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Zen Peacekeeper.

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Story-Teller.

And….. I’m back!

Thursday, July 12, 2012 by Marianne Elliott

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Sorry to disappear on you like that.

Last you heard I was revisiting Afghanistan –  turning 40taking my book back to the people whose opinions mattered most (and those who didn’t),  facing my ghosts and my fears, and admitting I was scared.

And then – radio silence. Which is ironic because one of the things I was busy with was editing the radio stories I recorded during my trip to Afghanistan.

Some of you even wrote to ask if I was okay. Thanks for that. It was very sweet.

I was okay. I was also moving at warp speed and there wasn’t a lot of time to share what I was learning as I went. But I was learning a lot.

First up, I was learning how to create a short radio documentary. Which is a lot harder than it sounds. Or perhaps just harder than it sounded to me, since I somehow imagined the shoemakers elves would come in the night and convert my 24 hours of raw audio files into cleverly edited stories. The elves never came. I had to learn how to do it myself (with a lot of help from the very patient staff of the Radio New Zealand features department).

The first of my radio features played on Radio New Zealand this past week. It’s a story about the potential for tourism in Afghanistan and you can download or listen to it here or right here:

Making radio stories has been a secret desire of mine for a long time, and at the beginning of this year I declared it as one of the desires I would act on in 2012. So this is a pretty exciting moment for me.

I was also traveling. Less than two hours after I landed from Afghanistan, I boarded another plane to fly to Auckland for the Amnesty International NZ Human Rights Defender of the Year awards. I was a little flabbergasted, and very honoured, to be nominated for this award alongside some of my own heroes – including Keith Locke and Rosslyn Noonan. I was thrilled when Keith was announced the winner.

The next day I joined the fabulous Kerre Woodham for a Mother’s Day book event where I found myself in some pretty impressive company.

“Guest authors include April Ieremia, Jax Hamilton, Wendyl Nissen and Marianne Elliott, all hugely successful and recognised authors.

So apparently I’m now a ‘hugely successful and recognised author’ in New Zealand – which came as a bit of a surprise to me. It turns out the whole ‘big fish in a small pond’ thing also works when you are an average-sized fish in a puddle (no offense to my beloved homeland intended).

And soon I’ll get to find out what it feels like to be a small fish in a very big pond, and probably also a fish out of water. Because while I was in New York last week (yes I am traveling again, more on that soon) I signed a contract withSourcebooks to publish Zen Under Fire in the US. So for all of you who have been asking when you’ll be able to buy it in the US, or get a Kindle version on Amazon the answer is – sometime in Spring 2013. 

If you’re happy about this, feel free to tell Sourcebooks how pleased you are thatZen Under Fire is coming to the US (they are on Twitter at @Sourcebooks). The more interest they see in this book the more likely they’ll be to give it a good launch and I really want my book baby to get a good start in life. 

I’ll be sure to let you know when I have an exact date, and I plan to come to the US when Zen Under Fire is released and to hold some book events around the country. More on that closer to the time!

And the good things just keep happening. Yesterday I accepted an offer fromKamphausen publishers to have Zen Under Fire translated and published in Germany! 

I really like the idea of reading my book in another language. 

Unfortunately I can’t read German. So I guess I’ll have to find a publisher in France who wants to translate and publish Zen Under Fire

Until then, I’ve got something for you to read. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of sufficiency (expect to hear more from me on this subject) so I thought it would be fun to go back and look at some of the posts I’ve written in the past about ‘enough’

Here are a few that I thought you’d enjoy:

Enough for who? ~ Nov 2010, in which I discovered I’d been asking the wrong question

Why your passion is not enough ~ Jan 2012, in which I explore the limits of passion

Enjoy!

Love, 

Marianne

(NB: If you read French books will you do me a favour? Will you look on your bookshelf for the names of French publishers who seem likely to publish an allegedly inspiring memoir about a slightly neurotic woman in Afghanistan? And then let me know who they are.)

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2 Responses to "And….. I’m back!"

  1. Swirly says:

    That is a beautiful radio program…your voice is wonderful company. 🙂

    Congratulations on everything my friend. Applause and confetti and a toast of champagne!!

  2. Roxanne says:

    Marianne, I have missed your words dearly and it’s wonderful to read (and hear!) what you have been up to. Enjoy your summer in the US and keep sharing your beautiful stories.

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