Medium UPDATE–Here’s what you may have missed

Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter

Hi to all my WordPress followers!! This week on my Medium account I did ALL of my links with the “Friend Links” which means that YOU–even if you are NOT a Medium member, can enjoy this content. I thought I’d share the newsletter with you! Read below to see what you may have missed over at Medium. I promise, I will get some of these poems posted here as well 🙂 Have a GREAT weekend!! If you would like to follow Fiddleheads & Floss on Medium, here is the link:

https://medium.com/fiddleheads-floss

What a week — sucky for MPP but a lot of great writing! Fancy that?

Here are a few highlights — all friend links so you can share this with friends or other writers you think may enjoy it. Thanks guys!

First offDid you know I am related to an ax murderer?

Two writing prompts for you!

Emily Dickinson Poetry Prompt (Thank you Jenny Justice for your response to this one — I really enjoyed it!)
Haiku Prompt (This one is from House of Haiku — they have great prompts!)


Poetry is queen this week!

This Poetic Sea (Thank you to Heath ዟ and Anna Rozwadowska for all you do to support L.L. writers!! You guys are the best!)

A terrible uninvited guest — IN MY BATH!!

Ladder-back Chairs

I Grow Restless

Late Night Ladies

The little guy that sent my heart through the roof this week when I stepped on him!

Without this guy I can hardly walk.

Poor Icy — R.I.P (Dennett thank you for your condolences and understanding!)

On the Outskirts of the Blue Ridge


Don’t miss these writing articles!

Are you running on a hamster wheel for Medium?

For the sake of Great Story


Articles to inspire you — win at life!

You need to be doing this right now!

The worst boss I ever had.

That is all for this week — stay tuned for a great poem due to post any day now— Rivers Through the Wasteland.

Happy weekend everyone. My tribe. My people. You guys are the best.

I hope you have found something wonderful here to read and share. Delivering content that makes your life better or more meaningful in some way is remarkably rewarding — so let me know what you appreciate and I will do more like that 🙂

One poem this week I wrote in less than 2 minutes and gave it ZERO edits — hoping that this would make it feel more authentic, be more relatable, connect better with readers — it received 1.1K claps in 12 hours. I learned something here. About not leaving my reader behind with poetry so complex that it isn’t enjoyable — thanks you guys for teaching me!

One more thing: Zach J. Payne has started a pub for SONNETS!! Here’s the link: Sonnetry Be sure to give it a follow — and get to writing some sonnets!

~Christina

Excavating a Poem

a free verse poem celebrating the process

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Excavating a Poem

Some, a breath
exhaled slowly
into life-giving words.

Some, an excavation
with bristles firm,
then soft and careful.

Some, roots
gnarled and half-buried
we trip over them
and follow them to trees.

Some, grains of sand
to be gathered and shaped
into delicate mounds
washed into the sea.

We gather. We excavate.
We dig and we build.

We are careful to use
the right tools, the right angles
the carved-out landscapes
of metaphor and dream.

We speak for them, but they
are our teachers.


To all my fellow poets out there digging deep, finding the breath to breathe life into your poetry, or just listening to your poems until they speak themselves to you…it is a gift to be their voice.Embrace it. Be mindful. Always seek. Always listen.

Christina Ward
:::i paint with words:::

Abysmal You

Free Verse poetry


Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay

I dream of things unspoken.
You shake me to the surface
sleepy-eyed, confused.

You might still be real.

There might still be one moment
that is mine.

My nakedness aches.
I don’t want
the gray
the shadow
the memory to absorb you.

Eyes wide and blind, I am a child,
abandoned, untethered.


Original publishing: Abysmal You

My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Christina Ward is an accomplished poet, aspiring author, and columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Catawba College in Environmental Science which greatly influences her work. She also studied creative writing and English at Catawba. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo print literary magazine, the Arrowhead print literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.

A Pier No More

an original poem by Christina Ward
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

We were an old pier, standing in the sea,
pilings caked with barnacles, ravaged by the currents,
our foundation weak. We waited for the tides to displace us,
unplug us from our feeble grip on shifting sands…
for the sea to bring us to our knees.

The sandy currents burn with salt life
nibbling our shins and worming its way in,
the moon setting our time clock spinning,
one massive watery shift after another.
 
Age and weather befell us. Our wooden rot
compelled us to fall — can we be blamed for this?
I crawled upon the skin of sand to the edge 
where water ebbed, rose and smashed upon itself.

