Pub Day: Heavens Heard, Shadows Seen
It’s here! My very first published work, Heavens Heard, Shadows Seen, is officially available for your consumption!
I’ve been quietly toiling away at this project for a few years now, and wasn’t sure if I’d ever have the courage to share it with the world, and I’m so proud to say that it’s now finished and out there for all to see. I first started collecting my poems (with the notion of perhaps someday publishing them) in 2018, when things in my life were entering a shifting point. I didn’t know then that I would start the process of getting divorced later that year, but looking back, the signs were there, especially in the content of my writing. I continued to pen more poems during the following months and beyond, oftentimes capturing emotions and memories after events were over, as I began to fully process and move past them. A lot of my poems were written as I lay awake, unable to sleep until I got out of bed and wrote them down.
At some point the collection that had been growing and evolving started to take a shape that made sense. As a whole it told a cohesive tale. That’s when I knew it was time. Time to take this google doc I’d been chipping away at and turn it into a real book. One I could hand to a friend who might benefit from reading it. One I could sign for my friends who are also fans. One that could sit on my shelf and I could point to—”Hey, I did that!.” Achievement unlocked.
While the writing part of this journey has been more of a leisurely marathon, the publishing part would be better described as a whirlwind (though I admit there were some sputters and pauses at the start). I’ve never published anything before, let alone self-published, so I knew it would be a learn-as-you-go experience. Lucky for me, I bring some transferable skill sets to the table; my day job involves graphic design, typesetting, and editing, and I’m also an artist and have experience with branding. So I knew that I wanted to do it all myself. A big task, but one for which I was game.
First came the artwork. I wanted something personal, but also fluid and ambiguous enough to be open to interpretation. Poems themselves, you might say. I settled on digitally created multi-exposure collages. Each image is a mixture of two photographs I’ve taken over the years, and a third photograph of water that is used as a texture in all of them. It was important to me to include a lot of natural elements, like water, trees, clouds, and the moon, since I felt that their symbolism tied in well with the collection’s themes; growth, change, cycles, feelings, intuition, reflection, hope.
After the art came the typesetting, design, and navigation of Amazon’s self-publishing platform. There were a lot more decisions to make than you might expect, but all-in-all, it was a fairly user friendly process. The biggest surprise was how tricky it is to set up eBook documents; a task I could still stand to learn more about.
And that brings us to today! It’s been a long journey here, both book-wise and life-wise, but I’m so thankful to have gone through it. I hope that those who read Heavens Heard, Shadows Seen do so with an open mind and heart, and find themselves moved by its contents. There was a time that I wavered about deciding to publish it—it’s a very personal tale after all, not to mention there are touches that some might consider weird (mentions of demons and faeries, and a rather mystical poem dedicated to the moon). But what really cemented my decision was my hope that this book finds its way into the hands of those who are currently in the middle of a similar life journey of their own, so that they realize they’re not alone.
Heavens Heard, Shadows Seen can be purchased on Amazon.