You may be wondering what this is and indeed I have been rather quiet about it. For years I wrote poems, more than a thousand. By the time I was ready to consider publishing, poetry was being dropped off the submission lists. The message that went around was that no one bought poetry. So the project was shelved.
In 2019 the first real interview with my mother, Sally, was released in a podcast “A Perfect Storm: The true story of the Chamberlains” by John Buck. My parents rarely speak about when we met the Chamberlain family at Uluru on 17 August 1980. The event is too painful and reminds them that it could have been us.
Expression in the form of words
My parents have always loved my poetry. For years I thought they were being completely bias. After all, isn’t that what parents do? I sent off some poems to John Buck who said I should publish them. It’s been almost forty years since I met Azaria. There comes a time when all that grief needs be let go. The book of poems has helped my parents talk about that day.
The book contains ten photos taken by my father on 17August 1980, and fifty poems about Azaria. These describe people, events and some of the emotions that went with it. The poems are quite personal and I have thought long and hard about publishing them. It is time for forgiveness and it is time to acknowledge the grief and loss of a beautiful baby.
With four days to go it’s panic time. Did I order enough books? Do I have enough postcards? This will be the first book fair I have been to as an author. It exhilarating and nerve wrecking all at the same time. The cat’s idea of helping consists of opening the boxes and pulling the packaging out.
This has been months in the planning, but there are always the last minute things that tend to be forgotten. Pencil in the date, ask for help and let people know. The last two weeks have gone so fast. I am looking forward to a wonderful, if not exhausting, day.
The whole process of editing can feel like it goes on forever. At some point, after almost giving up several times there is the end. More to the point it’s an artificial end because this is where the draft is ready to hand off to someone else to check. There are a few things on my list for preparation before I hand anything over.
Checklist Before Handover
Each type of story will vary in what you need. I write fantasy so my list looks like this.
Check names, terms and places.
Ensure the master Glossary is complete (this is for the editor).
Check all italics and unusual formatting.
Check basic formatting such as numbering.
Consider the size of the document and preferred format (my editor prefers paper copy).
It may feel like you are on your own when writing and with the initial stages of editing. This part is where communication is key. Make sure your editor has time allotted and is expecting the draft. Make sure to confirm your arrangements including time frames and expectations. By this stage you are probably so sick of editing that you can’t wait. This is all about letting a fresh set of eyes go over the work. Each story has its own nuances so keep an open mind and be prepared to make changes.