Reflections on Time & A Debut Year ~ 2015

Time is a funny thing. I remember the anticipation I felt as 2015 loomed with my debut novel coming out in April. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like and now here we are eight months later and I’m looking back in hindsight, filled with a lot of gratitude. Thank you to all the readers who wrote to me, to everyone who came to the readings, to all the book clubs who made The Memory Painter one of their picks for this year (I Skyped, Facetimed, e-chatted, drove, lunched, and I loved every minute), thank you to the booksellers, bloggers and reviewers for spreading the word, to the libraries, bookstores, conferences and festivals that invited me to come, and to the fellow writers I met along the way. And a huge thank you to my agent, editor, and publishing team at Picador as well as my family and friends for their support. It’s been a fantastic first year.

Looking ahead to 2016, I’ll be busy working on a new story that I’m very excited about. Also, the paperback for The Memory Painter will be out on 7/5 as well as some other foreign editions. I have some book events scheduled too I’m looking forward to as well. (Note to self: Update calendar)

But right now as the New Year turns, I wanted to end with a poem I have been meaning to share. When I was in Austin for the Texas Book Festival in October I encountered a group of poets writing on vintage typewriters and composing poems on the fly (and for free) for anyone and everyone. They call themselves Typewriter Rodeo and I could not have been more taken. At the festival I stood in line to get a poem, and I chose a poet named David who was wearing a cool Fedora, Clark Kent glasses and had a pencil tucked behind his ear. He asked me what I wanted it to be about and I said: Time.

I watched him write this poem and now it’s my 2015 keepsake:

 

A Poem On the Subject of Time (For Gwen)

 

My favorite thing about it may be

That like so many

of my favorite things

It doesn’t really exist

It’s a product of perception

A trick of the light

Physics has proven

that it looks the same

forwards and backwards

And everything that can exist

Does

So take a step back

Consider a human life, viewed

from an extra-temporal

perspective

It’s like a long, fleshy worm

Twining around all the places we’ve ever been

Or will go

With two fixed endpoints

And no decisions to be made

It’s a beautiful thing,

If you look at it right

If you can afford

To take the time.

~~~~~~~~~

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Peace & Love,

Gwen

 

 

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