Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to have good friends, colleagues, and students come out to hear me do the first reading from my book, which is now officially real. A launch, some call it, and I think it’s a good metaphor. Up until now, everything has been flight preparation- checking and double-checking the instruments, following procedures, managing glitches, making sure that everything was ready for this unveiling. And now that the launch is over, the book is flying through the atmosphere, waiting to burn through its first stage.
I was a little nervous preparing for the reading, and I usually am not. Part of that was the sheer thrill of actually holding the book in my hand. But part of it was knowing that students were coming, students who were at the youngest 12 and at the oldest, high school age. How in the world could I structure the reading of poems about a woman’s dark journey through disappointment, depression and finally joy so that it had some meaning for them? I think I found my answer in using the title’s controlling idea of the window, and even the adults in the audience who were veterans of readings said that they found it a unique way to travel through the poems.
I also had some trepidation about the Q&A session they had built in- who, if anyone, would ask that first question? And
would I be able to answer without sounding like a bumbling fool? So I did front load the reading with the cryptic statement that the book took both 20 years and 18 months to write and suggested that someone may want to ask about that later. That worked, and once one question was asked, many more followed.
Now that the book is out there in space, I will have to continue to check in with mission control (my editor at Sundress), maintain communication ( schedule readings), and plot my course ( hopefully find reviewers and others ways to get the book into the broader world). I welcome any advice from more experienced rocketeers, and I look forward to boldly going where at least I have never gone before. Vorreyer, out.