It was almost like the Olympic Ski Jump event. There were cameras rolling and tension in the air. Edgar Rice Burro stood next to me, sharing some last-minute strategy. He handles all my PR work since he has the loudest voice. He gave the nod and I stepped forward at the top of that giant ramp. Just me.
I’m wearing a faded Dressage Queen t-shirt and pajama bottoms. I’ve trained for the last two years for this moment, scribbling on small spiral notebooks, staring at the pond, and staying up late editing one word for another, and then back again. Poetry can be fussy that way.
It all culminates here. Down below, a small, very small, group of people are milling about, as I inch my crocs to the edge of the ramp, shifting the cardboard box to one arm, pushing my reading glasses up my nose, and then rebalancing the box.
It’s time. With a gasp of
confidence false bravado and a twitch in my right eye, I take the first step. It’s steep but I’m used to that. A few more steps and I find my rhythm, almost smiling. This book of poems has been carrying me these last months, sometimes lifted high, sometimes dragging me behind, but I’ve got this.
Wait, something’s not right. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something dark behind me. It looks like a boot with the dastardly printing company’s logo on the sole. It makes contact on my backside, hard enough that the box holding a dozen copies of Horse Prayers gets launched into the air. Edgar Rice Burro lets out a blood-curdling bray. They’re pretty much all blood-curdling, but still.
I start tumbling, trying to catch balance, doing the awkward chicken dance, tilting close to the edge, but jerking away, over-correcting into a skid to the other edge, spinning backward. I try to make it look like I’m not falling, like I meant to do this, like I’m in on the joke.
Oh, just fall already.
Splat, bruised and spitting mad. I expect the box of books to land in a crumpled mess on top of me, but nope. And they don’t land anywhere else either.
See how I did that? I took the story back.
I could whine about this printing company’s series of disastrous mistakes, rant that they destroyed the book release, and flatly state that their support line was impossible. But there’s no satisfaction in whining.
Writing this feels like sweet revenge. Not my last will and testament, it’s another genre entirely. Those printers will not hijack this book, I’ll write my own ending, you useless dweebs. Oops, was that last bit my printed voice?
This Week: Take two: After the splat, I switched to a different company and started production over from the start.
Tada! Horse Prayers has launched. Really this time, like this nest of beady-eyed sparrow babies, I share that a grim line of determination on my little beak. Outta my way, time for these poems to fly.
The book looks good. I know because I mailed a pile out yesterday, and some more today. If you have ordered books (click here) from me online, they are in the mail! Yahoo, fly, babies, fly!
The Presale will be up on bookseller websites in the next few days, and paperback release is August 24th. I would complain that it’s taking too long, but my time expectations got a boot in the pants, along with everything else.
Sorry if you’ve looked for Horse Prayers and been sent on a chase. Or if you’re one of the people who managed to buy Horse Prayers in the 36 hours it was available, before the printer randomly pulled it back, you win… and lose. I know at least one of those books arrived printed out of margin and a mess. Please contact me, I will make it right.
As soon as the pre-sale comes online, I’ll go live on Facebook for a poetry reading/book talk. I think that means I read poems out loud, although there’s a good chance I’ll try to get others to do it, too. Not a comfortable idea to me, but extraordinary measures are called for! Stay tuned.
The eBook edition is available from all online digital sellers now.
As an independent publisher, it makes a huge difference when our books get reviews, so I ask the necessary favor. Please leave a review if you have a minute. It means more than you imagine… Please and thank you.
“Horse Prayers is a collection tiny stories in simple words, praise for the beautiful fragile land, and love poems to horses,” I offer, in a poetically defensive voice.
“Blah-blah-blah,” the reasonable non-fiction voice says, “It’s too late after the splat. Besides, poetry never sells well. This book is expensive to print. You’ll lose money.”
Really. Like that’s a threat that scares horsewomen.