behind the scenes with Cherish: part 3

Part 2: Gestating a Book

a primrose on my front porch, spring 2023

Chapter 3: Waiting

Once the manuscript went to BCC in October, things were quiet. We occasionally had a phone conversation and Ashli posted things on the @cherisheddoctrine Instagram, but we were waiting for the publisher to do the layout and whatever else it is that publishers do to prep a book. (I actually don’t know – I’ve asked various people but that doesn’t seem to be question important enough for anyone to answer.)

For Christmas, I made quilted pillows. Heavenly Mother is represented to me in flowers, so I made a flower block for each of the three of us – McArthur is coral, Ashli is pink, I’m purple. Heavenly Mother is the 4th flower in white and pale blue (blue is the Indian color for deity). You can barely see it but it’s pulling everything together. I sent one to each of them, and kept a third for myself.

March 14, 2023: Ashli, McArthur, and I were interviewed for the Listen, Learn & Love podcast with Richard Ostler. We wanted so badly to represent Heavenly Mother well, to share the book as a testimony builder … the entire time we were recording, I was very on edge to be precise in what I said, not make any kind of reaction, and apparently it worked! As soon as we got off the Zoom meeting, I relaxed down and the phone rang immediately with McArthur and Ashli to review the whole experience, and for McArthur to tell us that during the recording, she had a text message that BCC was ready to send the layout PDF document for the final check.

That kicked off the whirlwind of the next two weeks.

McArthur contacted a graphic designer friend to make the cover, and our subtitle was tweaked just to get it to fit onto our little 4×6 inch book. We originally had something long and kind of laborious: “Celebrating the Joy of the Doctrine of Heavenly Mother.” Kate cut it to “The Joy of Our Mother in Heaven.” Much better! The flowers were put around the edge as a border as a sort of gift to me from McArthur, because … flowers …

I went over the entire manuscript to see how everything lined up in the page layout (when we turned it in, it was one huge google doc with no page breaks) – Andrew, the BCC layout guy, nailed it. It is so beautiful. While I was reviewing it, I had the distinct thought (which I cherish – haha if you understand the reference) that we did it. We did what Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother wanted us to do. This is it.

There were missed things here and there – not a big deal and easy to fix, but we had a punch list and the updated PDF emailed back and forth for about two weeks. I was also finishing a Richard Ostler manuscript – Listen, Learn & Love 3 – at the exact same time. So my family didn’t see much of me in the second half of March. That didn’t make them very happy, but fortunately, book projects go in waves. There’s a lot of downtime, and the “tie yourself to a chair and work like crazy on the computer” push is a few weeks at the most. Most of the time creating a book is at a much more manageable pace.

April 10, 2023: uploaded to amazon! We should have had a link three to five days later. We did not. We hit refresh on our Amazon app A LOT over the next couple of weeks. But nothing.

We finally heard after a couple of weeks that our mini size is not standard, so it takes Amazon a lot longer to do their thing of creating a hard copy book. So we just had to wait.

And wait.

End of April: Over multiple texts and phone calls, McArthur and Ashli and I discussed long and hard about doing a book tour with NO BOOKS. We were scheduled to be in Utah for book tour events May 4-7, so now what?

Well, this whole project is to teach about Heavenly Mother. The books are just one vehicle to share testimony of Her – we can share testimony of Her by meeting with people and speaking. It’s not about the book, so we decided to go forward with it anyway.

To be continued … Part 4: Utah

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