Goodness me, look at the time!
I came here to apologise to BAO for being pretty much absent for most of the year. To tell you the truth, I feel like I held my breath and put my head under the water in February, blacked out for a minute from holding my breath too long, and finally lifted my head to discover it's December. Or, it's a bit more like when you drive somewhere and then suddenly you're there, with no memory of any part of the journey, yet you did all the driving. I always get goosebumps when that happens.
So here we are, close to the deadline, and I haven't made my book yet. It's fully-formed in my head, and now I have to get it out of my head and into your hands. The last few days have been spent with paper swatches, sketch-books, a calculator and my trusty sidekick Padge. We've been back and forth on the phone with the lovely James of Magnani Paper in Melbourne, making an order and then changing it, discovering that the paper I didn't know I wanted but was forced to think about as an alternative and now I really really want it is actually out of stock. However, I remembered that I have a small stash of the paper I originally wanted, and that combined with what is left in James' stockroom should be enough. Phew!
I had researched my ideas at the beginning of the year, but the intervening months have shifted them slightly. I knew I wanted to make a dos-a-dos type of book, with two stories in the one volume, but the stories are now much more interesting than they were earlier. So maybe that lapse in time was a good thing.
I've enjoyed getting books from my two groups over the year (and major apologies if I forgot to acknowledge you, I'm going to write nice letters when I send my book), but there haven't been that many, so I'm guessing that a lot of us are in the same boat. I've put out the word to my family that Christmas is very very low-key this year. Open a bottle of something nice, pull out a bucket of prawns, and presents to be kept very simple. Why run around for weeks fussing about one single day when there is book fun to be had and a deadline to meet? Luckily they are all fine with the idea.
So ready, steady, go. I'm hoping to be in that parcel to the UK, time to get printing. Watch this space!