Dear Kind Readers, as you may know (and for those who are new here–welcome!) my second book of poetry, Mining the Bright Birds: Poems of Longing for Home found a publishing home earlier this year at a small press in Oregon.  I wrote about the background of the book in June (three months have flown by!). Well, now it’s here, much sooner than expected.

Unlike my previous two books which are self-published, the timing of this book’s release was entirely out of my hands. (As was the cover design—with which I am so very pleased.)

This writing life can be weird. There is the joy of having someone else believe in your work and offer to publish it, but you have no say in the timing or the process. The labor of love over which you pined and planned and felt super-protective comes out according to their schedule.

So, here we are—Mining the Bright Birds is actually out in the world on Amazon and elsewhere. (Thank you to ALL who have purchased a copy already!)

The official release date was October 1st, but the date seeped into September 1st. Rather than a burst out of the gate, this has been more like the trickle of a stream at the end of summer and not the crashing of a giant wave.

But no matter—I’m not as concerned about the timing of when people find my poems as I am that a poem will find them just when its needed.

The Life of a Book

Prior to submitting my work to a publisher, I sent the manuscript to a capable and talented editor who divined a theme amidst all the poems. She read my heart and mind both, parsing out a message I didn’t know was there. A theme threaded its way through the poems, one of longing for Home. Yes, with a capital “H,” for we are all made for that eternal place, as Ecclesiastes says, whether we’re aware of it or not.

She gathered the poems into four sections, reflecting a journey of discovery through the following themes: Waiting Spaces, Tuning, Seasons and Wayfinding. I was unaware I was finding the way myself with what I wrote—that I feel most like who God created me to be when I’m writing poetry.

My Writing Journey 

I started writing long ago when parenting young children and penning Letters to the Editor, like in actual newspapers. My work has come a long way since my late 30’s as I’ve continued to glimpse God’s plan for the pen in my hand (virtual or otherwise). I began with essays and narrative, expository and opinion pieces, but over the years my voice and vision changed. I’ve found as I grow older that I want to be more intentional about what I spend my time on. Focus is important; our days are short. When I started blogging in 2012 my thoughts were all over the place, writing about “the intersection of faith and life.” Such was my aim at the time but my work is being refined and refined and refined over time; I could write about many things but what I’m most passionate about is poetry.

I’ve been inspired by later-in-life writers like Madeleine L’Engle and Laura Ingalls Wilder, who waited years for their work to be published and kept at it. I guess I finally decided when I grow up (I just turned 71) I want to be a poet.

Hence, this new book, with a title that wrote itself.

I am only one voice in a chorus of many gifted writers helping point the way towards Home. It is a gift to be alive to do so and journey with you as we find our way, Mining the Bright Birds.


Now that MBB is out in the world I need support from readers like you; this is your invitation to JOIN MY BOOK LAUNCH TEAM. I’m looking for kindred, supportive souls who can do a few simple things to spread the word.

It’s simple: Between October 1st and 15th–

  • Purchase the book–it’s in Kindle & print on Amazon as well as via Bookshop. If you’ve already ordered and have your copy, consider sending one to a friend. And THANK YOU!
  • Read and savor then choose some favorite poems (let me know what they are by replying here) and write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (they can be the same review). These should be ready to go by October 1st.
  • Share with your online audience if you have one, either via blogpost, social media.
  • Send an email or text to a friend to tell them about the book, including links for people to purchase the book. 
  • DID YOU KNOW WORD OF MOUTH IS THE number ONE way folks are inflluenced to purchase a book?

When you sign up to be on the team, you’ll receive:

  • Suggestions for review text and why book reviews are so important.
  • Pictures & graphics that can be used in conjunction with any social media or email sharing, plus text of endorsement blurbs to feature as well if you’re on social media. 
  • In exchange for your efforts and support you’ll receive a personally signed bookplate with the cover artwork on it and my eternal, undying gratitude. 

Are you in? Simply fill out the attached Google form, click ‘Submit’ and I’ll be in touch soon. Be sure to include your snail mail address for your signed bookplate. 

PS: Please email me if there are any glitches with the form: heyjode70 {at} yahoo dot com.

If you know someone who would enjoy making friends with poetry, will you share this post with them? Simply use one of the sharing buttons below. 

Thank you!

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