encouragementor

Books

Keep Writing

Although the big goal remains (publication of entire books), I will always be grateful for the places where my poems and essays have appeared over the years.

And . . . I keep working, with 50,000+ words invested in a middle grade (ages 8-12) humorous historical novel, Louie’s Treasure. During the pandemic I traded constructive feedback online with other alums from my wonderful MFA program; now I am working on revisions suggested by developmental editor Sangeeta Mehta.

In the meantime, there are always plenty of smaller scale projects to enjoy . . . creating poems, essays, videos, soup, banjo music, memories with grandkids.

Yeah, getting a book published would be great, but my identity as a writer comes from . . . just writing: most days, early in the morning, sometimes all day.

Helpful reminder: the “writers’ club” is not all that exclusive; just pause a moment to take in your surroundings (the good old “five senses inventory”) and jot down some details. What does one of them remind you of? Good . . . write some more about that. And off you go, now, writing away, enjoying the journey.

Anthologies where my work appears:

Two poems. “At the Intersection” and “Nearly Impossible?” Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks and Trails, Vol. II. ed. Dave Kyu and Ilyssa Kyu. Mountaineers Books, 2023.

Five poems. “Born in the Land,” “Definitely Home,” “Fire Cycle,” “Nothing Rhymes with Orange,” “Spinning So Cal.” Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan. Scarlet Tanager Press, 2018.

Two poems. “Introducing Others to the Edge” and “Fall Dispersal.” Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon.  Edited by Peter Anderson and Rick Kempa. Lithic Press, 2015.

Essay. “Crossing the Canyon, Barefoot.” On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories. Edited by Rick Kempa. Vishnu Temple Press, 2014.

Poem. “Dolor, Inc.” Workers Write! More Tales from the Cubicle.  Plano, TX: Blue Cubicle Press, 2014.

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Self-published chapbooks / anthologies

These chapbooks were fun to create (and cheap to print at Kinko’s). I like to give them away at readings; folks seem to appreciate a free little poetry book.

Gavin, Thea. To Be Pierced by the Canyon. Poems. Orange, CA. 2015.

Gavin, Thea. My Wild Orange County. Poems. Orange, CA. 2013.

Gavin, Thea. Aridland Springs: At the Intersection. Poems. Orange, CA. 2013.

To Listen Through Distance: Writing from the Zumwalt Prairie. Anthology of writing by the members of the Summer Fishtrap Outpost Writers Workshop with Scott Russell Sanders. Orange, CA. 2013.

Wright, Chuck. A Chorus of Colors: Celebrating Orange County’s South Coast Wilderness. Poems. Orange, CA. 2011.

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Rejection collection

A writer writes. Sends work out. Sometimes gets rejected.

More than sometimes?

Here’s a few (from my vast collection) old-school rejections slips—relics from the era of sending paper copies via U.S. Mail (along with those obligatory SASEs: self-addressed stamped envelopes).

Any time you’re feeling the sting of an editorial “no,” just google these five magic words: “Your writing is not you.”

You will find a community of (rejected) writers who have shared their hard-won insight on this painful topic. Read until you realize you are not alone, and then get right back to the joyful work of creating with words.

Journals / magazines where my work has appeared

It feels like a gut-punch, each editorial rejection, but then there are moments of encouragement that keep me going; each of these journals and magazines said “yes” to my work, for which I continue to be thankful:

Two poems. “May you fall, hard, at Grand Canyon” and “Filaments.” Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Magazine. National Park Service/Dept. of the Interior. Jun 1, 2019.

Poem. “Rattled.” Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry. Vol. 1, 2019.Poem. “In the Ragged Floodplain Forest after Years of Drought” Green Theory and Praxis Journal, Issue 12 Volume 1, April 2019: 25. 

Essay. “Lessons and Barefoot Adventures.” Trail Sisters online. Jun 7, 2018. 

Poem. “Hiking Across Grand Canyon Alone At Night Barefoot.” The Hopper, The Literary Magazine of Green Writers Press. Online. Oct 15, 2017 

Two poems. “North Rim Forest Morning Song” and “On the Way to Point Sublime.” Grand Muse gallery show, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ. October 2016-February 2017.

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Poems appearing in the newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS)

(Sarah Jayne was our chapter’s newsletter editor/publisher for many years; she always encouraged me to send her poems to publish, for which I will always be grateful.)

“After December Rain.” Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). Jan./Feb. 2017.

“Drought Deciduous.” Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). Sep./Oct. 2016:1.

“In Limestone Canyon, Eight Years after the Santiago Fire.” Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). Nov./Dec. 2015:1.

“The Unhummer.” Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). Sep./Oct. 2015:2.

“Our Icon to the East.”  Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). May/June 2015:2.

“Nomenclature Song.” “Tiptoe Through the Lupine.”  Newsletter of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS). March/April 2015:3.

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