Created by the supertalented maryofdoom for the UfYH Creates contest. I’m trying to find the perfect place to hang it.
(And a closer look so you can see it in all its sparkly awesomeness):
So I took a big step today. Let me give you the backstory.
I started writing poetry when I was a child. I entered contests and often got placed, but didn’t win so much. I had a few things published in local papers and school press and so forth. Nothing to shout about, but nothing too shabby.
Several years ago (around 2005) I started uploading my poetry to a deviantart account. Whilst feedback was scattered, I did get some lovely comments and a substantial amount of likes for some of my work. Even more importantly I never got any negative comments.
Earlier this year I submitted a poem called ‘A House’s Worth’ to the ‘ufyh creates’* contest. It was reblogged a few times and got some likes, and even got a comment saying ‘Not bad for a random on the internet’.
I took some hope from this. It was a nice comment but I had also realised that I was getting a little tired of being just a ‘random on the internet’. This coincided with me starting to write a much greater volume of stuff and getting more feedback than ever on Deviantart. I discussed some of it with my former flatmate. My former flatmate also challenged me to send things off to publishers. And I love a good challenge. So I did.
I had two letters this week from different publishers asking to include poems I had sent to them in anthologies. And a hopeful sounding email from a third. To say that my socks had been knocked off doesn’t cover it.
Something in my writing has clicked in the last year or so, and I feel better about it than I ever have. Who was it who first said in order to write well, you need to write 10,000 words of crap first? I must have written double that and now I feel like what I’m writing is worth reading. But I also believe that my writing tells a story of my life and that to understand it all, you need to read it in sequence. As a collection, rather than a single entities. So I decided I would look at putting together a collection.
I’d heard of self publishing before and I discovered lulu.com and decided that I would give it a go. As much to get hold of a printed and bound copy of the work I am most proud of.
And now … it’s done. I’ve edited the poems, ordered and collected them, uploaded the book and designed the cover that I’ve had in my head for a while. And now ‘Musings’ by Kate Jones (yes, you get my real life name for this entry) is available to buy from lulu.com for £3 in the UK, or $5.29 in the US.
You can buy it here - just in case you were interested. There is a preview available to read a few to see if you like them: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kathryn-jones/musings/paperback/product-20461072.html
So there we are. This year I achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a published poet. My work is going to appear in publishing collections and it is available for purchase in a printed volume, just the way I wanted it to be. I might not get paid very much, but any copies that do sell will give me a few pennies. But that’s not the point. It’s finally out there, to be read by people. And all at once, I feel rather proud, a bit teary, a little emotional and in need of a glass of wine.
*(I have tagged this as ‘ufyh’ as a bit of a thank you to the person who runs the blog, for running the contest and giving me some exposure for my piece. It meant a lot, and has lead to a lot, and I probably wouldn’t have taken this step without it. So Thank You. Not just for helping me unfuck my habitat, but for inspiring me to unfuck my dream project and get it done. Thank You.)
Y’all, let’s see if we can show some support for a fellow unfucker.
Congratulations to maryofdoom, whose amazing cross stitch got the most notes!
Since this is my contest, though, and since I loved all of the entries, everyone who entered is getting a copy of the app. Check your inboxes. You guys are awesome.
I’ve been meaning to make myself an apron for a while now, and so the UfYH Creates contest motivated me to do it:
And here’s a pic of me wearing it:
(I had to use the auto-timer function on my digital camera, since there’s no one home to take a pic of me. This, I hope, explains both the fuzziness of the photo and the goofy expression on my face!)
Find the entries here and vote by liking, reblogging, or replying. The entry with the most notes wins a copy of the app. There’s still time to enter, too. Contest goes until 10 p.m. EDT today. Anything creative and UfYH-inspired, submit it by tagging with ufyh creates.
A poem about cleaning
This was written a while ago, but I think of ufyh every time I re-read it. You asked for creative stuff - you are welcome to this one.
A HOUSE’S WORTH
I remember the days when we sat in that kitchen,
Me scrubbing vinegar into the worktops and the hobs,
While you perched at the table, topping up our cups.
The smell of flash bleach mingled with ginger biscuits,
As the blast of cold from the back door
Brought in a freshness that chased away the stale air.
Snitching and bitching continued apace,
Sometimes punctuated by your cigarettes,
The scent curling through the door in smoky whisps,
Indulgences as guilty as the ovens’ warming chocolate cake.
More love goes into housework than just a house’s worth.
Mopping up tears, scrubbing out problems.
Guilty secrets were stored in the teapot,
Dribbled out on wet Sundays and autumn evenings,
And whisked up the vacuum hose out of reach.
Our numb fingers folded around hot mugs,
While the dusters and dish cloths were wrung out
Like confessions and admissions,
Dripping away against the darkening skyline.
A quick polish of the table always made it shine,
The woodsy scent hiding your tears,
As my clean windows reflected your smile.
And so my housework kept your deepest secrets,
Storing them into the glow and shine of a home…
So, inspired by my terrible nail art, I thought this would be a good time to do something creative. So, I want to see some creative UfYH-inspired stuff. Pick your medium and whatever way you want to express whatever it is you want to express. Take a picture or post however you can capture the project, and tag it “ufyh creates” (without the quotation marks). I’ll reblog them all, and the one with the most notes (likes, replies, and reblogs) by, let’s say, Friday 10 p.m. EDT will win a copy of the iPhone/iPad app to use or give away. (Covering my bases: an Android app is in the works. Be patient!)