Operation Oysterhood: 8-13 May

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

— @HaggardHawks

My love said he would buy the flowers …

He actually said that he would buy the groceries for our lunch yesterday. But, he bought the flowers for me, too! :) They radiate the same colours as my joy at seeing him recover one small step at a time after the frightening experience and ICU stay of last week.

The first few days were an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions. The horror visions of what could have happened running on a loop in my head, the overwhelming relief that they didn’t become reality, the gratitude for the miraculous medical interventions possible, the bracing for the recovery road ahead, anxiety, the incredible outpouring of love and support from family and friends – including the deliveries of delicious food, beautiful flowers, and other big and small gifts to help us both cope and make us smile again. The generosity and kindness of people in moments like these allow one to somehow keep going.

The last few days and nights passed by in a bit of a blur, too. I couldn’t focus properly for a while, had to write a few letters of apologies that I would be late delivering on some promises, but, in general, work and deadlines were a way to distract myself from spiralling into the depths of fear and anxiety. And I have the enormous fortune of working with many kind, understanding people.

The Karavan Press sale got the press out of publishing ICU, but looking at the latest official sales report – or rather once again returns report – it is impossible not to despair. And I know that Karavan Press is in the same boat as many others. It’s leaking and might need some serious repair and restructuring work before we brave the deep waters again. To be an indie publisher right now is rough, to say the least.

Yet, the gorgeous debut novel by Nick Mulgrew, A Hibiscus Coast, is out in the world since yesterday and will take readers on a journey in time and across from Durban to New Zealand.

“Book of the Week” at The Book Lounge

May it soar!

Another Karavan Press title is about to sail from Liverpool to Adelaide: the content corrections of the typeset text were completed yesterday and the final touches to the cover are in progress. And the last Karavan Press book before my Big Rest (I have not given up on it – I need it more than ever!) is in the last stages of design and typesetting, too. Almost, almost there.

Needless to say that I have not been able to read much for pleasure lately, but I am making small progress with two books that are giving me much joy when my mind can relax: I am in the middle of Heather Martin’s The Reacher Guy and the first book in Consuelo Roland’s Limbo Trilogy. Great stuff in both cases.

And yesterday, I had the great pleasure of attending a LIVE book launch!

The launch of Searching for Sarah by Dominique Malherbe.

Dominique was in conversation with Tracy Going. It was a deeply moving event for me on many levels: the book features a shout from me on the cover, Sarah’s story resonates with me in uncanny ways, Dominique’s journey of writing the book also echoes many of my own experiences. Above all, Sarah’s story is the story of so many women neglected by history, and there is something so wholesome about the fact that it could be told and is now being shared by another woman who champions women and our realities in her writing.

I have been vaguely aware about what is going on in the world outside my own tiny bubble and it does not look good. Ancient hatred flaring up with lethal consequences. The pandemic devastating more and more lives, with the images of the makeshift funeral pyres in India haunting my dazed mind. The third wave gathering momentum in SA and no successful vaccine rollout one can truly believe in anywhere in sight. Non-pharmaceutical interventions remain the only health-and-life-saving means of how to survive this virus. We soldier on …

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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