That’s a ridiculous thing to say, of course, as sunset doesn’t have a single colour. But I was wearing a small bit of the colour of sunset, my favourite time of day, to enliven an already bright moment. The moment in question was a photo op (shaking on it) with Carol Mitchell, founder and publisher with eastern Caribbean registered independent press, Caribbean Reads.
They’ll be publishing my next book, Musical Youth, the manuscript that placed second for the inaugural Burt Award earlier this year. I’m looking forward to this moment, not just because of what it could mean for me and my book but, if it does well, potentially other eastern Caribbean writers, who could benefit from one more doorway to publishing even closer to home. On a personal level, I’m excited to see these characters ushered into the world; I really did enjoy writing them.
I’m enjoying a few other things about this image…like the whole wall of Antiguan and Barbudan books behind us. We’ve come a long way, baby, and kudos to the Best of Books where we took this image for creating a shelf specific to books by Antiguan and Barbudan writers (it’s a way of celebrating among ourselves the local literary arts while marking us, for visitors, as a cultural keepsake …though as I’m writing this, I’m hoping we’re also shelved according to gender). The Antiguan and Barbudan literary canon continues to grow. Look good, you can see my own Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad! and The Boy from Willow Bend right there on the top shelf, and we didn’t even plan it like that.
You know what I’m digging though, those earrings, because they remind me of both the generousity and creativity of my people. When I was set to head off to the Aye Write! Festival in Glasgow earlier this year, I made what I imagined was a throw away comment on my facebook page about wanting some Antiguan earrings to wear to the event. Right away, Akua Ma’at (Aisha) contacted me and offered to make me a pair of earrings. She went on to make me two pairs and when I lost one half of a pair offered to make me a new set. All the while refusing to take any money for any of this. Wha cyan go so? People they’ll disappoint you, but they’ll also surprise you, in pleasant ways; and the happy memory of that bit of creativity and generousity is the story behind those earrings made with the madras that forms part of our national dress.
Maybe this post should be re-titled, every picture tells a story.