I was hoping to have my book Wildflower Spirit Journey through central Australia ready for publication earlier this year but the company I was working with produced a truly uninspiring end product that was going to be very expensive for the end user. The paper they were using for their colour books was extremely poor quality and they could offer me no better option. After meetings with my editor and conferring with family members, we all agreed: I couldn’t go ahead with this company. I was going to have to start again.
For a few months I researched and contemplated my options. The answer came from an unexpected quarter: Blurb. Blurb rescued me years ago after another publishing saga gone wrong and I have always been impressed by their standard of service and the high quality of product they are able to produce for a very reasonable price. Blurb has just created some new product lines and services that have turned out to be perfect for my first flower book project. We have had the odd challenge to troubleshoot here but the teamwork has been fantastic.
The book has been millimetres away from being ready to release for months now but I have been distracted by overseas travel and perhaps just a smidgeon of procrastination. I am certain I could edit this book another hundred times and still find things that need fixing or changing. So I am hereby making a solemn promise to only do one more edit and to get it done in time for christmas. My family and friends have been waiting so patiently….
To honour this promise I will have to prise myself away from other writing projects and resist the temptation to dive head first back into the first draft of Wildflower Spirit Journey through Kakadu. I left the narrative halfway through day through day three of the bush walk, just before we headed down onto the side of the escarpment. I’ve been binge-writing this draft, immersing myself completely in writing for days and weeks at a time before emerging to rest for a few months. The memories are still fresh, a little too fresh at times, and there is a limit to how long I can hang out in Kakadu, even on paper. Powerful country.
Last night I caught up with the women who shared that journey with me and not for the first time, we talked about going back. We have unfinished business there, but so far my attempts to return have been thwarted. If Kakadu lets me back in, it will happen when and how Kakadu wants it to happen, not according to my agenda. In the meantime, I have been climbing other mountains, in Belfast and Austria, and tested a suspicion: Was it possible that the Kakadu adventure cured my fear of heights? So I jumped off a mountain in the Austrian Alps; a blissful tandem paraglide over an incredible landscape of snowcapped peaks and grassy slopes. Verdict? Jumping off mountains isn’t scary, it’s fun!