Mountains Out of Molehills

there in the distance
hazy peak reaching for blue
my mountain to climb

journey forward and
up a jagged precipice
my fingers bloodied

determination
I will not be left to rot
upon this dark rock

this mountain, though of
my own creation, will not
be my final death

It’s been an odd handful of days for me. I’ve been laser-focused on writing, blogging, and trying to think of ways to further my success. It’s still my dream to someday be able to make a living off my writing. I’m not sure where this burst of motivation came from, but I’m certainly not complaining.

Over the past year or so, my confidence in my writing ability has grown tenfold. I used to be someone who hated everything I wrote and always struggled to share it with the world. I read my writing now and I don’t immediately cringe doing so. There have been a few pieces I’ve liked enough to want to submit them–and was successful doing so. Maybe this is a sign of maturity, or maybe my friend Katie Staten, with her constant support, has finally convinced me I’m not a terrible writer.

I wrote this connected series of haiku when I was in a really dark place. I was considering giving up writing for good. I thought I’d never accomplish anything with it. I knew, though, if I did, I’d be unhappy for the rest of my life. Hard as it may be, I love writing, and without the release it provides, I’d probably go insane. So I wrote this poem to remind myself that, though the going may be tough, the end of the journey is always worth it. So like the little engine that could, I just keep chugging along. I’ve got a long way to go yet but, right now, it feels doable.

If you’d like to read more of my poetry, stop by my Medium page. I’ve been working on a series of autumn and Halloween-inspired haiku that are, in my not-so-humble opinion, cute and a lot of fun. I hope to see you there!

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Invisible Enemies

I admit, when I started this page (or any of my social media accounts), I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t to stare at my lack of engagement and feel like all my effort is for naught.

Maybe my expectations were just too high.

Let’s be real: building a social media presence is hard. Marketing is hard. WRITING is hard–and when I fail at the first two things, my rewards-motivated brain just nopes out if it doesn’t get instant gratification (thanks ADHD).

And if I don’t write…well, I’ll never achieve my dream of publishing a book and maybe, someday, making a living solely off writing.

The most frustrating thing is it feels like I’m battling an invisible enemy: Algorithms. I can write and draw until my fingers ache, but if I can’t beat the algorithms at their game, no one sees any of it.

Does anyone else miss the good ol’ days of social media, before algorithms became the new “it” thing? It seems all they’ve done is make a mess of things.

There are some things I can try to boost my engagement: change up my hashtag game, post in the morning on weekdays (Google says this is the best time), and avoid outbound links. Hopefully it’ll do some good.

I’m trying my very best not to get discouraged with the low amount of engagement on my posts, here or otherwise. But I’m having a hard time of it. Any encouragement or support anyone has to offer would be much appreciated.

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It Came! It Finally Came!

I was so happy to receive my contributor’s copy of the Inaugural Edition of Copperfield Review Quarterly. After all, I was a contributor! I never dreamed I’d attempt to write a Shakespearean sonnet about Henry VIII, much less that it would be published in such an esteemed literary journal of historical fiction and poetry.

I would like to thank the editor of CRQ, Meredith Allard, for this amazing honor.

I’m proud to finally share with everyone A Day in the Life of Henry VIII. Such an infamous monarch’s daily to-do list couldn’t possibly contain such mundane things as cleaning and errands. In this sonnet, Henry VIII takes it upon himself to change his marriage, the church, and God Himself, all in the pursuit of securing his progeny.

The image of God in his ire does speak
that a more painful hell than this awaits.
But I am King and this one change I seek:
‘tis my desire and creed which should dictate
the right of man to set aside his wife
who through devilry and spite does founder
to achieve her purpose to create life;
whether by ties or death should he sever
them from this most sacred and solemn vow,
he can be assured of his rightful choice
and take such succor as offered him now,
be it food or skin above a rich bodice!
Whoever she be, shall she be my queen
or be hanged for failure to make a king?

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New Avenues

I’m always searching for ways to branch out with my writing–or maybe I’m just someone who likes to start a lot of projects and overwork myself until I, inevitably, shut down.

I suspect it’s a little of both.

That being said…I signed up for an account on the social media network for writers: Medium! It seems like a fun place. As most writers know, it can be hard to connect with other people and get them to engage with your writing, so that’s what I’m hoping to gain from Medium.

Another of my goals is to post a little something every day. I just started an October art/writing prompt challenge that will keep me busy for a little while. Afterwards, who knows? I don’t want to post only poetry and short fiction pieces, so I might cook up some personal stories and listicles too. The point is to write more frequently. I’ve got to build better writing habits, or none of my writing projects will ever be finished.

I’ve posted a couple things already. Check out my profile, cheer me on, and follow me. Let’s be friends!

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She’s Ba-aaack (Kinda)

Ack! It happened again. My apologies. My mind is as fickle as the weather sometimes. I also haven’t been writing lately, so I haven’t had much to say on that front. I have been reading, but as you can see, I haven’t kept up with my monthly wrap-up posts.

Failures all around.

Unfortunately, I don’t foresee myself getting back on the writing horse anytime soon. I’m going back to work November 1st, and all my attention has been laser-focused on preparing for that. Mostly I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do for childcare. This shouldn’t be so hard, but here we are. It’s ridiculous how expensive it is. Why should I go to work to pay someone $1,000 a month to raise my children? That’s an entire mortgage payment!

I’m going to end it there, before I get myself worked up. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’m able to find a cheaper option.

I miss writing. It’s always this time of year, with NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon, that I feel the worst about my inconsistencies as a writer. I have the creativity and the talent, but none of the discipline writing requires. It makes me fear I’ll never finish a novel, or any writing piece longer than a short story–and I can barely finish those!

