Book launch! Business launch! Doing something foolish because it would be more foolish not to.
Besides being my birthday month, June is apparently a month for personal milestones.
About the new business: bringing wisdom, art, and insight to the world
In a world filled with commercialism and consumerism, I want Gray Bear Publications (GBP) to empower individuals and collectives to bring their wisdom, art, and insight to life.
Whether you’re a poet or a spiritual guide, a photographer or a public speaker, a group of life coaches or a group of grandmas—if you’ve got something to say, I want to help you say it. GBP is not a traditional publisher (print on demand, minimal sales support, no advances), and it’s not a vanity press (no overpriced scammy tactics)—it’s somewhere between. Kind of a highly assisted self-publishing.
I have skills and knowledge, and you have something to share with the world. If I like what you’ve got to share, I’d like to help you make it come into existence. Contact me if you want to talk about your idea or learn more about my vision.
About the book: poetry inspired by photography
At the beginning of 2022, my partner, Antoinette, sent me a picture she’d taken that week with her phone. I wrote a new poem using that photo as a prompt. Then we did the same thing the next week, and the next. After two months, what started as a whimsical one-off had become a weekly practice.
By July, we started talking about making it all the way through the year—the full 52 weeks. And by September, we realized we were creating something special and began thinking about turning it into a book.
And so we did.
The result is a surprising, delightful, captivating, beautiful, intriguing collection. I sincerely hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think about it. I’d love to hear which photo, poem, or pairing is your favorite and why.
When the very first proof copies arrived a couple months ago, Antoinette and I recorded our impressions on seeing them for the first time. Enjoy this unboxing video!
Living authentically according to my values
I don’t expect to get rich from this book, or from Gray Bear Publications. If you want to get rich, don’t become a poet or a publisher.
I’ve already invested hundreds of hours in developing skills, building infrastructure, learning software, creating content, and growing networks… just to get to the starting line (this book launch). It’s been a ton of work. And also a ton of fun.
I wouldn’t be much of a coach if I preached that everyone should live authentically according to their values and I didn’t strive to do that myself.
It’s not easy. It takes honesty, courage, reflection, grit, determination. It can be scary. It can be exhilarating. I don’t always get it right.
I might not be getting it right today, but I hope when I look back at this time in 20 years, I’ll be proud of the decisions I’m making now.
Taking opportunity where it shows up
In other “living authentically” news, I am writing this post from a café in Montpelier, Vermont. An opportunity came up to temporarily relocate rent-free to a gorgeous farmhouse in rural Vermont for a couple of months, and we took it. After two weeks of whirlwind preparation and packing, we arrived last week and are mostly settled in.
This was one of those decisions you make based on potential regret: in 20 years, I know I would regret not doing this far more than I would ever regret having done it. It’s disruptive to every routine we have. There is no gym near us. Grocery shopping requires advance planning. Internet is nonexistent, so I had to get a cellular hotspot. There are bugs… like, all the time. And wine is 20% more expensive than in California.
There’s literally no practical benefit to being here.
Sometimes you just have to do something foolish because it would be more foolish not to.