Why 100 Stories for Queensland Will Be Late

I should qualify the title of this blog by saying – 100 Stories for Queensland won’t be ‘late’; while the printing and release have been delayed and the anthology won’t be available for launch next week (as originally hoped) it will all happen in the proper time.

How can I say that?

Last year I learnt a profound lesson about timing. Even when things look they’ve been thrown into disarray and the timing is all out, it’s actually a project (or an event) finding its proper timing. It’s a hard thing to surrender to – the perfect Universal timing (as opposed to the perfect ‘human’ timing) but I can assure you, I’ve experienced it time and time again – and it’s always right.

As the Director of Creative Assets at eMergent – I am at this point a one-woman team. I do all the editing, all the design and layout. It is me who basically gets everything to the printer and if something happens, there is no one to pick up the slack. Since mid-January I’ve been lending a hand to my business partner Paul who is running our non-fiction said of things, with the relaunch of Write Anything (our community outreach and education blog for writers). It is hard to believe the time is working for and not against me!

The delay to 100 Stories for Queensland is a short and long story. The short is, when I agreed to help out with 100 Stories several things were already happening (against the back drops of the floods):

  • it was the school holidays and I was trying my best to give my six year old a holiday rather than just a pause from school.
  • I had two live projects (both of which were battling again said school holidays) – one of which, NOTHING BUT FLOWERS had only kicked off six days earlier.
  • and as I mentioned – eMergent was moving into a new, and previously unchartered territory with Write Anything.

Then I lost nine days and my entire work schedule went down the tube. This is perhaps the downside of trying to be über organised. Once you’ve lost time, it is almost impossible to regain it – no matter how hard you work to catch it up.

At the end of January we had a public holiday followed by 12 hours of vomiting and two days home for my son. This was while I was completing the proof reading for Emma Newman’s FROM DARK PLACES and beginning line edits for NOTHING BUT FLOWERS.

The following week Cyclone Yasi graced us with her presence, bearing down on my family and friends in Cairns. In many ways it was worse than the floods – the days of waiting for its arrival and the late night spent with my sister, virtually holding her hand as it struck the coast – gratefully for my friends and family, south of them. Three days were lost to the place your mind goes when danger is present and the fall out of days of being on edge.

FROM DARK PLACES was finalised just a few days over the scheduled date and I threw myself into the final editing and preparations for NOTHING BUT FLOWERS, pleading with the Universe to just give me on week, five days, where nothing happened and I could just work. Going to print as a paperback meant I went through every single story with a fine tooth comb – and I realised the time line for NBF was way off – before all the other delays were factored in. The week leading up to Valentines Day I pulled 14 hour days, slept around 4 hours a night and ploughed through my work while juggling my family and new responsibilities at school (let’s just say I think I ended up being crap at everything that week!)

As it was NBF was two weeks behind the original schedule and as I write this, the book is still waiting a final cover and to be sent through to the printers. Two weeks ago I finalised the eBooks, sorted out the back end with payments with a tickle in the back of my throat and the beginnings of a sniffle.

There was no time for getting sick – I had scheduled the next three days (Saturday-Monday) for 100 Stories to get all stories finalised, to spend Tuesday and Wednesday getting the book into a proof layout (after Tehani and I discovered our programmes were incompatiable and I was loathe to ask her to do an entire book layout when I couldn’t even ensure I could open it at my end to finalise any corrections)

I was leaving for Victoria, my high school reunion and a week of research in Ballarat on the Thursday. It had all been neatly factored in a month earlier. I knew it could be done – I’d just miss out on one weekend.

The virus laid me out flat for three days. I only got out of bed on the third day to take my son to school. Tuesday I worked 12 hours and got the first 50 stories finalised and ended up back in bed on the Wednesday. Thursday our flight was cancelled and we rescheduled for 5am Friday.

We landed in Victoria Friday morning wrung out from the late night, a 5am flight, mid-flight drama and this entire week I’ve just wanted to chill out, but the guilt of 100 Stories hanging over my head seems to have drained any enjoyment I should be having.

While those who have been working with me, know the time and effort I put in (and that 100 Stories was squashed between existing projects and other scheduled eMergent and Chinese Whisperings projects have been put on hold) there are 100 authors out there, about to be published in 100 Stories who don’t know me that well. There are 200 other people who submitted, missed out on a place and still want to buy the book. There are all the friends and family who all want to get their hands on the books also. There is also the 30+ team of 100 Stories who have worked hard to keep the project clipping over at an amazing pace and I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I’m sorry!

I’m not one to whinge and I’m certainly not looking for sympathy (Goddess forbid) – I just want everyone associated with the project to understand sometimes despite you best efforts you can’t make things the way you wish they were.

