Exciting news, everyone! I had my first official meeting with our very fabulous book designer team today. For three and a half hours straight, we discussed One Block North. I now have huge respect for what book designers do.

Here’s what we’re decided, so far.

* The final product will be small, approximately 21 cm by 15 cm. This feeds into the portability aspect (I want my reader to think, “hey, maybe I can do this!” while they read, and then carry the book in their back pocket as they ride)

* The style will be non-traditional in many ways, clean and accessible, to reflect the stylishly professional yet innovative spirit of Torontonians. Antonia is really excited that I’m basically giving her carte blanche to be as creative as she wants in the book’s presentation.

* We’re including the bike map and an image of a generic bicycle so non-riders can find their way around the equipment. There will likely be smaller images throughout the book, when necessary.

* Most chapters will include a callout to identify how I found each story, which then demonstrates how interconnected our community really is.

* My business card, that ended up on so many bikes in the GTA, is being featured on the front cover. James thinks the playful, suggestive phrase “Call me!” should be the first thing you notice. Sylvia came up with some neat ideas for building on this bike carding idea, so the book project doesn’t end with publication. I’m so excited about this aspect, but can’t give further details just yet. You’ll like it a lot, though!

Finally, we went through all the images to decide what was useful and what was missing. Seeing some of these images made me tear up. Thanks for continuing to inspire me. One of the designers has read a couple of the stories, and she even teared up this afternoon during discussions. (See? I told you that you all have extraordinary stories!)

Tonight, I’ve been asked to battle some big tasks. Because the book is going to be too thick, the team has asked me to try to cut back content again *sigh*. To assist me, I asked them to send me home with a large bottle of Glenfiddich (they refused). Then, I need to reformat the glossary section so readers can easily find the story associated with that item. I need to write a biography and a book dedication. An afterward. Some back cover copy. Decide which chapters could use a professional image, like a glamour shot. What I want on the front cover. And, I need to get Miss Jackson back: she’s been living in a basement in Kingston for the past year. I need her for our biography shot! I can`t wait to see her again.

And, I hope to see all of you out on the roads this spring and summer, over coffee and beer, at events, in parks, at night, in the morning…Keep in touch, and keep well.