A Book, A Good-bye And a Sweet Memory

It's been a busy fall for all of us and 2012 is still proving to be a year of losses as well as good things happening. I find myself having to struggle between letting the bad consume the good. So far I seem to be winning the battle.

So for some good news:

My first poetry chapbook, Threads, is being published by Finishing Line Press. The launch date is set for March 9, 2013. The book is currently on the site for pre-sale orders. Most of you may know that the print run will depend solely on pre-sales figures. So, please order my book during the pre-sales time period. If you want me to read, visit, sign copies, wash your dishes or even bake you a cake, I will do it! But I think the dancing will have to be curtailed just a bit unless you want me to look like the monster in Young Frankenstein 'Putting on the Ritz."

 Here is the link for online pre-sales:


Tim Batten has designed this gorgeous cover. Check out his fine work at his website:  http://www.tim-batten.com 

About a month ago we had to put our puppy-puppy Odessa to sleep. She developed one or more herniated and possibly ruptured disks in her neck which first seemed to just make her unable to move her head to one side. It got to the point where she could not lift her head at all or move it from side to side. The pain eventually spread to encompass her back legs. The vet thought this could mean that there was now nerve damage caused by the disks. She finally got to the point where she couldn't go up any steps and could barely even stand. Any of you who knew her, know this was an active dog who only months before was still running around the back yard, hiding behind bushes to jump out and bark at and scare the neighborhood kids like she was still a puppy. This was her favorite most mischievous caper along with waiting while all the birds landed only to run though them until the yard was a mass of fluttering wings. I won't even get into the bunny hunting, her most obsessive and absolute favorite thing. She was about 11-12 years old. We were never sure of her age when we rescued her.

We had ten years with her and she was truly one of the stronger personalities of any pet I've ever had. I used to say she was a tough old broad. And she was. She also had a very silly personality and I swear there was just a touch of sarcasm in her droll stares and annoyed breaths when we didn't do what she wanted us to do. Right then. Immediately. When she wanted something done. Especially her nighttime treat.

We went through several bouts of severe pain cycles with her over several years, which usually subsided in a few weeks. But this time we just couldn't get it under control. Aside from anti-inflammatory and several types of pain medications. We even tried steroids, heated sonar and acupuncture treatments; but we just couldn't get her pain level to a livable level. So we had to say goodbye to her and we miss her more than I ever could have ever imagined.

She was truly my companion while writing Threads. Always sleeping and snoring loudly by my desk, which I never took as a criticism of the writing, but with her, you never know.  She was there with me through all the rewrites. Submissions. Rejections. And acceptances. Her presence is truly there between the lines of this book. She will always be one of the threads running throughout, not only this poetry collection, but my life as well.

I will hear her as if she were recorded on these pages: the faint clicking of her paws following me around the house, the soft sigh when she rearranged her blankets wondering if it was time for a break and a treat; the groan as she looked back at me when she wanted me to follow her to the door so she could hide behind bushes, scare neighborhood kids and chase bunnies through the back yard as if she were a young puppy with everything still ahead of her. Which, I have decided, is exactly how I will always remember her.