My book launch-party was a truly happy celebration, which meant I could 'launch' my book almost like pushing a boat out to sea, at last, after years of hard preparation and literal crafting. It went with a good crash of the bubbly! Creating this collection has been about not just editing so carefully every word and comma — with the invaluable help of Jan, as my editor — but also making the poems work together, in a sequence that hopefully flows into each other.
The poems come mostly from my own life experiences, but the book had to stand on its own, have a strong 'arc' or journey for the reader to follow, so the poems are not true to my life chronologically. They work as a book; a collection. And I told the audience at my launch how much I hope the poems connect with the reader, with experiences and curiousities and questions about life which we all, in different ways, share. For the poem/reader relationship to be strong on its own — even though the poems come from me, they are now out free!
The party was a great time for giving other people a chance to read out my poems, one of which we all read together as a crowd. I showed how the book has seven 'phases' or themes, and read a short poem from each, then in the second half I read more spiritual poems, giving the audience the opportunity to reflect on and enjoy these.
It has been a great learning time for me, the creation of my book, learning how to cut and also when to stand by a word or line I love, and now I love editing, which is a good sign! I hope more than anything that people are inspired by my book, that it has content which moves their hearts, and connects with the reader, about all kinds of love.