“In the Long & Grand Narrative of Your Life”

15 Jul

I have not been happy about the post I have to write, so I went did a very human thing: I pulled the covers over my head and ignored the world for a bit. I know it’s a shit thing to do when YOU are out there, possibly waiting, possible wondering what’s going on, and I hope you will understand that I crawled into a little hole for a bit.

Dearest ayllu, we have to postphone the book tour. This is the story about WHY.

After posting my book tour video, so many of you got in touch and invited me over. There was beautiful, exciting enthusiasm in the air. Mark was painting his hand off to complete the last suggestions on the cover. Everything was going very well.

Then I drew up a basic plan for my tour and realised how mad it was.

photo 1

But hey, it always was. I figured I could sleep on night trains and, dizzy as the tour may make me, at the end of the day: who cares? I’ll sleep on the plane. I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Everything was coming together, so I called my Book Printing Company Of Choice (where I also had Overripe Fruits printed) to ensure that everything would go according to plan. And this is where I met my iceberg.

The lady on the phone told me that the Printing Company had received an extraordinary amount of commissions that month that they could not guarantee meeting their own printing deadlines. “You’ll be lucky to have your books in 15 days,” she said, “but if I were you, I’d count on 20 days.”

This, of course, would not leave me with enough time to do the entire book tour as I wanted. I went back to my drawing board and desperately started moving cities around. And I started doing this:


And I hated it.

My vow has always been that if you want me to come, I will do everything humanly possible to come. How can I justify leaving someone out?! How can I look someone in the face and say: “No, I’m not coming to see you”?! I don’t care how tiny the village is; how obscure or difficult to get to. If you want me to come, I’ll be there.

In art, a living room performance is never worth less than a stage performance. At least not on my f*ing planet.

So then, Ritti, what the hell are you going to do. Well, I took to the bed for a few days and pretended not to feel the iceberg. In fact, a while back a circus friend shared this fantastic image with me, which I think is incredibly fitting for this and all art-related situations:

(and a friend just commented: "I don't think the sub-surface part is big enough")

(and a friend just commented: “I don’t think the sub-surface part is big enough”)

I felt humiliation, anger, shame, embarrassment. How could I face any of you now? Even though this an be counted as a force majeur, I felt as though it were an account of my personal failure. I was failing to get my own book tour organised on time. I was losing credibility. I was so ashamed.

I cautiously tweeted something to the world, letting them know I had hit a rock. And, in the ways in which social media likes to play Jesus, a writer friend replied:

It’ll happen eventually, and by the time it does it will be better! Don’t worry about that. In the long run and the grand narrative of your life, this means nothing.

We wrote back & forth, me spilling all my woes, and he continued to comfort me and minimalise my extreme worries and fears.

photo 2

In an ironic turn of emotions, I asked myself: “Dare I hope this?”

So I shook the covers off and began consulting with some friends. I received a few suggestions (“do one half of the tour now and the other half later”, “do the tour without the books and take pre-orders”, “go only to big cities”, etc) and thought them through carefully, and the best alternative I could find was to POSTPHONE THE BOOK TOUR.

Again: How can I justify restricting myself to certain cities and not going to see as many of you as possible?! Or how can I justify that some of you get Qayqa now while others have to wait? Pre-orders just aren’t ideal. In the words of the great Hunter S Thompson:

If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth doing it right.

So I am back at my desk, planning. I have more time to shift illustrations around the digital Qayqa  platform. Generally speaking, I have more time. I can’t say I’m upset about that. I was starting to feel incredibly rushed, and this is, after all, my first novel. I want to do this right.

I want to thank everyone who was enthusiastic & messaging me about the tour; who was inviting friends & buying chips & organising everything. I know who you are and I’m looking right at you saying THANK YOU. I apologise for any inconvenience. I will come to read for you, this is a vow. Thank you for supporting me and for continuing to believe in me. You have always been my ayllu.

To my critics out there: If you think you can do it better, do it. I’ll be happy to learn from you.

And suddenly I’m starting to feel a lot stronger. I just listened to Björk’s Cover Me a few times. From where I placed it, it was about hiding. From now, towards the end of this post, I’m focussing on this sentence: “I’m going to prove the impossible really exists.”

By the way…

"Qayqa" by Ritti Soncco. Cover by Mark Klawikowski

“Qayqa” by Ritti Soncco. Cover by Mark Klawikowski

So I was thinking of doing the tour in December . December is good because that’s when I have university holidays and you might want to get Qayqa as a Christmas present. It’s bad because it is far far away (how can I justify telling y’all to wait another 5 months?) and (as has been pointed out to me) will be busy enough as is. Running around, getting your Christmas shopping done; so many extra-curricular events to attend to…

I thought about September. It’s sooner; you’re all back from your holidays but still looking for reasons to dream; still wanting to relax, close your eyes and listen to me read instead of going to the office…

What do you think???

If we decide on September, I need to have a good & careful think about how I’m going to do it because my university starts up then. I will try to bend things so I don’t miss (many) classes.

Let’s be in touch.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: