Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chapbook Rookie: Something Special, Maybe?

I have a diaries from my adolescence spanning 11 to 17 years old. A few months ago when I was rereading them I found this passage:

Yes, I did refer to my diary as "you" as though I was talking to a friend. I also trailed off partway through the sentence. But on April, 3 1994 at 12 years, 9 months, and 12 days old, I dreamed up the day when my writing might be published as a book. When I might "do something special."

Today, at 31 years, 3 months, and 19 days old, something did occur. Something I did. Something special.

Holding my chapbook in my hands is strange. They are sitting next to me on the couch in the Priority Mail box. Sal answered the doorbell when the mail carrier delivered them earlier today, but I didn't hear it due to the white noise blasting through my headphones while I worked. The next thing I knew, Sal was sliding open the pocket door to the office saying something like, "Congrats, published author!" camera in hand, ready to capture the look on my face when I saw the package and realized what was inside. Someday I'll share that picture. Let's just say I was having a bad hair day.

I was terrified to open it, but I had no reason to be. Finishing Line Press produces beautiful chapbooks and my cover artist beautifully illustrated my imaginings. They have a deep brown ribbon and a spine even. I've never seen a chapbook bound this way, but I love it. It's very book-like.

At first I didn't know what I was feeling. I didn't really feel anything except overwhelmed, perhaps worried about getting back to work. I've since slid toward a simmering excitement. This is where I am. This is my something special. This slow boil. This 18 1/2 year-old dream come true.


Sara McAulay said...

A zillion congratulations, Published Author! (Doesn't that have a nice ring?) I'm eager to get hold of a copy.

Shawnte Orion said...

Congratulations, Laura. That's fantastic that your chapbook was published with a press that puts together such impressive publications. I always think about that scene inAmerican Psycho, where Christian Bale and the other businessmen are obsessing over each other's business cards. That scene could be reenacted with poets comparing chapbooks.

Laura E. Davis said...

Yay! Thanks Sara. It does have a nice ring to it. I'll bring copies to our next workshop, which feels too far away... :)

Laura E. Davis said...

I can't get over that my first chapbook is with FLP. I've admired the books they put out for so long and now I'm one of them. Surreal! Thanks so much, Shawnte! :)

jessica fenlon said...

Congratulations! It really does mean something, for me its kindof inexpressible. I have my copies of my book on the shelf, and I am grateful for the gift of having had that experience (especially because the process of finishing & publishing the ~second~ one has been such a long, exhausting process that has invited so much self-doubt!)

Yours is so gorgeous, too. I am glad for you!

Molly Spencer said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to hold my copy in my hands and read your awesome poems.