I've been depressed ever since my father died over a year ago. Writing was always something I've turned to, it is my life, but my life is out of whack. So writing, as an extension of myself, is also out of whack. I haven't written much at all in 2019 and so far this year, I've written 1 poem.
The Withering was slotted to come out in September 2019 and it didn't. It's scheduled to come out April 30th and I hope that it does. The publisher is going through his own Hell and I empathize with him. I really do.
The Withering is finished and I hoped with its publication I could relax a bit but it hasn't and I can't. I know others have waited longer and still wait for their 2nd book to come out years later but it bothers me. The rule is to send something out and then forget it as you work on something else. And that's a fine rule and it worked for me until now.
I can't write like I used to anymore. Diary of a Vampyress is close to completion in that it needs (yes, needs) about 30 more poems. 30 poems weren't as daunting then as it is now. My sweet, patient, genius Kyle has been the biggest help to me in editing my poems to perfection. He is the meter and form genius and I am not. He helps me smooth my rough corners and helps polish them up before I send them out into the world. He is also struggling to write and has taken up art, which I'm extremely proud of him for pursuing what he always wanted to do. And that means he doesn't have the time or even the mental headspace to edit my poems. And that's fine. He shouldn't have to do that forever. All things come to an end.
The Withering is done but not out. Diary of a Vampyress is close to completion but it's not complete. The poems I've not written need to be. And poems written will not be edited. Why does it matter anymore? Has my flame gone out already?
Now let's go back in time.
In the year 1999 or so, I created a character in a short story in 4th grade. With this character bloomed a story and a (few) plots and a (few) settings. This character and story and plot and setting bloomed into 2 and a half epic fantasy novels. These are the novels I was working on before Kyle came along and brought me back to poetry in 2010.
I've dusted them off with serious intent on rewriting them. Maybe this is the break I need from poetry right now.
I still have plenty of edited, finished poems that I'll be sending out into the world to hopefully find a home. I will always update this with when and where to find them. Those may be the best place to find new Ashley poetry for the time being.