I have a book that is scheduled for release this Friday, freebird fridays, and you can see the trailer here. I have been so preoccupied with writing my book on grief this fall that like a neglected child, I don’t feel I’ve given freebird fridays its due.
Last spring, when I was in the thickest layer of my grief and despondency over my brother, writing this book is what helped pull me through. I was struggling to find hope in much, and by chance, I turned to to my own words on this blog one gray, grim April weekend.
I’ve been blogging on Sunshine In Winter since 2012, and the further you go back, the less polished some of the writing is, especially my poetry. But the sincerity and honesty and truth of heart is just as strong then as it is now, that heart truth is what has always driven my writing, and as I scrolled back in time and read the poetry I posted around 2014, I saw such hope and heart in the girl writing those words.
She had lived these beautiful lessons about courage, authenticity, and learning to be her own change, and life was coming round full circle as she met a new love in Oregon and was watching that relationship blossom and grow. There was truth and wisdom in the words of my younger self, and I was re-reminded that any dark night of the soul will always be followed by new light, new growth, new learning.
I sat a little straighter that day as I read, tried to take that hope and courage and grace into myself and receive it as medicine for an exhausted soul battered by the ravages of grief. Remembered that Life had never abandoned me in the past and, no matter how forsaken I felt with the tragedy of my brother, Life had not abandoned me now.
That was the weekend I took all those beautiful words and put them into a manuscript. Words of love and healing and change and growth and acceptance and coming home to myself. I spent the next two months editing and polishing and refining- I grew the work up quite a bit to meet my own standards for my current writing style. Then I decided to do illustrations to go with the poetry and created colorful art to accent them.
I found the courage somewhere along the way to reach out to a publisher, who published a book of spiritual poetry a couple of my poems were included in, and was delighted and shocked when she said yes to the book. Off the manuscript and art went, and I took my first substantial step into the world of publishing books.
I guess that was all it took, because after talking about wanting to write books for years, and doing little about it, I started writing books.
I self-published a poetry book called Cranberry Dusk earlier this fall. I have spent September through today working on a book on grief, Lamentations of the Sea, which I will be submitting to my publisher this Thursday (just in time to release the work so I can fully embrace the joy of freebird friday’s release this Friday).
And I have two more manuscripts in various stages of work- Heliotrope Nights (a book of poetry, prose, heart meditations, and photography) and Every Day Is A Good Day (a book of prose and art about life perspective and life wisdom) – along with plans to begin to develop my husband’s powerful story of addiction and recovery into a manuscript.
Sometimes I guess we just have to take that first step; a leap of faith in ourselves where we prove to our own being that anything is possible if we dare to chase our dreams. freebird fridays was my leap, and as such is a very special and dear book to me.
My advanced copy is sitting by me as I write this. Looking at it is like looking at a massive chapter of myself; I remember where I was when I wrote every poem, I remember how I was feeling, I remember what lessons I was learning in life. The other day, I told a friend of my heart that I would never write the poetry that is in that book again, not because it’s not good and beautiful poetry, but because I’ve already learned those lessons of the heart.
I have no need to write about them any longer. I have new things to write about: Life change; our move to Kauai; continued healing from the loss of my brother; personal growth and transformation as I release the reigns of private practice and step into a new career path where I can better combine writing, art, psychology, spirituality and creativity; my deep concern and love for our country and the path we are headed down; humanity and freedom and grief and peace and finding the love that will bring us together.
There are always new stories to write.
But the stories in freebird fridays are ones I have already lived and integrated. I don’t need to rewrite them, they are now captured in this book, put on paper for others to relate to, connect with, and enjoy. And their essence will forever remain in their original point of origin:
The truths of my heart.