I could have buried our secrets, there in the sand.
The sand crabs scattered and danced sideways across
the rise and fall, into holes that swallowed them up.
They took no mind of me.

The ocean now digests that which was us.

I wrote my name there
— (on the beach where forgiveness was more vacant than the 
roar of a shell)
with scrapings and clawings on malleable sand
I am mere letters; a pier no more.
I walked away, salt stinging in my pores.


My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!

The Poetry Paintbrush Can Write Your Life

it began for me with Sylvia Plath’s Edge

Soap Bubble, Color, Colorful, Iridescent, Kunterbunt
Pixabay, No attribution required

I am thinking of my favorite paintbrush — poetry 🖌

My first experience with loving the poetic word was in a high school literature class when my teacher assigned us to choose a poem and deliver a short speech about it to our class. The poem I chose was Sylvia Plath’s Edge.

…odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

— Edge, Sylvia Plath

There was something so deeply disturbing, yet profoundly magical, in that poem. I was drawn inexorably to those words.

I began writing creatively in high school and poetry as early as 16. A Tale of Two Poems is an article I wrote featuring two of the poems I wrote in high school. And, I don’t think they are too terrible. 😉

Poetry is a living, breathing element of my being, the tool by which I choose to express parts of me I dare others to attempt to understand.

It is my favorite tool, and as I choose to paint, and I paint with words. What poetry means to another individual is completely unique and right in its own way as all of us are touched and moved by it in varying ways.

Despite my initial attraction to poetry, at times writing it has eluded me, the brushes remaining in a dusty cup on a shelf in the corner of life. As a child, I was compelled to pick up this brush and sit with it in my hand, yet no poem would pour out of its colorless brushes.

As I have grown into my adult skin I have both lived and consumed and observed the colors of life that fill my brush again and again.

This gives me means by which to splash myself onto paper, eternalizing that which could otherwise be washed away in time. I have learned through the years that sometimes I write the poem, and sometimes the poem writes me.

Poetry can breath itself into us, painting our souls with richness, emotion, clarity, and a whole range of other reactions, or it can be bled out of us, inviting others to grasp its music and its colors with canvases of their own waiting to be filled.

Consider the poetry in your life. Consider the paintbrushes with which you write. And always seek to fill those brushes with wondrous color.


Originally published here: Paintbrushes Article

Learn to Write Better Poetry

a lesson

Poetry, Poetry Album, Old, Font, Poem, Saying, Memory
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay 

If there’s anything I’ve learned about writing poetry, it’s that you’re never done learning how to do it. Anytime I find a new angle, a new inspiration, or technique, it feels like my first day as a poet all over again. I pick up my imaginary feather quill, dip it in my imaginary pot of magical ink, and I write.

So get out your imaginary quill and take a few notes. Perhaps there are a few poems waiting for you to birth them. Here are a few ideas that do not come from any book I’ve read or class I’ve taken, but from my quill, and the bend my mind takes while rounding new corners to find poetry.

Let’s talk syzygy.

(Ok so I learned a new word today and couldn’t resist adding it in…)

noun, plural syz·y·gies.

1. Astronomy . an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet: Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.

2. Classical Prosody . a group or combination of two feet, sometimes restricted to a combination of two feet of different kinds.

3. any two related things, either alike or opposite.

We will consider the third definition of syzygy. Two examples will help to explain.

Parallel Syzygy Poem

The first example, I call parallel poetry writing. In this technique you will follow this equation:

Equation: an object, a living being, or a train of thought + an action = new poem

Rule: The first item, being, or thought will be the actual topic of your poem but you will borrow imagery and descriptive words from the action you have chosen. The two will be similar in some way so that the comparison isn’t too forced, uncomfortable, confusing, or stark.

Here is an example of a poem that I wrote using this method:

thoughts of a child + swinging on a swing = Yesterdays

As you can see, there are easy similarities to be drawn between a child and the action of swinging and the two are easily pictured in the same scene.

Here is the poem for quick reference:

Yesterdays

Why don’t you climb inside
my braids and sing
me a song?

swinging
out over the grasses
our feet stretched so high
the chain-link grinds
as we rise
toward
sun

Why don’t you open up your
freckles and let
me inside?

I need
to know where
the June bugs hide in the winter
when swings don’t swing
and the night
stands
still

Consider the first stanza; these are the silly things you’d find bouncing around inside of the head of a happy child, lost in imaginative play. This theme carries throughout the poem as this child contemplates freckles and friendship, June bugs and their wanderings.

The action of swinging is evident as expressed in stanza two. Listen to the sound of the chain link grinding on the pole as this child swings. There’s also an interesting twist to this poem with regards to the structure…swinging out and back in with the line lengths, to mimic the pattern of swinging.

Juxtaposed Syzygy Poem

Now for the second example, I call juxtaposed poetry writing. You will, again, follow this equation:

Equation: an object, a living being, or a train of thought + an action = new poem

Rule: The first item, being, or thought will be the actual topic of your poem but you will borrow imagery and descriptive words from the action you have chosen. The two things will have very little, if anything, in common.

Here is an example of a poem I wrote using this method:

thoughts on being a poet + the cleaning of a fish (butchering) =The Poet Cleaning

Here is the poem for quick reference:

The Poet Cleaning

Ripped from the belly of the sea
pregnant with vowels
our tails slap hard
pendulous swings,
our eyes are benign, panicked moons,
fibroadenomas
sitting inside our heads.

They must be plucked out.

We climb outside ourselves,
hold the knife steady,
scrape against the grain,
shedding our silvers
until we are clean,
carve a canoe-slice across our necks
another, neck to belly,
our insides slide free.

This poem is about the vulnerability of being a poet. The poet must open up parts of themselves, sometimes very personal, with raw honesty. Now consider the action. Have you ever seen the cleaning of a fish? If you have not it is a violent really kind of gross thing to see. The knife scraping the scales away (called the “silvers” in this poem), and slicing off the head, cutting the length of the belly the fishes guts spill out in a slippery glub. The panicked eyes are wide.

I described the writer process using the terminology, visual images, and description of a fish cleaning process to show that opening process the poet does while writing. We dig pretty deep when writing poetry — our insides slide free.

One would not normally think of these two things at the same time, but the metaphor sits well in this poem, giving it richness, depth, and provokes an emotional reaction in the reader.

Now, anyone want to give it a try?

Choose either of the above methods and write your poem. Link back here so I can see what you create!

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anaïs Nin


Christina Ward is a poet and aspiring author working on her first book, a piece of literary, mainstream fiction, and is a columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo literary magazine, the Arrowhead literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.

Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!

Swallow Me Whole

a poem of Contemplation

Image from Pixabay

Beneath this earth
so many souls. In this ground
right where I stand,
my bare-heeled ache on the grit;
do they linger here?

Do their solemn hazes pass me by 
as my breath drifts me
one day to the next?
Am I aware of
that chill, that pressure in the air
shifting, disturbing,
a moaning whisper to my
human ears?
Does it shift me?

I turned on the light
I asked you to leave

In the pierce of afternoon sun
an oak; a bleak, towering,
ivy-choked oak.
An angular ghost.
The last leaf fell long before
I appeared, a shifting soul, 
nowhere to go.
I contemplate its lean.

When comes the terrible fall?
When comes the violent creaking
that will rip me from my sleep?

Sudden noises — squirrel-gray 
antics on maple boughs,
on living, bending boughs or dead
bark-bare and bony limb; 
no difference to them,
with their inexorable ramblings
all toenail and chatter.
They gather and they gather.

How soon will I sink into 
worm-foul and rot?

They will scurry across my grave.
They, or their generations of they.

The dead tree refusing to fall…
These wiry-tailed rodents’ gatherings…
These shadows of souls carried quietly by…
and I?
Barefooted, sore-footed I;
standing in the dirt
left to ponder it all.

How soon will this earth
swallow me whole?

Being Vulnerable in your Writing

sometimes–this is a good thing

Photo from Pixabay

There is a fine line in writing between being vulnerable, open, honest and being over-exposed. We walk this line, a tightrope of credibility with a chasm of wide-mouthed readership, an ocean of clappers below us, waiting to give us feedback.

What if that feedback is in thought? The thought that our writing is merely self-serving? We cannot take advantage of the generosity of our readers by making it “all out us.”

We have to remember that our readers want us to be honest.

They want to know who we are.

But they want to read things that will touch their hearts or change their minds. They want to learn something valuable to add to their day, to their life.

They want to be moved.

So how do we walk this line of vulnerability without appearing to be so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget the needs and wants of our readers?

