Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “book”

Summer of the Horse – a review


I used to be a voracious reader; often having two or even three books ‘on the go’ at any given time. Every night I’d read myself to sleep. I’d read for ten minutes while the cookies baked; packed a book in the vehicle to pass the time if I had to wait longer than two minutes for anything. Books were something into which I immersed myself, a respite from reality, a foray into the unknown. But lately my eyesight has not been cooperative of these forays. After half an hour the print blurs and I find myself straining to at least reach a ‘good place’ to stop until my eyes will focus again. Frustrated, I explored the world of e-books. At least I could increase the font size on the screen. Unfortunately, the screen is too small and reading a book when the lines are 4 words long with only 4 or 5 lines visible is ultimately unsatisfying. The e-reader is hard to hold too. Thin and sleek may look nice and fit into your purse, but it’s not comfortable to hold for any length of time.

So, slowly, my reading has dropped off. When something doesn’t satisfy anymore one tends to drift away from it. But this morning I read for an hour and a half. My eyes straining to get through each ensuing sentence, I couldn’t put the book down until finally I just couldn’t see the words anymore. Now here I am writing about the experience (with a large monitor jacked up to 200% zoom I might add) waiting for my eyes to adjust so I can go back and read some summer of the horse imagemore.

What is the object of this obsession you might ask? It’s my newly acquired copy of Donna Kane’s book “Summer of the Horse”. I was privileged to be present at her book launch last evening and, enthralled by her reading of two excerpts from the book, I purchased a copy, eager to dive into a book where the words did not just convey information; they sparkled with all the potential of the English language to be beautiful, evocative, and engaging.

I was not disappointed. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the “Summer of the Horse” but I’m thoroughly hooked and enchanted. Writing poetry has become an essential extension of my life, and my mantra has always been “Be brave, be honest”. Donna has always done that in her poetry, and now she is doing it in her creative non-fiction.

Run, do not walk, to the Dawson Creek Art Gallery and purchase a copy of “Summer of the Horse”. I haven’t even finished it yet and I know you will love it.

ISBNs and humility (not a poem)

The book is finished. The last changes were made and uploaded. Now all I need is an ISBN. As soon as it comes, I’ll add it to the book and Ta-Freakin’-Da, my first book of poetry will be available.

Of course now comes the promotional phase! Pass me that horn will you? Time to toot it! It’s one of the hardest things for most creative people to do – self promotion.  If you’ve been raised to have even the remotest shred of modesty and/or humility, self-promotion feels pushy. But I’m gonna do it anyway!

The fact is, looking for a ‘publishing company’ who will publish the first book of poems from a (sigh) unknown poet is a bit like the proverbial search for the needle in the haystack. Let’s just say I’m not in any great danger of signing a publishing deal anytime soon!

If you’re incredibly famous already you’ll have a publicist (and a publishing deal complete with advances), but us newbies gotta work for it! And that’s okay, if we have the gumption to write we should also have the gumption to learn the self-promotion ropes and  publicize our wares.

To that end I’ve created a Facebook writing page (if I hit all the right keys, there should be a way to get there from here… what can I say – it’s a work in progress!) and I’m planning a local book launch and perhaps I’ll launch in a couple of cities in my immediate geographic sphere (of course if anyone’s interested in providing the plane fare I’ll put on a book launch pretty much anywhere!).

I’ll be carrying my books with me, talking to any media types I can track down, and I’m open to suggestions – all of you have been so helpful and supportive – if you know of anywhere else I can promote this book I’d be tickled pink to hear from you!

Soon, soon, the book will be ready soon….  😉


Next Step in the Publishing Process…

I received a copy of my book in the mail – last chance to proof! And yes, there are STILL some goofs in it! I am going to be so sick of reading my own poems soon!!

I’ve set my deadline to have the final proofing done by the end of the week, then we’ll hit ‘print’ and be one step closer.

I’ve begun to plan a book launch and I find I’m not comfortable with a conventional launch. I keep coming back to the reason I committed myself to do the “poem a day for a year” series – the exploration of ‘spur of the moment’ creativity – the short circuiting of the internal critic – and I feel that I need to place more emphasis on that aspect. I need to encourage others to find their creative spark and nurture it.

