Random Thoughts

SMITTEN Is A Must Read

Indie Blu(e)’s Smitten should be your newest gift of poetry

By Mariah Voutilainen

Before I begin to review Smitten, a book that lays bare and re-frames (in a very personal manner) the love that women have for women, I must be equally open.  As I formed my thoughts, I realized that I was (and am) extremely nervous about how to respond to these poems from my own heterosexual, cis female lens.  I felt this because I am a woman of color, one who feels the simmering heat of frustration when those who cannot ever know my experience want to take a stab at relating to it.  What I can say is the following:  While Smitten is a book about women who love women (from every-which perspective), of course, it is about love.  And I can relate to love.  I can understand first love, last love, forbidden love, unrequited love, the love of someone lost, the love of someone found.  The love of someone who saves.

But in truth, even as a woman of color married to a white man, I have not experienced love that is criticized or fetishized by outsiders, that is closeted by well (and not-so-well) meaning family.  I will never feel the excruciating pain of those who are beat down because of whom or how they love.  So, as I opened up my advance copy of Smitten, it was with delicate hands, an open and reverent heart—because that is how I wish my own poetry to be read.

Over a hundred poems about women, by women.  Can I say how exhilarating it is to have read so many at one go?  I happily recognized quite a few of the poets—hailing from an independent poetry network often curated by Indie Blu(e) Publishing:  Tara Caribou, Candice Louisa Daquin, Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin and Georgia Park, to name a few.  But there was a mélange of poets new to me, whose unique voices were employed in a variety of styles from musical to prose to concrete poetry.  Among my favorites were Paula Jellis’ “I want a woman with a big bouffant,” Katherine DeGilio’s “Sunburned Shoulders,” Nick Kay’s “The Value of a Rusty Coin,” Jessica Jacobs’ “Out of the Windfields,” and Susan M. Conway’s “Letters to my Love.”

Would that I could list every single poem (my list is long), as they touched my sensibilities in different ways.  Some entreat us to dance to an inaudible tune; others confide to us the secrets of nerve-wracked first kisses; they relate the early-in-the-morning and late-at-night mundanities of love. But we are also invited to the troubled history of these loves in poems such as “Love is Our Theory” (Sean Heather K. McGraw), “Letter from Lock Up to the NYPD, June 1969, Christopher Street” (Melissa Fadul) and “You Don’t Deserve to Read About My Life” (Georgia Park).  These such poems are the ones that will be hardest to bear, but among the most important to read.

This is a book that should be gifted.  In spite of its implied audience, Smitten is not just for women who adore women.  It is for those whose hearts flutter and skin goosebumps at romance, who know the flight of butterflies in their stomachs and who long for the feeling of home in another’s heart.

 

SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry by Women for Women an Anthology is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.   Request it at your local/international bookstores.


Mariah Voutilainen writes poetry and prose about all manner of things at www.reimaginingthemundane.wordpress.com.

Updates

We Will Not Be Silenced Goodreads Giveaway

Indie Blu(e) and its contributors
are giving away five copies of
We Will Not be Silenced on Goodreads.

Be sure to go check it out.

Random Thoughts, Updates

Year In Review

The last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the rest of this year and what it might entail, as well as setting some goals for 2019. You see, I’ve realized that it’s far more important for me to be who I want to be, rather than whoever or whatever I might have been. This year brought a great many wonderful things my way and I couldn’t possibly count them all without forgetting some.

One of the most important reasons I set out to share my writing is to help people going through hell (or recently freed from) their own hell. No one deserves to feel alone. We Will Not Be Silenced was an anthology and a cause I am passionate about. Because I am a survivor.

I’m not sure what roadblocks 2019 has in store for me, but I know I’m not going to let anyone hold me back from being me, as I did a few times this year. I’m going to do my best to be a better friend, a better writer, a better mother, a better wife, and a better person. Like I’ve always been.

But I won’t hold back any longer. I won’t let the actions of anyone in my past that has hurt me, used me (or anyone I love) dictate how I move forward. With luck, I’m going to be me, only this time, without chains. Without dragging any dead weight behind me. I’m going to continue with my ethos and try to help more people, as well as myself, along the way.

I’ll do my best to be a better person going forward.

~ Sarah Doughty

PTSD and Awareness, Updates

The Importance Of We Will Not Be Silenced

When I began reading We Will Not Be Silenced, I was shocked at what waited for me. It wasn’t just the staggering statistics from the Forward. It wasn’t just the vivid, albeit brief, moments of just a few things a survivor may have experienced.

It was the onslaught
of my own history
coming back
up my throat like bile.

While this anthology needs to be read with great care – especially for those that have experienced some kind of abuse or assault in their lives, as it will no doubt be triggering – it is definitely something everyone should be aware of. These things are real. They happen at a staggering rate every day. And the more awareness we can spread about it, maybe – just maybe – we will be able to save someone from enduring some of, or escaping from, their own.

 

If you haven’t already done so, consider giving this anthology a read, as both print and Kindle versions are available. Or, consider gifting a copy to the Wish List to donate to organizations in need.

~ Sarah Doughty

PTSD and Awareness, Updates

Indie Blu(e) Publishing — We Will Not Be Silenced

 

front-cover-wwnbs

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the result of survivors feeling compelled to do something after the strongly triggering Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings. Ultimately, it was decided to advocate, educate, and resist through art by creating an anthology. The final collection includes 166 pieces of writing and art from 95 contributors around the globe.

The truth matters,
our stories matter,
and you can help.

We Will Not Be Silenced is now available in print and Kindle editions and reached #1 in Amazon’s New Releases in several categories.