There are continuing education classes to take in writing, art, music. I think by finding our talent and expressing it, we learn more about what it is to human. Such expression can be deeply illuminating and satisfying. — Jean P. Moore, author of Tilda’s Promise

Honing our Craft

To honor our reader in our writing we must improve our craft, by whatever means possible. Being the best we can be is the most crucial element of writing — one that will take you, and your reader along with you, to the next level of relationship.

And that is what writing is — a relationship between your thoughts and your reader’s life.


Educational opportunity —

Shaunta Grimes, and Zach J. Payne are offering summer courses to support writers on their journey, teach tried-and-true methods of success, and to grow writers in their craft. Head over to their Ninja Writer’s Academy to learn more about this. Spaces are limited and there is a cost. Shannon Ashley has also been teaming up with Shaunta to offer videos as well — sign up for Shaunta’s email to get the information. You don’t want to miss out on the free workshops!

Workshops – Ninja Writers Academy
Edit descriptionwww.ninjawriters.org


Here is an article about honing your craft that offers 16 ways to become a better writer. Immerse yourself in readings like this, take a writer’s workshop, step up your editing game. The tightrope gets more balanced and you will be able to open up new levels of emotional connectedness with your reader within the context of credibility.

16 Easy Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills
Writing is intimidating to a lot of people, particularly those who don’t write for a living or on a regular basis. But…www.wordstream.com

Taking your reading to next level is crucial. Readers know good writing when they see it. If you open up about your life, express a personal opinion, and reveal deep layers of your inner creative spirit — but do so with poor writing, you can rest assured that your reader will take their minds, their loyalty, and their claps elsewhere. As they should.

Now, for the big reveal. Your heart.

Just how open should you be? Where do you draw the line? I have recently touched on this subject and the highlights show that my perspective on this matter is shared.

Writer Tell-All
sometimes full-disclosure is painful to do medium.com

The perspective resonated with readers:

There are no rules in writing. And there are no closets to hide in when it comes to “over-sharing.”

Where do you draw the line? For me, I draw the line at exposing my family members’ and friends’ stories in a way that is disrespectful of their privacy.

But for myself — all bets are off.

I haven’t always felt this way but as I strive more and more to live in my truth, it becomes harder to not disclose the difficult, the embarrassing, the truly raw and personal. — Christina Ward, from “Writer Tell-All”

Set your limits. Know what they are and stay true to that purpose. Your self-honoring tactics will not come across to your reader as selfishness, but a strength of character to be admired. Readers ultimately want to read writing by writers that they look up to, respect, admire, and they will demonstrate loyalty to that relationship. Honor their efforts by having discipline in your writing.

A writer needs three things: experience, observation and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others. — William Faulkner

Vulnerability

Now that you have focused on creating the quality of work that garners respect and readership, set the standard for yourself for the dusty closet corners you are or are not willing to sweep into your writing — it is time to open up with honesty, to allow your voice to shine throughout your work.

Tell that difficult story — the one that brings you to tears. Share them with your reader one tear at a time until your readers cry with you. This is a beautiful place to share the relationship, celebrate the connection that your openness creates. The chasm closing — some of your readers will join you on the tightrope and share those moments with you.

Vulnerability on the Page: Mining Your Own Dark Corners
Vulnerability. Does this topic make your stomach turn, all you nonfiction writers, poets, and yeah, even you fiction…www.thereviewreview.net

They will empathize, but they will also remember you. And they will want to know the next parts of the story — your story, because they are now not just emotionally invested in an experience they read about, but they are emotionally invested in YOU.

Credibility. Relationship. Loyalty.

Share your intimate thoughts. Your intimate moments. Your deepest ambitions and dreams. Your reader knows these! They have their own! If you touch that place of human nature within other people, your writing builds bridges across the ocean of claps, of readership, of the “bouncer” who doesn’t stick around long enough for you to connect — get them to stay, to read, to join your journey.

As shallow as this seems, it is the claps, the return readers, your tribe that you write for. Increasing that tribe increases your reachability.

Make their journey worthwhile.

Allowing your reader to get to know your heart will lead to a more lucrative experience for you on your writing journey. Reaching your words out to grab the hearts of others — this is truly priceless. After all, we want to make a difference.

You can’t do that by being closed-up, stale, distant. We all want to be memorable.

Readers want to be moved. I’ll say that again because it bears repeating. Think on that with every article that you write. With every poem you construct. With every letter you type. They want to be moved.

So move them.

