Preface to Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear

Reading from Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear at WORD Vancouver, September 25, 2016

Preface to Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear, previously published as The Bears

At a time of great upheaval in my personal life, the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia was under direct and imminent environmental threat. I decided to do something I had always wanted to do: write a book. Impatient to hold a physical book that I had written, I hastily self-published The Bears in December, 2012.

Any musician will tell you not to practice in public. As a music teacher, I might have carried this advice across artistic disciplines. In spite of rushing to publish The Bears, the book gathered a small but enthusiastic audience.

Other writing projects followed. Two young adult adventure manuscripts, the Sarah Spellings stories, are available to read on Wattpad. I met other writers, attended a writer’s circle, and studied the bones of writing.

In the summer of 2016 I was invited to read from The Bears at WORD Vancouver, a festival of writing in all forms, promoting literacy and reading. I hadn’t picked up a copy of The Bears since it was published. I recognized the story, but it was as though a stranger had written it. I revised the manuscript. The title had always been problematic; everyone thought it was a children’s book. Friend and poet Suzanne M. Steele suggested Ursocrypha: The Book of Bear.

I send this story back out into the world, and hope it makes more friends.