What Were You Doing in 2011?
I kissed gatekeepers goodbye and collaborated with my partner in life and art on this self-published book
2011 was the last year any official gatekeepers noticed my work. I was nominated for inclusion in the annual Pushcart anthology that year (not for this book, btw). It might be different now but in those days the only way to find out if you made it into the anthology was to find a copy and look through it.
I didn’t make the cut. But I bought the anthology anyway.
2011 was also the first full year with my current partner in life and art, AleXander Hirka. That was the year I put gatekeepers behind me. AleXander has been self-publishing both his art and his stories most of his life. I simply dropped into step next to him when we collaborated on this book, “Seamless” together.
It’s a very short book. More of a long short story really with AleXander’s powerful and evocative collage work to accent the work.
I’d been playing with a story idea for some time. Riding numerous buses up Madison Avenue, I was struck by the prevalence of big, comfy-looking beds in shop windows while people were sleeping in nearby streets. As in sleeping on the sidewalks although sometimes they had cardboard to lay on.
Starting with only that vague notion and our cameras, AleXander and I began work on what was then called The February Project.
We not only sold enough of this limited edition of 250 books to make back the money we spent to publish it at Village Copier, we also garnered some seriously head-turning praise. I’m not shy about tooting our horn, so here are what initial readers (and buyers) had to say about “Seamless”:
“Thanks for sending me this story. It is fabulous! It reminds me of stories that I have been reading in the New Yorker. Even though the main character is supposed to be a little out of wack, the reader can identify with her. To me that was the most intriguing part of the story — how she copes.”