#14 ~ beginnings
I am sitting here by a welcoming fire – with the Reverend Djuna Cupcake at my side, the old widow Lily (Nemo) Bubbie on my lap and Moggie and Mr. Annie sprawled about – and I’m wearing a big smile. Though Paul is on the other side of the continent, I can feel his presence here as well. I’ve just cracked a bottle of a fine Cabernet and am celebrating the final leg of ‘All The Little Graces’ journey to becoming an eBook! Today it was sent off to the various online outlets, and thus begins it’s flight. Of course, I hope for traditional publishing. I want to hold that book in my own hands, so now I will renew that tricky, testy task of querying literary agents – but if this is as far as my book ever gets, I will still be pleased. I love it.
In a day or so All The Little Graces will show up at Amazon and the iTunes iBookstore, and in the weeks following will follow at Sony, Kobo and Capia. So those of you with e-readers, be on the lookout for it! If you do venture into it’s virtual pages, when you’ve finished, please remember to go back to the site on which you found it and leave a review! Even if you think it was dreadful, leave a review! The more reviews it gets, the better. And if you enjoy it, please spread the word.
So now, where is that bottle of wine? I’ll drink a toast to you all.
All The Little Graces percolated and brewed and stewed for 10 years before it ever even whispered it’s first words to me. There are many people to thank for it’s ‘becoming’, those who contributed to the six years that followed in a blaze of words and pages – but I must first begin at the beginning and thank that mangy little brown mutt of a street dog, Margarita, for being the inspiration for it all. Though the story itself is a work of fiction, it is based in many truths – the first being that Margarita was indeed real. My family and I met her in 1990 at the beginning of six-weeks spent on a Greek island and she changed our lives forever. Though a victim of the streets she was quite a character, a pure little soul who captured our hearts and ultimately introduced us to the harsh reality of the life of a Greek stray. More truth … Greece is enigmatic and magnificent, and for me, there is nothing that can match the magic and peace a Greek island can offer!
I must also thank Skiathos, an island of the archipelago Sporades in the Aegean Sea – a magnificent beauty and a deep well of inspiration, I thank her for our 26 year-long love affair and for being a throne for my Muse. My grateful thanks to her people, who over the many years have slowly helped me to better understand the Greek spirit and passion, and have given me some insight into their country’s painful yet inspiring past. Skiathos is one of many islands and villages that served as a template for ‘place’ in the story, all of them responsible for the DNA that ultimately makes the ‘Graces’ island one of a kind and very much it’s own character.
Grateful thanks also … to my husband and partner, Paul Kamm, for encouraging me, humoring me, feeding me, letting me ‘liberate’ some of his words, and for being patient with my frustrations and the strange hours I had to keep to get the writing done – as well as for being an incredible help as a reader and an editor all along the path; to my darling and talented daughter, Breelyn MacDonald, for being a part of it all and always encouraging me along the way, and for the fantastic photograph that graces the ‘About the Author’ page; the Reverend Djuna Cupcake, my dearest canine companion who always helped ‘keep the space’ for me as I wrote, and who is a living, breathing conduit to the book’s main protagonist, Margarita; to friends Wendy Spratt, for the lovely painting that became the cover, and Lorraine Gervais for the cover design; to Kip Harris, who was my English teacher when I was a junior in a remarkable high school neatly tucked away in the magical woods of the Sierra Nevada Mountains … an inspiring man who opened my world to Emerson and Thoreau, to Wordsworth, Keats, Hemingway and Shakespeare and therefore encouraged in me a passion for the colorful world of words; to my other readers – Cindi Buzzell, Maggie McKaig, Mike McKinney, Elena Powell, Kate Wall, Donna Natali and Tom MacDonald – for begging me for clarity, for weeping and giggling and ensuring that I wasn’t writing *it’s* when I should have been writing *its*, and essentially helping to make sense of it all; to Sands Hall for encouragement and tools that changed my writing life; Eleni ‘Helen’ Dumas, our darling Greek language teacher extraordinaire; Yvonne Ayoub, for her own unique perspective of an island we both deeply love; Kiri’a Koula, and Syrainoula Mathinou, for their loving kindness and true hospitality, and for the beautiful, inspiring spot on their veranda that hovers just above the Aegean, where the words flowed to me over the calm morning sea from the sun’s rising … and Dimitrios Mathinos, for sharing his tales of life on the seas and his knowledge of and glimpses into island life in days long past; Ioannis Tsikounas for his help, his friendship, and for being the source of boundless laughter, always; to Mike Voyatzis, for information about fish and fishing the waters of the Aegean, and most importantly for his warm and gracious hospitality in the quiet of several Skiathos winters – visits that truly enabled me to get my book finished; to the angels of the Skiathos Dog shelter, especially Helen Bozas, for making the shelter a reality and for caring so selflessly for the voiceless ones; Greek Animal Rescue, and Diane Aldan (Tails from Greece Rescue) for information, and for helping the animals of Greece’s streets; and to my kind friend Giorgios Koumiotis … and his beautiful old caique, ‘ΘΥΜΙΟΣ’ (THIMIOS) … who both took away my fear of the sea and in doing so, encouraged me to listen to the poetry and music in the waters and the wind, and unknowingly always helped me to find the pure magic, that place where the words live and breathe.
And to my agent and publisher, whoever you may be – you will realize this dream and never be disappointed that you did!
Forever am I thankful to you all.
With a great love,