At 4pm on March 29th, I finished my poetry chapbook.
A writing project complete.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of staring at things. And blinking.
I honestly feel like I’m in shock. I don’t really know what to do.
It’s been so long since I’ve finished a writing project.
This year I decided I needed a baptism by fire. Something that would blast through this fear of acknowledgement/discovery. Not discovery as an author–that would be stupid cool–but discovery as in, the inner workings of Mea Smith. Which, I believe will be a huge step toward the author thing. I know I’m all sunshine and roses on the outside, but there are some pretty dark unicorns and tricky sprites inside that I’ve had (and have) to deal with.
My Southern upbringing taught me to deal with these things privately, but do you know how lonely “privately” is? And who really “deals” with their shit if they’re not pushed by someone or another? So, poetry has been my way to “deal” with the poop piles of death, disappointment, and depression (woah with the alliteration).
“No one has to read it,” I told myself. “Just write it down, get it out, cleanse the inside.”
And that’s what I did.
So, back to “baptism by fire”. I am a fearful being by nature.
And I’m friggin tired of it.
So when making my list of things I want to do this year, I wrote–Get Over All The Fear. I made a plan, and at the time, it felt like a good one.
Step 1: Find that poetry that means the most to you. [Maybe subconsciously I wanted to share it because I typed it up after I hand wrote it–Or maybe I thought Iwould want to remember where I came from one day when I am not crazy (so probably never) and typed it up. Either way…]
Step 2: Write some more about The Things. You know what they are, Mea.
Step 3: Put them all together in a pleasing fashion.
Step 4: Share with world.
See, poetry is the most personal thing I’ve ever written. It’s my therapist since I can’t afford one, so putting this out in the world for others to judge and scowl and laugh and cry over…is probably the worst thing I could do to my poor, fearful self.
So that’s what I’m doing.
And that’s what I mean by “baptism by fire”. It’s going to hurt like hell, but I know I’m going to come out a better, braver person when it’s all over. (I so, so hope.)
Now, I sit. It’s cover glares at me when I tell it I’ve picked three competitions to submit to. I’m not sure it wants to go, but this is the Year of Overcoming, and so I and my darlings will overcome.
I decided to go mixed-media with it and added poems on photography I’ve done and illustrations. It’s this Thing that I’ve become proud of (look what I’ve overcome) instead of ashamed of (you don’t want to see my darkness; look glitter!!!).
So here is the cover:
I’ll let you know if I get chosen from one of the contests, but right now, it just feels damn good to Finish Something.