Don’t worry, it was a literal nightmare, not a metaphorical one. But horrifying while I was experiencing it. 

I wouldn’t be a bit stressed about these books, by any chance?


The local printer I chose is not primarily a book printer, also some of her equipment was wrecked last year in the latest and worst of our recent big floods, so she currently sends those jobs out to what she calls her production team. They do a beautiful job of the physical production; however they managed to print the wrong version of the memoir – the one BEFORE I had corrected the hard copy printer’s proof. This has meant a reprint, at no extra cost to me. That took the printer, who was as upset as I was, some time to negotiate. I was then asked to go through and highlight particular pages where the correct version differed from what I got. After that it seemed to take forever, and I have been getting toey because I'm eager to send out review copies, invitations to the launch, etc. I'm releasing the three books as a package, so the other two titles have had to wait until this one is finalised.

We had definite word the books would be with the printer last Friday and with me by Monday. This did not happen. Following my Tarot reading, indicating that someone was sitting on them, I phoned the printer. She contacted the production team again, and was told they had been dispatched, but only yesterday. I will get them today. Whew! (Part of me says I'll believe it when I see it.)

That's what I went to sleep with.

In the nightmare ...

The book launch was taking place at my friend Maureen’s home. 

In real life this has never been the planned venue. But Maureen has always been very supportive of me, and did a lot of fund-raising to help get me to Texas in 2006 when I was a guest of the Austin International Poetry Festival – which provided my accommodation while I was there, and other perks, but not my travelling costs from Australia. I can see how the dream would have come up with this scenario, particularly as I have had to find a new venue at short notice for the launch of these books. 

All was going well. The guests took refreshment, seated around long tables, while an old friend of Maureen’s and mine said lovely things about me in a launching speech. Stacks of the three books which make up my ‘trilogy’ were dotted around the room for people to purchase later. Then suddenly Maureen told me there wasn’t much time left, as the speechifier had gone on a bit long, and people were expecting the event to end shortly. I looked for a copy of the memoir to read something from that as planned. The only copy I could put my hands on was wrapped in a sheet of paper on which the head of the printer’s production team had written all the reasons why he could not completely carry out my instructions for corrections, and what he had done instead. The book itself was a mess! Some of the corrections were on pages badly pasted over the old ones. Others he hadn’t done at all. And that was the only copy I could find. I clutched it, aghast, with no idea what to do next.  

Thankfully, I then woke up.

Yes, I am anxious. I had asked to see a hard copy proof of the corrected version but that request got lost somewhere. The printer assures me she has checked everything very carefully this time. I won’t be happy until they are delivered this afternoon and I can go through the reprint in detail.

(Meanwhile I am hosting the online community Poets and Storytellers United today, preparing for a post-class review of my latest Reiki II students at my home in two days' time, choosing one of my Beltane poems for the next gathering of the local Goddess circle, and drafting a launch invitation as well as a press release for potential book reviewers. Slowing down in my senior years? Not much.)

Image in the Public Domain.  Edvard Munch, 1893, The Scream, oil, tempera and pastel on cardboard, 91 x 73 cm, National Gallery of Norway.jpg

Pentridge Trilogy Update:

Delays and glitches to receiving books from printer, and to getting a new launch venue after one that was arranged proved unsuitable after all. I did a reading with my Everyday Witch Tarot to see how I might get things resolved smoothly.

1. The present situation. Looks like someone’s sitting on my books! (OK, will chase 'em up again.)

2. The path to my goal. I can’t hurry things, have to wait and trust. (Confirmed. New venue helpful, anticipates no probs, but room hire person away till Mon.)

3. The challenge. I must overcome my sorrow. (Ah, so many causes for sorow recently, not all to do with this. Perhaps I am feeling too negative in general.)

4. What will help. I must remember all the many spiritual lessons I’ve learned. (Ah yes, I do have various techniques.)

5. The outcome. Celebrating with friends. It will all happen happily!

What About Those Books, Then?

People keep asking me this. (Hey, it's nice that they're impatient.) 

Examining the hard copy printer's proofs resulted in some changes and improvements. It has taken time to get everything right. The two poetry books are done; I am still waiting on the final printing of the memoir, which is under way.

Meanwhile, the date of the 'Voice' referendum here in Australia has been announced as October 14th – when I was thinking of doing a Zoom launch for interested parties who don't live close enough to me to attend in person. 

I've decide it would be insane to have a launch on the same date as such a major national event. Instead I'm going to start with the in-person local launch on November 12th (my 84th birthday). So there is not quite such a big hurry to get the physical volumes into all our hot little hands.

Will I have a Zoom launch at all? I'm not sure at this point, but if I do it will be some time before Christmas. Maybe advance orders will be enough. Or perhaps I'll get the live launch videoed so it's available forever.

I'm starting to plan things like where to send review copies, who to invite to the launch (partly influenced by how many the space can hold) and who I'll ask to read poems on that occasion on behalf of interstate poets who can't attend. (While two of the books are all poetry, even the memoir contains some poems, not all mine.)

My wonderful local friend, brilliant poet Sarah Temporal, has kindly agreed to do the official launching, i.e. the speechifying to open the proceedings. Another dear friend offered, unasked, to help with refreshments.

I sometimes feel that I'm in a sort of limbo, but really everything is moving forward, just somewhat invisibly for now.