So that’s the long and the short of it… and hopefully this goes a little ways to quell the guilt I’m feeling and gives everyone on the outside a small view into why this has happened. A week lost – can never be regained.

I am home next week and the management team will have discussions regarding the best launch date. And as soon as we know, we’ll let all of you know.

Thanks so much for your understanding and a special thank you to the management team who gave their blessings (reinforced in the last day via Facebook and twitter) for me to take a few days off.

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19 thoughts on “Why 100 Stories for Queensland Will Be Late

  1. Jodi, I don’t think there is anything to apologise for, but you know my feelings on women taking on too much – we will give ourselves mental breakdowns if we’re not careful. I hope you are a bit more realistic with future project timeframes! You need to build in some ‘fudge’ (yes, that’s a technical term) and some project redundancy (you cannot be responsible for everything alone – there are lots of willing hands out there!).

    Good luck with the rest of the project and enjoy your time away. (and remember to sleep!)

    Lily
    xxx

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    • That fudge time is a week… from now on every project timeline will include ‘a week’. The things you learn on the ground (running or drowning). This year is the first time I’ve run simulataneous projects and once 100 Stories is done – I will only do two live projects at any one time.

      Thanks for your support! Us women who take on too much need to keep each other honest… (about what we can and can’t do!)

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  2. I agree with Lily on the fudge time and project redundancy issues. Actually, I think it was your Super Woman cape that caused the airplane stove to catch fire. 😉
    Be good to yourself. Anyone who isn’t understanding about life’s glitches should be left out on a pole to dry.

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  3. All I can say to you Jodi is the mantra I tell myself when I am in the same position you are in right now…’Take a breath!’

    The flooding of our city, the threat of Yasi on our families and the many projects and respondsibilities due yesterday has made the last two months a very stressful and emotionally draining time.

    We are not super women. We do breakdown if not tended too properly so take a breath…re-energize and rest. As you say, the universe has a way of making things happen at a certain time and not a moment before it is ready. You can’t rush a good thing.

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  4. You’re only human Jodi, although obviously one of the more impressive members of the species you’re still subject to the usual tribulations. Anyone who who begrudges you for being late on a charity project would have to be a jerk of the highest order. Besides, it’ll just build the suspense!

    Like the others have said, re-energize and refocus and let it happen at the right time. All the best!

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  5. Sometimes things come up that we don’t expect and just can’t be helped. You have absolutely no need to feel guilty. You’re doing an amazing job juggling everything despite the setbacks.
    Jo

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  6. I think sometimes it is easy for people to forget that when one or other of us is out of action, then so is the company. We’re not a huge publisher; we’re just us.

    How many founders personally update writers, editors, and fans? How many founders are also the main engines of production? I’ve said before, sometimes books can be delayed months, years. So what’s a week?

    Take it easy. You’re not letting anyone down, not the authors, editors, the public – and especially not yourself, in spite of the high standards you hold yourself to!

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  7. Jodi, I hope getting all of that out there has enabled you to relax and get on with enjoying your holiday.

    Who has said anything about 100 Stories being late? *Cups hand around ear and listens to tumbleweed*.

    It’s only yourself you’re battling with and as such you’re worrying for nothing. We’ll all still be here when you get back, waiting *patiently*.

    Good things are worth waiting for.

    Take *all* the time you need.

    x

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  8. Jodi, You are truly and amazing woman. I can’t believe you did all of that with everything that has been going on.

    It’ll get it here when it gets here, and it will be amazing like everything else you do.

    ~2

    I am always happy to help if you need anything… even if it’s just moral support or ego boosting compliments 😉

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  9. The anthology will also be better for your taking time to get well. There is less chance of mistakes slipping in if one’s not ill. When I send off work when sick I always find errors later. And it’s important to remember that the floods were so bad that it’s not as if there won’t still be a need in a week or so.
    Penelope

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  10. Ah, just found this site! I was wondering what had happened to the antho. Overwork. As we oldies used to say: have a nice cup of tea, a Bec, and a lie down.

    Can’t stand tea myself and I have no idea what a Bec is. But a lie down is always good.

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  11. Thank you everyone for the comments. I’ve had a a complete rewind over the weekend and returned home yesterday feeling relaxed (sleep deprived!) but very happy for the weekend free of guilt; grateful for good friends, lots of quality food and alcohol, long conversation and new experiences (Ben, Jason and Margo – still can’t believe you took me to a metal club).

    Sitting down in the next hour or so to tackle the home strait of editing and then into layout – so promise in the next day or so a new release date.

    Thanks again for all your understanding and continued support. I have a very charmed professional life to be associated and work with such talented and generous folk.

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  12. Jodi, I have a book buying customer wanting a copy of 100 Stories for Queensland and she is only to happy to wait so take your time. Would you please advise when the book is released so I can order it for her.
    best regards
    Patricia

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