Reviews are trickling in and they are overwhelmingly positive. Check them out here and here. I even had a few things to say about it here.

To help spread awareness about this important book, the editors and many contributors will be participating in two live Facebook events. The first takes place on Friday, November 30th from 4-7 PM EST. The second on Friday, December 7th from 7-10 PM EST. There is also going to be a big giveaway going on, including a short, exclusive chapbook of my own (emailed as a PDF), so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Here’s more info about my exclusive giveaway.

In addition to these live events, the editors and contributors will be sharing various details and information across their social media channels. Feel free to do the same.

Additional information:

The editors decided early on that this was a project of passion and compassion, not profit. Find further information about the use of royalties earned from this anthology here.

To help provide copies to others who might not otherwise be able to afford them, please visit the Go Fund Me page.

For individuals and organizations such as rape crisis centers, gender studies departments, and public libraries that that would like to receive a copy, but otherwise are not able to afford one can be added to a Wish List by emailing the editors at indieblucollective@gmail.com.

Special thanks to the editors
for graciously including me
by accepting three donated pieces
for this anthology.

wwnbs-back-cover-11-28-2018

Updates

Coming Fall 2018

I am happy to be a part of this incredible cause from Indie Blu(e), which is something I think many of us need. Not just fellow survivors, but for everyone. To help spread awareness of how these kinds of things affect us as victims, as survivors, and beyond. But furthermore, I think it’s important for people who have never experienced anything like what will be included in this collection — both men and women. It will help everyone understand the impact their actions can have upon a person.

We Will Not Be Silenced is coming very soon! Stay tuned for more details.

Earthen Witch, Updates

Review Of Just Breathe From Indie Blue

I read somewhere that Sarah sees her writing poetry as a moment, whereas her writing fiction as a lifetime, and when I read this, it made total sense to me because I’ve read Sarah’s poetry for years and it is a moment, a strong powerful smack in the gut moment, but definitely a moment, whereas when I read her fiction, I can see the entire universe is being considered and she is methodical, paced and thorough in her plotting and building of characters.

Just Breathe delivered for me. I was surprised. Sarah knows her art, and she drew me into her world almost immediately.

I’m very familiar with Sarah’s poetry and have always appreciated her blunt and honest way of telling it like it is, that’s why it was a surprise to find out she is equally conversant and gifted with longer art forms. This isn’t just a hobby for her, you can tell she takes her writing very seriously and spends a lot of time ensuring she gets it right.

It doesn’t matter if a character
is a witch or a vampire
and whether those things exist
in our world or do not,
it matters that we believe
as we read that they are real.
That way we become
invested in them.

Aisling (the heroine) is the kind of woman that women can relate to and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she feels is right. For this reason, Just Breathe is a deeply redemptive book and that alone makes it worthy of reading.

And with this I leave you with one recommendation, pick Sarah Doughty’s work out of the genre and let it Just Breathe.

Special thanks to Indie Blu(e) and Candice Louisa Daquin
for such an eloquent review of Just Breathe.
While this is merely an excerpt of the entire review,
I am beyond humbled at all the kind things
she had to say about the book.
To read the review in its entirety, click here.

~ Sarah Doughty

Updates

Indie Blu(e) Facebook Author Take-over Event

INDIE BLU(E)
IS HOLDING ITS
FIRST FACEBOOK
AUTHOR TAKE-OVER EVENT
ON MONDAY, JULY 23RD
FROM 2 TO 7 PM EST.

Indie Blu(e) is offering 10 30-minute slots for Indie Authors to “take-over” the event page and promote the hell out of their titles and network with new readers and other Indie Authors. You must make a commitment to promoting the event on your own social media and encouraging your followers to attend. You must be available to post on the event page and to interact with the attendees during your 30-minute slot. It would be even more awesome if you stopped by periodically through the event to meet and support the other authors. If you would like to sign-up for a 30-minute slot, please email at indieblucollective@gmail.com.

Want learn more about the awesomeness that is Indie Blu(e)? Read this.

More details about Indie Blu(e) is forthcoming.

 

Updates

Introducing Indie Blu(e)

Indie Blu(e) was founded by Kindra Austin, Jimmi Campkin, and Christine Ray in 2018 as a vehicle to support both self-published writers and those published through small independent presses, as well as the readers who are passionate about independent writing. The concept for Indie Blu(e) grew out of the seed of the idea that individually independent writers have reach through word of mouth and social media, but that this reach could grow significantly if they networked with other independent writers to shine a spotlight on their collected body of work.

The founders of Indie Blu(e) want to offer a home for curated writers to promote their books, provide readers with honest, thoughtfully crafted book reviews and the opportunity to learn more about the member writers. Indie Blu(e) strives to be a hub for the type of edgy, high-quality writing that the founders love to read and want to share with a broader community of readers.

Be sure to check them out, there’s plenty more to come!

Also, if you use Instagram,
I’m going to launch Indie Blu(e)’s page
and will share all sorts of great content.
I look forward to seeing you there!
~ Sarah Doughty

Updates

Indie Blu(e) — Georgia Park

Georgia Park is one of those writers that sneaks up on you and catches you like a bandit in the night:

Maybe, this time, it’s not my mental illness
but i don’t know if i’m ready to admit
that as a person, I just can’t handle this . . . .
[Maybe This Time]

I have had the pleasure of knowing Georgia since I joined The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. I’m also honored to be a part of Whisper And The Roar, a collective she founded. Basically, she’s a powerhouse, multi-talented, and I’m lucky to know her.

Her biography, and a listing of her published books, can be found at Indie Blu(e). So be sure to check it out.

~ Sarah Doughty