The book is out. Finally. I was answering questions from a group of friends about this project. One question was, “How long did it take?” The glib answer is, 30 years. But of course, that’s not what they wanted. The more accurate question is how long from the time it actually became a viable project till the finish line. That was more like 3 years. But it could have been two. Time really does get away from one. The next question was about process. I described briefly the multitude of drafts, the constant revision, the scrambling to create new work to make it a full volume, then the endless reading and correcting of proofs, the panic when the printer changed software, resulting in multiple mistakes on every page. When the printer did the resizing to fit the 5″ x 8″ book format, I had to check and recheck all the places where line breaks and page breaks were now different. The new page and line breaks would not necessarily have affected the text in a prose piece, but in poetry such details can make a great difference. There was choosing the paper stock for both the text and the cover, plus obtaining cover art and making decisions between various versions of the design.
My friends seemed genuinely interested in all these details. It was then that I regretted not keeping a better log of the entire process. I was so involved in just getting the work done, that it never occurred to me to write it all down. Perhaps I’ll be able to reconstruct the timeline, via emails and other documents. Suffice to say it was all very, very hard work. But I learned something from every step, from every glitch.
Through it all, I was supported by my publisher, Norma Pratt of Quesadilla Press. This would qualify, I believe, as a “micro press.” It’s a labor of love by Norma, and of course, by me. Now there is more work. Marketing, publicizing. So, truth is, the finish line is never really crossed.