Operation Oysterhood: 29 October

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks

Just to show that I can do healthy, too. Although I must say that I gobbled up the salad over a very quick lunch conversation with Mom and Krystian – quick, because we got the time we were supposed to meet on Skype wrong: Austria turned back the clocks and is now an hour behind SA – and that is no way, meaning hurried, to eat either. Anyway …

A morning of mixed feelings.

When you are attached to stuff as I am, it is never easy to part with it, but a while ago I decided to attempt to liquidate an asset in order to improve my dire cash-flow situation. The attempt was unsuccessful and I had to make my peace with it today. I had other promising news in this department, so I am breathing a bit more lightly, but it was all a bit draining.

And then I met a friend I haven’t seen for a long time for coffee. She has had a rough time in the last few months (and I mean ROUGH!), but has somehow managed to navigate an extremely difficult situation with grace and hope, and listening to her, I was simply in awe of her resilience.

Otherwise, the day was devoted to going over printer’s proofs with two authors, one a debut author (I edited the book for her) and the other one experienced (we have worked together before, but this is the first time I am her publisher), but the jitters are always the same. Both books turned out beautifully, even if I say so myself. But the feeling of utter disbelief that one has somehow brought a book into the world persists, and it doesn’t matter whether one is the writer, editor or publisher.

It is not my place yet to share the cover of the book I edited, but here is the beauty I will be publishing:

Joanne took a picture of me holding the proofs :)

And I was able to show the proofs to our fantastic editor, Helen Moffett, today, too. We are all extremely excited about this joint project. When you read the book, you will know how we have been connected through this story in the most magical ways for many, many years. And now, the book: Joanne Hichens’s Death and the After Parties. And we soldier on! Together!

We have all had our share of loss and grief in life, and more recently, in lockdown, but one always needs to remember that no matter how hard it gets, as long as we have one another and can share the kindness and love we have for one another and the things we do – writing, editing, publishing, reading – we can create spaces for one another that will keep us safe, no matter what. And there is a kind of calm in the thought that, one day, when Joanne, Helen and I are old, or even no longer alive, someone might pick up a dusty copy of Jo’s beautiful memoir and find solace in its pages. And the kindness and sharing will continue as long as readers are opening the books we so lovingly put into the world …

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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