Friday, 23 December 2011


Ratty and Lily the Pink apologise for going rather abruptly offline. They've flown in the pink ironing board to Tristan de Cunha, the world's most isolated inhabited archipelago, at the southern limit for icebergs. Lily's newfound wealth was giving her the jitters so they've got away from it all for a simple, pondering, loving Christmas.

I wish you one too, dear readers. Thank you for visiting, reading, supporting, or simply tip-toeing through, this year. We mean to be back with verve, news, ebooks, and full colour early in the new year.

May peace be ours.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Great Aunty Dillo's jewels

Thanks to a fine handful of recent ebooks purchasers, Lily the Pink has come hurtling home from Argentina. Ratty has been clutching the flowers since dawn. Not all of Lily's inherited jewellery would fit in the lunchbox.

She brought with her a couple of gourds and bombillas, too, so she and Ratty can drink maté together.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The cover's off the cover

Ratty's excited. The manuscript as ready for formatting. The cover stands revealed.

Favourable words have been written:
          "In Road Markings Michael Jackson illumines ‘the dimly lit world of New Zealand’s collective imagination’ with acuity, grace and wisdom; his book is road trip as historical meditation, interrogating the memory theatre of consciousness for an ethical way of living in the world. It is exact, resonant and moving; beautifully wrought. I loved its interweaving of the themes of home and homelessness, self and other (they are not distinct), its narration of the impossibility of locating our origins along with our compelling need to identify our beginnings."

                                  by Martin Edmond, author most recently of Dark Night: Walking with McCahon, which is available here.

I hadn't seen it until now on a white background. I'm thrilled. Did I say, the image is by Michael's daughter Heidi Jackson, the lower reflecting design by my daughter Alex Huber, and the typography by Alex's friend Caroline Jackson (unrelated to Michael), who also did the page design.

So now I'm waiting for Michael to return from his travels and cast an eye over the whole, which will then go to Jason Darwin of meBooks, who will format it into ePub and Kindle-friendly versions. I can't wait to let you read it, in five weeks when Rosa Mira Books turns one year old.

Meanwhile, Ratty is a little wistful. Lily the Pink has flown Aerolineas Argentinas (in my birthday lunchbox) to inspect the small cache of jewelry she has inherited from a hugely aged and now deceased great-great-great aunt armadillo. She promises to return as soon as she can.

Monday, 5 December 2011

What's up?

The rat looks as if he's gone all whimsical and forgotten what he's about, while Lily's quickly gained a head for heights.

Never mind. I don't want people turning up here to feel brow-beaten by the Sales Department. Rather they should come to enjoy the pics or monologues, and maybe once in a while go browsing (it'll only take a minute this year — longer by the end of 2012)  for a good ebook.

Actually, I'd be glad to have comments from visitors about the price of RMB ebooks. Riduculously cheap? Too dear? About right?

Any day now I'll be able to show you the cover for Michael Jackson's Road Markings: An Anthropologist in the Antipodes. I hope to launch it on Rosa Mira's birthday, the 11th of January. The blurb begins: 'Internationally-acclaimed anthropologist and poet Michael Jackson hires a car and travels the length of his natal New Zealand, reflecting on the idea of origins. Visiting old haunts and old friends, he ponders the hold our histories have over us, and the enduring power of our first experiences in life.'

He writes: 'I sat down on the tideline and slipped the rucksack from my shoulders.  I felt the sun on my face, heard the slipshod sound of the sea and the distracted cry of a nesting dotterel.  My mind drifted. I was thinking of the gap between the inspiration I drew from places like Waikawau Bay and the satisfaction I had found in America, Europe and West Africa. With every return home, the expatriate is reborn.  It is not simply because you are returned to the landscapes of your early life; it is because the quotidian, momentarily bathed in a new light, appears exotic.  And so you marvel that this place you could not live in because of its emptiness and insularity still has the power to remind you of who you really are.'

I'm feeling excited about next year's publishing: an intriguing line-up so far. I'm finding the production process simpler and a little different each time.

Hmm, someone forgot to colour in the hot air balloon. Imagine it's lime green with gold spots.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Rat cleared for landing . . .

. . . thanks to another ebook sale.

Over drinks in the hangar after their flight, Ratty admires Lily without her green balaclava.  His gaze travels from her spectacularly utile fingernails to the picture in his mind's eye and back again.

Lily explains that if she seems a little nervous now and then, it's probably because she's the first Pink Fairy Armadillo to voluntarily travel more than a mile or two from the Argentinean grassland tunnels that are her home.

I'm relieved to know that the rat above is not this unfortunate rat.