but also received a lot of visual material. (Thanks again, Karoline!). I saw lots of little fairy fans drawing pictures of their favorite fairy, cooking the recipe, keeping a diary themselves and bugging their parents to please read the story again.
But then one morning early this year, bad news arrived in the mail. The illustrator was forced to pull out of the book project because of family concerns.
This news literally blew me away at first.
Regrettably, there are still issues that would make any fairy yawn with boredom, but unfortunately matter in this world. Until those are resolved, this project is stuck for the first time. At least when it comes to this structure. Because even though the shock and grief of losing this book still cuts me to the bone, I’m very confident my fairy stories will find their way to readers.
So, the year that began with a dream has been crushed for the time being, but that’s life. Projects change and take on new forms.
Working with the young, dedicated founders of LITEGO from Vienna is truly refreshing. Since they began overseeing my projects, the time-consuming issues around publishing have been greatly simplified. I get good advice and professional support, and the best thing is that this leaves more time for writing Frances and the Art of Stumbling. They are just starting to stir up the traditional and, if I may say so, very dusty Austrian publishing world. I’m sure we will soon hear and read a lot more from them.
Thus, the fairy book and the interview project have been in an exciting head-to-head race for several weeks.
Since the fairy story has gone into hibernation, now for the first time, the main focus is on the interview project. The working title Happiness Research, has become a book called: MOMENTS – Interviews about Womanhood and Resilience
The working title Happiness Research, has become a book called: MOMENTS – Interviews about Womanhood and Resilience and it will be published in April of this year A lot has happened concerning this project as well. The last of the forty interviews arrived at the end of December. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day I read through all the interviews again, minimally invasively edited them as best I could, and got them into shape. My dear Ida went over all the texts, including the preface and epilogue, one more time. There were still slight dramas, which then calmed down again. In the meantime, the guys from LITEGO continued to work their magic in the background of the project. When everything was ready and the graphics team wanted to start with the layout, there was a surprising exit of a participant. Meanwhile, a few breathing exercises and days later, everything adjusted and got aligned for the next steps.
The whole thing remains exciting and there are still decisions, work and proofreading loops to go through before MOMENTS actually becomes a book and all participants receive their copies.
But the day when I can finally hold it in my hands and hand it over to my daughter is getting much closer. Finally.