So I’m currently working on some ideas to turn a launch into an audience participation event – maybe we’ll create a poem and post it here. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Anyway – I just wanted everyone to know that things ARE progressing and we should have the book ready to go very soon!

Thank you all for visiting, reading, commenting and sharing – it really helped get me through the ‘year’ and beyond.



The Paper Edit

So I finally had the book printed out. It weighs in at 184 pages but I imagine that might shrink a bit. It’s amazing how many errors you can miss when editing on a computer screen, mostly periods vs. commas so far, but nearly every poem has a little oops that needed fixing!

Anyone who knows me can attest that I’m nowhere near being a Luddite when it comes to computers, but I have to confess to a serious feeling of well-being when holding my book (even though it’s just a mark-up copy) in my hands. There is a committment to a book that just isn’t there in an e-book. Someone said “Yes, this is worth the time, effort, energy, and resources that go into printing a book.”  It also says “Yes, I’m satisfied that it is finished.” That’s the hard part. I know it will never truly be finished – I only hope I can abandon it in an interesting place.

This morning I’m doing a TV interview and I’ll be reading a poem from the book – I’m still not sure which one it will be – and the reality of saying “Here is the mock-up of my book, I hope to have it in print by…..(place date here)…” is both exhilarating and frightening!

Wish me luck… but if experience is any indication I know my hair will be doing something weird and although th camera may add ten pounds it also, in my case, seems to remove an undisclosed number of IQ points as well! 🙂

Here goes…


Cover Art

falling Awake midsized

Well, I’ve edited the book, proofed the book, formatted the book, named the book (“Falling Awake and other poems” in case you missed that post), now the cover design…

I’m leaning towards one of my own paintings as a cover. I created/designed my CD covers for my first two CDs so it’s not unprecedented.  I’ve uploaded a copy of the proposed cover art and would appreciate any input, just as I have appreciated the input you’ve given me on the poems.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!



Days Like These

On days like these
I’d like to be
at home with a quilt upon my knees
with a cup of tea,
just you and me,
and a cat that wouldn’t make you sneeze.

On days like these
I need a squeeze
and, because it’s just that season
a Christmas tree
and something sweet
to nibble on while we both read. 

On days like these
We need not leave
our home to go outside and freeze
I do believe
We should take our ease             
indoors in indolence on days like these.



Considering the Possibilities – (not a poem)

As the fulfillment of the self imposed quota of poems looms closer, I consider the possibilities. 366 poems. Obviously not all of them are/or will be worthy of publishing – some were just me, grasping at something that rhymed with straw, but all of them helped me to reach the original objective. To write without filters, to ignore the inner critic.
I believe that this year of verse will be a personal acheivement that I will use to propel myself into more and different artistic challenges. It is not simply an achievement because of the 366 poems it spawned, but because I actually managed to summon up the dicipline to write and post something every day for 366 days running. Aside from the usual inescapables (like eating and sleeping) I can’t really think of anything I’ve done every single day in the last year. If I can do this then I can attempt other goals too, and I can reach them. And the reason I posted this and all the poems to my writing blog was because I wanted company when I reached the goal – I wanted other people to say “Hey, I can do that too!” as they set their own personal goals. I still have 29 days to go and I can’t tell you how much your kind words and comments have meant to me along the way. They were often the drop of water in the desert that kept me going.
So – possibilities – I want to publish the book and somehow I will make that happen. It will most likely not contain all of the 366 poems. Rather, it will be a ‘best of’ book. But the poems will live on here at the blog. I may also select about 10 of the poems that seem to lend themselves to being songs, and arrange and record them (I could put the CD into the book!).
I have toyed with the idea of doing a year of  ‘a poem a week’ accompanied by artwork. That, perhaps, will get me back to the drawing board – literally! 
But whatever I do and whichever artistic turn I take – thank you for joining me on the journey. This journey may be coming to a close but I guarantee there’ll be more!
Stay tuned for the final 29.


“The Poet not Quite at the Bottom of the Well Anymore”

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