Nov 19, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Words of Hope from Emily Dickinson

Thanks to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for hosting Poetry Friday this week!
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This has been a difficult week. A few days ago I received the news that Sunscribe Publishers, the company I signed a 3-book contract with, is closing, which means that my books will not be published anytime soon. My publisher, who has poured so much of her time, talent, and energy into creating Sunscribe, is facing an unexpected and devastating medical diagnosis, and in the interest of her health is closing her fledgling company. I appreciate all of the time she has spent helping me edit and polish my manuscripts, and it is my hope and prayer that she will beat this disease and come through the battle stronger than ever. (You can read the company's announcement here.)

Looking forward, I know what I need to do—start submitting my books again. It feels strange and a bit scary to be back at square one, but I have been here before and know the drill. My favorite part of the submission process was always having “tiny pieces of hope” floating around out there in the world. So I’m holding tightly to hope right now, for my former publisher and for my books.   

One of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson is about hope, so I decided to share it for Poetry Friday this week. It is a wonderful reminder that, no matter how stormy life gets, HOPE is our faithful friend.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers 
by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Writing!


  1. Becky,
    I'm very sorry that you have to re-shop your books. I wish you all the best with that. I know you know the drill well; so work your magic. Thanks for the reminder of hope in all things. Hold it close to your own heart!

  2. Dear Becky,
    It is with a sad heart that I read this news about your publisher closing Sunscribe because of devastating health problems. I know that you and the other authors and illustrators are filled with sadness and I know your publisher must be feeling 100 times as much sorrow.

    I pray that your books find new homes with another publisher and I pray that the owner of Sunscribe heal!


  3. That's a shame all the way around, Becky. I'm glad you have a good attitude about it. Something similar-ish happened to me a long time ago. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote: "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come."

  4. Oh, Becky! I hate to hear this! I'm so sorry. But I know if anyone can get through this w/a heart that's still full, it's you. Sending you good thoughts, & that your books will find another good home. And I've always loved this poem.

  5. Sorry to hear this disappointing news, Becky. Writers pretty much live on hope, so thanks for sharing Emily's poem today. Wishing you the best of luck in finding a new publisher for your books.

  6. Oh so sorry for you both. And Dickinson is one of my all-time favorites. Prayers for your both.

  7. Heartbreaking on all fronts. I am sorry. Prayers winging their way.
    I love the ED poem on Hope. Thank you.
    Love and hugs, my friend.

  8. I faced something a bit like this when my picture book, my first to be contracted, got the same news on the eve of publication. (As it turned out they published it but ever marketed it. It meant a lot to me that I was left with copies to remind me of the adventure we had together...)

    I realize that your (now former) publisher is facing a much harder road ahead, and this puts things in perspective. I have no doubt you will get these books published, but it will take some inner push to be back querying. A big hug all the way from here.

  9. I'm so sorry for this news, Becky, and wish you and your friend those 'tiny pieces of hope". If you've already have those wonderful books ready, someone else is sure to love them, too.

  10. I hope your books fly free to another perch like the feathered hope in the poem. It's a hard biz. I hope your publisher is well and healthy soon, too. How sad for her and you.

  11. So sorry to hear that news. How very frustrating to get that far, with so much work, and have to stop. My very best wishes to the publisher.

    Thank you for sharing that poem. I was not familiar with it, but I don't think I'll forget it now.

  12. Thank you for sharing your challenging news--Sorry for you and your former publisher. Am sure your humble acceptance and positive outlook in view of the unfortunate, unexpected circumstances, combined with your generous well-wishes and concerns for her health will be repaid with a new home and champion for your book. God bless you and her. Thank you, too, for sharing as a poem-response to your challenging circumstances one of the most uplifting poems I know. These days can use huge doses of hope. Keep hope--expect good things! God bless you!

  13. :-( So sorry to hear that. That sucks. Yes, all you can do is brush yourself off and get back out there again but I know how discouraging it feels. I'm sure someday you'll look back and see this as a blessing because something incredible was just around the corner, but it's tough to see that now.

  14. I hope as one door closes, other doors open for you, Becky. The Dickinson poem is a favorite of mine - so riddle-like (though she solves the riddle in the first line, by naming what that "thing with feathers" is.... Life is kind of a riddle itself, isn't it?) In any case, you're right - get your work back out there! If Sunscribe liked it, chances are other publishers will, too!

  15. I'm sorry to hear this, Becky, and even sorrier to hear about your editor's health worries. You're definitely taking this in the most positive manner. I really admire that, and hope your submissions bring good tidings soon.

  16. Thank you so much for your kind words, everyone. I really appreciate it!


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