Updates and Requests

How is it almost Independence Day already?!

As I mentioned in my last post, it’s been a tough few months, for health reasons and quite a lot more. God’s closed some doors I was really counting on, and I’m struggling mightily because I don’t understand why. But giving up is not an option, and I do in fact have some fun projects and events lined up for this summer:

  • Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my CafePress shop! I just updated it a couple of weeks ago with three new designs and a big batch of new products, and I’m hoping soon to launch another new set of designs inspired by The Dream of the Rood.
  • The Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale starts Saturday and ends 7/31! Loyal Valley: Assassination will be FREE with coupon code SSW100, and my other three books will be 50% off with coupon code SSW50. (This offer applies only to Smashwords ebook sales.)
  • My friend Caitlin is having another book launch party on Facebook this coming Sunday, this time to celebrate the release of her new poetry collection, and I’ll be taking over–probably to do a reading, though whether or not it’ll be live I don’t yet know–at 3 p.m. CDT. And part of what I’ll be talking about is…
  • My friend Peter G. Epps has challenged me to a creative race! The project I’m planning to tackle is a hardcover coffee table book of calligraphed poems, with a section of my own poetry and a section of classics. (I have plans for Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings,” oh yesss, precioussss!) I may try a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of self-publishing this volume, but I’ll decide on that when it gets closer to being ready to scan and prep for printing.
  • I also hope, sooner than later, to launch an Etsy shop for my crocheted snoods and reticules (and anything else that takes my fancy).
  • And of course, I still want to finish at least Loyal Valley: Diversion, possibly get the first omnibus volume out (which might also involve a Kickstarter campaign), and possibly start to work on the next Order of the Silver Star book.

All of which is the sort of thing I’d love to be able to do full-time, or as close to it as I can get in my current condition, because except on the very worst days, it’s much easier for me to do creative work even when I’m not feeling so hot than it is to focus on intensely left-brained work.

But of course, there’s one major hang-up: I am flat broke. I need to make at least $1000/mo. to make ends meet. As sick as I’ve been all year, though, I haven’t been able to take enough freelance projects to cover the gap between my teaching income and my budget, and what little buffer I had built up in the fall is gone. The school doesn’t pay me in the summers, either, and there are annual expenses like my antivirus program subscription coming up in July. Nor can I cut anything at all from my budget without losing my independence–what doesn’t go to housing and utilities goes to business expenses and student loans. As things stand now, I have to prioritize paying work over creative work… and pickings are slim on that front as well.

If I’m going to make any of my planned creative projects happen this summer, dear readers, I desperately need your help.

Patreon may be the most attractive option if you’re willing to just give me money. It’s a monthly subscription service, although you can make a one-time gift by cancelling your subscription after the first month’s payment is sent to me. Plus, patrons who donate $5 or more per month get exclusive sneak previews of my projects and a host of other rewards. If you’d rather buy some of my work, well, I’ve already given you those links earlier in this post! Or you can hire me as a translator or editor, and I’m open to calligraphy or crochet commissions within reason.

I want to finish all these projects eventually in any event, but it’ll happen a whole lot sooner and with a much happier, healthier me if I can count on your financial support.

Pretty please?

It’s National Poetry Day!

To celebrate, here’s a poem I wrote some years ago, reflecting on a senior German shorthaired pointer we’d adopted.

The Rescued

Of what are you dreaming now, Schatzi, my love?
What fields do you roam as you run in your sleep?
What prompts you to bark in your slumber, old girl?
What pain remembered elicits a whine?

Of whom are you dreaming now, Schatzi, my love?
Whom do you guard with that unconscious snarl?
What hand rubs the tummy that, sleeping, you bare?
Whose voice do you struggle, unhearing, to hear?

Did they love you, I wonder, as you had loved them?
Did they see you as sibling or child?
Or were you but a tool, now crippled with age,
Tossed aside like a worthless old gun?

Why were you wandering, Schatzi, my love?
Why did they not seek you, though treasure you are?
Why are you sleeping beside me tonight
And not with the ones who so long owned your heart?

Copyright © 2007 Elisabeth G. Wolfe. All rights reserved.

Yellowstone, 2000: An Allegory

Yellowstone new growthTwelve years have passed since the fires came.
The burned-out lodgepoles tower still,
Standing like ghosts too proud to fall
’Til a strong wind comes and lays them low.
I remember this forest from long ago,
When I was a child and the trees were old.
Now the sun comes further down
Past the ashen pillars of yesteryear
And shines upon a brighter green
Of new, young trees that grow so thick
The scars upon the mountainsides
Are black no more, but green again.
The pines grow slowly, and some will die
Before they reach their fathers’ heights—
The porcupine’s girdle is fatal yet—
But still they push toward the sky,
Each needle aglow with the thrill of life.

Poem © 2007 Elisabeth G. Wolfe. Photo © 2000 William D. Wolfe III. All rights reserved.

Verses from a weary heart

I was debating asking friends for some encouragement this morning, but then this poem I wrote a few years back popped into my head. So since it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and since it suits the season as well, here’s hoping it’ll bring some encouragement your way. 🙂

Sunrise Serenade

There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
—G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Each morning, while the world is still
At daybreak, from my windowsill
There comes a cheerful sparrow’s trill:
The night has gone, the day is come.

Whatever trials lie ahead,
Whatever dreary chores I dread,
Still pipes the sparrow by my bed,
The night has gone, the day is come.

Sometimes in bed I long to stay
To rest my head and heart all day
And listen to the roundelay:
The night has gone, the day is come.

O Lord of Hosts, Whose lowly birth
Proclaims my more than sparrow’s worth,
Sustain my heart with holy mirth
’Til Night has gone and Day is come.

Copyright © 2007 Elisabeth G. Wolfe. All rights reserved.

As we await the dawn…

Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east…
Pride, rose, prince, hero of us, high-priest,
Our hearts’ charity’s hearth’s fire, our thoughts’ chivalry’s throng’s Lord.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”

It’s National Poetry Month!

And since, as my mom put it, “spring has sproingggged” at their house with the first iris of the season, here’s a smidgen of poetry I wrote a few years back in memory of my grandmother:

Iris Lover’s Catalogue

I see her tending her name-flower beds
In summers past beyond recall
And wonder what she would have thought
Of hybrid blues and whites and pinks
With names that sizzle, sparkle, sing—
Millennium Falcon, Abbey Road,
Hello Darkness, Pagan Dance—
Or if the same old purple stock
Would still have been enough for her.

Copyright © 2007 Elisabeth G. Wolfe. All rights reserved.