Let’s Go to the Videotape!

Admittedly, some of my readers may not understand that reference or know who was famous for saying it (you can ask Google). But after friends joined me in celebrating at a Preview Poetry Party this week for my forthcoming chapbook, Undressing the Heart, I knew I’d want to share the replay far and wide.

Even if you don’t read poetry, even if you don’t know who I am, if you’re like many people I know–exhausted by the news cycle, tired of election updates, dismayed by COVID reports and just ready for this year to be over already–I suggest you check it out. It was a great escape for me and the attendees. I read some poems, answered questions about writing poetry, what I love about it, and what inspires me. We talked about humanity, universal emotions and what we all share. We connected, and we smiled. A lot.

It was an evening event full of love, community and support, something we could all use right now. For those who celebrated with me, THANK YOU for a wonderful evening. For those who couldn’t make it, be well, stay strong, and enjoy the replay.

Oh, and know that the Holiday Promotion mentioned in the recording will remain in effect until Friday, November 6.

Sending love, from my heart to yours.

Tell Me About It

When I was a child, I learned that adults had very little interest in what I had to say, even though I had A LOT to say. My brain was always working, and talking through my thoughts helped me make sense of them. The problem was, the random, rambling thoughts of a ten-year-old rarely warrant a response.

As I got older, I still processed things better by talking them through. But I learned that, since my brain is always working, doing so would mean my mouth would also be going nonstop. Few friends were tolerant enough to handle that. Eventually, I kept my thoughts to myself or put them down in a journal to avoid alienating others.

Now as an adult, I write. I try to hold my tongue when I’m with others until I have something worth sharing (it doesn’t always work). My point? I trained myself to listen instead of talk.

But now that I have a book of poetry coming out, I find myself hesitant to talk about it. Because it means talking about myself, and my writing, a habit I’ve spent years working to break. So some gracious and lovely friends have arranged an event where I will be encouraged to talk about poetry, my book and myself. This means an interview, readings and a Q&A session.

The bad news is that it’s going to take some practice for me to gear up to talk about myself and my work. The good news is that it means everything I’ll share at my Poetry Preview Party will be thought out and worthwhile for those who join us.

I hope you’ll be one of them!

Click the image for more details!

In the Spotlight


“Spotlight” by Tilemahos Efthimiadis is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

You know the dream. Everyone has it.

You’re back in high school, walking into a classroom full of your friends and peers, when you look down and realize you’re naked.

Your mind goes blank, and your face gets so hot that you feel as though there’s a spotlight on you.

While everyone is staring.

Analysts say this common dream can be an indication that, among other things, you’re trying to be something you’re not. All writers know this feeling. It’s called imposter syndrome.

It happens when whether we’ve published one book or twenty. That gnawing fear that, despite our years of labor, tears and sweat, this book we’re sending out into the world for others to read and judge is no good. Even though we love it, our agent loves it, our publisher loves it and our friends who’ve read it love it. Even though we’ve poured our hearts into it.

I’m lucky enough to say that today, my publisher is the one shining a spotlight. Finishing Line Press is bringing attention to my forthcoming book of poems, Undressing the Heart, by featuring it on all their social media sites.

Perhaps it’s been a while since you had the dream. But I’ll be you still remember how you felt.

This is exactly what I’ve tried to capture in my poems. A scene, a story, and details enough to evoke emotion in the reader.

Today, my dream is that you’ll consider reserving a copy of my book, and experience the feelings I’ve tried to capture inside it.

Here’s a sample, a poem that was first published at Literary Mama. Thanks for reading!

–For Sarah

As a girl, you used to paint,
low on the walls in corners of your room,
tiny trees and flowers, undetected.

Soon boarding school called;
I was left to rearrange
the furniture, unearth your garden. We spoke

later; you laughed at the standoffs
that sparked those small
rebellions. Such colorful pictures

defiantly raised your young
psyche. Yet you haven’t outgrown
the consolation of such things:

now eighteen, home from school,
I hear you slip nights
into the bathroom — the one I can’t bear

to enter for the mess — and crouch
on the floor in the corner. Now
instead of producing, you peel

the paper. Flowers fall off
in little strips, leaving beneath,
bare blue walls.

I knew my body would
betray me as I aged, yet death
is not the mid-life crisis I’d expected.

But what I’m most sorry for
is what my illness does to us:
strips me by layers of physical strength,

peels you slowly in little
emotional strips until
all that’s left is bare and blue.

Yet you are the unlucky one:
soon my turn will come to go.
But you will remain and be forced

to rearrange, unable to speak
with me about things you may
happen to suddenly unearth.