To touch another person, isn’t that the goal?

I’ve struggled recently to put into words why I feel the need to publish what I write, why it isn’t enough to write just for me. Why do I want to seek publication for my writing, why doesn’t my blog feel like enough of a place for that? I think it’s ultimately a thirst for human connection, the desire to touch another person through my writing. I’ve read SO much and been touched so often in unexpected ways, sometimes by just a phrase, and I want to put myself out there and share, in the hopes of touching someone else.

Last Saturday I had a really super awesome experience that made me say, “Yes, I’m a real writer,” at the same time I got tears in my eyes. I wrote a poem and posted it on Twitter for #vss365. The prompt was the word “poleaxe,” of all things, and it was inspired by an unexpected but powerful resurgence of grief I’d had earlier in the week. Here’s the poem:

Grief

is a poleaxe 

to the heart

that keeps coming

but never kills,

piercing anew,

all-encompassing

unexpected agony

always hovering,

ready to strike

its unsuspecting

victim.

Not long after I published that tweet, a got a private message from someone on Twitter asking if she could share my poem. She was in India, which is having a really bad time with COVID right now, and had been touched by my words; she thought her friends might as well.

I wrote a tweet-length poem in a few minutes, and people halfway around the world experiencing immense grief got comfort from my simple words. It’s incredible, really, and I am so grateful this internet stranger took the time to tell me what my poem meant to her. So many writers never know, and I don’t expect to always get this kind of reaction – but THIS is why I want to share what I write.

I laughed, I cried, I REMEMBERED: ARC Review of I Remember Us by Jaime Dill

I Remember Us

The Short Review

I Remember Us is intensely personal, vulnerable, and relatable. I had really high hopes for this book, and it far surpassed my expectations. This collection of poetry, on the heels of Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Poem, has ignited in me not only a desire to READ poetry (I Remember Us is the first book of poetry I’ve successfully read cover-to-cover–and intend to reread), but also to WRITE it. The writing is magnificent, the story is unique to the author and her husband and yet universal; I see myself in these pages. I laughed, I cried, and I REMEMBERED. We see the young couple fall in love—that part’s easy, and fun, full of nostalgia. But then they hit the real world—money problems, unintended pregnancy, heartbreaking loss, fighting with each other—and they overcome. Jaime Dill shows us the beauty of growing and changing together, of loving each other through the changes. This book is a celebration of love, of how love triumphs. Ultimately, I did more than remember the past: I remembered the NOW, I remembered how unbelievably blessed I am to be in a marriage like the one reflected in the pages of I Remember Us.

Some extra commentary

I was fortunate to receive a free copy of this book via Booksprout, and the above paragraph is the review I left on Booksprout and Goodreads and will pop up on Amazon once it’s out. NOW, I need to gush a little more and tell you where to find Jaime and all the great things she’s been up to in addition to writing a fantastic book.

First – this book is SO GOOD that I asked for a paperback copy for my birthday (WHICH IS TODAY), even though I’ve already read it. I’m only sorry I didn’t think to ask for a signed copy… and I rarely reread books. That said, I reread about half of it the other day when I sat down to write my review so I’d say it’ll be nice to have a paper copy! Pre-order your copy here!

Second – Jaime is not only a gifted writer, but she’s a super sweet person and very giving of her time. I’m working my way through some feedback she gave me on some poems I wrote recently and I’m just so touched she took the time to give me such thorough, prodding feedback. Which brings me to…

Third – She’s a developmental editor and book coach! And if her feedback on my amateur poetry is any indication, Jaime is worth every penny! Check out her editing company, Polish and Pitch, for information on how to work with her and more!

Finally – Jaime is also Editor-in-Chief of her own publishing imprint, Cardigan Press. They’re releasing their first publication, an anthology for and by writers, later this year. I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Free Book Alert! Right Back Where We Started by Fiona West

Do you all remember Fiona West? I interviewed her last year for the Indie Author Spotlight, and since then she’s hired me to copy edit several of her books (YAY!). The first one I did for her, Right Back Where We Started, is FREE right now on Amazon, but only until Friday. Go get yourself a copy and give it a read – and then, of course, go back for the rest of them. Next in the series, Just Getting Started (my favorite), releases next month and is available for pre-order now!

Right Back Where We Started – free until Friday, May 14!

Just Getting Started – Pre-order on Kindle now for only $.99!

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