Yesterday these irises were closed. There was only a hint of blue petal at the tip of the tightly twisted cone sitting on the long sturdy stem. It was a humid day, a waiting sort of day. Late in the evening it began to rain and I think it rained all night. At some time in that cool wet night, the big pale blooms opened. Some darker ones unfurled too. The pale flowers carry a particular scent, a flowing light scent. Just as the sappy smell of daffodils makes me believe it is spring, so the smell of these irises tells me it is summer.
I neglected my wild roses. I should have cut them down in early spring. Now they are tall canes massed with small pink blossoms just opening up. The rain made them bow down, creating a barrier for the gentle workmen who came early in the morning to “finish” my renovations. I do not really believe they will finish. Like Thomas, unless I see, surely I will continue in this floating existence where all my possessions conspire to elude me. My furniture is covered with bedsheets. My pictures are shoved into cupboards. I had no idea how precious certain key items of clothing were until they fell into the slow whirlpool that inhabits my house. I’m convinced I’ll never see that beige brassiere again. Renovations are like a Fellini movie without the charm.
I retire to the garden to tie up the rose bushes. My modest little city home does not need to be protected like the castle of Sleeping Beauty. I feel more like Cinderella eternally sweeping and certainly there is precious little sleep going on. My miserable bedroom, divested of furniture has no curtains up and a street light shines cruelly into my eyes. The wicked witch even rises to the surface from time to time. I go about muttering bad spells and lunch off unenchanted apples.
I gingerly embrace the tall rose canes as I would an old lover. The memory of past deep wounds makes me cautious. There are few thorns on the new growth, however, and I manage to tie up the drooping branches. I try to train them up onto a trellis but they stubbornly turn their heads. With a few scratches inflicted on my arms I leave the half-assed job. An apt metaphor in fact. Let the one long ago beloved blossom in his own way.
Come in June! Come poor,tomatoes and peppers that I neglect so! Come on white roses to rival the pink! Welcome and let me not fail you.
I am ecstatic, thrilled, satisfied……because I gave away my stuff. My stuff, in this case, is my book. I didn’t know much about Goodreads but somehow I heard about the giveaway program. It was the simplest thing to put up five signed copies of my book, delivered to the home address of the winners as a prize. I must complement Goodreads on the ease of the whole process. More important, there was a wonderful thrill in thinking that my book could go out all over the world.
It amazed me that 632 people wanted this book…well, they wanted a free copy of it. The cynical side of me said that probably some people had an automatic alert set up for free book, that novels would be requested by thousands, not hundreds, that…..oh, shit, why rain on your own parade!
The very day I got the names and addresses of the “lucky winners” I rushed to get special padded envelopes and to mail out the copies. I enclosed a little note begging them to write a riview on Amazon. One lives in hopes, after all. Four of the five live in the United States and one, a young man of 22 lives in a small city ( 200,000 pop.) in India. So somebody there, somebody in Alabama and Ohio, will read poems about Montreal and love and water and whatever else, good or bad is in there.
So this is an unexpected surprise that has come out of this adventure. Thank you everyone who entered. Thank you whoever reads this. Readers are the air that fills the lungs of writers.
The continuing saga of marketing! Book publishing and promoting has a steep learning curve, but it can be fun! I don’t dabble in Goodreads too much. I have lists and lists of books I want to read but, I must say, Goodreads is an interesting website if I want to see what’s new in the reading world and what my friends are recommending. One very interesting feature is the publisher or author giveaway. As soon as I understood the principle, I jumped on this opportunity to get my book out into the world. So, for the next seven days, my signed book will be eligible for a free delivery to five lucky people that Goodreads chooses in a sort of lottery at the end of the week. So, bloggers, blog readers, poetry lovers, get your name in there and I hope I’ll soon be wrapping and sending a brand new signed copy of my book to you. Even if you are one of my already devoted fans ( just kidding) and you already have a copy of my book, enter the lottery and win it as an unusual gift for family or friends…enemies?? Check out Goodreads, the giveaway section and off you go! Of course, if you can’t leave anything to chance, just get on the AMAZON site and put in your order.
Happy Christmas to all celebrating with the Julian calender. Happy name day to John, Joanna, Fotini, Clare and ……..happy name day to everyone. Your name is special and blessed every day.