It is a blustery Saturday morning here on the Sunshine Coast of BC. The last week has been truly exciting and sometimes nerve wracking too. I am certain everyone is getting tired of hearing me talk about my book we are in the process of putting the final touches on. My awesome book designer has been working really hard on the finishing touches. I have to say that she is as much an artist on this project as me. See the back cover. She created that from three pieces of art! On the text pages she created watercolor borders that correspond with the art piece for that page as well. This project, is a beautiful collaboration.
Years ago when I was doing the Artist Way I started this artwork, with my friends Patty Opp and Ginny Vail. Then I became an island unto myself for several years and these paintings sat dormant on the shelf. When I started painting again, years later, after doing the Nick Bantock workshop, I found myself becoming part of several art groups and other amazing heart-centered groups, like Wild and Wise Women, created by my dear friend and soul sister, Christa Thompson. Through one of her discussions I met another dear friend and fellow collaborator, Laura Probert. We went on to form a deep friendship and bond, due to miraculous circumstances. Getting to contribute some art to her book, and getting that art published along with Atousa Raissyan, and Mary Claire,Warrior Love was just part of the miracles that came out of that collaborative spirit..
When we moved into our new cottage and I got my stuff out of storage, I found one of the old original paintings that I had made for my book. When I made the paintings, I was recreating a memory of an experience of my sister, Julie and I back when we were little girls. This book is fictional but non-fiction as well. It is based on a joint experience of two little girls who used each other's love to get through several uncomfortable experiences.
So I found the art and a poetry story I had written and shared it on my Facebook art page. Some of you said I should make it into a book. I had my friend Laura read it and she encouraged me to do that too. Then when I had another friend, who is an editor, read it, she told me the story, written as poetry is hard. She told me it lacked plot. I agreed. A little voice from within said you are not a writer. She offered to help me write it. But, I really wanted to do this. I wanted it to come from my art. I wanted to be a writer. So I sat down and re-wrote it over a couple months. My husband, Barry and my friend Laura Probert, patiently listened to me read it or they read it themselves, so many times that they must know it by memory now. They loved me through this experience. Once again proving collaboration works.
Jane Covernton, my editor, told me I could not just site the lyrics of someone's song without permission. Once again this thought had been troubling me. I knew she was right. She told me it could take months to get approval, so I had better get on it. I set about searching for the songwriter only to find out that Wilf Carter had died awhile ago. I managed to find a woman, who I thought was his daughter in the states. I phoned several times, wanting to talk to her, not to just leave a message, but she never answered, so I finally left a message.
I was sitting down one morning, trying to figure out a way to rewrite the song in my words, so I could still make my story work, when the phone rang. It was Sheila, Wilf's daughter. After we had an emotional conversation, she gave me her blessings to use the song in my book. Another beautiful collaborative miracle.
So after all of this, I finished writing the story, sent it back to Jane, who said it only required minimal editing this time! Then I asked my fellow collaborator and amazing digital artist friend, Atousa if she would help me make it into a real book. And thankfully she said yes. I needed to have all of the circumstances work out like this. Otherwise the book may have found its way back to the shelf.
I get to put my name on this book now, but really it should have so many more names on it. But suffice it to say that the love and appreciation I have in my heart knows that without everyone, and I mean everyone, this book would not become manifest. I am a very grateful girl for that! My dad is singing in heaven along with my other angelic support group.
So in conclusion to this post, thanks to all of you for the part you have played in the making of this book. Much love always!