But other than that, there is cause to rejoice! I just turned in page proofs on UNFORGETTING, my third collection of poems, due out any minute from Kelsay Books.
I write more fiction than I do poetry lately, but poems are still my first love. The ones in this book were written over the course of the last five or six years, and they are about my family, mostly. I realized as I spent time with my mom, who is now 94 and bravely dealing with non-Alzheimer's dementia, that the stories we remember about our lives are pretty much everything. Mom is trying hard to hold on to her stories--and when she can't remember them, she does something that's very much like what I do when I'm writing fiction: she embellishes. She invents.
Yes, it's dementia, but it's also her creative approach to it. I call it UNFORGETTING, and that's what the book is about.
There are a lot of poems in it about my own growing up, and about my mother as a younger woman. Some of the poems started out as side pieces to the fiction I was writing, much of it set in the early 1970's. I intended the book to be readable as a narrative, too, so the poems have a chronology and a sort of story line. It's much more ambitious than my other two poetry books, and I'm really proud of it.
Two of the poems in the book were nominated for Pushcarts, and one was actually commissioned by and broadcast on ABC Radio news.
Now comes the hard stuff: promotion. I'll let you blog folk know when we're up on Amazon, and when I have copies.
The gorgeous cover art, by the way, is by my long-time poetry illustrator and best buddy Nancy Quaglia. It's a picture of the house where she used to live with her family in Piermont, NY.
In other news: the wicked Aletta Thorne has a new release coming out soon, too. Or at least that's what all the best ghosts say.
And my fiction-writing self is working on a new YA book, linked by some characters to the Bean trilogy. I also have some new poems that I'm sending around. Guess I'm back from vacation!
Have some daisies--and the last of the very-bolted lettuce! My husband tore out that now-bitter lettuce last night. But black-eyed Susans have never been lovelier. Thanks to my sister, non-black-eyed Susan, for calling the Bee Shepherds--an gentle bee moving (not killing) service--to remove the nasty yellow jackets from the garden gate, where they had burrowed into the ground and built a nest. We are now yellow jacket free, and the cukes and the cherry tomatoes are coming in, too.