Hello, my friends!
I WROTE ANOTHER BOOK! AND… OTHER EXCITING STUFF! In this post I shall reveal my newest poem book, introduce you to my editor, and start a lovely giveaway to kick off the book launch!
You ready for the most exciting post I’ve made all year? Okay, I’ve hyped it up enough. LET’S DO THIS!
My third and newest book, Seeing Beyond: a little book of poems, is now available for sale right here!
Hold on, though. Before we get into the book + giveaway details, I have another announcement. We figured five months has been long enough to wait, so… guys, meet my editor who is also my boyfriend! Sully deserves a post to himself because 1) he’s amazing, 2) I like to talk about him, and 3) I’m sure you guys would enjoy our story, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, I just wanted to introduce the guy who appears in several of these poems. 😉 (Also Sully has sneaked onto the blog once before; most of the questions in this post are ones we asked each other in our texts!)
Sully kindly edited my poem book for me since he’s a professional editor, and my friend Aria gave me feedback on practical details like the cover design (and also took all the pictures with my face in them in this post). I love how the cover turned out. The rich, matte finish and simple, striking colors just make me happy.
The navy and yellow color palette ties into the poems inside: some are filled with starry nights and some with sunlight. Some deal with the hardest parts of life, like death and loss and grief, and others with the hope in the midst of it, like light and love and redemption. You’ll never be truly human until you’re able to hold joy and sorrow at the same time.
The night sky sunflower illustration was my way of conveying the title concept of “seeing beyond.” Poetry gives us the gift of a new perspective, of looking past the outside appearances into the heart of things that are usually hard to describe or imagine. A line of carefully-chosen words can paint a picture of everyday objects in a magical new light.
Poetry can convey feelings you know well but have never been able to explain. It can grant you fresh eyes for old objects you’ll never see the same way again. In short, it finds “the soul in a body of dust.” Or the night sky in the center of a sunflower. 🙂
One of the poem titles in here is “mundane holiness.” That’s one of the themes of this book as well as this blog. There is wonder to be found in even the most ordinary things: dust, sunlight, an old glass bottle, even a can of kidney beans. Some of these words are stories about beautiful things, and some of them are about ordinary things seen beautifully.
The back cover poem is one of my favorites. Over and over we find ourselves longing for the future to the point where we ignore the blessings of the present. But there is beauty and hope and purpose everywhere if you only have eyes to see it. This book is a reminder not to miss the loveliness right in front of you and not to take this day for granted.
Most of these 96 poems are blank verse, meaning they don’t rhyme. Two of the most frequently asked questions/complaints about my poetry are “Why do you call it poetry if it doesn’t rhyme?” and “Why on earth are all the words lowercase?” I shall try and answer them both satisfactorily…
First, I don’t write many rhyming poems mainly because I’m not talented enough to put my words in a box like that and still make them say what I mean. I like the freedom and authenticity blank verse writing conveys.
I write poetry because it’s the rawest, deepest form of expression I’ve found. It conveys thoughts, emotions, and stories in a way prose cannot. I love carefully choosing words you can almost taste and see and feel, chopping the sentences into bite-sized lines that divide a thought in unexpected ways, and arranging the words on the paper in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. Basically, poetry is art with words.
Which leads to my answer for the second question. I keep everything lowercase as a stylistic choice. Every word bears equal weight on the page which is visually a lot smoother and cleaner. Basically, it helps the flow of the words. It’s also another way of keeping the writing as authentic and stripped-down as possible, so you can focus on the content of the words and not the shape of them.
I’m going to end this section with something I wrote in my last book release. No book can change the world. But the person reading it can. So if this book reminds you that there’s still a reason to smile; if it shows you that it’s okay to be sad; if it helps you finally feel understood and not alone; if it opens your eyes a little wider to our boundlessly great Creator; and if it stirs you to go into the world and love people, freely and fiercely; my mission is accomplished.
It is my sincere hope that God will use the words he placed in my heart to touch the hearts of others as books of poetry and prose have touched my own. That’s why I write and that’s why I want to share my writing with you guys. So… thanks for reading. 🙂
Phew. I always wax poetic when trying to describe poetry. But now for something slightly more down-to-earth. To celebrate this book release (and also reaching 12,000 followers, ahh THANK YOU GUYS!), I’m hosting a giveaway! The winner will receive…
- an autographed copy of Seeing Beyond
- a beautiful blue and gold notebook
- a fun face mask (the skin care kind)
- possibly the softest, fluffiest blanket ever
- three pretty postcards
- Seeing Beyond stickers
- a Seeing Beyond bookmark
HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
- This giveaway is only open to U. S. residents. Nasty ol’ shipping costs… 😦
- If you’re under 18, please get a parent’s permission before entering since I’ll need your address if you win!
- Giveaway starts October 9 and ends 12:00 AM EST on October 15. (So I’ll announce the winner in the next post.)
- Comment on this post to tell me you’re entering the giveaway (and anything else you want to say)! Then enter by clicking “commented on blog post” on the form below.
- To get bonus points: share this post to social media. It can be reblogging it, emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
Thanks for sticking with me through this whole post, guys! If you want to go ahead and buy one of my poem books, click the button below. Otherwise, I’ll see you next week!
Thanks so much for reading, my friends, and have a lovely day!