Eloquence In A Question #3

After an impromptu Q&A session at Instagram, there were a few questions that really stood out to me. Since this is the third installment of the series, feel free to jump back to the first and second.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

What made you come up with such beautiful poems and stories? Sometimes it’s like you’re sitting next to me, giving advice. (*Slightly paraphrased)

Answer:

Initially, I didn’t have much of a response other than gratitude and that I draw inspiration from everywhere. But then I saw a post by my friend Kindra here and felt I could elaborate appropriately.

Dealing with complex PTSD, constant anxiety, depression, and frequent migraines is like a living nightmare, but it’s worse when the people around me don’t understand what I’m going through. Oh, how many times have I heard, “You’re over reacting.”

Yes, I know my father is dead and won’t just show up in the middle of the night to prey on me like he did all those years when I was a child, but you know what? My body still thinks otherwise. Sometimes it’s hearing irrational thoughts: the worthlessness, failures, and over analyzing. But really, I’m battling years of learned behavior. Not even sleeping pills can convince my body that it’s okay to relax at night. Because, if I let down my guard for one second, if I’m not vigilant at all times, someone — no, some thing will get me.

Most people in my family didn’t fully grasp the severity of what I deal with until I was blindsided at a wedding reception in a restaurant’s wine room. A full on panic attack with tears and shaking hit me like a truck, and then finally they started to see how much something so small can end up pushing me over the edge. It was an eye opener for them.

Anxiety is no joke, and when you or someone you know is dealing with it, real support means everything. Which brings me to why I write, and why I give it away for free. So many people feel alone in their struggles. And they shouldn’t. Simple as that.

People feel as though I’m writing to them because they connect with my words on a level that, to them, feels very personal. And that’s because it is.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

Review: Milk And Honey

This was originally shared as an exclusive sneak peak in the first poetry issue of Mailbox Eulogies a week ago. To join, click here.

There’s no doubt that Ms. Kaur has overcome a lot in her years and her writing does pack a bit of a punch. But, I found that her style was a little shallow and distracting at times. Let me elaborate.

The first section was the worst, involving graphic details of being abused and molested by strangers and extended family members. This was triggering to the point that I needed to take actions to calm down before sleeping.

Further into the book, she discusses love and desire. She speaks in metaphors about masturbation, setting the world on fire with lust, using tongues to write poetry between the legs, etc. Even her line drawings were somewhat graphic in places, like fingers dripping with honey. But then when the f-word finally makes an appearance, she blocks it out with asterisks. I found that to be rather odd, but accepted it and moved on.

Her writing style doesn’t include capitalization, punctuation other than periods, or even strategic line breaks where pauses would be found naturally. A couple poems needed to be reread in order to learn the meaning. A couple pieces were somewhat complicated, requiring some time to decipher the meaning.

The rest were almost too simple. I often find that poems that can have more than one meaning, depending on how the reader interprets it, is more powerful that a shallow line that says only one thing with no other depth or nuance to it.

She tended to overuse metaphors, like setting something on fire with anger or passion, and it seemed like she included too many references to honey just for the sake of tying in with the title.

This book was good, but it wasn’t fantastic, and I wasn’t blown away by it, but considering her heritage as a Punjabi woman and that she’s set out on her own and made a life for herself is inspiring enough, especially if what she wrote was common for Punjabi families.

Bottom line is that her words were triggering, shallow, and often contradictory, but powerful enough to send a one-pointed message.

3.5/5 Stars

Have a poetry book you’d like to recommend? Drop it in the comments or send me an email via my about page.

© Sarah Doughty

Announcing – Mailbox Eulogies

The Mailbox Eulogies Newsletter has arrived!

**Edit: Today is the last day to sign up before the first poetry edition is sent out tomorrow (April 10th).**

You know that old saying, slow and steady wins the race?

It’s taken a few weeks to iron out the kinks and devise a plan to move forward with the newsletter I spoke about before. Considering the complicated nature of what I do and how I envisioned this to roll out, it was necessary to take things one step at a time. With luck, this approach will be enjoyable for everyone.

While between book projects, I’ve developed the proposed newsletter templates, sign ups, and all the fun things that need finalizing before the launch.

The day has come to release Mailbox Eulogies upon the world. I hope you’re just as excited for it as I am. If you’re anxious to sign up, feel free to jump to the bottom of this post or click here.

Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

Subscribers choose what they want to receive and can update their preferences at any time.

  • Everything (all listed below)
  • Important news, like book releases only.
  •  Poetry Newsletter
    • Updates
    • Curated Poems/Books
    • Poetry Advice Column
    • Poem & Prompt
    • Poet Interviews
    • Book Reviews
  • Fiction Newsletter:
    • Updates
    • Fiction Advice Column
    • Snippet from current WIP
    • Author interviews
    • Book Reviews
    • Cover Reveals
  • Depending on preferences, subscribers will receive an exclusive digital chapbook and/or an erotic romance short once they are ready to be released. Once they are released, new subscribers will receive them immediately.

What about the course?

I’m glad you asked! This is in the works right now. I’m hashing out the number of “days” required to cover each course: Online Presence, Plotting & Research, Writing, and Self-Publishing. This might take some time because I want to release courses for “registration” once they’re completed. So stay tuned on that.

MailerLite

Eloquence In A Question #2

This is the second of, hopefully, a series of insightful question/discussion posts. See the first here.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

If there comes a day when you don’t see tomorrow, what’s something that you hope to leave behind? What would your legacy be?

Answer:

When the day comes that I’m no longer here, I hope people, especially my family, will remember me. I will leave behind an amazing little boy that is wiser than his years, who has been empathetic since before he was born. I will leave behind a husband that adores his wife and does everything he can to help me and make me happy. In the end, what will truly remain of me — a part of my soul — will be left in my words. Every poem is a little piece of me. Every piece of fiction, every book, every narrative thought, came from my essence. No matter how fantastical the story, deep down, there are real problems to solve, real issues at stake, real thoughts, emotions and trials to face. These are all things I will leave behind in this world, and I hope they will continue to inspire others and give hope, where there otherwise may not be.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

Eloquence In A Question #1

This will be the first of, hopefully, a series of insightful question/discussion posts.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

How does it feel when your muse runs his fingers through your hair, resting his palms bare on your crown?

Answer:

My muse is androgynous, taking on the form of whatever is necessary to fulfill the task. But when it comes out, it’s a rather strange feeling. It’s like my thoughts cease and words begin to form in response to some form of stimulation (one or more of the five senses, sometimes including synaesthesia). When I’m writing my fiction, I transcend myself and become whoever it is I’m narrating. It’s freeing and relaxing, and it is definitely something that I cannot live without.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

To Do Or Not Too

How did you like that little play on words? Apparently, I can be clever at times.

Remember when I talked about newsletters? Well, I’m in the process of creating them and I’m almost ready to open up subscriptions. Yay! I’m back with another poll for you lovelies. If you’d rather not read my thoughts, feel free to jump to the bottom and answer my poll, I’d appreciate it.

I know it’s taking forever, but I’m juggling several projects at the same time while trying to deal with all my issues. The last thing I want is waste people’s time if they subscribe, so I’m trying to iron out as many kinks as possible before everything begins.

That brings me to the point of this post. Some authors like to give away exclusive freebies to subscribers. I thought perhaps I’d do the same, as a thanks for joining. But before I dive in head first, I wanted to test the waters, so to speak. Ask how everyone feels about it.

I mentioned before doing a divided newsletter where people can choose any combination of the following: updates, poetry-focused issues, and fiction-focused issues. Depending on what people set for their preferences, I can offer a small chapbook, and/or a short book. In terms of the book, I’m unsure about the final length, but I’m thinking novelette or novella, and the genre will be romance (no paranormal aspects like the Earthen Witch universe). If there’s no interest, I can set those projects aside and come back to them later.

So, tell me, my friends, would you like to receive exclusive freebies?

If you have reservations or alternative suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

To Do Or Not To Do

That is the question, my lovelies.

I’ve been thinking a lot about newsletters. Many people love them, many don’t. Some writers swear by them, others don’t bother. Alas, as I’m a rather unique wordsmith, I thought I’d poll everyone to get a sense of things before I dive in head first. Read on for some of my thoughts, or skip to the bottom and do me a solid by answering the poll or leaving me a comment.

Right now, I’m thinking of doing a divided newsletter, where subscribers can choose which they receive depending on their preference, with the ability to update it at any time.

