Books, Publishing, and the Creative Life

Posts tagged ‘Gin Getz’

The Last of the Living Blue

Living Blue Front Cover FINALNorLightsPress is proud to announce our newest book: The Last of the Living Blue: A Year of Living and Dying Among the Trees.

This book is an intimate, intense look at the effects of the changing climate in our big back yard: Colorado’s majestic mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness.  This is a story real and raw, told in a soft, yet powerful voice, taking readers along through one year of drought, fires, floods, and the healing of mountain and mind.

The exquisite prose of author Gin Getz is an inspiration to people who love nature, writers, fellow bloggers, and her many friends throughout the world.  Ashley Kent Carrithers says, “Gin steps TCOW-Author-Imageout of the pages at us,naked, as she does at 10,000 feet, baring her emotional soul courageously while challenging us to embrace her love of the wilds.”

I recommend that readers double their pleasure by purchasing The Last of the Living Blue AND Gin’s first book, The Color of the Wild.  I guarantee you’ll enjoy both books.  Also follow Gin’s wonderful blog at: http://www.gingetz.com      Purchase this new book on Amazon at:  http://dld.bz/dtRbD

For a review copy of either book, contact sammie@norlightspress.com

The Color of the Wild

Do You Have a Secret Nest?

Greta the araucana hen

Every afternoon Greta the hen slips out of our chicken run, lays a single egg, and then returns to join her less adventurous sisters inside the pen.

I know Greta goes to her secret place inside a bag of pine shavings.  Every day she leaves one smooth, pale green egg in the private nest, and then returns to the coop.  When I turn the hens loose in the afternoon Greta pretends she hasn’t already been out, and I go along with it. I’m playing “don’t ask, don’t tell” with a chicken.

Yesterday evening I was cleaning the coop while the hens were free.  As the other ladies picked over the new mulch in my flower bed, Greta stayed to watch me work around her nesting area, following my every move with beady her eyes.  Her concern was obvious: She didn’t want me messing with her spot. She suspected I would be moving the pine shavings in EGGher nest.  This was a problem, because I needed the pine.  I ended up using shredded paper instead of pine shavings in the coop, so Greta wouldn’t be upset.

Don’t we all need a secret place and the time to go there? I often find time to walk in the woods bordering our land. We’re lucky to have miles and miles of federal forest behind our house, where I can ponder life and find treasures like bird nests, turtle shells, wildflowers, and unusual rocks.

Here’s what author Gin Getz says about her forest in the San Juan Mountains: This is my intimate observation post.  My walking meditation.  Where I go to get inspired, where poems are born, and new stories.  And where I see the trees.  Up close and personal.  One on one.  In my face.  At my feet.  Against my back.  For often my walk is interrupted. Sitting on the carpet of freshly fallen needles, my back against a fat old trunk. Gunnar catches up, or rather, back tracks to find me, and sits beside me, on guard.  I look up through the empty branches and see the sky.

Of course people in the city have secret spots: a favorite coffee house, a comfy chair, the porch, the back steps, a park, a balcony, and a thousand other places where the spirit can expand, or contract, as need be.

Chicken 4We do need secret places, no matter where we live – even if that space is only inside our minds.  I think our creative spirits need to go out into the world and come back again to a quiet place where we belong to no one but ourselves. We should be able to say, “I won’t be available for an hour. I’m going to sit on my nest.”

The Color of the WildRead more from Gin Getz in her new book

The Color of the Wild: An Intimate Look at Life in an Untamed Land.

  http://dld.bz/dh7Jy


 

 

Author Interview with Gin Getz

Indie House Books was delighted to interview Gin Getz. She’s the author of The Color of the Wild, a stunning and inspiring memoir, whose use of powerful poetry, prose, and stunning photography creates a unique, passionate, and creative voice. Stop, read, and learn a bit more about this great indie author.

What have you written before your latest project?memoir

I’m one of those who always had to write–poetry, journals, old fashioned letters, short stories. Most of them I burned; the rest hold little value to anyone but me.  Through these I solidified my commitment and attachment to writing.  It wasn’t until I started sharing my writing through blogging and magazine articles that my voice began to emerge.  By that I mean my style of writing, the way I write, the way I “talk” to my readers.  Writing became a conversation, if you will.  I live remotely yet believe strongly in reaching other people and in the responsibility we all have of doing what we can for others.  Sharing my world through my writing is the best way I can reach others.

