Books are selling out - get yours know!
Books are selling out - get yours know!
It was destiny for me to be poetically inclined when my Mom named me after the English Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. I began writing poetry as a child and in high school was involved with the literary club, Acclivity; some of my poems were included in our literary magazine. The first poem of mine that was published in an actual book is “Peace…” in Our Western World’s Greatest Poems, 1983, for which I received a Golden Poet Award from the poetry editor.
During the last several years, I have entered themed poetry in the Kern County (CA) Fair, for which I have received 1st through 4th place ribbons and one Best of Show for my poem “Butterfly,” written about a family dog with that name.
I have performed at monthly open mic nights in a local coffee shop and at yearly CA State University Bakersfield poetry events. The past five years, CSUB’s English Department has celebrated National Poetry Month during April by inviting local authors to submit original poems, assigning themes, and publishing them in a series of chapbooks. These authors were also encouraged to share their words at open mic nights in the campus library. In 2016 the theme was Drought, and I wrote “Every Drop Counts.” Work was 2017’s theme; and my contributions were “Work, Work, Work” and “Thinking About Work, a Bad Hair Day,” which I performed with props. (I am planning to record my performance of that piece for your viewing pleasure on YouTube!) For the 2018 theme, Flora and Fauna, I did some research and came up with “The California Least Tern” and “Rose-Flowered Larkspur.” “Random Sounds” and “The Sounds of Silence” were my submissions for the theme Sound in 2019. This year marked the finale of the series with the theme Fields, for which I wrote “Wide Open Fields” and “While I Ponder.” Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the open mic night was canceled; and the authors’ words were published, yet unspoken. The Writers of Kern club, of which I am an active member, published an anthology in 2018, Reaching for the Sky, including my “Expression of my Art” and “The Beach is my Heart’s Home.”
A few years ago, I started a small business, Write On Poetry, to compose personal poetry for others. I set up shop at the downtown Bakersfield Art Walk to showcase my poetic ability. I have written eulogies, some of which I’ve presented at funerals; birthday poems; a piece that a close friend asked me to write for her husband after his passing; and a love poem for the Bakersfield couple injured during the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017. During their wedding two years later, I was able to present it to the bride and groom; and I set up my poetry station to write poems for the guests.
As a proofreader/editor, I also had the opportunity to type and edit a friend’s second book of memoirs. The money I earned on that project was spending money for a trip to Kauai in 2016, my birthday gift from one of my daughters.
My husband of 43 years, Gary, and I have 3 grown daughters and a dog. I’ve worked fulltime as legal secretary at a bankruptcy law firm for the past 12 years. I am also my husband’s caretaker while he suffers with a rare disease, Stiff Person’s Syndrome, and other serious health conditions from contracting Valley Fever in 2009. We continually pray for his miracle, as there is no known cure for the 200 known such cases in the world. We attend the Parkside Church in Bakersfield.
Besides rhyming my life away, I enjoy reading, beachcombing, swimming, sky-gazing, ocean-viewing, cruises, cooking and baking (and creating original recipes), drives through the countryside, drawing and painting, catching up with friends and family, daydreaming and reminiscing, and traveling.
During my first visit to the Alaska Zoo in 2014, where our youngest daughter was an intern, I met Ahpun and Lyutyik, the polar bear couple mentioned in my book The Life of Ahpun. I had been observing them via live webcam and was already in love with those bears, taking screenshots of them on my iPhone and iPad. Our daughter was hired as one of their zookeepers, and we five Evans vacationed together in Anchorage for a week in July 2017. After Ahpun passed, I participated in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Avila Beach, California, on January 1, 2018, in honor of the angel bear. In February, I began a poem to memorialize her, with the intention of writing a few verses and sending it to my daughter and the other zookeepers. However, one night in April that year, while writing my tribute, it became 4:00 a.m. and a “lightbulb” moment occurred! The vision I had, which still gives me goosebumps when I remember it, illuminated my creative process; and I knew without a doubt that the poem was going to be a book.