I'd been shopping Unforgetting around a bit, and I was delighted when Kelsay took it. Their books are lovely, and a number of poet friends publish there.
I'm also a little surprised--but I guess I should have known. The blue heron has been around our creek a lot. She's (I'm convinced she's a she) good luck. By the way, the picture on the right is not her (although I imagine it could be; I took it at a lake just a couple of miles from here).
I want to make it absolutely clear that the blue heron on our creek is a very good blue heron. So is the one in the picture. She was even gracious enough to pose for me. I've only ever met one blue heron who was bad. And that was not my assessment of the bird. It was the assessment of a tired-looking server at a waterfront shrimp restaurant in Florida. There was a spectacular blue heron who hung out near that establishment, and apparently it swiped people's steamed shrimp and butter while they were at the bar getting another round of beer. "Nobody likes him," said the server to me, when I told her how gorgeous that heron was. "He's bad."
That sounded kind of brutal to me, and I immediately wanted to give the bad blue heron some of my shrimp. But he flew away. (I don't know how I know it was a he, by the way.)
I saw my oldest and dearest friend Nancy Quaglia this afternoon. She's the one who did the artwork on my other poetry collections. You can have a look at them on my Amazon author page, if you want; they're the two to the far right. The other two books on the page are my YA time travel novels, illustrated by Evernightteen's amazing Jay Aheer. I'm richly gifted with art!
Nancy and I think she'll do a painting of the Hudson River from Dobbs Ferry for the cover. The Hudson is a very big part of this new book of poems, because my family has been living near it since Dutch New Amersterdam days. Really! I'm descended from a 17th century silversmith named Jurian Blanck (my maiden name was Blanck).
I have never written as hard in my life as I have since last November. The world darkened so much then...and writing and telling stories and collecting poems into a book seemed to be the only logical response. And now, too--horrible hurricanes and earthquakes...and absolutely toxic politics...
I have a bunch (a bunch!) of books coming out, though, and they are books that I might have not written if I hadn't been on fire to give the world some light. Which sounds kind of self-important, and I don't mean it to. But it's what writers do.
Cool spoon though, huh? Jurian couldn't have had it easy, either.