And no, it wasn’t my halo. Those of you who know me, know that any attempts at angel-hood would be futile at this point. Plus, angels don’t wear boots.
"But...", I hear you cry.
Why was there an ambulance? A blue blanket? Full protective gear? And Cadbury’s Twirls?
Why did the instigator later have to appease the concerns of a concerned citizen, who’d seen the flashing lights and heard the sirens?
Lights, I tell you. It’s all about the lights.
“Lights on the Horizon”, to be precise. What we were doing on that early Sunday morning, in this strange new world we find ourselves in, with all the bad news, and the grief, and the silence, and the worry, was to collectively find a way to make others’ lives perhaps a little brighter. Because we all need a little cheering up these days, especially as we find ourselves on the almost-brink of lockdown. Again.
It’s timely, actually. Because this story begins during lockdown. But don’t worry. None of us want to cast our minds back, really. Most of us just want 2020 to be over, thank you very much. Most of us are thinking that Christmas might just be the highlight of this abysmally badly scripted year. Though deep down, we want Christmas to be over, too, with all its twinkly lights, presents, and home-baking in isolation. We’ve had a lot of that these last few months.
With “Lights” came a vision. What if we could raise even more money, while creating something beautiful?
A visual version of this time capsule of these troubled times? We just had to do it.
But before we started, we had to ask the very man who brought this idea to life: Author and playwright Andrew William Tinney – Author . Andrew had the idea, and Andrew brought all these authors north and south of the Irish border together in the first place. And with his blessing, we were going to take it to the next stage. He agreed.
And so, phone calls were made, and one by one, publishing professionals far and wide were assembled. Who gave their time, and expertise, so generously, and absolutely free of charge.
Tess, our amazing editor, whose meticulous attention to detail, ideas and aura of calmness brought us through many a stumbling block. Ailbhe, who totally “got” the project from the word Go, and whose beautiful designs and fonts brought our project to life! Rosie , our brilliant Supply Chain mind, whose knowledge of gsms (don't ask!), spines and jackets opened up horizons I never knew existed – and I don’t mean fashion!
And then there were the dozens upon dozens of individuals who have supported, encouraged, phoned, zoomed, emailed, messaged, massaged, poured wine, and cups of tea, and showed their support in so many ways. I will thank you all properly when the time comes.
And then, there were those who turned up on that bright and almost summery Sunday morning; a perfect setting for an impromptu photo shoot, only brought to life the Friday before. Because, you see, we needed pictures. We had already assembled a few Ireland-based photographers already. Some had donated fabulous pics (thank you Esther Moliné and Clonakilty Distillery).
We wanted this book to be authentic. The stock image sites are all well and good, but it’s hard to find a picture of an elderly woman and an Irish ambulance, or a young boy who sees an angelic vision of a paramedic. No, again, not me. The amazing Teresa McShane did a far better job at standing in for those roles, as did the extremely talented David Dodog, who had accompanied his Mum, the incredible Anna Dodog, @Wild Dream Photography , on this photo shoot, and was happy to roll with everything we threw at him that day.
And now we’d like to ask for everyone’s support. I know times are shite. I know money is tight. I didn’t even mean for that to rhyme. We have a GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/f/lights-on-the-horizon And with a bit of luck, the book will be available in time for Christmas. I will let you know when and how it will be available. We are still fine-tuning the logistics.
But please do watch this space. And when the time comes, maybe you could buy a copy of “Lights On the Horizon”, a memento of these troubling times, and how we all got through it. It will be beautiful. And it can sit on your coffee table, or in your car, or on your bookshelf, or under the bed, in time to come. And you will have done something for a great cause, and you will have supported our incredible frontline staff who have kept this country from collapsing during this horrible pandemic.
So please spread the word far and wide. Share, share, share. We’re doing this on a bit of a shoestring, and need to find the last few Euros to be able to press print.
Oh, and what about author Louise O’Neill, you ask?
Well, last week, Louise gave us another huge lift, when she took the time to write a few lines in support of our project. Thank you, Louise! You have no idea how much we needed that last week.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
And thank you for all your support.
Niamh is a publisher and writer, based in West Cork. Bi-lingual in German and English, she's always finding new ways to play with words. Check this page for updates on exciting initiatives happening in eThentique!