One Trick Pony. That's me lately. But don't begrudge the fact that teeny steps toward the endpoint are happening in my relatively unswerving focus. And many of you are part of it, as you have been in ever-changing aggregates of readers and commenters and even visitors here over the past few years.
There is still a need for readers, and thanks to the more than a dozen Fragments friends already reading the pre-press draft. Leave a comment if you'd like a copy. Below, just for those who won't see the document, are some comments about the book from my perspective that might say a few things about what to expect in June, when I have the thing in hand.
I've been looking at books a lot lately--iImagine that!) Many have a first page called "Praise for xyz" or "what readers are saying about abc." It would be nice to fill two pages of reader endorsements, provided of course that the contents warrant them. Well, here's part of my preamble to the Word version some of you may yet volunteer to see:
About: This book is not a book that you can't put down. It is a book you should put down. The hundred pieces were written on a hundred very different days. To read it in one gulp, I think, will not give the reader the subtle flavor of the unfolding through the seasons here. And it is also not the kind of book you can pick up, read one little piece, and know what it is like. The voice, style and topic of each is as different as one day's mood and serendipity is from the next.
What I hope is that some of the tension of the decision to step back from the fast road comes across. It really was a time of unknowns, but a thing I felt strongly that I must do. Memoir accounts for perhaps 15 per cent of the book, but I hope it is enough to put the being here in the context of getting here, then of getting to know the place I had chosen to spend a lot of time. Sense of place was a concept whose name I had not even heard when this adventure started.
Also, I hope that the eye of the photographer, the sensitivity of the poet, and the curiosity of the naturalist-all brought with me from my former lives (except poet only in closet form)--also inform the writing. It did seem to me all along like the daily gathering of blog readers was like leading a field trip, or at other times, like having a conversation on the front porch. Some of the pieces are very conversational. Others, especially those massaged for radio essays or newspaper pieces, are more formal.
Finally, I have invented words your spell-checkers will not like. Audiosphere. Kersplatted--that sort of thing. And I'm prepared to take barbs for manufacturing words. But they serve the author, not the other way 'round. Same goes, mostly, for punctuation in how I use semicolons and dashes in a way that helps me read the piece. Many are for voice, or at least I wrote them and tweaked them and punctuated them in that way. DO REMARK if there is anything you read that trips you up; if you stumble, so will another reader.