It’s finally out. And I can finally get some sleep! Here are the links to my book on Amazon. I think it looks so much better in paperback, but there is a Kindle version available.
If you don’t already know what’s up, here’s a little backstory. I’ve been writing since I was a child. My first poem that I remember was written in October 1988 when I was 9 years old. When I was 12, my teacher accused me of plagiarism because she didn’t think a child could write. I don’t say that to congratulate myself at all. I’m not even sure if that was worth all the aggravation. It has been lost to time. It was titled Paige and it was about the life of a woman who never finds happiness. But I imagine the actual poem would seem completely juvenile now.
I started writing in earnest in college and since 1997 I have written consistently. While I veer off into other projects, like short stories or novels, I find poetry that I always return to poetry and enjoy writing it. Over the years, I’ve developed my own style. That is a good thing. The problem is that I also haven’t had serious critique of my work since I graduated from college, so I don’t actually know how my work is seen by others. I’m amazed that I’ve managed to spend the better part of 20 years unwilling to share my work for fear of rejection. And I really should have managed that sooner!
When I lost Mom last year, the first thing I did was crawled into a metaphorical hole for 9 months. I wanted to disappear because I didn’t understand how one can live without his mama, and I’m not too proud to say it. It also brought a few things into focus. One of those things was letting go of the expectations and opinions of others. Now, I mean of me as a person, not my work. That is a lesson that has been taught to me my entire life, but sometimes things need to cook for a while.
So, now I’ve got a book. I worked diligently over the summer to get it done. My garden is sad and neglected, my roommate is sad and neglected, and my family… well, they are too busy to have noticed, but if they had I imagine they would feel sad and neglected. For this first collection of poems (because I don’t want it to be the last!), I wanted to focus on a few things: 1. Poems with very specific references to people. It’s not that I won’t write that way in the future, but I wanted to give people the words I had written for them before getting into other subjects. 2. Epitaphs. I’ve lost a lot of people and I often have things to say about that. I’d like to get through a lot of those I’ve had lying around, but there are many more. 3. My very favorite poems I’ve written… that aren’t too scandalous. I get it, family will buy this first book. They will even hang on for a second, but by the third they won’t be too fussed about it. So, I have actually created a plan where my third book is where I completely let my hair down. That does mean I have to do at least 2 more books, but it also sounds like I’m censoring myself. In a way I am, but I’m not completely either. I want my prudish great aunt to be able to have something she will never read, but that won’t make her blush too much if she decides to open it up.
Last thing I will say about it, I decided to make notes on each poem. Rather than include them in the actual printed book, they can be found here… in the writing tab, or at this link.