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14 April 2008

Turns out, life really IS a verb!

Lifeisaverb I told Mr Brilliant last night that the next post to 37days would be my 500th post. That would be this one.

We looked for poems that featured the number 500. To no avail (except for the really horrible poem about the Indy 500, to which even in the most desperate of days I could not subject you).

How wonderful that I received from the publisher this morning a photo of the front of my new book, LIFE IS A VERB (did I mention I had a new book coming out? I can't remember if I told you that already...smile). And so, a little over three years after starting 37days, I'm so proud to show you the cover of the book that emerged from these 500 posts.

As you might remember, readers of 37days submitted over 120 pieces of art to illustrate the book, of which the publisher would choose 37 pieces to use in the book. When the publisher saw the incredible artwork that flooded in, they made two decisions: to print in full-color throughout, and to include every artist. A big yee-haw to Mary Norris at Globe Pequot Press for making those wonderful decisions!

And so, this book is an inclusive one, featuring art from around the world submitted by 37days readers. Perhaps it is the first such blog-to-book-illustrated- by-readers in the world--I wonder.

I couldn't be more proud of the fact that all the artists are included in some way. And in an even more spectacular and fulfilling circle, the woman who first sent me an Artist Trading Card that sparked my idea of inviting readers to illustrate the book--Donna B. Miller--also created the illustration for the cover, in concert with Diana Nuhn, the designer at the publishing house. My thanks to Donna and to all the incredible artists. A literary and artistic barn-raising, indeed. I have never been so unabashedly proud. Well, there was the time that I beat the boys at the softball toss in the sixth grade, and that time Emma made Green Thai Curry for dinner all by herself, and the evening when Tess spelled "fascinating" all on her own, and the time Mr Brilliant got a fan letter from Kurt Vonnegut...but you know what I mean. This is a big one.

LIFE IS A VERB is available for pre-order at a discount on Amazon at this very moment. It will also be available for order on my website in the coming weeks, if you'd like a signed, inscribed, dedicated, loved, personalized copy for yourself or others and don't mind paying full price, since I can't offer the kind of discounts that Amazon does (turns out, size does matter!).

Also included in the book are several poems by 37days readers, including the one below from a woman who has been a reader of 37days from the beginning and who has offered such amazing encouragement all this time, a woman I have never met. At least not yet. Thanks, Marilyn, for everything.

Happy 500th to 37days!

Our poem for the day, a reminder not to be a stranger to life:

the stranger

in what ways am i a stranger
to life?

i am a stranger to...
tightropes and chafing dishes and
holding lizards and reading poetry
out loud and rock-climbing and
yodeling and wearing my clothes
backwards and dissecting frogs
and roller coasters and bungee-jumping
and political speeches and
shaving my head and playing
country music and studying for
a degree and hitchhiking and
scuba diving and writing a novel
and giving birth and running a
marathon and getting a
Brazilian wax and eating brains
and driving cross country and
owning my own business and
brandishing a weapon and wearing
contacts and winning a Nobel
prize and traveling to Africa and
going to a prom and baking a
pie and shooting a film

i must remind myself that life

is not a stranger to me...

it is i who make myself

a stranger to it

-Marilyn Maciel, “the stranger”

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How exciting! I would buy that book!

Yay Marilyn! I love that poem.

Wow, what perfect timing for the 500th post, Patti. The cover looks perfectly in touch with what I have seen of the other art which will appear inside! Great idea to get Donna involved, that's for sure.

Congratulations, Patti! You became an overnight sensation in only a little more than three years and 500 posts. I can't wait to be thumbing my way through the pages.

Dearest Patti, Congratulations....I could not be happier for or more proud of you! This is SO awesome. The poem is so fitting. Love, love, love poempolooza!Hugs from Milwaukee!

O my goodness, what perfect timing for your 500th post! congratulations, Patti!!

Congratulations--the book is beautiful. I can't wait to hold it in my hands.

And congratulations on your 500th post. (And another poem that makes me think...)

Ah! there are no accidents in life? or so some say...and so 500 posts, book cover image arriving? the universe IS on your side! hugs and congrats to you--and I must also say thanks for sharing your life, your writing and all the poetry!

WOOT!! I cannot wait to find this in India- or better yet, mebbe I can get my friends to send me a copy!
Congratulations Patti! And to many more wonderful posts!

Doing a little happy dance right now! I can't wait to see this in hardback. Thanks so much, Patti, for letting me be a part of your wonderful venture.

I will be proud to have your book on my bedside table.

Oh, I just LOVE that Marilyn's poem is in your book! Very exciting. I can't wait to read it - and how I kick myself for not checking out your blog more often!

How incredibly exciting, Patti!!!

It takes a village, indeed, and you're our orchestra leader, town crier, spiritual guide, elected mayor, facilitator, chief, poet, queen, zorro,
wonder-woman, jane west (remember her? I *loved* her!) and all around genuine wonder....

Doing a little dance in Fort Lauderdale. Congrats!!!!

Kudos and congrats, Patti! I know Life is a Verb will be a most awesome read.

oh, patti, this is so exciting! i am counting down to the retreat in asheville when i will hold my own copy of this beautiful book in my hands. and to marilyn, i love this poem! i read it thinking 'oh, me too, me too' the whole way through. and congrats on your 500th post-- i hope you will keep on writing for us!

Patti,
CONGRATULATIONS! I can't wait to get my personalized copy of the book. Will order it when I can.
AND, Andrea Raft wrote me and said that getting a Billy Collins poem dedicated to her by you was like being on Oprah's! You've got a big fan in her, as well as in me!

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