I’ve been reading Poly Land for a while but wanted to reach out to thank you for your advice – and the way you share your experiences and draw from them.
I heard you’re coming out with a book soon. I’m so excited.
Keep it up. I know at least a dozen people personally that your writings have helped.
I blink at the monitor in disbelief.
Just a few minutes earlier, I’d been arguing with myself in the shower. Telling myself that my writings were too personal and no one cared what I had to say. Questioning if anybody would want to read the book I wrote, a brutally honest account of my adventures in polyamory. The first few years when I didn’t know what I was doing and neither did anybody around me.
And I’d only adjourned to the shower since Skyspook was, frankly, sick of hearing it.
“Cut it out,” he’d said. “Other people will be glad to cut you down. Don’t go doing their work for them.”
But the doubts persisted. So it was off to the shower to self-flagellate in secret. Of course.
But now this comment.
I sit there, flummoxed. What has felt like self-indulgence so many times has actually been helpful.
Thank you so much for reaching out, I write back. It’s really nice to hear.
I look over at Skyspook with a goofy smile on my face.
“What?” he says.
“Just happy,” I say. I know I’ll share the comment later when I can bear the “I told you so.”
He Told Me So
“You know,” Skyspook said in the summer of 2016. “You’ve been writing for so many years. You ought to have a proper website.”
“Eh,” I said.
“No ‘eh,'” he said. “It’s true. We should get you a domain name. Your stuff is really good.”
We were sitting on a grassy hillside. Picnicking and drinking wine out of plastic glasses while the Cleveland Orchestra warmed up. Scheherazade. Rimsky-Korsakov.
I Mona Lisa smiled from behind a piece of picnic chicken, hoping he’d drop the issue. And the music proved a fine momentary distraction.
Poly Land, Sex Circus or the EPCOT Center of Love?
But he didn’t drop it. He kept bringing it up.
“I’m serious,” he said later. “What do you think of these domain names?”
He read out a list of available ones.
I burst out in laughter.
“What?” he said.
“Poly.land! Poly Land. Can you imagine?”
He smiled. “Definitely bold.”
“That’s the one. I want that one,” I said.
“You want poly.land?”
“Yes,” I said. “I always felt like I ran away to Ohio and joined the sex circus. Poly Land, the amusement park of love. Like EPCOT. All futuristic.”
“It’s done,” he said. “And you should edit that book you wrote.”
“Nobody wants to read my memoir,” I said.
“You’d be surprised,” he said. “It’s a hell of a story.”
Nine drafts later, here I am.
The events of the book take place mostly from 2009 to 2011. I wrote the rough draft in the fall of 2012 in a computer cluster at Cleveland State University. With over 17,000 students crammed into a downtown campus of only a few city blocks, adapting to life at CSU was a challenge for a girl who grew up in the woods. I needed something to do as I hid from the chaos and the noise.
And writing that book did the trick. It got me through the hardest months when I was most overwhelmed and helped me process the crazy whirlwind that I’d been through the past few years. Poly Land is basically the entire backstory of Homing Pigeon Primary.
But I soon became busy training to be a researcher, conducting studies, writing scholarly papers. I moved on to other things. Forgot about the draft.
Until September 1, 2016, when I began to edit it with the serious intention of putting it out.
“It Can’t Be as Bad as Fifty Shades“
I felt absolutely crazy at first.
But I was amused by the timing when the very next day, on September 2, a work friend casually remarked, “You should write a book. I’d love to read your life story.”
I’ve always been one to keep things very professional at the office, but personal quirks have a way of shining through. And I think the fact that I volunteer very little to coworkers tends to add to the mystery.
“It’s really not suitable for work,” I said.
“It can’t be as bad as Fifty Shades.”
I laughed. Took a second to regain my composure, before saying, “It’s so much worse than that. If Fifty Shades were a jalapeno, my life story is a ghost pepper.”
And later, I was wildly amused to find that a beta reader’s boyfriend had given Poly Land the unofficial subtitle Fifty Shades of Page.
Now, this won’t be the only book I publish. In fact, I just finished the first draft of a second book, a short, focused how-to guide. But that’s another story altogether.
I’m exhausted and happy to be finished with this phase. But I know that the real work is just beginning.
You can purchase the book from the links below. Want to help out? Leave a review after you’ve read the book. Thank you all!
- Amazon Print Book
- Amazon Kindle
- CreateSpace direct print (use code 6UFT6Q67 for $1 off!)
- Smashwords EPUB (no DRM)