It’s so frustrating. I wish brain transplants were a thing. Since they aren’t, I should probably follow through on seeking out the therapy I’ve needed for a long time, but I can never make myself take that step. If only I was still of an age when my mother took care of all my medical business, then I’d have no choice!

House Cleaning

I’ve made some changes around here! Finally, my website reflects the new, married me. As do all my social media links, and let me tell you, it was not easy to change over. My married name is ten times more common than my maiden name, and it took me dozens of tries to find usernames that work. I never used to like my maiden name, but it was, at least, distinguishing.

The name of my website isn’t the only thing that’s changed. I began this site to launch a freelance editing career, but that has fallen by the wayside. I admit, I was naïve and very ignorant to how hard it actually is to break into the market. I realize now, it might not be something that’s achievable for me. At least, not without a degree and experience to back me up. Though I have confidence in my ability to help authors, I know it’s my word against…nothing.

I’d still like to offer editing services to those in need of it, especially to freelance or up-and-coming authors who need an editor but can’t pay the exorbitant prices of established editors. If that’s you or someone you know, let’s chat! I’d love nothing more than to assist you.

But editing is not the focus of this website anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time.

In the past year, I’ve come to a realization. One I never truly believed I would reach. It turns out, I CAN make a splash in the literary world, that my poetry IS something publishers are interested in, and that’s become my main focus. I’ve had three poems published, one in an acclaimed literary magazine, and I just sent out a micro-chapbook to a contest. I can’t say whether or not I’ll win, but I am confident in the quality of the chapbook. If it doesn’t win the contest, there are other avenues I’d like to explore with it.

I’m loving falling in love with poetry again and gaining more confidence in my writing. And that’s what I’d like to focus on now. I hope this only means good things for my career as a poet.

It’s Publication Day!

Finally, the day I’ve been waiting for. My Shakespearean sonnet A Day in the Life of Henry VIII has had its debut in Copperfield Review Quarterly and I couldn’t be prouder. Seeing my name in print for the first time, and in such an acclaimed literary publication, has me feeling a little teary. I hope this only means good things for my future as a poet.

Please consider supporting me and this great publication. You can purchase digital or print copies of the quarterly on Copperfield Review Quarterly’s website. There’s so much on offer in this edition! Read about handling resistance with Steven Pressfield; Ann Taylor is in the poet spotlight; and, of course, there are plenty of short stories and poems to enjoy.

Get your copy today!

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Here Comes the Bride

I married my significant other of nine years yesterday! Honestly, it was about time. It was a simple ceremony performed by a Justice of the Peace, but I got to marry the man I love in front of all my friends and family, so it was simply perfect.

In honor of my nuptials, I want to share a poem I wrote about us a few years ago.

Units of Measurement

How do you measure a relationship?
In years?
We’ve lasted four.
I’d try to get it down to the second,
but I’m bad at math.

Anyway,
I think I’d rather measure ours
in moments:

Like the first night we spent together
and stayed up until 3am talking
about…you know, I’ve forgotten,
but the sound of your voice
was a roll of thunder over my skin,
and, oh, how I wished your fingers had chased the sounds.

We were so silly
the day we decided to move in together
as a solution to our first real argument.
But I was frustrated–I missed you,
and you, you won’t admit it,
but you missed me too,
and even though it was stupid,
it worked out all right in the end.

I remember the night I came home
from visiting my parents
and you said my new hair color was beautiful
and we tumbled into bed together
and some months and days later
we named our son after your grandfather.

It’s weird, isn’t it,
that buying a house together was scarier
than those 16 hours of pain.

A lot can happen in four years.
I’m curious to see what the next
three years will bring–
maybe a daughter?

We did get our daughter, by the way. She has her father’s eyes. ♥

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Joker’s Right: A Poem

Bringing it back to a time when I thought I was clever–and could actually rhyme!

Though I fancied myself as a rather mysterious person, multiple people told me they could “read me like an open book.” I didn’t like that, so this was my response to them.

In hindsight, I probably wasn’t as mysterious as I pretended to be.

Complicated beyond comprehension,
but what’s to comprehend
when it’s all a game?
I like to play pretend.
A bag of tricks
and some joker’s quick wit
brings the crowd their kicks.
Now it’s the clown being played,
though I’d gladly condescend to claim
you know the face behind the name.

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Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine: A Poem

A PET Scan illustrating difference between a brain with ADHD and one without. PHOTO: NEUROSCIENCENEWS

I’ve always wondered
what neurotypical looks like.
Let’s compare brains.

You go first.
Cut off my hair,
peel back my scalp;
what do you see?

Is my brain sectioned
into hyperfixations
or does Henry VIII waltz
to Kpop?

What does it
look like?
A brain?
A castle?
Are the walls pink-grey
or splattered with glitter?

How does it feel?
Do the folds vibrate?
Or is it my legs
which cannot hold still?

Detach my brain
from its stem.
This doesn’t hurt
at all;
you see, I’m
grateful,
so grateful,
for the reprieve.

Thousands of things
happen every
second
and my brain wants
to know all of them.

Next time you see me
in a restaurant,
lower your voice
or all your secrets
will go home
with me.

Cradle my brain
gently.
Is it heavy?
It should be.
It’s full of
secrets.

Smell it.
Lick it.
Hold it to your ear
like a conch shell–
Can you hear the ocean?
Oh, it’s singing a
90s commercial jingle on loop?
Sorry, it does that
sometimes.

Had enough?
Put my brain back.
Stitch me up.
Find me a wig.

Tell me everything!

My brain looks
like a normal brain?
Look once more.
There must be something
to fix;
I’m getting tired
of forgetting–
what were we talking about
again?

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