Okay, I’ll admit right out of the gate that this isn’t really a “sneak peek.” My subscribers got it yesterday. Most of what I send them each quarter is content exclusive to subscribers, but every once in a while I’ll share something here as well. The following is from this quarter’s newsletter:

 

When I was in grad school in 1988, I had to write a collection of original poetry for my Master’s thesis. I was attached to the title Extravagant Dreams (I still am, however nonsensical it might be), and so it was entitled as such.

Although this was before the internet, you can find Extravagant Dreams listed under archival material on worldcat.org, which I guess means it permanently resides in Binghamton University’s library. In a way, it’s a shame, because I’d like to use the title again!

Thinking about that material led to this quarter’s question: would you be interested in a free collection of original poetry if it were available on Amazon? For years I’ve thought of putting all my songs and poems into a single volume and calling it Extravagant Dreams, Deluxe Edition: The Complete Poems & Songs.

As a teaser of sorts, I should mention I started writing verse in 1979, and by the end of 1980 I had over 50 songs and poems under my belt. Funny story: I got called into the Dean’s office after submitting the following poem to my high school literary magazine, as they thought I might have plagiarized it. Yep, right out of the gate, I was simultaneously complimented and insulted!

 

Time Marches On

The knobby old woman rocks in the wind,
Enveloped in wicker and sadly smiling,
Knitting concepts of yesteryear
And remnants of days gone by.
Her fluttering scarves, dotted with sparrows
Are illuminated by the chill wind
And buffeted by the tawny leaves,
Which whisk past, on their way to oblivion.
She must not stand upon the brink,
Tomorrow’s just an extension of today
For her there will be no icicles of dawn,
She must be gone before the change is come.
For now, she has time to ponder,
And dream her dreams of frost;
Light filtering through brown paper,
And melting wax; but she knows she cannot relive these ideals.
For her, the twilight has arrived.
She can almost remember the days of hope,
But her smile betrays her,
Her mind is a keen one no more.
And she smiles less, and rocks slowly,
the wind decreases, the leaves are
all gone, the icicles come, and
time marches on.

 

That’s the 16-year-old version of me, but it’s only slightly embarrassing. Much better material would follow in later years.

You may know me as a novelist, but a few of my high school friends remember me going on to become “Class Poet.” I probably would have preferred “Most Photogenic” or “Most Likely to Succeed,” but hey, you take what you can get, right?

Truly curious if anyone would want to read all that stuff. In my mind, it’s kind of a vanity project…but then, if it’s free, maybe people will like it. I don’t have time yet to add the hundreds of pieces that exist only in ink and paper form, but the document on my hard drive is 167 pages’ worth thus far. I suspect the final tally would exceed 500 poems and songs. Best to have that in digital format only, not a “doorstop” book.

 

And Now, the Invitation

Honestly, I don’t often send out invitations to join my mailing list. We all get tons of email already, plus there are only so many hours in the day for leisure reading. I get it.

But since I’m contemplating the poetry project I describe above, and I polled my newsletter list, I figured why not ask my blog readers as well? And if you join the newsletter list, you’ll get sneak peeks of that project, along with the free short story collection you receive for signing up. No other obligation, I won’t ever sell your email address, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

So why not join today? Here is the link. Click, fill in an email address, and you’re in!

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