I’m so pleased to reveal the cover of my next book, Boys, Dogs and Chaos! Boys, Dogs and Chaos is a collection of essays, beginning with the birth of my youngest son and winding through many years of joy; tears; grief; health scares; hockey victories; parenting mishaps and milestones; parenting a child with mental illness and so much more. It ends with my struggle to learn to let go, as my oldest rapidly hurtles toward adulthood, earning his driver’s license and getting ready to go off to college. This is truly a labor of love, eight years in the making. (As an aside, having come of age as a writer in the late 1980s, I decided to forgo the Oxford comma in the title.)
Many of you know that the journey to get this book into the world skidded to an abrupt halt on April 29, 2016 when my publisher, Booktrope, announced that they would be shutting down on May 31st and ceasing production effective immediately. At the time, Boys, Dogs and Chaos was in proofreading with the awesome J.C. Wing. J.C. very kindly offered to finish proofreading and did so in a rush when I needed to get the book to reviewers.
I hired the very talented Michelle Fairbanks of Fresh Design to design a cover. Michelle absolutely brought my vision to life (which you can see for yourself below). Everything was moving along smoothly… And then, well then… I hit a wall with formatting after getting a big chunk done. I think because it was written on different programs over so many years (including different blog formats), it’s very hard to get the headings uniform and to remove some extraneous markings. It’s not in my budget right now to pay someone to format it, so a book that should have been in the hands of reviewers a few weeks ago is languishing on my laptop. But… I’m determined to get this book out into the world, so I will try my best to figure out how to get it all fixed. If I can’t do it, then I’ll need to find someone who can and just cross my fingers that I actually sell a few copies to break even.
More than anything else that I have ever written since my first published article about a teddy bear fair in my college town, these essays have touched readers. I am overwhelmed by the messages I have received from readers telling me that my essays have made them feel less alone. More than one of these readers have become cherished friends. This is why Boys, Dogs and Chaos has to get out into the world—there is nothing I love more than connecting with readers and there is no genre that forges that connection more than the personal essay.
And….the cover for Boys, Dogs and Chaos:
Cover by: Michelle Fairbanks, Fresh Design