Humming Right Along

I’ve spent the entire past month fine-tuning, tinkering with, and fretting over the final revisions of the manuscript for my forthcoming poetry chapbook, Impossible Lessons. My saintly editor and publisher, Lana Hechtman Ayers of MoonPath Press, answered my million obsessive questions with warmth and good guidance. Finally, today, at last, she has that manuscript back in her hands, where she can begin to prepare it for production. As well, I’ve finally provided her with ancillary materials such as acknowledgements and biographical notes. And I’ve sent her the item it took me longest of all to finalize: my choice of cover art.

I’ve heard some authors lament the cover art their publishers select for their books. I’m elated to say that I’m not among them. On the contrary, Lana Hechtman Ayers has given me liberty to choose my own artwork, and my only trouble has resulted from having too many excellent choices. It was no help whatsoever that I limited my selection to the 3,000 or so landscape photos that my husband, Mark, has taken since he got his first digital camera about nine years ago. The process of viewing, sifting, comparing, editing, and agonizing over those pictures–and then selecting just one out of dozens of favorites–took even more time than fussing over the manuscript revisions.

For instance, Mark and I weighed this photo …

Chain Lakes Loop Trail, Mt. Baker. Photo by Mark Kummer.

… against this one …

Photo by Mark Kummer

… against still more from our hikes near Mt. Baker:

Mt. Baker from Chain Lakes Loop. Photo by Mark Kummer.

Table Mountain from Chain Lakes Loop. Photo by Mark Kummer.

… and our long-distance walking tour of Scotland:

Speyside Way, Morayshire, Scotland. Photo by Mark Kummer.

After muddling through all these choices, and asking trusted friends for opinions, and consulting my long-suffering editor-publisher, I arrived at a decision at last: the wonderful boulder-and-huckleberries photo back up at the top.

BUT THEN, the following day, Mark discovered a forgotten folder of pictures from a weekend we spent in the Methow Valley, eastern Washington, October before last. Dear Reader, I could not resist a close-up of LEAVES, with STONES, with WATER. Dear Reader, here is the photo I chose for the front cover of my chapbook:

Fall leaves, Methow River, Twisp, Washington. Photo by Mark Kummer.

The chapbook is scheduled to be released in spring 2013. I will, of course, share every iota of my insanity excitement with you as that time draws near.