I’m so happy to let you know that I’ll be partnering with local poet and photographer Tracey Schmidt to present an evening of Mystical Poetry. Tracey and I were introduced to each other by Jean Cassidy of www.SheVille.org. She thought we might enjoy working together — and we do!
Date and Time: September 20, Friday evening, 7:30 to 9:30 pm. $15 love offering.
Location: Unity of The Blue Ridge, 2041 Fanning Bridge Rd, Mills River, NC 28759. 828-891-8700. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I’m sharing a poem from my upcoming Poetry Book. As soon as everything is confirmed by Balboa Press, I’ll let you know the title of the book and the publication date. The book will be available in softcover and Kindle, mostly through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (I’ll have copies, too, of course.) Bookstores will buy it through Ingram.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited! Here is one of the three poems that will be shared on the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP KITCHEN?
My daughter strolled to the kitchen to get a snack and returned crestfallen. “There’s nothing to eat,” she reported. “There are only ingredients.”
A love relationship is a kitchen full of sweet, savory, salty and spicy. I have ingredients (beliefs, personality, habits). You have ingredients, too.
But how will they blend? Are we good cooks? With what you’ve got and what I’ve got, will we create a wonderful sauté?
Will our relationship be sweet? Or will the cake fall? Today, I’ve got anchovies and you — rocky road ice cream. This will be interesting.
How does a book get published? What are the steps? How does it work? Who is publishing this book and when will it be available?
I’m new at this! I’m learning, too. But here’s what (I think) I know so far.
I’m putting my first book of poetry in the hands of Balboa Press, the self-publishing arm of Hay House, a good way for an unknown author to get started. My poetry book will be full color, with thirty-six photos, thirty six poems, and one prose piece. It’s around eighty pages, give or take.
Balboa will produce a soft cover and an e-book for me. Their e-books are compatible with Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, the Barnes & Noble eReader, Nook, Google Play Books, Kobo Books and the iBooks Store.
Though they will write a press release for me, Balboa doesn’t market a book unless they are specifically hired to do that. (I’ll be looking for a publicist, by the way, if you have a referral.)
However, Balboa lists the book for purchase in their catalogs and on their book lists for bookstores. When they produce the Kindle version, it’s posted on Amazon (with the “look inside” feature) and on Barnes and Noble. My publishing package also includes a “Booksellers Return Program” which makes it zero risk for a bookstore to buy copies. (If a book doesn’t sell, the store can return it for a refund.) Balboa also sets up a premium author website and handles the orders.
When a book is first submitted, it goes into “Content Evaluation” which is where it is right now. They want to know I wrote it, and that the photos I chose are available to use commercially. This process takes approximately 3-4 weeks, they say.
After that, the cover is designed, and the inside layout of the book is created and sent to me for approval. Once changes are made and I’ve given it my full thumbs up, production begins!
It’s possible the book will be ready for the Holidays. I’m hoping that’s true. But if not, another strong market is the beginning of the year.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it was available for the Holidays to fly like an eagle into the hands of anyone in the world looking for a little whimsy and wisdom? Or to all those looking for a beautiful book to keep by their bedside to calm their mind and nourish their heart?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the book traveled far and wide quickly and efficiently (and surprisingly!) by word of mouth to all those who would find comfort and joy in the words? May this book find night stands everywhere!
Thank you for holding this far-reaching vision with me, and for your encouragement to get the words I’ve been writing out into the world! Your support means everything to me. Thank you right down to my toes! I’m excited about this new chapter of my life.
As of a few minutes ago, I turned in the full manuscript and accompanying photos for my very first book! It’s a book of 100 word pieces that turned into poetry during the past week. I’m so pleased about what happened during the editing process!
I decided last Tuesday to publish the book. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop since then. Nothing like a deadline to get things moving.
There are thirty seven pieces of writing along with beautiful photos, around 80 pages. The production process is underway!
Thank you for your voiced confidence about this project. I appreciate all of you for reading the blog, commenting on the writings and letting me know you’d love to own the collection in a book.
It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky––all, all of them
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
by Mary Oliver. “Such Singing In The Wild Branches” is from Owls and Other Fantasies.Other books by Mary Oliver
1963 No Voyage, and Other Poems (Dent (New York, NY), expanded edition, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1965.
1972 The River Styx, Ohio, and Other Poems Harcourt (New York, NY)
1978 The Night Traveler Bits Press
1978 Sleeping in the Forest Ohio University (a 12-page chapbook, p. 49–60 in The Ohio Review—Vol. 19, No. 1 [Winter 1978])
1979 Twelve Moons Little, Brown (Boston, MA)
1983 American Primitive Little, Brown (Boston, MA)
Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!
It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.