The first photo I took after I opened the box...
What my box of books looks like now
Ah, the glamorous life as a poet - (What did Rodney Dangerfield used to say, "I get no respect."
It's been one wild week since my last confession. One wild week and one large box of books I found on my doorstep.
10 days before its pub date, my copies of Letters From the Emily Dickinson Room rest on the bench near our front door.
It's ridiculously exhilarating to come home to a box of books then to open this book of books, which I did, with my car keys in a moment of "Must-Open-Box!" excitement that immediately set in.
Heavy Books Where Thoughts Once Were:
I confess these 11 months since learning I won the White Pine Prize until yesterday went by much faster than I imagined. Life does that. Books do that.
I confess this book has taken me 6 full years from start to finish. From the first poem to now. Actually I just went into my files and found a first draft of a poem that goes back to 2003. I think that might be the earliest (it's the 5th poems from the last poem in the book and is called "Yakima Ferry at Sunset").
Amazing. 7 years. That is one long pregnancy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy plus a pinch of:
I confess that along with the happiness and excitement of the book comes fear and nervousness (happiness & excitement's evil second cousins who love to show up to the party and spill their red wine on the beige rug.) It's both the anticipation of the finished project as well as a melancholy of completeness.
But thankfully, there is always much more celebration.
So this is the A.B. (after book) day, the soaking-it-in day, the did-this-really-happen day, the there's-a-book-where-there-was-none day; it appeared and so did the realization that off into the world my words will go.
I confess one of the weird part of having a book is knowing is that it's going to go out and live a life without me and it's completely out of my control-- who will buy it, how will people respond to it, all of it...
And actually, it goes even further back than that, once your manuscript is accepted it moves into the hands of others who we hope and believe will take care of our words. We hope they see our vision and work carefully.
Books are funny that way, what starts as, for me, a very private act, becomes a soft whisper moving into someone's ear. Sometimes a friend. Sometimes a stranger.
Off Into the World, but First, Let Me Mess Up This Link One More Time:
I confess I'm currently having a love/hate relationship with PayPal.
No, we haven't been dating for long and it hasn't been my intent to be difficult, to make it difficult to buy a book, but with my own special grace, I have somehow done that. Let's just say I send Apologies from the Emily Dickinson Room for those of you who have tried to buy a book via PayPal & found you're on a link to nowhere.
And I confess I fear I am inadvertently becoming the shameless self-promoter as I keep reposting the same broken link and other ways--Checkwriters of the World Unite--to buy the book, but in my attempt to be helpful, I have become bookgirl, salesgirl, PayPalGal, the hostess without the mostess.
And then still, the link doesn't work.
So Dear Reader I confess before I have a nervous breakdown with PayPal, I will give you ONE MORE LINK, for the last time, that if in fact you do want to buy a book, a signed copy of my book (and I so don't blame you if you don't as I have sent many of you on a lame poetry egg hunt this week),
my books can be purchased via PayPal here: www.agodon.com/books.
And I will never attempt to link them up again! Promise.
Linkless in Seattle
But Bookhappy at Home