Welcome to my dancing space, where I join other dancers via the internet, but on this day I used the space to layout my recently completed
Being a Woman – Forthcoming Poetry Collection.
Next step, Sammi Lee illustrations, then on to publication!
I may be the only woman living in my house, but that does not mean my house is without the presence of other women, even during our keep-your-distance existence. Women surround me and share my space in ways that do not begin with a hug at the front door. Women share their words through my computer screen during video-conferencing writing workshops and groups, they dance across my television screen via my connected laptop during dance classes, and they flow through me and onto the page when I am writing my Being a Woman poetry collections (occasionally men also show up for dance and writing classes too). I do miss hugging guests at my front door, seeing smiles up close, sharing desserts and discussions around my dining room table, dancing with other dancers in energetic musical spaces, and writing elbow to elbow with other writers, but as I mentioned in last week’s post, I am grateful for my moving communities. Each community offers a different experience, whether that be through dancing, sharing words, or expanding my heart through my Being a Woman poetry collections.
Her Words about My Curves
My Being a Woman writing journey reached a major milestone two days ago and one that I am pleased to share. First, let me elaborate a bit about my Being a Woman poetry collections for those who might be new to my blog. Last fall I wrote a poem titled, “My Curves,” that reframed a middle-school moment, when a teacher told me during a group photograph to “go to the back row to hide” my “full-figure.” I did go quietly, and I brought with me the heaviness of embarrassment and humiliation. The teacher’s words (spoken loudly in front of other teenagers) were insensitive and hurtful. “My Curves,” gave that hushed girl a voice and ushered in several other poems that confronted limiting beliefs and those poems also became my first self-published poetry collection, Being a Woman – Overcoming. I wrote and self-published the second empowered collection, Being a Woman – Becoming, in August and I just finished writing my third and final collection, Being a Woman – Forthcoming, that is now in the artistic hands of my long-distance creative illustrator, Sammi Lee, who I am also proud to call daughter. For those who might be interested in the process and technology used: I use Adobe InDesign to create the poetry book (Poet’s Note Page, TOC, Poems, and back page verbiage), then I share the file with Sammi, who uses Adobe Illustrator and other tools to create the front and back cover, her original drawings, and page elements. Once her drawings and designs have been added, I then upload the completed project, including the front and back cover, to KDP for publication.
A Forthcoming Sunrise and a Return Home
The third and final Forthcoming collection begins with a hopeful poem titled, “Sunrise Forthcoming,” that weaves together themes found in the first collection and will bring readers further along on a journey of self-discovery and personal empowerment. My second collection moves beyond the personal me and into the collective we and my final collection expands even further by presenting speakers who have attained wisdom that they freely share and other speakers who are pondering some of life’s big questions. The final collection also includes a tribute poem to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and five additional poems that honor strong women who have departed from my life.
Like my first two collections, the speakers and subjects that came forth surprised me and I am once again excited to see how Sammi interprets my poems with her original drawings. This poetic path, beginning with, “My Curves,” and ending with the final poem, “Return Home,” has helped me to become stronger, bolder, freer, and maybe a bit wiser. The opportunity to collaborate with Sammi Lee during this unsettled and distant year has strengthened our writing mom/artist daughter bond and based on reader feedback, we have uplifted others too. Thank you for sharing your words through your blog posts and/or comments and for reading mine. 🙏🏼
Links to our books, with “Look Inside” previews, can be found on my About page. If you are in the market for some cool original prints and/or an artist-created clothing line (hoodies, leggings, t-shirts, beanies, etc.), check out artist Sammi Lee’s website, MintakaCollection.com.
In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.~ Rumi
Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.