Me at eighteen. Yes, I actually WAS wearing pink!
At eighteen, I graduated high school. I registered to vote. I was rejected by the Army, due to a medical condition. I spent the year healing from my parent’s divorce. I had my first adult relationship that ended and broke my heart terribly. I chose to not go to college.
Sure, graduating high school and being able to vote were positives. Other than that? To quote my producer, “Meh!”
But now, eighteen years later, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve done something few people can claim they’ve done. Back when I was a kid (thirty years ago!!!) I’d be asked, “Amber, what do you want to be when you grow up?” And I had three stock answers: A mother, an author, and a teacher.”
I achieved number one on that list at age twenty-seven, number two in January of 2012, and number three was accomplished when I was given a job as an adjunct professor with Collin County College (okay, no one signed up for my classes, which is fine. I still qualify it as an achievement since I teach authors one-on-one about social media and formatting).
So I had three things I wanted to accomplish with my life. And the wonderful part of those three accomplishments? All three of them give something without a price tag back to me daily. I have the good fortune of being the mother to three amazing souls who are kind, considerate, hilarious, generous, and loving. Writing is my own favorite brand of therapy, and when a reader tells me that I’ve touched them with my words, that brings me more joy than I can tell you. And teaching brings me a sense of calm: there’s nothing quite like explaining a new concept to someone and seeing that light flip on when they understand what you’re trying to convey.
So year eighteen of my life wasn’t too excellent. The past eighteen years? Well, they’ve had their own ups and downs, none of which I’d change. But on Sunday night, a new eighteen entered my life, and this is an eighteen I’m thrilled about: I finished writing my eighteenth book!!!
Interpretations is a collection of poetry and short stories based on inspiration. The ten poems I’ve selected for the book are ten poems that have received the largest and loudest response from my readers, and have been the ones most often I am asked about. And while some pieces of my work I’ll happily explain, still there are others that are too personal for me to speak about. Taking the actual story or person that inspired the poem, taking what readers have suggested might be the inspiration, and taking the idea of what the poem could have been inspired by, I’ve paired them together. And I hope you like them. This has been some of the most emotional and honest work I’ve put out to date.
And we’re not talking about just a run-of-the-mill simple collection here. Rather than stick with title pages, I one-upped myself and created bookmarks for each new poem and short story pairing. It’s something brand new, something I haven’t seen before, and something I busted my ass on, trying to design and then format the book.
Interpretations will be available through Amazon.com and Smashwords.com on Thursday, October 31, 2013. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope it touches you. You won’t find answers to what inspired each poem, because I like to be contrary and leave a bit to your imagination. But I hope you find escape in the time it takes you to read it.