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Last Wednesday, I recorded a CD of poems from my upcoming book, A Question of Mortality. This CD will be included with the collection--as poetry is meant to be heard.  

I  arrived at the recording studio a bit nervous, fearing I'd stumble over words, or even worse, cry.  I was particularly worried about one poem in the collection that dealt with the death of my older brother, Grady.  Though many of my poems were born out of life experiences, I always have difficulty reading this particular poem.  So I practiced it over and over, reading it aloud in the car, in the shower, in the closet.  I hoped I could read it so often that I'd make myself immune to the feelings it inevitably brought up.  Driving to the studio, I was not at all sure I'd succeeded. 

When I arrived, I was greeted by Mark Johnson, a very kind man, who was quite skilled at what he does.  He put me at ease almost immediately.  I was seated in a small sound booth, not much bigger than 4' x 4' for nearly two hours with giant earphones over my head and a music stand where I placed the manuscript. The microphones were so sensitive I could hear my breath. The sound of turning the pages between poems was like crackling lightning.  

I was more than two-thirds through the manuscript when I arrived at that particular poem (Blessings). I took a deep breath and made the plunge without dissolving into a pool of tears. 

It got a bit stuffy in the sound booth (no ventilation fans because of the noise) but it was one of the best experiences of my life. I felt like a country music star in Nashville. I had fun.  Mark sent me some cover art and I chose the photo you see above and we worked out the placement, color, size and shape of the text for the CD cover.  The publisher is aiming for the book and CD to be released in April or early May.  

There really are no words that can describe how this feels to me.  I've written poetry since childhood, studied it in college and loved it most of my life. Loved it with a passion that has sustained me through the best and worst of times. I write poems when I long for more understanding. I write them when my heart is overflowing with emotion.  I write them at the highs and the lows of life.  Always I write because I need to.

Historically, poetry books don't sell many copies. And I know that this book and CD will not make the NY Times best seller list. But for me,  the part doesn't matter.  I am one step closer to fulfilling a life-long dream.  Though I longed and dreamed about it since childhood, I never really believed I'd see a collection of my poetry in print and on CD. 

So hang on to your dreams. Push forward. Don't ever give up. Dreams really can come true. 



02/08/2014 8:46pm

You know I'll have to buy that book

Linda Wilkinson
02/09/2014 12:01pm

Can't wait. I will get my copy and get it signed for the wonderful day out in your dream when you do become famous!

02/10/2014 7:42am

So excited for you and for the book. Hope you'll sign a copy for me….

02/13/2014 8:52am

Congratulations, Susan. How exciting! Can't wait to get my hands on it.

02/16/2014 1:15pm

Such a hope-full post! Congratulations on your publication and your cd. I can't wait until it's out.

02/27/2014 8:11pm

So Proud of you! This is Awesome!!

Martha Ragland
05/05/2014 10:14am

This description of recording your poems is amazing. It's astonishing to hear how this experience affected you. I love knowing you through these blog posts. Thank you.

05/14/2015 11:13pm

superb post, extremely insightful. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector really don't discover this. You'll want to go on your creating. I am confident, you've got an enormous readers' base currently!

11/11/2015 12:07pm

Dreams are pivotal and central part of the life and duration of the life. The practical side of the things and plans is implemented and utilized. The affairs are considered closer to the dreams if the reality is closer to the plans and highlights of life.

03/18/2016 10:37am

Thanks for artfully fighting our fears for us in your own creative, yet autobiographical way, that helps us all some learn to truly see and hopefully remain open to the wonders of this world.

In art, in history man fights his fears, he wants to live forever, he is afraid of death, he wants to work with other men, and he wants to live forever. He is like a child afraid of death. The child is afraid of death, of darkness, of solitude. Such simple fears behind all the elaborate constructions. Such simple fears as hunger for light, warmth, love. Such simple fears behind the elaborate constructions of art. Examine them all gently and quietly through the eyes of a boy. There is always a human being lonely, a human being afraid, a human being lost, a human being confused. Concealing and disguising his dependence, his needs, ashamed to say: I am a simple human being in a too vast and complex world. Because of all we have discovered about a leaf...it is still a leaf. Can we relate to a leaf, on a tree, in a park, a simple leaf: green, glistening, sun-bathed or wet, or turning white because the storm is coming. Like the savage, let us look at the leaf wet or shining with sun, or white with fear of the storm, or silvery in the fog, or listless in too great heat, or falling in autumn, dying, reborn each year anew. Learn from the leaf: simplicity. In spite of all we know about the leaf: its nerve structure phylum cellular papilla parenchyma stomata venation. Keep a human relation -- leaf, man, woman, child. In tenderness. No matter how immense the world, how elaborate, how contradictory, there is always man, woman, child, and the leaf. Humanity makes everything warm and simple. Humanity...” ― Anais Nin, Children of the Albatross

11/14/2016 11:31pm

I really enjoyed reading this post, I always appreciate topics like this being discussed to us. Thanks for sharing.


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