It’s been three weeks since my last blog and although I tend to post every two weeks, my head has been buried in the details of finishing my Iona book. The past few days brought forth the official title and I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to put a name to this work that I’ve been pouring into for the past five months. I want so much to share it with you, but I have yet to enter it into the official master system that catalogs ALL THE BOOKS IN THE WORLD, so I feel I should wait and reveal it to you when it is officially released. Just know that when I finally figured it out I did a little happy dance. Ok, a BIG one! It felt like the last puzzle piece snapped into its proper place forming the final image in my love letter to Iona.
The shape and style of the book will feel familiar to those who have read “The Art of Walking,” but the imagery, colors, and stories I share are quite different and, of course, unique to Iona. My main venue for selling the book will be through a store on the island itself, and hopefully some additional stores in Oban, which is the gateway to Iona from the mainland of Scotland. And yes, like “The Art of Walking,” the book will be available worldwide on Amazon.
One of my discoveries during my travels was a renewed love of poetry. Mary Oliver and Hafiz are my current favorites. Mary Oliver, one of the most celebrated American poets, is known for her incredible poems about nature. She inspired me during my time on Iona, and I couldn’t help but write descriptive prose that captured the scenes I was painting. The above image is of a beach called the Boundary Strand (Traigh na Criche) that is directly north of the hostel. To those of us living there, it felt like ‘our’ beach, and I will always feel a bit possessive towards it after my stay there. I wrote this in my journal next to the sketch and it is included in my book:
stack one upon another
still afternoons with shades of silver distilled to white where sky bleeds into sea
the horizon line is the palest thread out in the distance
other islands lost in heavy wet mist that blankets Iona this afternoon
I always marvel at the ivory sand on this, the north side of the island
somehow it sparkles, despite the lack of light and sun
the sea is calm as well
turquoise shallows moving to darker sapphire depths
I imagine this beach has always been this way
untouched and empty
only my silent feet to tread the sand
I hope that the glimpses I’ve given you of Iona have intrigued you; perhaps they have enticed you to travel there yourself one day. That would be the ultimate success for me… that my art and writing would inspire you to experience this magical place for yourself. I hope my next post about my book will be the official announcement of its release! Send good proofing thoughts my way!