The Color of the Wild is my first full length manuscript.  It took me many years of waking before my family and day job to complete.  Blogging helped.  Regular posting was my discipline, and the people I met – some just online, others who came here to meet me and have over time become dear friends – they were my motivation.

 Tell us about your journey in writing The Color of the Wild.  How did the mix between photography, prose, and poetry come about?

Good question.  I’m not sure how to answer this as it’s just my normal day. I’m out there working on the ranch with my camera close by hanging on a gate post “just in case,” or out hiking with a notebook and pencil ready for when the right words come to mind. I figure it’s all intertwined. The more we express ourselves in any creative means, the more we enliven the entire creative process.  Creativity is all related.

 What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your journey writing it? 

Re-writing. Editing.  And miraculously, with each time going over my writing, my work improved!  You’re always told the more you do something the better you’ll be at it. Well, I believe it’s true.

 Can you give us a description of the book?

The Color of the Wild is an intimate view of life in an untamed land, an unconventional memoir of person and place. It’s a personal account of one year, one woman, her family, and the wild mountain they call home told in a lyrical and lilting, powerful and passionate voice. 

What inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by the wild world around me.  And the wild places within us all. The magnificent beauty around me, and the deep, dark stuff inside. Writing allows me to share this and still be alone in the wild.  As for authors who have inspired me, I can stop to read Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry any day and every time hope someday someone will read my writing and feel the way their writing makes me feel.

Gin GetzWhat do you love most about writing, and what do you hate the most about it?

Writing centers, grounds, and balances me.  I like the inwardness, quietness, discipline, the reflection, and the creative process of striving to paint a picture of what I see (and feel) in words.  What do I hate?  Making the same spelling mistakes over and over again and overlooking my own typos.

 What benefits do you think indie publishing gives you? Do you feel the benefits outweigh any disadvantages?

The first great part of the growing world of indie publishing is the people you get to work with.  The people make a huge difference.  My publisher is like my family and friend. These things matter to me. I enjoy liking who I work with.  Further, I think it is absolutely amazing how many books there are available today thanks to the opportunity indie publishing presents.  Some fear this floods the market, but I don’t.  I think it shows great hope for how huge the market is, for how many readers are out there, and how many people still love books, reading and writing.

 What are your passions other than writing?

For better or for worse (I know this is debatable), I believe everything we do should be done with passion.  Writing, art, cooking, hiking, horseback riding… living.

 How did you get into photography?

The concept of learning to see, focusing, drew me in.  My first photography course was at NYU back in the 1980’s with a classic Nikon SLR, developing film and prints in the darkroom.

What are five things you’d absolutely have to have in your dream house?          

Funny you ask because we’re building it now–our new log cabin along the headwaters of the Rio Grande!  We drew up the plans ourselves based on many, many years of dreaming, moving, and dreaming some more.  Now, all those dreams get built into this one place.  Small, efficient, warm and cozy, lots of light, French doors, sky light over the bed, big bookshelves and a claw foot tub are some of those dreams we’re including.

 IHB: If there were only one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Read!  Share the passion of reading and the written word!

 The Color of the Wild is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and through Gin Getz’s publisher NorLightsPress.

This interview was shared courtesy of Indie House Books: A Place for Readers and Writers to Call Home  http://www.indiehousebooks.com     Indie house books

 We highly recommend their website.

My Life as a Poem

For the first time in 24 years, I’m writing poems.  Back in 1990 when Appalachian Heritage magazine published one of my poems, I thought I’d won the lottery.  But the vein I opened to write those verses dried up when my relationship with another writer went sour. Bitterness does not make good poems, at least for me.

My new verses are not like the ones I used to write. The 2014 poems are raw and extremely personal.  Are they good? I have no idea.  I do know they nudge me awake at four am; they invade my brain while I’m mowing the grass or painting in the studio.  Words and images climb from my gut to my head.  They buzz around inside my brain until I scribble them onto a sheet of paper. You might say I write to get rid of the buzzing.

“Why now?” I asked myself. During the past few weeks several events have come together in synchronicity:  The Color of the Wild

  •  I recently edited a marvelous book by Gin Getz called The Color of the Wild.  Gin’s book includes samples of the amazing poems she writes about her life in the mountains.  She inspires me.
  •  I sent a poem to my 46 year old son and discovered it was one of his favorites, though my choice seemed random at the time. Now I find he’s writing poems again, as he did in high school. I’m going to help him put together a book. He inspires me.
  •  I included a section on dialogue poetry in my new book Dialogue for Writers. Researching poems for the book opened a new line of thought for me. Poems have come a long way since 1990.
  •  I read a poem in the Sunday paper by Andrea Hollander about relationships, and it sounded like me. I said, “I can do this!”

