Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It is done.

You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea. Pablo Picasso

It is done. Finished. Complete.

This book, WHERE, that has taken a year to create, I held it in my hands yesterday. The first copy out of the bindery. The first bound book.

I glanced through it.

Page 6.

"It's backwards," I told the pressman.

Collating stopped. The page was flipped. The process continued.

And now it's done.

Tomorrow we launch. Tomorrow we begin the process of publicizing and marketing and getting it out into the world.

I am pleased.

It looks fabulous. A work of art. A work of love.

For the past three months, it has been a journey through, into with words and photos and ideas and thoughts.

Yesterday, the sales rep from Sundog Printing asked me how we came up with the idea for the words.

"It was a case of constantly listening to intuition. To heeding the muse as she flowed through the process."

It started with an idea, a vague one, but an idea that seemed to have merit -- what if we take 50 words that represent our 50 years of service and the value we add to the community and then write something for each word -- invite people from the community to contribute.

I started writing out words. I asked staff to add to the words until the list grew and grew. 200 words. 220. 250. 265.

We must stop with the words. Start paring back. We got it to 100. We need photographs, a co-worker said. We've got clients in a photography club. We could ask Calgary photographers to submit a photo. Good idea, we agreed. And then, he was at a dinner party and he met two photographers and told them about the idea.

"We want to play too." And they joined in with their talents and gifts and whole heartedness.

And we kept going. Listening. Heeding. Moving through the process.

It felt effortless, even in those moments of working hard to meet deadlines and timelines and expectations.

It felt effortless. Fluid. Graceful.

I did find a typo though. Even after countless read throughs, countless people proofing, I found a typo.

I was reading a piece out loud for one of the authors. I had asked him if he would read his piece at the launch. He wasn't sure. He'd never actually read it after he'd written it. It was a letter he'd written to his father, just before he passed away. It was about his addiction.

A powerful. Provocative. Beautiful piece.

And he'd never read it, even to himself.

I offered to read it out loud to him.

Please do, he said.

And we sat in my office and I read and he cried. Sobbed.

Should I stop, I asked.

No. Keep reading.

and I did and when I finished he sat silently and then said. "It's good. Thank you."

My worst fear is that I'll cry, he said.

My worst fear was that there's a typo in the book, I told him. And there is. Right in the middle of your piece. I apolgoize and yet, I cannot change it. And even in the presence of my worst fear, the earth didn't open up and swallow me whole when I found it.

He laughed.

He's not going to let a few tears stop him. He's going to read his piece on Wednesday. He is a courageous man.

It's done. This book that I have nurtured into creation.

And I am pleased.

And I am grateful.



Anonymous said...



as you say .. no need to apolgoize!

we are all still here

and those who've seen you in action, praise you for your good work



Maureen said...

Yay! and Congratulations!

Now about that typo... I doubt there's a book in print that doesn't have at least one, no matter how good the editor, and I say that as a very good editor. As someone wise once said to me, "After all, only God is perfect."

Hope said...

wonderful news! congratulations!

Anonymous said...

So looking forward to tomorrow...

x BA

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Mark! I really appreciate your support. Sorry you won't be able to make it -- we'll have to get that lunch together to catch up.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Maureen -- so true. And it is a reflection of our perfect human condition!


Louise Gallagher said...

Yeah BA -- I'm excited to see you! C.C. will meet you at the airport. He gets in at 4:30 and will wait for you.


Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Hope -- if you feel like driving down.... come on down!

S. Etole said...

Wonderful news ... for you and many ... wonderful you!

Fiona said...

Congratulations Louise!!!

A typo - just a sign of being human, but I can understand the frustration.

Intuition guides us and leads us to make amazing discoveries. How ironic that we've both mentioned it in posts today - synchronicity?

Enjoy your celebration, you deserve it!

Hugs, Fi

Josie said...

Wow, all the planning and preparation, the anticipation, and now fruition... and JOY!! I am delighted for all of you that worked diligently to make this book happen. How soon will it be available to order? I want one, I can't wait to see it! CONGRATULATIONS and JOB WELL DONE!

By the way, I think the typo is perfect. As I'm sure you know, weavers often include a "mistake" in their tapestries intentionally. Perhaps that is as it should be with this book as well.

Brandi said...

Oh Louise, SO SO proud of you and your team and everyone involved!!!!

This is exciting!

I'd love to be there tomorrow night but I have to work late into the evening...alas...I will be thinking of you. Enjoy the time :)

And as for the imperfection, your friend, Maureen, said it perfectly. I actually just bought a book last weekend that was missing text on half of one page, hehe, silly editors :)

trisha said...

congratulations my dear, sweet friend!

Anonymous said...

what a deal. . . i like your post.

and i am very fond of the quote too.