I have always hoped that this day would come. In my youth, I bought into the Cinderella story of traditional publishing. An agent would believe in my talent. She would pitch me to a respectable house. I’d sit in my garret room at an antique wooden desk and hammer away at the typewriter keys. Reams of paper would fall into a parcel and find their way to an editor’s desk, and thence to the racks of eager booksellers and the hands of avid fans.
Instead, I spent countless hours, weeks, months, and years torturing a decade of material into a season of stories. A PDF went from my laptop through the internet to a friend/publisher/editor/bookseller. He crafted the volume into something more succinct but still resounding with my cadence. Between its quarters, we gently laid amazing visual milestones which guide the reader through the changing months to the culmination upon the land. From the hands of my editor, the volume launched into the bowels of a printer.
Today, the strum of a banjo signaled a message from my editor. “The books arrived.” I stared at the words for a few minutes. I closed my eyes and tested my reaction before responding, in brief, “What. Whoa. . . Are they pretty?”
By and by, I will make my way to the bookshop in Kansas City where the volumes await. With my friend Karla Hull and my co-conspirators, photographer Genevieve Casey and bookseller Will Leathem, I will organize a book release party. Books will be sold; prints of Genevieve’s amazing photographs will no doubt be purchased aplenty. I will stand in a daze, smiling, thanking everyone, concealing my chagrin at the entire affair. I will wish my mother could see me; and my little brother Stephen. I do not expect my son to make the trip into town for the event, so I will experience a measure of wistfulness. Genevieve and I will embrace, congratulate each other, and grin. It will be my coming out as a writer; my season.
I cannot wait.
In the meantime, please enjoy a gallery of the photographs by Genevieve Casey which accompany my collection of essays. We chose these works because they depict the changing of the seasons, and the culmination of the seasons upon the land. The essays in my book comprise a year’s worth of offerings from amongst the ten years during which I actively posted my Saturday Musings. A year in my life, coordinated with a year in the life of the world in which I live. I hope the reading and the viewing will bring you as much contentment as the project has given me.
All Photos copyright Genevieve Casey 2017 – 2022.