When I began writing my second poetry book, Emotions in Evolution, I found myself looking back at previous work, then at my life in the past and wondering how much the past does shape our future, and how does the process work.
I guess, we look at what we wanted and compare it to where we are. Is there a huge difference? For me there is. To be honest I am disappointed in myself. I am nowhere near the place I had hoped I would be at this stage in life. On the other hand, I have done things I never imagined I would do, including writing poetry books.
I guess life has its own plans, and the only thing we can do is keep a positive spin no matter what road we travel. We can’t always know what to do, don’t always have the necessary knowledge and hence we do the best we can in the situation presented. I decided the best way to get over my feelings was to write myself a love letter showing myself some understanding. I was young and there was so much I didn’t know. What about you? Is your life what you hoped? Feel free to write in and let me know.
A love letter to the girl that was
It starts as a rose bud.
Tiny tender petals
of youth, of not knowing,
until the bud explodes.
And the sweet, untouched flesh
bleeds with longing as it settles.
There were thorns that lingered,
thorns that pricked,
the unsuspecting digits.
Thorns, not only daring to grasp,
but arrogantly and greedily, fingered.
We took without asking,
assuming our fingerprints had rights
to the leaves of forever young, and
we tainted, misappropriated
while sunshine basking.
(Emotions in Evolution, see links below for eBook and paperback see links below)
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Looking through some previous work I came across some things I had written regarding genre. I wanted to reassess what motivates me and so I went searching. We need to do this from time to time as a reminder of what we set out to do.
I love the different worlds books offer us, but it seems I am inspired by a consistent idea. If you have followed me at all on social media, you may have noticed I tend to cross genres. Romance, poetry and I am currently working on a thriller.
Yet the common thread is always love, even in my poetry. My latest work is about my love for colour, for nature, for our place on this earth as well as some of the more personal pieces on emotions in general. I love looking at the concept of love. All my characters in my The Unexpected Series, draw strength from love, seek love as a counterpart to understanding, want love so life is shared, demonstrate feelings physically often choosing ways and means that may not suit others. In brief there is a tiny lean to the darker side of life. Why have I chosen this theme?
Naively perhaps, I believe that love is the most important thing for us as a human to feel, to share and to be a part of. I honestly believe it is the inability of some to understand love and display it that does so much harm on a local, regional, national and then global level. I don’t just mean romantic love but parental, the love for friends or colleagues, or the four-footed friends that grace our lives. The Greeks had seven words for love and I thought exploring this in prose would be fun. It was. My leading lady Alexia in Unexpected Passion is Greek, and it felt appropriate. I have used the Greek words; I promise you will understand the meanings from the poem itself. I hope you like this sample enough to want to look at more of my work in my new poetry book Emotions in Evolution.
Love, it takes all kinds
The bane of our existence.
The reason for our evolution.
The reason for human persistence.
The emotion that lacks solution.
The Ancient Greeks gave us insight.
Separated views of love, have might.
Eros was erotic and sexual.
Agape selfless and sacrificial.
Ludus played, flirted, seduced.
Philia to friendship, platonic was reduced.
Pragma we all hope to obtain
for Pragma is shared love and
the one we all hope to retain.
Why not, when it means
long-standing, a couple’s refrain.
And now we move to self-love
or Philautia by name.
A puzzle, often a nuisance from above
when narcissism is the game.
But then self-love can be enabling
giving us a noble redemption
when we lose the ego labelling
with caring as our intention.
And when Storge deems to reveal
we find the best is last
for familial has nothing to conceal
as parent and child, love holds fast.
What now, we ask?
Do divisions ease the task?
But love remains the eternal mystery
controlling lives all through our history.
Some of my characters are unsure of love and what it means in their lives. In Unexpected Obsession Lia accepts it, allows it to grow, to exist but Nico fights calling it love, is afraid of what it may mean to his life. When he finds the courage to embrace it, Nico finds his life changes in ways he had no preparation for, ways in which life takes on a new meaning.
He has someone with whom he can be himself, and it adds a dimension to the physical without relying on frills, yes frills and not thrills. Thrills are a given if done right, frills are toys, fine unless you have to rely on them.
I guess poetry, thriller or even the science fiction flapping around in my brain will always have the idea of love meandering through their pages. After all contemporary romance is a much-loved sibling.
Been giving a lot of thought to keeping the blog fresh and the one thing I keep coming back to is the people I meet in this career I have embarked on. I am a great believer in paying it forward and the people I meet every day encourage me to do just that and thankfully the blog allows me the space. Last month my focus was Australian author Jill Staunton and her wonderful book Reiver’s Moon and this month I want to introduce you to my cover artist, Christopher Brunton.