Now I’m studying poetry, thinking poetry, and writing poetry. My favorite reference book is The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser, a U.S. poet laureate. These are nuggets of information I’ve gleaned from his book so far:

  •  “In poetry, the only rules worth thinking about are the standards of perfection you set for yourself.”  What a relief!  This makes writing poetry SO  much more fun.   Poetry Home Repair Manual
  • Poets who use a clear, accessible voice won’t be popular with critics, but they can be of use to everyday readers.  More good news. 
  • Writing something that touches a reader is just about as good as it gets, according to Kooser.
  • “Extensive revision is the key to transforming a mediocre poem into a work that can touch and even alter a reader’s heart.”  I know Kooser is right about this, but at some point editing can squeeze the lifeblood from  a poem.  Knowing when to stop making changes is an art in itself. 

When you write poetry, do you create the poems for yourself only?  Do you write with a sense of “somebody out there” who will read your work?  Kooser says, “Poetry’s purpose is to reach other people and to touch their hearts.”

When I read poetry, I find some poems don’t interest me, while others hold intellectual value—I admire a perfect turn of phrase, a word placed exactly where it should be, or a tricky rhyme.  But the poems I fall in love with are those that  touch my emotions and make me smile, weep, or laugh.   Those poems make me want to be a poet.

In Dialogue for Writers, you’ll find a section on adding dialogue to poetry.

FRONT cover final

The Joy of GoodReads

I’ve been slow to learn about GoodReads.  Two of our authors urged me to get involved several years ago, but I didn’t think I had time: Too busy publishing books.

Now I’m a believer.  We just did a give-away on GoodReads for Gin Getz’s wonderful book The Color of the Wild: An Intimate Look at Life in an Untamed Land.   Over four hundred people asked to receive a free copy (we were only giving away ten books).  We’re ready to mail those ten copies tomorrow morning, but in addition I received names and page links for the 393 people who lost this lottery.   Today I spent time looking at their profiles – and I want to be friends with ALL of them.

Scrolling through the titles of books these men and women have read simply boggles my mind. Some of them list thousands of books.  Good books, not junk.  This touches my heart.  And they write thoughtful reviews.

Image

I guarantee we’ll be giving away more books on GoodReads, and I’ll be a regular visitor and reviewer.  Better late than never!

Almost Spring: The Color of the Wild

Spring is arriving in southern Indiana after a long, harsh winter. Our snow pack melted this week, letting the creeks and rivers run free and leave their banks. The ground feels squishy underfoot. Rivulets of fresh water trickle across the roads. Everything is moist and dripping.

ImageThe birds I feed every day are suddenly busy elsewhere, looking for tasty seeds and berries left over from last fall. Our prissy hens won’t venture out when snow covers the ground, but today they’re swooping across the yard with their winds spread like children playing Superman. Egg production is down, but that’s okay. The term cooped up obviously came from someone who keeps chickens, because my flock was literally cooped up for several weeks.

NorLightsPress author Gin Getz is writing about spring from her home at 10,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  Read her amazing nature writing and view stunning wilderness photos at www.gingetz.com .

We’re proud of this new book, The Color of the Wild: An Intimate Look at Life in an Untamed Land. An Amazon.com review by Preston Hathaway caught our attention this week:

 The Color of the Wild provides readers a glimpse and feel of what living on a ranch in the wilderness, far away and cut off from neighbors, is like. It is rough and challenging. But the healing, peace, and solitude within is met with unexpected seasonal rewards; such as the songs of frogs in a mountain pond.

As a boy and young man I grew up in the San Luis Valley, in the long shadows of the San Juan mountains where Gin works, lives, and loves. The sun went to bed there. Water, white gold to farmers there and elsewhere along the Rio Grande, came from the mountains. Violent summer hail storms brought random ruin. The constant green coupled with an ever changing palette of red, yellow and gold marked the passing seasons.

Gin Getz has created a multilayered artwork as timeless as the mighty Rio Grande that flows from the Great Divide. Like the river giving life on its journey, Gin’s work gives a voice to mountains that cannot speak for themselves as she shares the wounds, healing, and love of her journey. A must read for anyone that needs to step away from the busyness of life into the healing solitude of the wilderness.

The Color of the Wild    If you’re looking for a book to savor in front of a warm fire; a book you’ll read twice and then order for your friends, try The Color of the Wild. You won’t be sorry.

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