Bone Ovation

Here it is… The big news. The showstopper. The little thing I teased a few weeks ago when I talked about shoving large amounts of cake in my face (it was my birthday too around that time – hence the over-interest in cake!) The big kahuna.

My poetry collection ‘Bone Ovation’ is going to be published! By the undisputed fabulousness that is Valley Press!

Bones

I still can’t quite believe it. They had at least 650 professional quality manuscripts to consider and out of the few they’ve chosen – I’m one. I had hoped so much that this would come together but everyday had half expected the ‘lovely no’ email. The further on down the path I got I feared it all the more. But there it is – it’s going to be published. It’s real! I met with Jamie McGarry to discuss the chapbook a couple of weeks ago in York and enjoyed a literary lunch surrounded by my pages of poetry and my enthusiasm – made tangible. What a feeling. We discussed release dates, covers, the length, and also comments from his reader group which I lapped up like honey. I’ve never before heard feedback that wasn’t meant for my ears and it felt wonderful, genuine, true.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks doing a few edits here and there, researching cover ideas, and filling in lots of official looking information for VP. Last Thursday I even went and had some professional photographs taken of me – thank goodness my friend is a photographer, as that made the whole thing a lot less cringe-y. Big thanks to Sean Elliott Photography though! It was about time I had some nice pictures – I’ve been fobbing everyone off with Facebook photos thus far. I’m definitely going to make these last as long as possible – unless I suddenly become thin and glamorous, whereby I will ask Sean if he’ll snap pictures of my mush yet again.

ANYWAY – I couldn’t be more pleased! VP was the first publisher I sent ‘Bone Ovation’ to, and I’d thought at the time the least likely publisher to accept it. Their current author list is intimidating enough as it is when you list their accolades, awards, and previous publications. It must be a good fit for us both, though somehow I feel like I’m the one better off. 🙂 The little collection is currently set to be released on October 5th 2017, so I’ll keep you all up to date with how everything is progressing and a few sneak peeks here and there.

But for now, I’m going to keep glowing, any enjoy this moment! I’m going to work so hard to make this the first of many. Yes. Yes I am!

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White

Having a final poem launched by In Between Hangovers on the topic of aging has reminded me (cruelly) that like everyone, I’m getting older.

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It was my 31st birthday on Sunday – and rather than dancing ‘til my knees fall off I spent it by the seaside, at heritage sights, and then at a delightful seafood restaurant – The Potted Lobster. These things filled me with joy and freedom, in the way that ‘throwing my arms in the air like I just don’t care’ used to do. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m still young really in terms of a working life, but being well and truly on your way through your thirties does make you think quite seriously about what you’re doing, who you are, and where you want to be. I’m usually quite calm about it, taking stock, and seeing bright things that I can plan in my future. Well – until I become suddenly aware of my own sense of mortality and I clutch at my chest – hearing my heartbeat and becoming too TOO aware of the gaps between each thump. Even now I’ve become a bit too mindful of my pulse.

Even when I was young I used to imagine leaving a legacy. It never occurred to me that I’d leave the world exactly as I found it. In truth, few of us will do that, even if it’s just because of the lives we’ve changed through relationships, having children, or even just inspiring one person to do something important. Legacies are left in so many ways. But I always wanted to leave something tangible behind, and as the years have gone by that tangible thing has started to take shape, and looks more and more papery and leather-backed. Perhaps I will leave words behind. Perhaps I’ll leave ideas.

I’m pretty near the start of this journey, I know. But I recently had some extremely good news that I’ll share in my next blog post. The anticipation is building…

For now, here’s a little poem I wrote (called ‘White’) shared on In Between Hangovers a few days ago. Please note – that I don’t actually have a rogue white hair sticking out of my forehead. Or do I…?