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  • Writer's pictureFrancine ○ McCabe

It's Been A While...

I’ve been wanting to make a post about where I am at, where my book is at, and generally how things are going… an update.

I want to walk you through my publishing experience so far. I know a lot of people have been asking me about traditional publishing and how it all works and all I can share is my own experience.

After I received the Canada Council for the Arts grant at the beginning of the year, I really put my head down and got organized. I took all the content I had already written and made sense of it. And I began contacting all the farms I had narrowed down as fibre producers. I could really see the layout of the book coming together, I could visualize it. At this point, I wrote up a book proposal and sent it off to Heritage House Publishing.

They have established themselves as the go-to source for books on regional and pioneer history and I felt like my book would be a great fit. I laid the book idea out and gave them a sample chapter that I had already written. They got back to me within the week and were interested in publishing the book. I of course was ecstatic. This is the publishing house I dreamed about publishing this particular book with. This was back in April. After chatting with HH and discussing a projected publishing date the pressure was on. I questioned my timing and why I had proposed the book before it was even complete. But to be honest, I am the kind of person who needs deadline pressure to complete a task. So, it worked for me. Fast forward through a chaotic summer of farm visits, research, and keeping up with my family and I’ve landed here.

I've visited over forty fibre producers and chatted with an endless amount of people on the topic. My book is fully written, the contract is signed, and I am currently sorting and editing all the photos that I want to include. It’s scary spending so much time and energy on something and then just handing it over. And this in-between phase is hard. The book won’t be published until Fall 2023. So, I have time to think about what I’ve included and what I haven’t included. And of course, with a research-driven project like this, I feel like I could continue researching and writing for years about our regional fibre and economy, but I also know that over the last two years I have put a tremendous amount of work in while being a “single” parent 50% of the time. (my partner works away) And I’m not saying that as an excuse for what’s not there, I am saying it to be gentle with myself. (It’s a new thing I’m trying)

At the end of the day, I am proud of what I have created. And this book makes sense to me… it takes my love for fibre, for writing, for our local economy, and of course for cute farm animals and mashes it all together into a true passion project.

Over the next 9-10 months, I will work with the HH editorial and design teams to bring the book to life. I am confident that they will help me polish and elevate my writing and design a book that does the content justice.

Looking back, I have felt stressed and overwhelmed through a lot of this process. But the other day while I was sitting at the kitchen table, my ceramic mug steaming with a fresh cuppa Earl, sorting through photos, I had a moment of true appreciation and gratitude for this life. I know I will look back on these times as some of the best. I had so much fun visiting farms and getting to know the farmers and their reasons for being passionate about fibre production. I wouldn’t want to be any other character doing any other thing but this one. And when I check in with my inner child, she is cheering, jumping up and down with joy and that’s all the confirmation I need.

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