Chris is a graphic artist and illustrator with nearly 30 years print media and advertising experience. He was formerly the Art Director for North Queensland Newspapers, but decided he was ready to branch out into freelancing, and here it is seven years later. Chris enjoys the fact that working for himself has offered an opportunity for a wider creative challenge. Although he is my cover artist Chris also does many other different things including some wonderful work with cartoons.
I know through my own experience with him that he goes with the client need but doesn’t hesitate to offer input. I asked for something pretty for my poetry books and he provided exactly what I asked for. I wanted something soft on the eye because my poetry deals with life issues, and the things around us and I felt I needed to reflect this.
I loved the fact that he understood and gave my covers that softness I wanted. At the end of the day you want someone that listens to you. Cover art is a partnership, any form of art is a partnership between the artist and the client. I was so nervous, and it turned out I had no need to be.
When I made the decision to self-publish I felt I was taking a leap off a cliff; and trust me I am no bungee jumper. My son did give it a try, but I don’t want to think about that. Anyway, I had to make some decisions involving what I could do myself and what I couldn’t. The cover was the hardest thing to decide on, and I made a few mistakes trying to get my head around things. Finding Chris has made the process so easy. I tell him my ideas, he throws things back at me, and then it comes together. All my eBook covers have been a very smooth experience.
Later, working on a print copy of the cover for my romance novel we managed to encounter a few problems and he was amazing. So much had to go backwards, and forwards because of a glitch in the system (the actual self-publishing) and I just wanted to give up. He didn’t, and we got it done. I felt supported and writers need this as we are an emotional mess at times about our work. Putting pen to paper is such a personal thing and having someone listen about our work makes such a difference.
Chris has two passions, the gym and working with people to create artwork that makes them happy. The interesting thing is I have never met Chris and all our work together has been online, and the fact the process worked so well says a lot about his attitude to life and his profession. I am so happy to be able to feature both his online illustration portfolio, and his graphic art portfolio. They demonstrate his versatility (see the cover below).
I have provided links below for other samples of work. I hope you take the time to peruse them.
Can anyone relate to the frustrated desire to fix things when they go wrong and end up taking that desire too far? I mean as in wasting time too far? Sometimes we have to prove we can make it right even after understanding the mistake is there, and it’s too far gone to fix. Call it stubboness, foolishness, correction fixation or whatever word best suits you but ultimately it is a waste of time when better things are waiting.
Hanging onto a job you hate, a marriage or a relationship that is hurting you, buying six other pieces of clothing to make the pants work that should not have been bought in the first place, living the ‘j’ word over and over (you know, justifying) are all self-harming but we do it. Maybe, we shouldn’t, maybe it’s time to say stop and let another Spring begin instead. What do you think?
I think children are such a gift and grandchildren even more so. Watching them grow and develop their own personalities is a fascinating process. It is the continuation of life, and observing the repeated features of loved ones reflected in the turn of the head, the shape of the eyes, or just a look, is magic unfolding.
But wait, there is more. The best part is when they are entirely new in their actions and behaviours and you really understand this is an independent creation – a miracle of life.
I have just finished a term working with students on the subject of dreams, and the way dreams have been perceived for centuries. Alas, I am no wiser. It appears that dreams have always featured as something to fascinate the religious, the scientifically minded and those obsessed with the paranormal world.
There is an attraction to the unknown, to the mystical spiritual universe where anything is possible and it is eternal. The word ‘dream’ has long held centre stage in conversations. And, don’t forget the pull dreams have for those of us who fancy ourselves romantics. We dream of a perfect life, a perfect lover, and even a perfect world.
Prophetic or not, scientific or not, dreams have haunted more than our nights and we may never really understand them. They have an elusive quality for the human mind no matter our backgrounds. I have dreamed of many things, mostly strange in some fashion or another, and freely confess to frequently wondering if there is more to this thing we call a ‘dream’ than we are ready to know. What about you? What do you think?
If I could manifest my thoughts
Upon the breeze they would float
Until you allowed that moment
Absorption occurs and they enter
inside your mind.
And you would take them with a
puzzled distraught frown
Your internals turning, churning,
thrashing up and down
And you would know deep in
that silent waiting part
That it is a waste of time to be so
mindlessly far apart.
But this is reality, a test of faith and give.
And right this minute, you are far too human,
To let my manifestations in and then let them live.