Rachael Ikins has published poetry and won prizes for artwork and writing since she was a child. She has published at least nine books of her work and appears in several other groups’ anthologies. This year she published her first novel, The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods. She has already given three readings from the book and has three more on tap before Christmas.
She lives in a tree house apartment not far from the Seneca River. Tree toads, hummingbirds and fireflies are frequent visitors to her balcony. She is at work editing Book 2 of the Complete Tales, Tales from the Edge of the Sea, and creating the last book in the trilogy.
Rachael continues to hang artwork in shows across CNY when she isn’t writing. She travels with her dogs and misses her cat every trip she takes. She is a member of the National League of American Penwomen in both Arts and Letters and several art guilds.
My Newest Release by Rachael Ikins
A writer has the power to affect and influence many. I am mindful of the fact that I may share my personal philosophies and opinions which may help others, through stories. Artists of all types strive for that magical connection between artist and recipient.
This spring, a friend of mine passed away. Her battle with cancer was quite short. She was older than me. I used to email her in the middle of the night sometimes and was often surprised to receive answers. There’s a mystery and magic to writing while the rest of the world sleeps. She became a mentor to me.
I was concerned that she not feel pitied as she dealt with her situation, or side-lined while everyone else continued on. I’d not assembled a collection of new poetry in months. As January snow buried the ground outside, I painstakingly searched my files to come up with Partly Sunny with a Chance of Clouds: a Pocketful of Showers. Once I fiddled with the order, I was quite pleased with the 32 page collection’s flow. I was also surprised (and happy) at the number of acknowledgements to list. Since I work as both visual and written artist, I can forget what I have submitted. I decided to email the new manuscript to my friend one night. I chose to dedicate it to her. I wished that the magic might heal her.
She enjoyed the read. She wrote “Rachael, I am not going to die. I have to read lots more of your poetry.”
Just before she passed, I learned that Partly Sunny with a Chance of Clouds: a Pocketful of Showers was accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press in Kentucky.
Though everyone hoped otherwise, she died in May. I decided to use a photo-shopped image that had meant a lot to her as the cover. The title is “Yolanda and the Dancin’ Shoes: Steppin’ Out.”
She was a fine arts photographer herself. She was delighted with picture’s title back in early winter. She had once been an avid dancer, too.
I am currently collaborating with the art department at Finishing Line on cover design with that image. I plan to give her family this memorial edition of my work.
Writers remember, we invent, we tell stories that give solace, and maybe sometimes, an answer, to those who ask questions. We are witnesses. I treasured the short time we had together. She encouraged me when my writer’s well seemed dry. I will always be grateful for her gift. I am equally glad to offer one in return.
Rachael is giving away a paperback copy of Transplanted, a collection of poems published by Finishing Line Press about a woman’s life over the course of a year. She ‘s lost her husband, moved, and has taken root in a strange new city, trying to find her way.
The cover art pen and ink and colored pencil by Rachael Ikins. The book is listed on both Finishing Line‘s website and Amazon.com with the other books she has written or is a part of. The cover has sparkles embedded in the stock and a ribbon bookmark.
Comments through midnight Mountain Time Friday night will be entered in a drawing and the winner announced on Saturday. Residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
Learn more about Rachael and her books and art at her website and blog. She can also be found on Facebook as Ask the Girl Arts Co., The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods, and Rachael Ikins. She is on Twitter as @justaskrache and Writer Raebeth.