Last year I set out to write my first picture book. I sat down, wrote out the manuscript, brought it to my friend Teresa, and within a few short weeks I was illustrating my first book and starting Caspian Press.
This year I am still working with Caspian Press to encourage authors and illustrators to shake the dust off their pencils and dive in.
Which has also encouraged me to do something I didn’t think I would do. Write a book of poetry.
I’ve always loved poetry, and have been writing it since I was a young girl, but I never thought I would have my name on a collection of my own!
I sat clicking through some old notepad writings on my phone one night and stumbled upon a kooky letter I wrote from the perspective of a Copic marker to a piece of Vellum Bristol paper. I remembered exactly why I had written it.
- To see if I could – I do this to myself often. I don’t believe I can do it till it’s done.
- It would be fun – It was fun! I wrote it from my own perspective, as a Copic marker. Odd, yes, but I loved the challenge and it let me use a different voice.
- I once had a teacher tell me a poem could not be about a lamp – Okay, this is where it gets a bit weird. I had a teacher ask me in high school what poetry was. I raised my hand and waited to answer. When she called on me I softly said “Poetry is the world around you. It could be about a lamp, or leaves, it doesn’t matter. It is how your mind interprets the world around you… written into prose.” She quickly shot me down with a “Poetry can’t be about a lamp, next person!” I was crushed, and mortified. At the time I was a very quiet student. I kept my head down when it came to the teachers, so I didn’t argue it, even though I was argueing with myself about it.
Fastforward 10 years: I found myself still arguing it. I had wrote this poem out because I want to prove that poems could be about something as mundane as a marker or a lamp. And so I did! I let it sit on my phone for 3 years before I came back to it.
When I finally opened up the notepad it struck me. I kept this hidden because I didn’t think it was a real poem. Because a person told me I was wrong about what I believed was true. I couldn’t let this go. I decided to show myself this wasn’t a one hit wonder and started writing other poems. Some were crumpled up and never seen again, though most made it out of my notebook and into the hands of my two wonderful editors.
They gobbled it up every time I showed them and kept asking for more. My friends would text me and ask if I wrote anymore of them. They were just as enamored with the idea as I was with writing them.
Inanimate LOVE was born!
In the end I wrote 28 poems, an ode to my age in a way, and left ‘Lamp to Lamp Shade” as the very last one. And yes: I wanted that to be two words.
Today is the first day the book is out for purchase. After the new year it will be available for Limited Time purchase on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, and anywhere else you buy your books online. It will also be available for purchase on Ingram.
Thank you to Teresa Butler & Brittany Fader for being my wonderfully supportive editors. I couldn’t have done it without you. I know you put up with toooooo many but‘s to count and I appreciate your scolding over it. I have a problem. I can change. If I have too… I guess. Haha.
Go pick up my second book! It’s available now!