A Difficult Tell-All

This could kill you–words you don’t want to hear from your doctor.

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

There are no rules in writing. And there are no closets to hide in when it comes to “over-sharing.”

Where do you draw the line? For me, I draw the line at exposing my family members’ and friends’ stories in a way that is disrespectful of their privacy.

But for myself — all bets are off.

I haven’t always felt this way but as I strive more and more to live in my truth,it becomes harder to not disclose the difficult, the embarrassing, the truly raw and personal.

Which is why, of late, I have been more open about my health struggles. Other Medium writers have inspired me to be more truthful about this part of my life.

So, in the spirit of vulnerability, I’d like to share, without apology or pity-seeking intent, today — I am in pain. Considerable pain. Earlier today it was laying-on-your-face-on-the-couch-and-sobbing kind of pain.

And because I write, because that is what I do…here I am.

Nerve pain is no joke.

It is a raging beast that seizes you and has its way with you. There is no fighting it. You lose. Very few medications will even touch it, aside from opioids (which are not prescribed anymore here due to the opioid crisis) and some medications such as Lyrica (which I am allergic to) and a few other medications such as Neurontin, which is not a pain medication, but a medicine that helps calm the nerves.

You can take all the Tylenol you want — nothing. I already take an anti-inflammatory daily so Ibuprofen is off the table. Do NOT Ice nerve pain! Unless you want the lightning show to be ICE-LIGHTNING pain.

I take a very substantial amount of Neurontin to treat my chronic pain and nerve pain. 1800 mg per day. This is also an anti-seizure medication often used for people suffering from epilepsy. This has caused me significant weight-gain, but it is the most effective treatment available to me.

So the fact that I am having horrific nerve pain, and have in conjunction had facial seizures, in spite of all the Neurontin and anti-inflammatory I am on, then I guess that says this tooth thing is serious.

For those of you that haven’t read my post explaining the situation, you can catch up here.

I saw the orthopedic doctor yesterday and was very pleased to hear that I do not need neck surgery to deal with the disc issue and bone spurs in my neck. This is the first good news we’ve had all week! But the doctor did say that she believes I am suffering from some type of pain disorder and gave me a referral to a pain clinic. She recommended CBD oil treatments as well.

Given my body’s response to pain (inflammatory, exponential, difficult to manage) the current dental nightmare that I am in is even more unbearable.

I need emergency surgery to remove three teeth, two impacted wisdom teeth that are sitting on the nerves causing Trigeminal neuralgia, and an infected tooth feeding infection in and around one of the wisdom teeth. 

PLEASE READ THIS–THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/nzw54u-emergency-surgery-needed/donations

The occipital nerve is also part of the problem even though it is on the back of my head— because for me and whatever pain disorder or condition I have when one nerve gets inflamed — it invites its nearby friends to the party.

Facial Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia
Facial pain info, trigeminal neuralgia is an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve causing extreme pain and muscle…mayfieldclinic.com

This is what my dentist said to me after a drastic exclamation at the x-ray imagery; composed and alarmed he explained:

  • I have never seen anything like this before in my career.
  • It is no wonder you have been in terrible pain.
  • The nerve damage in your face may be permanent at this point.
  • You cannot wait.
  • This could end your life.

So, there it is. Full disclosure. I guess I should point out that 2 days prior to the dental appointment my boyfriend lost his job.

Aside from what I make on Medium (and 8 weeks in, that’s not a super whole lot yet) he is my only source of income.

The tears in my house the last few days have been many. There have been intimate moments of shared fear and worry, and my current medical situation has done nothing to alleviate our worries.

Yes, I’m whining here. And that is ok. I am grateful to have this thing — this writing thing — as an outlet. Perhaps someone out there in the world of words is reading this and thinking — I AM NOT ALONE. (I see you, by the way. I get you. You are ok.)

Pain teaches you empathy. It is a costly lesson.

After the recent ER visits (x4 in 6 days!) and doctor visits, a stay in the hospital, and the last 2 weeks of intermittent nerve pain through my face, I sit here grateful for my dentist. He wrote me a pain prescription (the first one I have had in nearly 3 years), he empathized with my pain, and he showed true concern over my health.

I know you are hurting. And I am sorry. — memorize these words. This is what you say to someone who is hurting.

If someone tells you they are in pain, do not look at them suspiciously. Pain is sometimes invisible. That does not mean it isn’t there!

