I’d like to introduce the release of my Second Edition of Gathered Rain, a work of poetry and art which follows the cycle of the seasons through its manifestations in the natural world. Because I have already published a First Edition of this book with which I’ve been quite pleased, one could reasonably ask, why would anyone want to add to a book that felt complete? That’s a great question. Let me talk about this a bit.
When I began working on the Second Edition of Gathered Rain, I asked myself that question many times, even though the process “felt” right. What intrigued me during that effort was the eventual realization that the concept of “complete” is not necessarily equivalent to that of “final.” It doesn’t conclusively imply that there isn’t more that would fit comfortably, even beautifully, within an already established structure. So, I kept at it. I had discovered a number of poems and prose poetry that I felt belonged in Gathered Rain because they sat contentedly within the council circle of its collected entities and they each had a voice that brought new chords and tones into the overall music of the work. So, I let them stay. And the book grew and expanded. I’m very happy with it as it now is. Thing is, I’m also happy with the First Edition, as well. It’s a more petite version, more pared down. It’s as if the Second Edition is the British Garden version of the simple forest glen that is the First Edition. Both have their place and purpose. And, like a living garden, there is a vital force in a work of poetry or literature that cannot be repressed and wishes naturally to continue to expand and develop, to grow and blossom anew. This is the way I’ve come to look at my own writing, in general. It is a continuing, living process.
Another reason for the Second Edition is more practical. CreateSpace is a great tool, allowing authors who so far have not found a channel for their work in normal publishing venues a way to get their work into the hands of readers who want it and who find value in it. With the incredible stresses upon bottom lines and formulaic guidelines that have reverse-telescoped the Publishing Industry down to a few generalized offerings with little room for things which stretch the envelope, let alone those which completely incinerate it!, it is a good option, and one which I’m happy to have availed myself of. And yet, in all practicality, it does have some few production differences which make it challenging to provide the book through normal commercial outlets, such as bookstores. Most bookstores, very simply, will not take a book that has no lettering on the spine. CreateSpace productions must be at least 100 pages in order for that to be possible. So, to get this book out there, I had to expand it in order to meet these kinds of production requirements of the publishing world. But, this was actually a blessing, as I’ve said, because it allowed me to grow the book anew, to recreate within the living matrix that the First Edition had built. Being able to do this is another benefit of a publishing venue like CreateSpace. And now, after quite a lot of work, the book satisfies the production standards for a commercial paperback which are set by mainstream publishing houses.
Gathered Rain is a simple, delicate book, and like trillium in the shade of a mighty cedar, it softly flows with the cool breezes that imperceptibly dance across the forest floor, movements that are often ignored for the gusts and bluster that swing the mighty boughs overhead. Yet, these gentle currents provide endless pleasure and fascination for the one trudging the forest path and looking for relief. Whereas, the mighty winds overhead might fascinate and sometimes edify, yet frequently they pass on and the trekker on the forest floor is still looking for that cool and gracious caress of intimate wonders. Alternative publishing venues, like CreateSpace, seem to me to be a natural channel through which to offer unexpected works that appeal to the desires of these intrepid readers.
This Second Edition of Gathered Rain includes more than 50 pages of new poetry, artwork, and prose. Please enjoy! For those who want it, the First Edition is still available and I intend to keep it so.
Click Gathered Rain to view the book on Amazon.
There is also a CreateSpace storefront, with an author bio and some other information.
If you decide to buy a copy of my book, I expect you will find value in it. Anyone who enjoys the calm of the cedar wood, or the soothing breezes of a country garden, or who loves to reflect upon the subtle movements behind the visible wonders of the natural world, will find something of value, I feel certain, in Gathered Rain.
For those who wish to learn more about self-published books, or “indie authors,” please read these 6 Key Facts about Self-publishing for Readers, by Debbie Young. Indie works are controversial in the mainstream press world, which is surprising insofar as Mark Twain, Virginia Wolf, Charles Dickens, and other well known authors self-published works that are now received as Classics. Their skepticism is understandable in that indie works are outside the sphere of control of the mainstream, but indie works seem to promise to stir up the landscape like a spring storm, perhaps to leave behind a vitalized new literary venue. Also, you might be interested in seeing this article, from which the following quote comes: “… according to a recent New York Times article, ‘Self-published titles made up roughly one-quarter of the top-selling books on Amazon last year.'”