“Closure.” My favourite psychobabble word because it’s something that does seem to work. Once you reach closure you can finally put those difficult times behind you. Sometimes external forces bring the closure to you. Other times, you have to stand up, say “enough already” and slam that door closed. And so a few months ago I decided it was time to close the bluechrome chapter of my writing life and move on.
As many of you know, bluechrome was my publisher and published both of my books. Sure, there were struggles along the way, as there seem to be with many small, indie presses. There were deadlines nearly missed. Printers suddenly going out of business. Royalty checks lost in the post — that one, I hope, is not common to small publishers but was a symptom of the troubles plaguing my own small house. And then, poof, there was nothing – no emails returned, no website, no new books, no news of any sort. For six months or so I received emails from fellow bluechromers, and soon-to-be bluechromers, asking if I had heard anything, asking what I was doing about my apparently lost publisher. For a long time, I did nothing other than worry. Then I wrote a few emails “as a friend” asking if everyone was okay. I never heard back. Then, finally, I sent a letter legally withdrawing my contract citing various breaches. The letter came back stamped “Addressee No Longer Here.”
I’ve spent a lot of space on this blog promoting bluechrome. I’m not here today to do otherwise. I am writing, instead, to tell you about how I have found a way to reach “closure.” I decided to have a party. Maybe a wake, but maybe that’s being too dramatic. In any event I contacted all the bluechrome writers I knew and asked if anyone would be interested in having one last event where we can share our work, swap some stories, drink some wine, and buy some books. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Clearly, I was not the only one needing closure. And so on Thursday, 22 April there will be a special event, and I hope any of you who happen to be in London on that evening will come along as we wave goodbye to the past and sail off into our futures:
Beyond Blue: A Reading by Bluechrome Authors
Thursday, 22 April 6.30 pm
St Benet’s Church
Queen Victoria Street EC4
Unfortunately, some were not able to make this date, and they will be missed, though I know they’ll be there in spirit. But those who will be there, either to read or just to lend their support are, among others, Ruth O’Callaghan, Patrick Osada, Joe Stein, Sue Rose, Jim Bennett, Patricia Debney, Leah Fritz, Adele Ward, Carolyn Oulton.
So I’m giving you two weeks warning. Do try to come if you can. I’m determined to make it a celebration. Yes, the end of bluechrome brought all sorts of fears and anger and frustration. But for me, at least, the beginning and the middle of bluechrome was all about dreams realized, a community found, an identity acknowledged. My life as a public writer started with bluechrome. For a while it was wonderful, and I am very grateful. So I’ll be celebrating on the 22nd, and hope some of you can come along and join me. And to make it even more enticing, all proceeds will go to the Cold Weather Shelter charity, and we are welcoming any poet who comes to leave a copy of one of their poems behind to be considered for the anthology now published annually in support of the charity (thanks to the herculean efforts of Ruth O’Callaghan).
I hope that I’ll have some news on the next chapter of my writing life to share with you soon. But in the meantime, I’m still singing…..