For several years, I’d threatened to produce a collection of my poems. At first, I thought it would be a chapbook, a small, pamphlet-like book of 20 pages or so. I started gathering the poems I’d written over the years. Then I wrote a bunch of new poems. Yikes, the chapbook was growing into an actual book!
Two summers in Oregon I began in earnest. I dedicated library time, a thumb drive, and a second laptop only to fall off the wagon or become derailed by life circumstances. But, in the fall of 2018, I made myself and Paul, the Coos Bay librarian, a promise that I would be sitting up front in the Myrtlewood Room at the author table for the library’s 2019 Authors Day.
My friend and fellow writer Joan issued a challenge: Have it finished by the Spring Conference in March. Then, Dennis voiced his encouragement and confided, “I heard about the challenge.”
My daughters, both coaches, chimed in. “What’s keeping you from doing this?” Asila asked. “Mom, you’ve got this,” Amina said.
And then, of course, I received regular encouragement and feedback from Judy as she listened while I read individual poems aloud. This was a great help in making my language more succinct.
So it took a village that included Matthew, a creative writing instructor from our local university, various Writers of Kern members and friends who answered questions, taught me new skills, and listened to me read. And, I can’t thank everyone enough!
I’m now awaiting delivery of the proof copies before my book is on the market. Following a reading or two and making changes, it’ll be thumbs up and ready to print.
My threat became a promise to myself and others and is soon to be a reality. In the next post, I’ll let you know the title and, if you’d like to do so, how you can read these “Poems that celebrate and remember. Poems that observe and question. Poems that honor life, love, and friendship.”
~ xoA ~