The first time I entered one of my poems for possible inclusion in an anthology, fear ensued. Would anyone think my poetry was worth reading? I had been writing poems occasionally since I was in my 20s. I had never referred to myself as a poet, of course. My mother had written a few poems in her life, as well, but never called herself a poet, either. I was following in her silent footsteps.
When three of my poems made the City of Oakland’s annual senior anthology, I was elated. Finally my work would see print. I could not attend that year’s awards presentation, but made it to the following year’s event as more of my work was subsequently accepted. Walking up on the stage and reading one of my poems gave my heart a flutter. I was not sure I could do it. I was not sure I could share my deepest feelings through poetry in front of a hundred or so strangers. But I did. The experience only emboldened me. I added “poet” to my business card.
I created a poetry blog — La Vue de rue Sleidan — and started sharing more poems online and in other anthologies. Thus far, my poetry has appeared in five different anthologies published by the City of Oakland and the Tri-Valley Writers’ Association in Pleasanton, CA. Now it is time to venture out on my own.
While my readers may not have seen much published on my blog in recent weeks, it is with good reason. I am organizing my work into a book of poetry all my own. Now and again, I will post a new poem or other idea on the blog. Many other poems remaining in the draft stage or even finalized will appear in my first book. I hope you will enjoy the book. Actually, there are two different poetry books I am working on — one having to do with grief and the other with love. I will keep my readers abreast of a publish date, hopefully later this year.
In addition to poetry, I am working on two other book projects: (1) an historical non-fiction detailing the life of Tom Davis of Butte, Montana, who served in 1941-1942 as president of Rotary International, and (2) a creative non-fiction on the failures of the California judicial system.
Fiction? Yes, I do write fiction. In one of the many journals sitting on a shelf in my house, there is a list of ideas numbering around 27 for fiction novels. I am wonderful at generating ideas and characters to match. I have written story after story, most of them unfinished. Why do my stories never have an ending? One of my goals is to write the endings.
I did write a short memoir entitled “The Grey Envelope” that appeared in a writers’ book by Julaina Kleist. The true story was one I had told countless times to friends and acquaintances. Finally the print version arrived.
For four years, I wrote a magazine column for the now defunct “Life on Foothill Road.” Another of my book projects is a compilation of all the magazine columns, each of which shares a short vignette about life. Meeting the publication deadlines for all those monthly columns gave me a reason to finish each story. Hurrah!
To those of you who read my posts routinely, I thank you. I also thank those who only stop by the blog now and then. I realize when there is nothing new to read, you might be disappointed. Know that my hands continue to draft new work that will some day be good enough to meet my publication standards. Please keep on reading.