I’m writing to tell you, numbers matter.
I have never understood numbers; I only know stories. It often feels like the only thing I’m good at is telling stories. This has been true for as long as I can remember.
In order to make it through any math class, I had to give each number a personality—a character. These characters divided into the Evens family and the Odds family. There were feuds, secrete love affairs, unrequited love, backroom business deals—in a way every math problem for me is like a day time television drama. I never solved a math problem for answers, but rather to realize a new set of dramatic challenges—to discover a new world.
As a kid, numbers were the stuff of magic. After reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the seventh time, and having delighted in the mysteries of combination-locks, I began doing long division (the most complex math I knew at the time) in every closet of my house. I would write problems on the back walls, thinking the answers would unlock a portal into a different world, a better world. I wanted to drink tea with Mr.Tumnus and eat Turkish Delight with the White Witch.
So it turns out, I wasn’t so wrong in my assumptions about numbers. Numbers are magic; they do open portals into a different world, a better world. I often, too often, shy away from one of the most important numbers in my creative life—how many copies of my book have made it into the world. For this, and other reasons, my numbers are low.
How many copies of Becoming Judas sold is an important number for many reasons, but primarily this number is crucial to my publishers. Red Hen took a risk on me—invested in me, in a way few have. They decided to see something in me and attempt to show (whatever that weird light is) to others. I simply can not let them down.
It is for this reason I’m turning to you, my other most important and magic number—my friends. Please consider purchasing a copy of Becoming Judas from Red Hen Press. Buying from the press directly is best for numbers. In the end, it all comes down to numbers. These numbers are the key to that mysterious combination-lock—they unlock my ability to live in a world of poetry. These numbers also allow the press to give other poets a chance to be published, to walk into an entirely new world.
If you are kind enough to purchase a copy for yourself or a friend, I will gladly send you tea and Turkish Delight. I will. I will write a poem just for you on the candy wrappers. Tea and candy are small thanks for such a great gift as giving someone another world–to support a dream, but maybe in another world–a world of poetry, this translates.
Thank you for your kindness, understanding, and support,
Becoming Judas can be ordered here: http://redhen.org/authors/?author_UUID=644C455E-8FBA-51D9-1A9E-A9C8B144BFC5