It’s the end of the year but I have the odd feeling of starting a new chapter. Today, I released a rather official(!) cover for a book of poetry I’ve been working on for a few weeks now, and I’m genuinely proud to share my part in making it all come together. I’ll be posting more about it as we lead up to the pub date, which is currently March 2020.
The author is Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and the book is Love from the Vortex & Other Poems. Yolie’s day job is being an Associate Professor at the Teachers College at Columbia (so we’re local!), but she’s poured her heart into this book of poetry in a way I don’t think you often see from your instructors. It’s a personal and vulnerable journey of love, discovery, heartbreak, and healing, and I think it will find its way to a lot of hearts when it’s released next year.
I got involved in the book because of a single Facebook post in which I read and realized that 1) my friend Yael owned a publishing company and 2) was looking amongst her friends to see if anyone had an interest in working in book design for her. I had known Yael for years, since her undergrad days and my time in law school, but had somehow missed the formation of Kaleidoscope Vibrations Publishing?? I blame FB algorithm if I’m honest. But long story short, I answered the call, put my publishing hat back on, and I’m glad I did.
The rest of the team has been amazing, and I don’t take that for granted, even if I did know Yael personally beforehand. We have a wonderful illustrator on board, 19 (we call them Nine), who’s been so supportive, professional, and collaborative–several things that don’t necessarily come packaged with the underlying label of artist. And even when my first “meeting” with the editor, Christine Amrita, was just reading a series of comments in a shared document, I felt immediately that I was on board with this person’s creative probing and editorial guidance. The book’s come together before my eyes and I think that’s an incredible experience to have.
With this project, I’m re-entering the world of (paid) work after about a year away. I’d say “it’s good to be back” but taking care of my twins day to day is still my more-than-full-time gig, so really it’s just really nice to work with adults toward a common goal we all believe in. In a way that’s a bit longer termed and maybe more creatively fulfilling than, say, a European board game night. So it’s just as well that I’ve always been powered by caffeine and big Hufflepuff energy!
So yeah, there’s a lot of people’s efforts coming together this month–this crazy month of holiday prep, family commitments, semester-end grading, and general year-end frazzle. I’m producing an ARC in the coming weeks, and I’m sure I’ll have more updates as we go along.