Gold Mine, These Are the Words I Managed to Save

During the fall months of 2008 and on into 2009, and on for a while, reality slipped away from me. Amid the avalanche of dissipating solidity descending into complete confusion and chaos of thought, I threw more than twenty years of writing, of work, into a cauldron of flames. Two file boxes of poems, stories, notes, one completed novel, and two poetry manuscripts, went into the fire. One of those manuscripts was for a book of poems titled โ€œWinsome Veinโ€, that I thought was darker than anything Iโ€™d ever written, so much so that I was afraid of the direction my writing seemed to be taking. The truth is that Iโ€™ve always written darker words, as much as Iโ€™ve written hopeful ones. However, having filed that copyright on โ€œWinsome Veinโ€, saved that work as I had set fire to all other copies. ( Some might say that was the right thing to do.)

Within days of having burned so much of my work, I experienced a moment of clarity, and panic. I became terrified that I might destroy more of my own work. I gathered the bits and pieces of what remained, jamming them together one after another in whatever way they seemed to make sense to me, along with other fragments that my mind had latched onto in the unraveling. Those salvaged bits became this book, โ€œGold Mineโ€. I filed my copyright on it as soon as it was finished, thinking that I was filing a copyright on a pile of scraps, of bits and pieces of salvage. I was trying to protect my work from my own want to destroy it. I later found an old notebook with many pages missing that I remembered rifling through one night in a fit of what I was thinking of as โ€œeditingโ€, as though all sentimentality and heart had taken leave of me along with my senses. The poems still intact in that notebook remain something of a godsend to me. I destroyed twenty years of work, of scraps, of notes, of stories, early rejection letters received when I was in my teens and twenties, journals, it all went, as I tried to deny myself, to say, โ€œI am not this.โ€ I looked at what remained and thought, These are the words I managed to save.

Coming out of that time I didnโ€™t know if I would ever write anything again. For nearly two years, I didnโ€™t. It is the only time in the last thirty-three years that Iโ€™ve ever ceased writing.

All my words are not always the best words, they are, however, the encapsulation of the moment in which they were written. The merit of a thing is sometimes the moment. Iโ€™ve learned as much from the bad poems and stories that Iโ€™ve written as I have from the good ones. Whether they are all worth publishing isnโ€™t the point, they are all worth keeping and learning from.

I hadnโ€™t looked at, read, much of this work since that time. In writing and editing this now, Iโ€™ve realized that I was leaving a message for myself for the future, for whenever I would get back to this. A message to not give up, not to quit. I found my guts again with this book.

I am a writer. ~ย  Teri Skultety, September 12, 2017, from “Gold Mine”.

Available on Amazon Kindle!

Paperback coming soon!

A Sampling from the seventy-eight pieces of poetry and prose that make-up, “Gold Mine”, now available on Amazon.

Map Maker


Indian Summer

Let Them Eat Cake




Fairy Wails

Longing for Autumn

Let It Ride

Dream Girl

This True Heart



Time Machine

The Harvest



I hope you buy this collection of my salvaged scribbles, I hope you read it and enjoy it. I hope it rocks your socks.ย  Thank you so much for stopping by. Sincerely, Teri Skultety

2 thoughts on “Gold Mine, These Are the Words I Managed to Save

  1. I don’t know what to say, you certainly had a moment. I lost much of my work just over two years ago and so started again with my poetry site. Hard to describe that feeling. And we writers do what we always manage to do, we start over. Hugs~

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    1. I don’t know why I didn’t see this comment until now. Sorry for the delay in response. Get up, go on, has been my mantra for the last several years. It’s all part of this wonderful thing of writing. It is what we do, begin again. Keep writing!

      Liked by 1 person

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