Friday, July 6, 2018

Birds, Puppets and Books - Thoughts about reprinting 'Flying on Little Wings'

Well, I thought I finally made the decision to reprint Flying on Little Wings  as I only have a few copies left. I looked at the cost again, and the reactions from people who own this little book. 

Flying on Little Wings book
Recently I receive a letter from a lady in Donegal who wanted to buy a copy for her 92-year-old mother. She only found second hand books for way too much money, online. I checked. Around €20 or $20 for a book which sells for €5.

I posted a book to this lady, as a gift, and received another gorgeous response, written on a beautiful card with image of a sunset at a beach in Donegal. (Made by a friend of hers, but no name given)
She wrote: “… The book [Flying on Little Wings] is a treasure… & that is how it will be each day when we see the birds!”

A new shop in Bantry called Forest & Flock, ordered 15 of these books yesterday (and my other books, which are flying of their shelves - thank you Bernie and Maeve).

Anyway. Yesterday I was Very Sure I would reprint. 

An edited version, with some new photos of the birds in my garden; which are waiting to be shared.
I created a new Design page and added the images of the old book to get me started.
Last night, while lying on the couch (a place I am found a little too often these days), I scribbled notes in a well-used ‘viewing copy’: good page; new photo; add new quotes.

I asked readers who told me over the years what this book meant to them, for short quotes for back cover.
Senator Grace O'Sullivan with her copy of Flying on Little Wings
Senator Grace O’Sullivan wrote: “This precious little book is one of my treasures. It sits on my bedside locker where I dip in an out of it for solace.”
Another acquaintance was going to ask her brother “as it helped him so much at the beginning stages of his healing.”

I feel responsible to continue to be the messenger of the wisdom of the birds. 

The book came about from a time in late 2010, early 2011 when I needed (again) to re-evaluate how to continue, how to find ways to be well. The birds told me. For example: ... to be brave, even when you are vulnerable.  I created a handmade book, which was later printed as this 10x10cm little book, small enough to carry nature’s wisdom in one’s pocket.
page from Flying on Little Wings

So, reprinting was going to happen. 

Phyllis who is helping me in the studio as my Creative PA over the summer, looked and listened to my plans this morning. We looked at the new bird photos I had. She listened to the stories I have about these birds.

She is all for a new book. But a Totally New Book. Intertwining my life with the birds in my garden. Which are totally and utterly linked.

So, reprint?
Or a new book?

My mind has been busy with creative ideas since this communication.

My mind also acknowledged the stark truth of life with M.E. at present. In all reality I have not been well enough to do a whole lot else than engage with the bird life outside my windows. At times it is even a challenge to hold the camera still enough to take a picture. The fact that I thought to be going back into the studio and create these amazing new puppets, telling the story of M.E. and Disability, are too far out of reach at present. I hope those day will return. For now I do go into the studio for a few minutes most days, but I have not created a whole lot to show for. Other than finishing the Butterfly Puppet (attaching the wings). 
I have to concede that I am actually not as well as I would like to be.  Not something, which I happily admit to. It makes me sad.
Makes me sad that my creative brain has awoken about ten weeks after my return from the UK, but my body has not yet caught up.
Lying on the couch earlier, I had to face that horrible fact.

But, I can write (again).

Write about the birds.
Perhaps about the Puppets too.
And about the truth of living with M.E. and Disability. In a much more open and honest way that I have perhaps done in the past in my books.  I often like to focus on the good, the positive, or shroud the challenges in gently poetry. Maybe it is time to ‘come clean’. And describe what twenty years of living with M.E. has brought me. Where I am at present. How I am still fighting the system. Fighting to be heard and supported.

Perhaps the book in the making is about all of the above, with the help of the birds – who still teach me so much, and the help of my puppets, who in a funny way taught me to speak up.

As for Flying on Little Wings (second edition), well, if I can miraculously raise half of the reprinting cost (total cost about €1300), I will reprint an updated version.
Alternatively I can make it into an e-book, but it surely does not have the same appeal as the little printed book.  (The size, shape and full colour does not lend itself to the print on demand format.)
So, if you feel strongly about the reprint - please let me know and I will set up a funding page.

And Yes, I will write another book. I was heading that way anyway, I just didn’t know the birds would be in there too.

Flying on Little Wings indeed.
Thanks for listening.

If you like to get your hand on one of the remaining copies of Flying on Little Wings, please see my Shop