Here’s what’s on the docket:

  • Book releases and other important updates (for those of you that would want the bare minimum)
  • Alternating, bi-monthly newsletter:
    • Poetry-focused issue including personal updates; curated poems and books from friends across the web; a subscriber-only advice column, poem, and poetry prompt (one winner will be featured); early access to things like poet interviews, book reviews, and more.
    • Fiction- and Bookish-focused issue including personal updates; subscriber-only short advice column, a snippet from a current WIP, and Q&A; early access to things like author interviews, book reviews, cover reveals, and more.
  • I might even throw in an exclusive chapbook or short fiction piece for subscribers.

Remember that novel-writing column?

As some of you veterans might recall, I posted an in-depth advice column that included all the bells and whistles I’ve learned about novel writing. They were quite popular until I removed them, thinking perhaps I’d make an informative free e-book from the endeavor. That might still be the case, but I know aspiring novelists out there are crawling the web for information to help them complete their passion projects.

People could sign up for a separate email “course” that would be sent out on a regular basis covering each topic, and subscribers could follow along as they plot their books. Depending on the volume of responses, I might even be willing to offer personalized feedback, for free of course.

Drop me a comment if this is something you’d be interested in receiving.

On that note, polls away!

Looking Forward

So I’ve been thinking…

That’s a bad start to a post, but I don’t usually interrupt your regularly scheduled poems, or eulogies for things of this nature. Cue the shock faces. I know, right? I exist. Who knew?

Okay, enough shenanigans. I’m here to talk about some ideas bouncing around in my head. For you loyal readers out there, I’m curious what you think. Read on for my thoughts, or jump to the bottom and answer the poll.

Right now, every single day, you see a short, sweet little micropoem in your blogrolls and boom, you’re done until the next day. But this doesn’t spawn a whole lot of conversation. Sure, there’s a lot of compliments and thank yous, but those real conversations are pretty few and far between. I’m talking to people more on other blogs than on my own. That’s a problem.

So, in addition to those daily doses of eulogies, how would you feel about more content?

Say what?

Content. You know, a book review or an author interview. Maybe some actual thoughts I’m having about life, writing, or publishing — whether it’s poetry or fiction related, or anything else that catches my fancy. Let me break it down into one line:

Content that inspires conversation.

More information is coming on this later, but I’m also considering starting a newsletter.

Now, before you start backing away in caution, I’m not talking about blowing up your blogrolls with daily poems and a conversation piece — maybe just one or two a week to start. Then I’ll reassess.

Thoughts on this blog?

POLL IS NOW CLOSED

Listen Is Now Available

Listen is now available at most online retailers, including iBooks, Barnes And Noble, and Kobo! Find the links here. Because my books are free, Amazon won’t add them to their catalog, but if you have a Kindle, you can find mobi files at Smashwords!

If you enjoy it, I encourage you to leave a review on Goodreads and your preferred retailer!

 

Listen Cover Reveal

listen

“When vampires Liam and Jon go missing, it’s up to Aisling Green and her friends to find them, but doing so and surviving what awaits won’t be easy.”
Coming October 3rd!

Earthen Witch Novels

The Earthen Witch Novels are an adult urban fantasy romance series featuring Earthen witch Aisling Green and witch Connor Jennings, written from Aisling’s perspective. The world is not an easy place, especially for these two. And they’re going to have to fight many battles before they can reach their happily ever after.

Listen, Book Three

Battling against things she cannot fight isn’t something Earthen witch Aisling Green is used to, but she must act quickly and outsmart the one that wants her dead and save the lives of her friends before it’s too late.

As they follow the trail, they rescue a most unlikely person, and uncover a deeper, more sinister plot. With the lives of the two vampires on the line, they must fight for their lives, try to rescue their friends, and stop the evil plans. In the face of so much danger and uncertainty, they are forced to go to war and make a discovery that will change everything. The question then becomes at what price will they be forced to pay to survive?

I’m pleased to reveal the cover for Listen! I want to thank Kristyn McQuiggan of Drop Dead Designs (and @drop.dead.design) for her assistance. I couldn’t have done this without her.

Be sure to add it to Goodreads!

Click here to check out the rest of the books in this universe. All of my books are and will remain FREE. Download your copies from your favorite retailer!