Mushrooms and friend. Click here for the large view.
"That's where the phrase 'mushroomed' comes from," Mary explained to our friend Lyn, whose yard now sports a marvelous ring of mushrooms around the spot where a tree once stood. "They pop up overnight."
Lyn and I had been enjoying some great "shop talk" on poetry. And I realized, as I bent to take these shots, that I was face to face with a metaphor of the turn my own life has taken -- because in eight days I went from giving out a pitch package to receiving a contract....
That contract is now all signed and ready to be sent -- and Covenant, the first book in my Deviations Trilogy, is on its way to being published by Koboca Publishing.
It won't be out for a while yet, but I've started getting word around and will post regular updates on how things are going. I've met with the acquisitions person of our county library system and put myself on the contact list for its planned book festival focusing on local authors. I've e-mailed a radio host who interviewed me on the air back in 2002 and who invited me to return when I had a book published. I've written asking for permission to use a quote from Bruce Chatwin's extraordinary book The Songlines as my epigraph.
This weekend Mary and I went over the contract and I had a wonderful flurry of e-mails with Koboca. Koboca is a small but growing local small press that publishes in a variety of genres. It currently is running writing and illustrating contests for children ages 13-18: "Winners of the 1st Annual Reggie & Ryssa In-Between Anthology contest will receive a percentage royalty contract with Koboca Publishing for their winning entries as outlined in the official rules. The royalty proceeds from the sales of each anthology will be placed and held for each individual winner in a scholarship account for post-secondary educational use, i.e. college, technical school, vocational school, etc."
I think it's terrific outreach geared toward involving kids in the creative arts. The contest runs through January 1, 2007. More info is here.
Koboca has a marketing budget, but I worked in PR for five years so will be doing my own self-marketing as well. Playing things by ear, mainly.
As for what the trilogy is about:
Long ago the Masari and the Yata hunted together in peace, until the species they drove to extinction included those possessing nutrients necessary to Masari survival. The Yata then became the only source of those nutrients. Deviations tells how these peoples cope with the reality of being sentient creatures forced to play the roles of predator and prey, and how several of them try to thwart long-established conventions in the hope of overcoming their biological imperative. Deviations, in which love triumphs in the midst of death, focuses on the social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas surrounding both the literal cannibalism of the societies involved and the many ways in which their different communities feed off each other.
That was mainly the opening blurb of my query letter. I'll be writing up other blurbs and a bio, and will see if I can make good use of our local camera club for a publicity photo. (My camera's resolution is sufficient, but not preferred.)
Lyn edits four publications and has asked me to write an article, plus will reprint one of my poems. Three photos of mine are now also in The Layout, the magazine of the Train Collectors Association, Southern Division.
More to come. For now, I need to start catching up on sleep.
Full Beaver Moon, also called Frost Moon