I have to say, I am a champion at productive procrastination.
About two months ago, while trying to work on a handful of writing assignments and reading up on the opera for work-related purposes, I got distracted and started sifting through my photography archives.
[That’s right, I have archives. At last count, I had approximately a terabyte’s worth of photography stored across various hard drives…from just the last four years. Boy, am I glad it’s all gone digital…]
At the same time, with February and the Season of Love (cough*consumerism*cough) approaching, coupled with a recent anonymous heartbreak that pitched me back into the poetry-writing pit of peril, I decided to dig through some of the other poems I’d written over the years, because I was vaguely considering doing one of those Tumblr-esque posters with an appropriately abstract photograph layered over with deeply meaningful words of wisdom and wit…*ahem*.
Instead I created a book.
Paper Hearts is a selection of original photographs and poems about love, longing, and everything in between. To borrow a cliché, think a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, how about a poem?
I have a penchant to write when I’m infatuated. Poetry, at least. (Fiction, now that’s a whole other ballgame.) And I’ll confess, a lot of the poetry I’ve come up with in the past is awful, awful, sacchariney goo, never to leave the confines of my journal, with instructions in my future will to Burn [Before] Reading!
But some of it…isn’t too bad. If I do say so myself. (*Flutters lace fan*).
And I realized that one of the things I promised myself this year was to follow through on my goals, by any means necessary, one of these goals being to start publishing photo books as a sort of ongoing portfolio-slash-record-of-progress. I’d done it before, creating a photo-book using the free software from Blurb.com (or .ca, for my Canuckians) to make a Christmas gift for my mum, but it had been awhile since I’d touched it.
So I thought, why not go back and combine the two?
Once the idea took root, it was fairly easy to whittle down the poems I’d uncovered into some kind of thematic order – i.e, love. They pretty much run the gamut from poetry about wanting love, about having love, but not the kind you want, about desire, hurt, longing and contentment, and even a slightly satirical take on the idea of romantic love itself.
Now, while I do have a decent amount of poems unrelated to love, it was just really easy to find these ones as they were already pretty much organized together in one of my document folders.
Besides, it was almost Valentine’s Day!
So I sorted out the poems I wanted, paring them down to a selection of eleven works, and paired them with images culled from my archives that related in some way, be it tone, mood, or literal interpretations of the poems.
And then I named it Paper Hearts.
I published it circa mid-February using Blurb’s BookSmart tool, to little pomp and ceremony – I barely announced it outside of my immediate friend circle and a brief mention on Twitter!
But then I recently went back in and tweaked it all again, and re-released it with an additional option of purchasing it as an e-book. Because at first, I did it just for me, so I could have the physical evidence of having accomplished something so far this year. But then the more I thought about it (and the more people asked where they could get copies!) I realized that part of being a part of this whole creative world is making sure people know when I, well, create something.
Here’s the link to purchase the trees-and-ink versions (the PDF option is at the top of the menu when it opens up):
And here’s the link for the iPad/iOS iBooks version:
The e-books are just $9.99 Canadian (and probably US as well?), and the tangible print versions are variably priced depending on what cover format (hardcover, softcover, dust jacket) that you choose.
So, here it is.
My first photo book of 2013. Which also happens to have poems inside.