Monthly Archives: September 2014

Without The Sun

broken boat

How can I be warm again

Without the sun?

Its playful light

Chasing away shadows

How can I be free again

Without the key?

Unlocking life’s joy

Securing its sorrows

Where will I go now

Without a compass?

No reason for direction

No seal upon a home

Where will I set sail

Without a rudder?

I’m nothing and I’ve nowhere

Till my heart’s returned to me

(c) 2014 Sara Litchfield

Sara Wars: The Night Butterflies Vs BL-1 Dark Blue White X-Large 1-Piece Pattern Prayer Muslim Hijab Head Cover Scarf

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 7.39.11 PMYou may remember I shouted out a short while ago that my first novel, The Night Butterflies, was coming out – I wasn’t messing with you, it’s on its way. In fact, it should be out already, causing all kinds of havoc.

This post is about patience. Patience is a close cousin to frustration. There have been all sorts of roadblocks to this book. I’ve been navigating the seas of self-publishing as a greenhorn, one unused to the trials of the ocean, and one, moreover, beset by seasickness.

I’m planning a pamphlet on my story – something like, ‘A walk in the jungle: My path to publication’ – it really is an Amazon rainforest out there. You need a guide. Something to repel the creepy crawlies. And, preferably, someone to carry your luggage.

Despite the delays – the tigers, the sharks, the snakes, the storms – I reached the point where my title was to be sent to a printer for a short run and uploaded to Amazon Createspace for Kindle / print-on-demand simultaneously. It’s also going to Smashwords, so it’ll be available on any/all e-readers. Everything is ready – I’m ready. This is supposed to be the delicious distraction away from all things breakup. This and Instagram (damn, I love Instagram).

But, upon upload, I received a notification that my paperback ISBN (the unique global book reference assigned to your title by the national library of your country of residence) clashes with another title at Amazon. I followed up, because, well, it’s in the nature of an ISBN that it shouldn’t clash with anything. But it turns out that it clashes with a head scarf.

As this shouldn’t happen (it’s pretty much like winning the anti-lottery – they say at Amazon this hasn’t come up before), I figured it would be fixed in a day. But I’ve been liaising with CreateSpace, Amazon Customer Service, Amazon Author Services and Amazon Selling Support for coming up a week. Don’t get me wrong, everyone I’ve spoken to has been lovely. But I would *really* like to release my book now.

Your ISBN goes on your back cover and on the copyright page in the front of your book. It is used to make the barcode for the back of the book. It is used to register your book in databases around the world. It is how you track your sales. Having had my covers created, my barcodes bought, my interior formatted and my registrations made – at cost – I’m not keen to push my timescales even further, pay to perform all of this again, and have to request another ISBN when the one I have is valid.

The scarf is not listed on Amazon as a book, though I have found it on listed as a title, which it shouldn’t be – because it is not a book. I’m hoping that Amazon can find a way to change its referencing so that it no longer has an ISBN associated with it and no longer clashes with my Night Butterflies, which I’m sure the world is waiting to read!

In the meantime, I’m practising patience. Does anyone have any tips?!

The Wonder Of Wedding

1527140_10101012401072300_6781860170984257039_nLove is patient, love is kind…

Apologies for my absence, friends and neighbours. I’ve heard tell that the last month has flown by as though only a fortnight – it certainly has for me – and that must stand my excuse.

So much has happened in that time, including an other-worldly amount of transit, which I won’t go into, for fear of frightening you with the violence of my language.

Suffice to say, I’ve been around the world, it feels ten times over. I visited Singapore & went home to England, trekked up to Scotland, over to Wales, and even hopped across to Italy – all to bask in family, friendship and catchups – I’d not been back that way in two years.

But the highlight – that was a wedding. Today, back on kiwi soil, I’d like to tell you a love story.

You may remember, in the michaelmas of 2004, I went up to Cambridge to read theology. There I met a crowd of A-Staircase folk in my fresher’s term with whom I became fast friends. One wee group of us became referred to in and amongst ourselves as the bunnies.

Two of these bunnies, both studying history, both musically talented, both the most loyal and lovely of people, fell in love. There was laughter, joy, tea and cake (gatherings galore in Juliet’s room), and, of course, as life often holds, some tears (I once dropped Jonny’s birthday cake in the courtyard and cried). But, together, we flourished.

There was nothing quite like coming back together ten years on, convening where it all began and heading to the chapel to see these two bunnies take their vows.

Vows are a solemn affair, but life is full of lightness, and that was the overriding emphasis I took from the day. The world can be cruel, but it is worthwhile. Life can be spiteful, but it can be beautiful. It’s proven when two worthy people find their soul mate in each other and discover the happiness inherent in their togetherness.

I am not religious, but coming together to celebrate faith, hope and love for my friends and between my friends was certainly an experience to lift the spirit. I hope everyone experiences this kind of wonder.

Perhaps you may find this a strange post for me to write right now when I tell you my own love may be lost; when I tell you my days coming back are a little dark and lonely at the moment; that sometimes I feel as though everything’s a bit hopeless, especially when I see the news.

But I have been in the presence of energy, light and liveliness. I’ve held delight, loved it, appreciated it, not taken it for granted for one moment. Life one day will be wholly good again and I have no regrets.

I have seen love; I have known it. It is better to have loved and lost than not have loved at all, don’t you agree? At the same time, I’m happy to dance for those whose love everlasts. The important thing is that there is love in the world – it’s a wonder the way we can come together. In defiance of all the bad.

Jonny & Juliet – thank you for the inspiration your love and union brings. Thank you for making me dance with joy. May your dance last forever.