So, as I wait nervously for my June 4th surgical consult, and work to “raise” the money for the surgery, I will write when I can. I will keep trying. I will get up, show up, and do the best I can. That’s the plan. And when the pain is too much, I will bear that as bravely as possible.

Nerve pain is a beast. it does not care who you are or how tough you are — it wins. –Christina

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong

Expect there to be some poetry over the next few weeks that may be a bit more “deep and dramatic” than my whimsical faeries-on-swings, happy singing moon stuff 😉 

It’s ok — pain is a great creative catalyst.

Thank you all for reading. It is of great comfort.

Support Groups – The ACPA
Back to About Us main page. You can start an ACPA group. ACPA groups welcome anyone who is living with an ongoing pain…www.theacpa.org



Follow My New Medium Publication!
Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!

I Met with Author Jean P. Moore at our Book Club Event

She shares her insights on her book and some advice

(Stay tuned for a follow-up book review post of Tilda’s Promise!)

Jean P. Moore, author of Tilda’s Promise

I am a member of the Friends of the Library Book Club at our local library. Occasionally we have the joy of hosting an author and on May 22,  Jean P Moore visited with us and shared about her book Tilda’s Promise, which was our latest book selection.

The Friends of the Library book club meets every other month at our local library. We discuss the current reading selection, giving each person a chance to share their thoughts on the book, and discuss questions led by Rich, our librarian.

The conversation around Tilda’s Promise was stimulating. People shared their thoughts on the book, about their personal grief, and about their thoughts on gender-confusion. It was a beautiful thing to talk about the book while having input from the actual author of the book.

Tilda’s Promise is a novel that deals with heavy subjects in a tender way, with characters that are well-developed and knowable. Tilda herself is an empathetic and strong woman that I found to be both likable and inspirational. She is not a particularly religious woman and she’s dealing with the terrible grief of the sudden loss of her husband and doing so while dealing empathetically with the difficult life circumstances of those around her.

You will remember her journey.

I found the book to be most similar in style with Eat, Pray, Love, although the protagonist in each book handled their grief differently — both were on a quest of self-discovery and healing. I found the pacing of the book to be a bit on the slower side, to allow for the story to be told in real-grief time, giving time for the characters and their stories to unfold, deepen.

Moore was, herself, an empathetic, genuine, thoughtful soul. Her kindness and openness about her writing were touching to me. I asked her how she preferred to write, and she described how she used Word for her writing, emailing segments of it to herself for safe keeping and to guard against document loss.

I enjoyed hearing her describe how the characters of her book lived in her head while she was writing. How she cried with them.

She expressed a joy about coming to book clubs such as ours and being reminded that we are still a nation of readers that love to come together and discuss books.

When I asked her about what inspired her to write Tilda’s Promise, Moore had this to say: 

My inspiration came from what I was observing around me: the losses my friends were experiencing, the deaths of spouses and in one very tragic instance, the death of an adult daughter. These made me realize that our time on this planet is fleeting. At any moment we may be touched by the death of a loved one. I wanted to explore how one goes on after such loss, how does one find meaning?

There are continuing education classes to take in writing, art, music. I think by finding our talent and expressing it, we learn more about what it is to human. Such expression can be deeply illuminating and satisfying.

I wanted to see and to express how one find’s purpose in life after experiencing life shattering loss.

Moore conversing with book club members.

I also asked her if she had any advice for other writers, such as myself, and her answer was eloquent and helpful.

My advice to writers on their journeys is to stick with their passion. If you are a writer, you will know that you have to write, no matter what. You will develop a tough skin when it comes to rejection; you will not be discouraged. You will also know that writing is at its heart a form of communication, one being to another. You will strive to find your audience. And when you finally begin to have publishing successes, you will be helpful to others who are trying to follow the same path.

The evening, the refreshments, and the open conversations were a memorable and invigorating. If you’re not a member of a book club I hope that you will find one. This nostalgic activity could be just what your soul needs on your reading journey to add a richness that cannot be matched. I am so grateful that I got my introverted self to step out of my comfort zone and into the conversation. I encourage you to do the same.

Moore’s closing remarks were: We’ve all read and heard that we don’t read books anymore, but when I visit book clubs, I am always so touched by the appreciation for books. These groups give me hope that in our communities, in our homes and libraries, we are still engaging in deep and rich discussions of ideas.

Author Jean P. Moore

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My advice to writers— Writer–You Need to Own it

Thank you for reading, Christina

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