A couple of weeks ago, I thought that by March 6 I’d be pretty close to welcoming a UPS guy on my doorstep, laden with boxes and boxes of Jodiette: My Lovely Wife. It wasn’t to be. I wrote to you about how it took me a couple of hours before I had the gumption to even open the package containing the proof of Jody’s book. After a quick perusal, I remember thinking that all I needed to do was have Blurb change the colour of the tree painting on the back cover. Plus make the print level at the bottom of the pages. No sweat.
But then I looked more carefully. A very long time ago, someone told me that in your writing, and in your speaking, don’t give the audience any errors that they can focus on, rather than paying total attention to your message. So … I looked through the 193 pages of our story. And I found lines such as these:
My queen is safe at Victoria Hospital. Her nurses are all
marvelous human beings. I love her quadruple oodles. All is well.
Thank you for your prayers. I see them in Jody’s eyes every day.
I loved the words. I didn’t love the spacing. What I did in response was spend at least six hours looking for opportunities to put hyphens at the ends of lines, so that there wouldn’t be huge gaps between words. Not too many hyphens – that would be distracting too. Moderation in all things, so I’ve been told (but not necessarily lived). This time, I did. It looks better.
The image of the tree is so central to Jody’s and my journey. The back cover of Jodiette is graced by the most lovely of creations, coaxed into existence by Kym Brundritt, an artist from Kingsville, Ontario. Kym’s tree is radiant … bare curlycue branches set against a yellow background. Except the proof rendition’s context is a heavy orange. It doesn’t shine. My friend Neal has worked his magic on the photo, and now the yellow will reach out and touch the reader, revealing the life of the tree. I’m happy.
Then there’s the centerpiece of the whole shebang … Jody’s eyes and smile looking out at all of us from the front cover. The proof was too dark, and too red. Jody, with a sunburn, was sitting in a dark room of the Chez Temporel restaurant on Rue Couillard in old Quebec City. Not so. The photo needs to glow, just as my darling wife did in life. Just as she still does. Neal made the adjustments. I’m happy some more.
On Wednesday I uploaded the second incarnation of Jody’s book to Blurb. I should have the proof by Friday, March 13. May it be a lucky day. And I’m definitely not waiting two hours to tear open the cardboard.