Blurb And The Little Box of Sunlight

I submitted my order for a first proof of Thais on April 6th. On Tuesday, this week, I got an email from Blurb support to say that the order had shipped. Today, when I got back from the office, I was delighted to find a parcel from Holland with Blurb’s insignia on it.

For any author, no matter what method they chose to publish through—be it traditional or self-publishing—the experience of opening the first physical copy of a published book is something to savour, even if that moment is tinged with trepidation, happiness, or both. Perhaps this is more so with self-publishing. After all, the author is so much more involved with the mechanics and production of the book. It is a moment, even for the most prolific of authors, which only comes, at best, once or twice a year. This was my first new book this year. And though Thais is a reprint, 1999 is a long time ago since I had the first edition of this book in my hands.

You never open those packages quickly, do you? It’s always done slowly, with relish. Your mind fills with giddy thoughts of how this or that will look or turn out in the physical copy. No matter how good your PC applications are, you never quite know how that shade of red will work, or how the font you chose will work.

Well, neither do I! Blurb’s horse fell at the first post-production fence. As I pulled the book from the cardboard, I had mused on the fact that the book seemed a little lightweight, and through the bubble wrap that red shade wasn’t so red. In fact, that red was kind of yellow. Yellow like the rays of sunlight on a summer’s day. I slipped the book out of the bubble wrap and admired this ‘Little box of Sunlight’. This, this…wonderful…’Little Box of Sunlight’, well, it wasn’t exactly, ‘My Box of Sunlight’. In fact, this wasn’t my book at all!

Now, how the hell did that happen!

So Burb have sent me the wrong book (or perhaps the right one, see below). An email to Blurb Support, with the noted proviso that customers should allow one business day for a response left me re-jigging my plans for the book over the next few weeks. To be fair to Blurb, I had a response within fifteen minutes, and before I had a chance to open that email, another one. An apology, and an immediate reorder has been processed by Blurb’s Support team. Not the most audacious start, but a professional and speedy remedy nonetheless. I’ll just have to put up with the ‘Oh, there’s another package all the way from, er, Holland for you’ jibs, followed by exaggerated winks as I shuffle away back to the laptop and the security of the author’s den.

Indeed, perhaps I did receive the right book today.

‘There is no such thing as coincidence in life’

What is The Little Box of Sunlight? I will let its author, Martin O’Donoghue tell you in his own words.

“Its an initiative to help those who are suffering from terminal cancer and those who care for them. It is designed to complement the excellent care that is offered by hospice teams. It is dedicated to the memory of Aoife Halpin who’s determination, spirit and love inspired all those who knew her during her life.

The box is designed to act as a counter balance for the real stress, grief and sadness of this difficult time and show that even in the depths of such apparent darkness there is also the possibility of love and closeness. I found that those around us felt an initial sense of helplessness, family and friends want to help but don’t know how. The Little box of sunlight is designed to give practical ideas and tips enabling a significant increase to the level of care and comfort.

The Little Box of Sunlight was an idea I had near to Aoifes last days – I discussed it with her and explained how her life and her experience with cancer would make a difference to others. It is my hope that it can and will.

Since then I have been gathering various items and working on the concept. Now it is being evaluated and I hope to launch it in May 2009
Slán go foil”

Martin O’Donoghue intends launching his ‘The Little Box of Sunlight’ in May 2009.

I wish him my thoughts, strength and all the success in the world for his project.

If you are a carer for someone affected by cancer, you may wish to visit Martin’s site and learn more about his work for cancer carers and his ‘The Little Box of Sunlight’ project.

Leave a Reply