Writing is a pretty solitary act. You can spend years working on a single piece that may never reach another’s eyes, let alone a publication’s pages — which is something you really have to make peace with if you’re going to be and stay a writer.
But every once in a while, the amazing happens: Others invest in your work. They read it, publish it, share a picture of it, write something about it, mention it to a friend, help you promote it, or otherwise engage with it.
This is the greatest gift one can receive as an artist (well, short of a trillion, but let’s try to stick to reality).
Today, I’m dedicating a post to all those people — the ones I’m aware of — who have invested in An Animal I Can’t Name in some way, shape, or form.
Thank you. It means the world to me that you’ve spent some of your valuable time checking out one of very few stories I’ve ever felt truly compelled to tell.
To my publisher at Two of Cups Press, Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, who has not only published my work so everyone can read it, but has also set up a reading, book signing, a review, and a ton of social media posts.
To Lisa Sills at Anura37, who did such an amazing job with the cover art, I’m still getting compliments on it (which I then forward on to her, of course!).
To Aaron Mayes, who’s pretty much the only person who’s ever been able to take a decent picture of me.
To my incomparable mentor, Larissa Szporluk, and Lori Desrosiers at Naugatuck River Review; you both wrote wonderful blurbs on my chap!
To Megan Hudgins, a terrific poet who also happened to pick An Animal I Can’t Name as the 2015 Two of Cups Press Chapbook Contest winner. (And yes, she would still be a terrific poet even if she hadn’t, folks.)
To all the journals who picked up my work and sometimes went out of their way to promote my chap online:
- Eric Allen Yankee at Caravel Literary Arts Journal
- Paper Nautilus
- Cimarron Review
- EDGE Magazine/Tahoe Writers Works
- The Northridge Review
- Monday Night
- Sakura Review
- Clackamas Literary Review
- Four Chambers
To Nettie Farris, who wrote an amazing review of An Animal I Can’t Name on Blue Lyra Review.
My MFA colleague, Brandon Jennings, who wrote a great (and my first) Goodreads review and has done a bunch of digital promotion for my chap, including this blog and this blog. (Keep an eye out for forthcoming blogs in which I’ll grill Brandon about writing, reading, and daddying.)
To Kim Henry and Rianne Marr at BooksOrBooks, who hosted my first local book signing, which was also a benefit for Alzheimer’s research (which I LOVED)!
To Heather Brooks, Jennifer Weitz, and Teresa Handleman at the Las Vegas Clark-County Library District, who just today got copies of my chap that they’ll be putting on their shelves.
And to all my family and friends (in no particular order) who got copies of the book and sometimes even posted pretty pictures of themselves with it online:
- JKK and family
- Courtney Rulmyr
- Troy Rulmyr
- Scott Smith
- Jordan Kardasz
- Kim Tomasino
- Lauren Merin
- Manuela Williams (who came out for my first local book signing)
- Brad Modlin (who came out for my AWP reading)
- Mike Czyzniejewski (who also came out for my AWP reading)
- Karen Craigo
- Mo Watkins (who also came out for my AWP reading)
- Stacy Pearlman (who made an amazing miniature version of the chapbook)
- John Neu (who also came out for my AWP reading)
- Thomas Webb (who also came out for my AWP reading)
- Andrea Blythe (who did the first reader post of my book on Instagram, my first Goodreads rating, and included me on one of her blogs)
- Melissa Engberg (who wrote a wonderfully kind review of my book here)
- Kim Tomasino
- Brad Roderick
- Julie Alexander
- Abby Cloud
- Chen Chen
- Kim Vogelpohl
- Helene Cardona
- Valerie Utaski
- Staci R. Schoenfeld
- James Morrow
- Lisa Prokop McAllister
- Christina Hall
- Annette Scott
- Marty Phillips (one day we will make this signing happen!)
- Jim and Cathy Pietrucha
- Melissa Engberg
- Barb Gilleran
And a thanks in advance to William Woolfitt at Speaking of Marvels, Stephen Murray, Pen and Palette, and Jessica Wickens. More good news to come!