I am happy to announce the release of my book, My Beautiful Terrible Pandemic Life, a compilation of the micro-memoirs, poems, and essays published on this site since the start of the outbreak.
Publishing online has been great for communicating with speed and ease, but after months of sending words out into the ether, I felt the urge to hold something in my hands. I have always loved paper and print and keepsakes, and with book-making options so advanced these days, I figured I could easily put one together.
It turns out making a book is not as simple as cut and paste. Formatting the manuscript in one application and then another took weeks, and decisions needed to be made and re-made about trim size, paper type, fonts, margins, and spacing.
At least the content was all set, I thought. But when I looked over what I had written back in March, I wanted to make some changes. But revisions triggered a whole new round of proofreading, and I created fresh typos in the process of correcting old ones. And then there was the whole question of designing a cover, a technical and artistic feat I was not cut out for.
After many rounds of formatting and revising, printing and proofing, the interior text finally met both my standards and those of Amazon’s print-on-demand service. My friend and graphic designer Alston Taggart rescued me from the amateur cover I was attempting to make, and I feel like I’ve been sprinkled with the magic dust of a big publishing house.
The book is finally finished and is available to anyone who would like a copy.
Holding this book feels like being with an old friend. The pandemic that caused so much suffering and death also provoked growth and new life, and for me this book exemplifies that bewildering paradox.
I will keep writing here — with an updated look and abbreviated name (Painting with Words) — because the ongoing losses and gifts of this time continue to show me how nothing lasts and everything is special.
Thank you for reading, receiving, and allowing my words into your life. Connecting with people through my writing has shown me that we are never really alone and this has been the greatest gift of all.
Your support and readership helped bring this book to life: