Sensational Spoken Word Poetry Favorites Worth Your Time

A few years ago, while attempting to pare down the rather sizeable list of to-watch TEDtalks I’d accumulated, a talk that opened with a spoken word poem caught my attention, and my heartstrings. It was Sarah Kay’s “If I should have a daughter…” Even once the poem had ended, Sarah was delightful to listen to as she went on to discuss what spoken word poetry is to her.

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I was soon curious to hear more of, not only Sarah’s poems, but others as well. This was relatively new territory for me, having never heard or experienced much spoken work poetry before, but I was eager, and handsomely rewarded.

I spent months of solid listening to spoken word poetry from all kinds of poets on a multitude of topics, hungry for more, searching for the ones that gave me chills or made me want to cry by the end, sometimes poems that had me laughing, or conveyed a shared experiences; poems that struck through my heart and pierced into my soul and stayed there; poems I couldn’t get out of my head, and that still remain.

I have resisted the urge to repeatedly share each one as I find, watch and rewatch them, but they deserve to be shared, listened to, and remembered. So, I’ve collected a handful of my extreme favorites to share. Whether you listen to them all at one time, or return to listen now and then, I cannot recommend these poems enough and hope that you take the times to listen to a few.

Normally I would be prone to give a comment about each, but I would rather let the poets speak for themselves, so I’ve added a couple quotes instead; the best way to experience them is to actually do so by listening.

(There are some sensitive topics covered, please take care of yourself if any of them becomes too much or triggering)

Mental Illness/Mental Health

Catalina Ferro– Anxiety Group

“..these people who fight everyday like fucking gladiators who fight demons worse than you and I can dream of, just because they want so badly to live, to hold on, to love, because you can’t be this afraid of losing everything if you don’t love everything first….”

Neil Hilborn– Joey

“When I wanted to open myself up and see if there were really bees rattling around in there, my parents got my a therapist. I can pinpoint the session that brought be back to the world, that session cost $75…it took weeks of $75 to get to the one that saved my life. We both had parents that believed us when we said we weren’t okay but mine could afford to do something about it…”

Javon Johnson & Terisa Siagatonu– PTSD

“When is his teacher going to stop sending him to the principal and start sending him to the counselor? Why do we fire the counselor? What happened to the art classes, to PE, and health center, because trauma is an STD, a socially transmitted disease; meaning my trauma is your trauma, your/his/her trauma is mine, and that what it means to be in a community. There only difference there is between a solider with PTSD and one of my students with it is a soldier gets to leave the battlefield while my kids go home to it…”

Education

Denice Frohman– Weapons

“At entrance of a white Philadelphia high school, officer with gun perched on each hip asks me if I a weapon. I hold my book, he doesn’t find that funny….I’m escorted to an audtorium with 130 black and latino students. We talk about hip hop, they think poetry is what old white people do…I ask them if they have dreams…another student in the 8th row tries to decide if this is a trick question. There’s no right answer, I say, but they’re far too comfortable with the right to remain silent…the principal is now staring at me in anticipation of what I have to say next. He’s afraid that they will leave with weapons. I am afraid they will not know the ones that already exist”.

Taylor Mali -What Teachers Make

“…I can make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honor. I can make an A- feel like a slap in the face; how dare you waste my time with anything less than than your best? …You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder, I make then question, I make them criticize, I make them apologize and mean it…”

Dylan Garity– Rigged Game

“(my sister) teaches ESL in an elementary school in Boston and every week she tells me stories about her students…learning to read in a new language when you can’t even read in your own is like trying to heal a burn victim  by drowning them. We are telling these children, who have spent their whole lives in the deep end, that they’ll learn how to swim if they just float out a little farther…the winners of a rigged game should not get to write the rules”

Men’s & Women’s Issues

Lily Myers– Shrinking Women

“I learned to absorb, I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself…Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled; deciding how many bites is too many, how much space she deserves to occupy…”

Katie Makkai– Pretty

“The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill fluorescent floodlight of worry, ‘Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?’ …I have not seen my own face in 10 years, but this is not about me. This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those 2 pretty syllables.”

Guante– Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’

“…contrary to what you may believe, not every problem can be solved by “growing a pair.” You can’t arm-wrestle your way out of chemical depression. The CEO of the company that just laid you off does not care how much you bench. And I promise, there is no lite beer in the universe full-bodied enough to make you love yourself.”

Sierra Demulder– Paper Dolls

“Imagine each victim is an acrobat. Her sanity, a balancing act. Our response is the unfailing safety net. We never expect to see her across the wire….Nothing was stolen from you. Your body is not a hand-me-down. There is nothing that sits inside you holding your worth, no locket that can be seen or touched, fucked from your stomach to be left on concrete. I know it’s hard to feel perfect when you can’t tell an Adam’s apple from a fist. Some ashtray of a man picked you to play his Eden but I will not watch you collapse.”

Dylan Garity– Friend Zone

“The problem is, when I started thinking of myself as a savior, I ended up thinking of myself as a savior with a salary. You put in your hours as a nice guy and sex is just a living wage but sex is not a transaction.Sex is not a handshake to seal some deal. That girl did not owe me anything.”

Anna Binkovitz– Asking For

“But in my experience, one of the chief perks of having sex with an adult is that if they want something, they can ask for it. For instance, if I’m at dinner with my mom and I want her to pass the salt, I don’t put on my special salt costume. I ask for the salt! With my word place!”

LGBTQ+

Denice Frohman– Dear Straight People

“..Dear Straight People, You’re the reason we stay in the closet. You’re the reason we even have a closet. I don’t like closets, but you made the living room an unshared space and now I’m feeling like a guest in my own house.Dear Straight People, Sexuality and gender? Two different things combined in many different ways. If you mismatch your socks, you understand…”

Ethan Smith- A Letter to the Girl I Use to Be

“I tried to cross you out like a line in my memoir. I wished I could erase completely
And maybe I’m misunderstanding the definition of death. But even though parts of you still exist, you are not here…”

Joy Young– The Queer Hokey-Pokey

“She beamed about it—her hair her own queer bat-signal in the sky announcing her lesbian arrival,though she’s been here as long as I remember. She finally felt super: stripped of her invisibility, empowered, her remaining hair wrapped around her neck like a lasso of truth.  She chokes out another gasp of ‘I’m gay’ when men come onto her, and they’ll believe her now.”

Cassidy Foust- Ghostbusters (is so gay…)

“The new ghostbusters move is so gay that no one is actually allowed to talk about it…a generation of queer girls leaves the theater masters of hide-and-seek…we know we can only exist on screen as Schrodinger’s Queer…”

About using your voice and standing up

Sam Cook– Flatland

Each of us only gets so many opportunities to show another person that humanity is more than just the people behind you who will trample you when you fall.

Connecting

Marshall Davis Jones– Touchscreen

“….doesn’t it feel good to touch? my world is so digital that I have forgotten what that feels like. It used to be hard to connect when friends formed cliques but it’s even more difficult to connect now that clicks form friends…iPod iMac iPhone iChat I can do all of these things without making eye contact…”

These poems and many more have inspired me with my own poetry, even to the point of being curious to try spoken word myself. Perhaps some day.

What did you think of these? Do you have any favorites of your own? Have you ever tried or thought about attempting to do some spoken word yourself? Please comment, I’d love to know!

 

My Visit to the Tremendous Angel Oak Tree

In an attempt to regroup and heal a fraction from the heinous and disappointing ramifications of the past year and a half or so, a good friend and I decided to attempt to get away for a few days…I haven’t really been able to relax much because…well, the obvious reasons concerning the world currently, but I have managed to find a few moments of enjoyment.

On Sunday, I finally got to visit a tree that I’ve been in love with for years and wanted to visit: the Angel Oak Tree in John’s Island, SC, and it was beautiful beyond words to see in person. Pictures don’t do her justice, but here are some taken on my visit. (photos not taken by me are noted)

Imagine all this beauty has seen in its hundreds of years of life…

 

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photo by Brandon Kahn
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photo by Brandon Kahn

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A final hug before parting…until next time….

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photo taken by Brandon

I will be back home tomorrow from my attempt at a vacation from the real world. I’m still trying to recharge because no matter what, there’s a lot to be done when I get back home, and not all of it is writing related.

I want to live in a world where we can have trees that are hundreds of years old, and people to appreciate them. So take a moment, take a breath, enjoy, and get to work. I will be.

Have you ever been to the Angel Oak Tree, or visited another place you’ve longed to see? Please share, I’d love to know!

Looking to the New Year

With a weary sigh I say that 2016 is nearly at an end, and I cannot stand to speculate what may happen in the coming year, on so many levels; if you follow me on social media at all, it probably has not escaped your notice that I’ve been having some troubles with my usual nemeses: chronic illness, PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all of which are connected and fuel off each other.

At this time of year, goal setting for the next journey around the sun is expected. New Year’s Resolutions abound, and are so often broken before the new January is finished. As evidenced by my post around this time last year, I do it too….but then again, I goal set and add expectations to myself continuously throughout the year, on large and small scales, often reevaluating and adjusting as I go.

This year…I don’t think I’m going to do anymore goal setting than I have, and naturally do, even compulsively. Honestly, how many times can I rewrite, resort, and rework my goals without actually moving forward enough to require it?

After a lot of thought and consideration, not to mention the all too raw and recent passing of Carrie Fisher, and an unexpected dive into #sexabusechat on Twitter regarding self-compassion and self-care, I’m going to try and take a different tact…

But before I go into what I’m going to do, I feel the need to highlight what I currently do. carrie-fisher-im-mentally-ill-quoteIn the light of such a strong and courageous advocate concerning mental health, a woman who pulled no punches and spoke her mind, and the truth, no longer able to continue the fight against stigma, it’s the added motivation to work on how I intend to utilize my own voice in more ways for the purpose.

Due to a combination of my natural personality and tendencies with that of what I’ve experienced regarding trauma …I’m incredibly cruel to myself. I wouldn’t dream of talking to anyone or speaking of anyone the way that I speak to and often about myself. As discussed last night in the chat, survivors of abuse have to learn a new vocabulary because the one they are taught is one of self-punishment and self-loathing. I’m still learning the vocabulary of self-compassion.

There’s something else that is highly unhelpful that I’ve been trying to work on, and that is internalized ableism. For those who are not familiar, internalized ableism can surface in many ways, but it’s essentially the practice of internalizing the ideas, prejudices, and judgments of a society that sees those with disabilities as “other” and unable to “properly” contribute to it; it’s the quickest way to demoralize yourself for something that you have no control over, and I’m incredibly guilty of it.

For me, it’s largely the limitations and issues I have to contend with that come from dealing with any number of things, but not least of which involves my chronic illnesses. I have begrudgingly attempted to make compensations for my physical limitations (most of the time); this can take the form of how often I leave my lair, where I go, what I take with me, who I go with, when I go, what I wear (sun, weather) etc. I do spoon math to decide my activities for the week and individual days and mostly keep within my safe threshold, including being sure to have adequate time to lay down and recuperate when necessary.

The problem is that I have an exceedingly difficult time affording the same consideration for my mental limitations….to clarify, writing is something you can do in a more reclined position, it can be done with some level of accuracy with or without certain necessary medicines in my system, in the comfort of my lair, where I do not have to worry about social energy because I’m often alone; somehow, my mind equates this as something that can be done within my physical limitations that I “should” be able to do nearly continuously, pushing myself to the point of attempting to compensate for the ways I “fall short” (i.e. not able to keep up with social norms of acceptable energy levels and ability to do things).

Fatigue, brain fog, cognitive issues, all are symptoms that I deal with that I always seem to paint over and try to push through…often to my detriment. I become frustrated with my inability to work, I attempt to work, I’m unable to be productive, I get more upset, and it devolves from there. The point is, I don’t allow myself the space I need to accommodate these, and what’s more, I harass myself about not getting enough done….

Ever had a boss that looked over your shoulder (or made you feel like they were), watching your every move, evaluating you constantly, all while yelling at you, insulting you, hounding you about not getting enough done, not doing anything well enough? Yes? No? A little? Well this is me to myself, and it’s hard to get away from me.

You see that I know this about myself, I have for years, and am constantly working on trying to correct these things. It’s not bad to expect a lot out of yourself and push for your best, but it is bad to overwhelm yourself and then get mad about it. At the very least, it’s unproductive, unhelpful, and isn’t the best way to feel good about yourself or what you’re working on.

Which brings me back to things I want to do differently. Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC), made two excellent suggestions during the Twitter #sexabusechat last night that I would like to put into action for myself.

First:

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Okay, so maybe I will be reworking my goals a little bit to do this, but it’s not the same way I usually do. Just like she points out, it’s about helping focus, which I sorely need, and it will (hopefully) relieve enough pressure to get a steady flow so that the 5 circled goals can change.

And second:

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One of the best things about this for me is the normalizing of the need for these shorter increments of time to be enough. Beyond the issues stemming from PTSD related concentration issues and into chronic illness, this suggestion was like a breath of fresh air; I’m still at a place where this felt like permission to try something different, something not within “normal” standards of working time, but it felt good, vindicating.

I have some hope that, if I actually keep with these suggestions, and continue learning the language of self-compassion, I think I might just surprise myself….hopefully even in a good way.

Some people need to learn more empathy and compassion for others, some need to learn to have compassion for themselves; either way, the world could certainly use more of it.

How can you be nicer to yourself and others this coming year? Do you have any (reasonable) goals for yourself?

And always

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What I Do and Do Not Miss About College

Last spring, after nine long years, I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree; this was an enormous milestone, including the fact that last fall marked the first time in 23 years that I would not be going to school. That’s most of my life at this point.

I’ve had a year of surreal moments as it sunk in that I was no longer going to school. I’ll admit that depression has set in heavy at times over the past year because I didn’t have the goal and focus of school. It threw me off a bit, even if I was thrilled to have finally finished and have the time and energy to use for other things (like writing!).

I’ve also noticed that while there are plenty of things that I don’t miss about being in college (grade school was absolute hell and I will never miss it, but we won’t go there, this post kind of sums it up), there were also things that I’ve missed dearly.

After a year, it’s still a little surreal to not be in school, and since I couldn’t get it out of my head, I decided to remind myself of the things I do and don’t miss about being in college.

 

Things I Don’t Miss:

  1. Signing up for classes– I absolutely do not miss the stress of waiting for registration time. When you have certain classes you need to get into (along with plenty of other students), as well as health issues that affect the times you need, it was definitely stress-inducing for me.
  1. Parking– Parking was an absolute nightmare, especially when you add in a disability, rude people, and construction at the school, including a parking lot being taken over for it. I cannot count the number of times I worried about not finding a parking spot close enough to the building I needed to be in. Far too many people took it upon themselves to park illegally in handicap spots without decals, which certainly did not help.
  1. Worrying about getting to class- This was a huge issue when I would have classes back to back that were located on opposite ends of the campus. There were usually 10-15 minutes between class times, but when you include parking worry (I had to drive from one building to the other some semesters), as well as being an early-punctual individual, it made for some incredibly stressful times throughout the semester.
  1. Having to write papers- My professors would probably be surprised and horrified to learn how much I procrastinated writing my papers. Often I wrote them a couple of days before they were due, if not the night before. It was just how my brain worked. Even when I was interested in the topic, it was often an enormous feat to sit myself down and focus…it’s a major issue with my own writing too sometimes but anyway. I hated the possibility of not doing as well on the current paper I was writing as on a previous one; I know, incredibly silly, but it added to my distaste and stress of having to write papers for a grade.
  1. Group projects- It’s hard to describe just how much I loathed group projects…it’s group projects.jpgnot that I cannot work with a group, I absolutely can, but it has to be a group of people that are willing to put as much work and effort into it as I was in order to get the grade I desired. The number of times group members didn’t do their part, or didn’t communicate well, or otherwise did not pull their weight…..let’s just say that I’m ecstatic that I don’t have to worry about group projects ever again unless it’s my own choice, and then I can kick myself.
  1. Rising tuition costs and some ridiculous fees- Have to throw it out there, I do not miss having to worry about tuition and books. It was to a point where I had to figure the cost of taking less classes for more semesters against taking more classes in one semester to cut down on having to pay the fees over again per semester.

 

Things I Do Miss:

  1. Passionate and knowledgeable professors-The professor makes or breaks a class. Besides a professor that is understanding and willing to help students when possible, the ones that were particularly knowledgeable about their subjects were the best. In addition, one of the best parts of certain knowledgeable professors was their passion and desire to impart all they could on ready and open minds. I sincerely miss these professors. They were understanding, but challenging, and wanted everyone to participate and succeed.
  1. Discussions– There isn’t anything like a good discussion with different perspectives and ideas. Discussing reading material or some part of a lecture often became tangents of conversations in many of my classes, and I loved every minute of it. Intelligent and thoughtful conversation about new things, allowing us to apply new ideas and materials we’d learned in class….yes, I very much miss the discussions.
  1. Having to write some of the papers- Though I may not have enjoyed the actual process, I have to say that I miss being given some of the assignments to write about. When papers were on topics that I was interested in and involved applying techniques or things learned in the material or in class was wonderful. I loved utilizing my knowledge and being able to apply the concepts I had accumulated, thus further embedding all that I’d learned. May be silly to some, but I definitely miss it sometimes.
  1. Interesting Classes-I would have loved to spend more time just taking random classes with fantastic professors because there were a lot of interesting classes available, including some of the ones I was able to take. I could probably happily spend my life reading and discussing literature and psychology, so it’s hardly a surprise to those who really know me. I love to learn and I enjoy being around others that do as well and the discussion that come from such minds.

No matter how much time passes, I have a feeling I will continue to feel the same way. Most of my life has been in school, only truly finding the joy in it in the last few years, a little ironically. My school journey was incredibly difficult for a number of reasons, some easily enough explained here , but I still learned so much, on and off campus.

Part of me thinks of going back some day, but we will see. For now though, all the things I don’t miss, while unpleasant, were (mostly) worth dealing with to experience the things I do miss.

What about you? Anything you miss from your college experience?

 

Smart Modeling Safety and Safely

As an artist and avid lover and appreciator of artists and their fantastic works, I find myself lucky enough to also call many artists I know, friend. It’s after a conversation I had with one

Regina del Mondo Dell'ombra
Regina del Monde Dell’ombra by Lenta Scura

such friend, an artist that goes by Lente Scura (you can find his sensational work here or here ) that prompted the subject of this post, which is some basic safety when it comes to modeling.

 

Modeling comes in many forms and is done for a multitude of reasons. For instance, I usually only work with artists I know to create single pieces or collections of work based on those collaborations. For example, a photography shoot with and/or so an artist like Lente, or HourGlass Imagery, can base a new piece or set of pieces around them. And this is where safety comes in, whether you know your collaborators well or not. In the end, it keeps all parties safer.

The Summoning- HourGlass Imagery
The Summoning by HourGlass Imagery

 

I don’t work with many photographers, and often know the ones I do, and work with them more than once if we work well together. Modeling is not my trade, but art is. Regardless though, I do all I can to be safe and as comfortable as an introvert can possibly be. Here are some basic things to remember to model safely (for all involved):

Research and references-The two R’s, if you want to be catchy and if it helps you remember. When opportunity arises, you should research who you’re working with, and where you’re working if you are unfamiliar with the location or area of a shoot. You can also get a sense of what their work is like. Also, if you haven’t worked with a certain photographer before, it’s good to ask other models they’ve worked with, particularly ones you know. Having others vouch for a photographer’s respect, professionalism, and work is a huge deal and carries weight. References are great to have.

Bring a chaperone/escort- This is a number one rule for me, especially if I have not worked with a certain photographer before, do not know the person well, depending on the location of the shoot, or comfort level and wardrobe of the shoot. A chaperone or escort is generally a friend or colleague, someone you know and trust to be a quiet observer assuring your safety and comfort level, and a photographer’s reputation. Some photographers will say they don’t allow escorts because they may be a disturbance, and if that’s their answer, you should walk away. It’s up to a model to decide if they want someone with them, for whatever reason, and no one should tell you otherwise. I personally question anyone actually telling you that you aren’t allowed to bring someone to assure your safety.

Make sure someone knows what you’re doing- If you decide not to bring a chaperone (perhaps because a shoot is out in public or not in a closed or studio setting), you should at least be sure that someone knows where you’re going, when you’ll be there, and a time they can expect to hear from you to check in, and someone you can call in case of an emergency. In the age of social media, many models announce their shoots on their pages, but it’s still a good idea to be sure someone you know and trust has a few more details, like an address and timing. If you end up carpooling or traveling with someone else, take down license plate and send that and info about the car to whoever you’re checking in with. Better to be safe.

Details ahead of time- Photo shoots that are done well take time and planning ( though not always, there are sometimes some sensational impromptu photo shoots, but those usually happen with someone you know and not someone you just met who happens to have a camera and claims to be a photographer).  Generally speaking though, when working with a photographer you’re planning to shoot with, there is a discussion before the shoot where details are shared and gone over. These include what the purpose or inspiration of the shoot is, what is desired or expected of model or photographer, what wardrobe will be and who provides it, make up or use of a make-up artist, and location and time of the shoot. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but usually these all make their way into the conversation before the day of the shoot. The amount of detail and planning can radically differ from photographer to photographer, or shoot to shoot, but some things should be established ahead of time, wardrobe being a big thing, or more accurately, lack thereof. Some less than reputable people posing as photographers will sometimes try to convince a model to take off a bit more, or give a few of ‘these’ a try, etc. or otherwise go beyond what a model signed up for, often with a lot of pressure, guilt, or shame. Which leads to my next point…

Stick to your guns- Don’t ever compromise your desires or comfort in the moment to appease a photographer (or anyone) that tries to get you to do more than was discussed or something that you don’t feel comfortable with at the time. Keep to what was discussed before your shoot, and what feels right to you. Some great things come from shoots where model and photographer work together and are comfortable with each other. But, if you decide for any reason you don’t feel comfortable with a situation or how a shoot is going, then trust your instinct and stick to your guns. Say something, remove yourself from the situation if you need to, whatever you need to feel safe.

Bring these with you- charged phone and a charger; your own water and medicine (such as Tylenol, Advil, etc,), it’s safer to have your own than to take something from someone you don’t know well; mace/pepper spray/ other deterrent, because honestly, you just never know, but know how to use it; some cash and debit/credit card, along with your license, even if you aren’t driving (if those three things haven’t been ingrained to you by your mother), so that you always have a back-up way to get home.

The point is to enjoy the work that you do and that is created from that, and to get home safely without compromising your comfort level. Be safe, and create something beautiful!

Il Giorno di Corvi
Il Giorno Di Corvi by Lente Scura

 

A Fantastic Year of Blogging: Reflections and Going Forward

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full year of blogging regularly . I’m not entirely sure what clicked, but between hospital visits last year, even writing some posts while in hospital, I started writing and posting consistently. I haven’t looked back; it’s certainly been an amazing year as far as my blog is concerned.

First, I really want to say a huge thank you to all of those who have read my blog, reviews, or fiction. A huge thank you especially to my recurrent readers and followers, and those that comment and discuss with me!!

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I appreciate all of you so much!!

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Though I don’t get the chance to peruse blogs too often, in the past year, I’ve found some incredibly fun and useful ones, and more than that, I’ve met some fantastic people. I’ve mentioned some of them in past posts here and here, and I can only imagine what the next year of blogging will bring.

I’ve met amazing people, many working their way towards their own writing dreams. I’ve managed to find a supportive and wonderfully eclectic group of people as a part of my writing community.

Blogging has allowed me to learn more about my personal writing community, as well as new ones I occasionally find while stumbling around the interwebs. I’ve been able to connect with and learn about so many people, introduced to so many new perspectives, new ideas.

Learning Process

I’ve learned so much along my way this year, from transferring my blog to WordPress, to the various pages I’ve added to my site, to lessons or tips from the people I’ve met, and experiences I’ve had at each change, challenge, and steps along the way.

I’ve spent many hours reading books, finding useful sites online, and working on various posts. I try to put effort into my posts, give them some substance, because as much as I want to entertain my audience, I also want to be okay with if not proud of what I’m sharing here.

I’ve grown as a writer, editor, and as a person through all I’ve gained in the past year of blogging. I’m constantly planning and trying to make this blog better, implementing what I’ve learned, including listening to my audience, you lovely people.

There’s no telling what the next year will bring or what this blog will look like then, but I look forward to finding out.

Going Forward

On that note, as some of you may know, my blog is called Amalgamology, and as my followers and friends, or potential followers and friends, it’s important to know what you want to see more of, what interests you, what keeps you coming back?

I’ve written posts on a handful of different subjects, and have plenty of others waiting to be written in the future. I’ve written posts about awareness for causes that are personal to me such as chronic illness and abuse; I’ve suggested books to read and written book reviews (I just got a new ARC so definitely have to catch up on reviews); I’ve shared things that have inspired me, often in the form of visual art or through music; I’ve conducted and shared interviews of a couple of authors with plans to do more (message me if you’re interested 😉 ) ;I’ve also written on assorted writing related topics including tips and information about my own progress or work.

I have plenty of notes, thoughts, and desires that I cycle through when choosing a post topic, but in the end, I’m writing and sharing these posts to find others that are interested. To do that, I could use your feedback. So if you have a moment, please write a comment or send me a message with your thoughts and curiosities, about what you would like to see more of going forward!

Changes

As mentioned in a previous post  before my move, I am making some changes, the largest of which includes switching from blogging every Wednesday, to posting every other Wednesday. I have every hope that this will result in the ability to make more progress in other necessary writing areas. I have one MS to finish revising and to query, and another that needs more plotting, research, and planning before NaNoWriMo (fantasy novels involve a lot).

Also, this allows me to have open space for guest posts! I hope to have more details readily available to view on the site in the near future, but for now, please feel free to contact me to discuss a guest post possibility. I’d love to hear from you!

One more time….

Before I wrap this up and prepare for a fantastic day of crafts with my niece, I’d like to say one more GIANT

cumberbatch thank you gif2

to you all. You all rock my knee high socks! ^-^

Plot Twist: When Life Takes a Turn…

I had intended and started writing a different post for today, but I couldn’t make myself finish it right now. The events of the weekend knocked what little wind I had, out of me. Besides the horrible, hate-fueled violence in Orlando, a woman I know, a wonderful artist and a friend, lost one of her teen-age daughters after a long battle with brain cancer.

Such sadness and pain deeply affects me, as I’m sure it does many others. Acutely empathetic, that’s me. Anyone who understands knows that it’s difficult to turn off, and can wear you down. So when it came time to write a particularly difficult post concerning a subject that needs attention after another horrendous offense to humanity occurred with a perpetrator by the name of Brock Turner, trouble abounded.

Even after I decided to change the subject of this post, it was arduous. Neil Gaiman describes a writer’s job best when he says it’s you versus the blank page, or screen, and that often times, the blank page wins. I can have endless strings of sentences and verse bouncing off the walls of my skull, but the moment I try to funnel them into words on a page, it’s like they disappear, evaporate.

I’ve also been extremely busy getting ready for a move…the dread of the bibliophile…book packing and moving…if only it were this simple

merlin books GIF

 

Add this to being incredibly behind in revisions on my manuscript, the fact that I’ve been trying out a new medicine for one of my chronic invisible illnesses, and generally haven’t been feeling well, I decided it was time to reevaluate things.

Next month will mark a full year of blogging (still hard to believe), which is a huge milestone for me. I’ve posted every Wednesday since then, adding the occasional post over the weekend with a review, and eventually a little fiction every Friday.

I’ve met some wonderful people over this past year, some with fantastic blogs of their own, and I look forward to finding and meeting more. However, I don’t want a blog to be the main focus of my writing energy (aside from perhaps the Fiction Fridays). I haven’t yet found what works for me to be as productive as I can be with my own writing. There’s wind did not blow her away adjusted sailsalways something to distract or disrupt, most my own body and the complications it causes in one form or another.

So, I plan to take at least a two week break from posting on Wednesdays (resuming July 6th), to get me through my move and on the other side of things. After that, I will most likely return, but posting every other Wednesday, and opening an invitation to guest bloggers (more details later, but if you’re interested, please send me an email). This is to give me more time to focus on my manuscript, poetry, short stories, and articles for other publications.

I will, however, keep positing The Legend of Leonard Letterman story each Friday on my Fiction Friday Page. (It’s certainly become a more involved tale than I originally imagined, such is the life of a writer, but I’m kind of enjoying seeing where it’s going)

Plotting Morticia gif

Even after the Letterman story is finished, the plan is to continue posting every Friday with bits of fiction. Hopefully this will give me some more reading time too, goodness knows, I could always use more of that. But, you know what they say about the best laid plans, so I suppose we shall see how things go.

Wishing you all the best.

hug for anyone hurting

 

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