Just in Time for Christmas

So – at last, at long, long last – it’s finally arrived.  A moment of eternally awaited anticipation, of endless patience and belief that ‘one day’, yes ‘one day’ it will happen.

It began all of twelve years ago; the idea for an ‘Ecobears’ children’s book.  It was so obvious back then.  It all made complete sense.  Ecobears in 3D form, made from natural & recycled materials had come to life on February 29th, 1996. (That would make them forever young, being born in a leap year.)  How brilliant it would be to create a children’s story to go with them?  Maybe the first in a series?  Surely it would be worth trying?  How difficult could it be?

Probably one of the most difficult things ever!  Only fools and horses would try it!  Let alone the even more obscurely difficult task of trying to find a publisher who would even bother to look at the project, in and amongst all the other thousands they have to regularly sift through.

It takes finesse and imagination to write a children’s book.  But at least we were armed with a subject matter, a group of characters (albeit stuffed and made from cloth), and a blueprint for a story.

Looking back, spending seven years building a house – out in the sticks of the Catalunyan countryside (or campo, as it’s known here), off-grid – with no running water or electricity – is a tad easier, it has to be said.

BUT…. when there is a burning desire that your shared creative concept is worth every minute of effort thrown its way, then it’s even more difficult to let go of the idea.  Or it letting go of you, more like.

From that very first blueprint, scribbled by David – dated 18th October, 1999 – through the several dozen altered drafts later (we’ve kept them all), add a sprinkling of other people’s brilliance – we finally get to this awe-inspiring point in time.

It’s here!  The book itself!  It exists!  It’s real.  Okay.. we haven’t physically held it and stared at its beautiful cover, let alone flicked through its numerous, illustrated pages…but we’ve seen pictures – so that will suffice….for now.  AND, we know it’s really real; you’ve been emailing us, leaving messages on Facebook and Twitter, and ‘phoning up to tell us:

“The book’s arrived in the post today, and looks absolutely brilliant and can’t wait to read it!”  Great news, however we’ll have to wait just a few more days until our UK visit – then we can seriously get excited with cause for celebration; another dimension enters the world of Ecobears.  A dimension only dreamed of, up until Wednesday 14th December, 2011…just in time for Christmas!

So now the book ‘exists’, but it still feels as though there’s a heap of work yet to do; how to let the world know that this little book is here – how to get it noticed?  Well it’s going to be a great deal of fun doing it.  The Ecobear 3D characters have been informed that they’ll have to leave the confines of the workshop and go out into the ‘real world’ to meet ‘real people’.  To be fair they seem pretty excited about meeting lots of new people.  They’re a sociable lot when all’s said and done.

This is an ideal opportunity to say a BIG thank you to everybody involved over the years, plus a special thanks to MLBT Publishing for helping make this book happen.  Here’s to a prosperous work/creativity relationship in 2012.  There will be lots to look forward to.  Firstly, on a personal note, a well earned break from the shackles of the solar-powered sewing machines.  Secondly, for David and I to meet the clever peeps behind MLBT Publishing, and to discuss future promotional plans with them.  Thirdly, we’ll be looking forward to reading the first reviews for The Ecobears children’s book, keeping all paws crossed that they will be good (time will tell!)

On a final note, here’s wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas – or as they say in this neck of the Catalan woods – ‘Bon Nadal’.  Let’s hope that 2012 brings lots of exciting surprises for everybody.  And what better end to 2011 than the eagerly anticipated publication of  ‘The Ecobears’ illustrated children’s book.