Monday, 8 September 2014

"Fourteen to Fortyish: The Formative Years" An Intro - of sorts.

Yaaay! First post kicking off Year 7! Yes. Yes. I am getting waaay ahead of myself. Just a tad excited, is all.

For a moment there, I was beginning to wonder whether I'd finish coining the title of this post.

There are a few writing projects in train. The one I'd like to mention tonight is the poetry. You've heard about the poetry, yes? No? Well, allow me. (I have, in fact, mentioned a bit about the poetry in a few posts, and have also shared a few poems. But, I digress.) Over the weekend, I continued to work on my poetry project. It's a book of poems spanning quite a few years. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I've decided on the title and subtitle: Fourteen to Fortyish: The Formative Years. I also have a sub-subtitle, if you will. (If there's a more technical term, do share.) The sub-subtitle will be written in italics right under the title. I thought of it just today, so, there's no way I'm ready to share that here. But, I love you! :-)

Man, those things really added up! I'm looking at scores and scores of poems out of the lot. Like, seriously. They do, after all, span the years between 14 and 40-ish. Hence the title. Any surprises there? Okay. Who did not see that coming? As I've envisioned, the book has three phases, with a few pieces of short prose in appropriate spots. It's taking shape, from my mind to the page, and I like that.

I've had two beta readers so far. Yes. One of them was my mom. Of course. But, as thankful as I was/am for her positive feedback, it's...advisable to get feedback from folks who aren't family. The other was an editor I'd met via Twitter. I won't share much of what he said here. After all, I am thinking of asking him whether I may reproduce some of it in the book. However, one thing stood out. He said, afterward, that he felt like he knew me. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm still not sure whether that's a welcome thing. And, yet, here I am about to publish the book of rather telling poems! Hmm. For, you see, they are rather telling. I write from the heart - and wear it on my sleeve. An English Lit professor had once told me/the class: "Poetry comes from a place of deep emotion." Over the years, now and again as I wrote the poems, I'd remember him saying that. And I'd understand all over what he'd meant. The poetry itself is in the composition but you can't make that stuff up.

I'm getting the doc ready for another beta reader. Daniel Kojo Appiah is a poet from Ghana I met on Twitter. We'd had a few exchanges long before he was named the winner of the inaugural Ghana Poetry Prize in 2013. Just sayin'. He goes by the handle: @OZionn. During a quick chat the other day, the thought came to mind to ask him whether he would do it. He said he would. I'm looking forward to his feedback. I shall have to remind him not to be gentle.

As I prepare to get the poems out, I'm also getting ready to read a few of them at the upcoming 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Toronto, later this month. One of the organizers said she thought of me and so extended an invitation. We'd met at the Lit Café in town a few years ago, and she's heard me read my poems. She added, "...your poems reflect a depth and a beauty more than you realize." She said a few other heart-warming things, but I'll save 'em. :-) So, this weekend, God willing, I'll be sure to show up at the Lit Café to practise...I mean, perform. The pieces I've done there on repeated visits have been appreciated. This time around, I'll be one of the featured poets. That'll help.

(And, I simply must find a way to tie in my pen name - reserved only for the poetry - Dnafcnatgada. No. I do not know what it means. It came, quite simply, out of the air, as I pondered, at 14 years old, what my "poet name" should be. Yes, that's a silent "D", to boot. If it rings close to something in your frame of reference; your knowledge base; your linguistic armoury, or your stream of consciousness, do share.)

So, you understand my excitement. Rather, so, you understand my excitement! I'm so psyched! Getting this book published will be a huge deal for me. Always thankful for family and friends who've been über-supportive. Can almost hear a few of them going, "Finally!" Lol! Ohh, the sound of it: "A published poet." Tee hee. God continues to order my steps and each day brings me closer. And, what's that word again? Ahh, yes. Relatability.

"Funny, isn't it, how one moment can change a million after it." - Raya (Movie: How She Move)


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