Coincidentally, Steve Brightman’s 13 Ways Of Looking At Lou Reed is the 13th book Crisis Chronicles Press has published in the year 2013.  I feel pretty good about that, though my joy in publishing more than one fine book a month is tempered by the knowledge that I began the year intending to publish two a month, which means I’m essentially 11 books behind.  Sometimes it’s obvious, as when I published Cheap and Easy Magazine in November though its cover art says August (in a preface to the mag I encouraged folk to think of the adjective august instead of the month).  Sometimes, it’s not so obvious — unless you’re one of our authors waiting to see your book in print.

How did this happen?  Well, we published two books in January and two in February as planned — though just barely.  Then Mom went into the hospital again and I was there with her every day for over two months while also trying to keep up with her affairs and save her house.  I had no time or mind for the press.  Then Mom passed away in May and for much of the summer I struggled to get back to work. Finally in August the press was rolling full time again, just in time for me to get a golden opportunity at “real” (not at home) employment for the first time in several years.  Plus we took a two week trip to Florida to visit my wife’s ailing dad.  Since September, I’ve been receiving free culinary arts schooling and working three long days a week (e.g., Friday I was there 13 hours) at Edwins Restaurant on Shaker Square.  That means I’m trying to do the same amount of press work in a third of the time I’m accustomed to, and that’s really not doable since I insist on maintaining (and even continually increasing) the high quality of our work.

Still, 13 books is good for the year, especially considering the year I’ve had (losing my sister in law, two aunts, my mom, an old friend and an uncle in a 13 month period — plus starting the new job, having two of our grandchildren undergo surgeries, and so on). In 2008 we only published 1 chapbook. In 2009, we published 5; in 2010, only 1 again; in 2011, 10; and in 2012, 17 (that was another year I’d planned to publish 24). 

I’m hoping/planning to get 2 more done this month, bringing our number for the year to 15.  Then we have another 30 we’re committed to publishing in 2014-15.  I’ll be out of school this March, but then they will transition me immediately into another restaurant job.  So… we’ve got our hands full.  I might not have taken on all these projects if I’d known I’d be working full time outside the house. But they’re all projects that excite and inspire me — so passing them by would’ve been difficult.  I’m also still trying to publish a poem a day in our online Crisis Chronicles litmag

Because of all of this, I’m cutting down on my number of reading engagements next year (in 2013 I gave 25 featured readings in 15 cities) and I’m gonna try to use Facebook for as little as possible beyond essential press comunications (I’m already using it far less than I used to).  At the end of 2014, when I hope to be mostly caught up, I’m going to try approaching the press a bit differently. Instead of publishing every great work that crosses my desk and trying to make a full time job of it as I’ve done in the past, I’m toying with the idea of accepting only 6 big projects a year. That way I can live with one exclusively for a couple of months and relish it more instead of rushing to draw another gun and fire another round every chance I get. Then we’ll see where it goes from there. 

Of course this is tentative and subject to change.  The only guarantee is that we will get these 30-plus currently commited books done and done well and we and our authors will be proud of them and hopefully you’ll enjoy them.  I’d love to just keep doing press work full time. But I also need to pay the bills. So I’m working out a balance between the two.

Thanks for your patience and support. I’m fairly certain you’re gonna love our next several releases.  More information on those will be forthcoming.  Meanwhile, here’s wishing you happy holidays and a joyous new year!

Peace, love and poetry,
John Burroughs
Crisis Chronicles Press