Dancing and Writing with and through me

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!

Moving Women

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
My exercise mat is a wonderful space to do dance, do yoga, and layout my Being a Woman – Forthcoming poems. 😁 I find it helpful to see my poems in hardcopy format, which helps me determine the best arrangement.

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

38 thoughts on “Dancing and Writing with and through me

    1. Thank you so much Poetpas. 😊 This collection took a bit longer to percolate and create, but I am pleased with the final body of work and most excited to see how Miss Illustrator adds the final artistic touches. ✍🏼 🥰

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your interest in the creative process, Ingrid. I love that too. I love to keep drafts too, which makes for quite the paper stack! Sammi and I have learned a lot about collaborating on a project like this. I am excited to complete the final book, but will miss working on these with her. 💕

      Liked by 2 people

  1. WTF???

    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.”

    A teacher said that to you???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously. A clueless teacher. Teenagers are already insecure and awkward, especially with changing bodies. My poem helped me reframe that experience and reach a place of being more comfortable in life’s front row, regardless of my shape, or at least I am working on it. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Some people have no business being teachers. Worse things have been said to students by those whose words carry valuable weight. Thank you for your empathy though. Writing helps us move past and reframe things, as you probably know.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful getting to know your work through this post. I agree some teachers are just not great humans. I am so happy you were able to do this great reframe. Congratulations on all fronts and the book getting published.

    Like

    1. Wonderful of you to visit and read about my Being a Woman poetry book journey. 😊 Words matter and it seems that some people do not think about the impact of theirs. Reframing is a powerful tool, that can give us back our power. Thank you, always, for your positive engagement on my posts. 💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats Michele…you are an inspiration. It is a true blessing to be able to maintain a mother-daughter relationship, and it is heaven to be able to work together on a project. She finds an illustration to fit your words. lovely! is the book just for women

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Delighted to inspire! I did not realize when we began working on our first book, in the spring, how cherished the work would be during the uncertainty of this year. The book focuses on woman speakers, but is for anyone. Men have purchased and appreciated the poems. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandra, you are the sweetest! Thank you. Sammi is working on the illustrations and then we will go from there. Thank you for your sincere support and for the many gifts that you share! 🌻

      Like

    1. Thank you, Jaya. 💐 Writing heals. 💗 A puzzle – yes! My final collection had several interesting pieces that came together in a surprising manner, including the introductory poem that came to me after all other poems were written. I love the unexpected nature of writing. I am sure you can relate. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The human body is truly a magnificent miracle, and yes, women are beautiful. My curves showed up early – apparently too early for a middle school teacher. She was insensitive, but it does seem that the younger generation is moving toward self-love and away from shaming, themselves and others. Of course, there are exceptions, but we seem to be making some progress.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian

        I recently started blogging again but a big topic on my last blog was societal standards and how damaging and ridiculous they are.

        We can but also can’t help the way we are. And we definitely don’t need “society” telling us about our imperfections. In fact, most imperfections are actually a perfection to someone. Even if it’s ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Eclectic Contrarian

        I think I was blogging for 3 years. For some reason it just became an extremely huge downer. I ended up taking a break for a month or so and tried to come back but couldn’t.

        I’m weird and I feel insecure on here. I just got to the point where I felt nobody cared. If it weren’t for a few friends who kept checking on me I wouldn’t be trying again.

        I’m hoping this time goes much better but I’ll see.

        It was an old post. I exported my content from the old blog. But it wouldn’t transfer to this one. So, it’s gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is definitely an investment of your time. I started blogging in August of 2019. I cannot believe it has been over a year already. I am still learning myself, but I would suggest writing for you… writing and creating what brings you joy, growth, discovery, etc. I do wish you the best wishes on starting again and hope this time is more enjoyable. Thank you for visiting my site. I do hope you visit again. I will also check back with yours. 🌸

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The Eclectic Contrarian

        See, this is my dilemma lol…. a blog is for everyone who wishes to read your writing. So I cannot fully write nor post for myself. Without reciprocation, I feel like I’m just throwing my business out there for nothing. And I’m wasting my time and efforts.

        See! I’m weird. And possibly a mess. Lol!!

        Michele Lee, you have a talent for words. A very intriguing mind and it takes a lot to keep me reading and interested. So hopefully that tells you something.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I do understand. If your blog is a creative endeavor, then you should create and share what sparks you, however, lack of reciprocation can be discouraging. Just keep writing, growing as a writer, and engaging with others, and like-minded people will show up.
        Thanks again for your kind words. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      6. The Eclectic Contrarian

        Thanks for listening! This turned to be a discussion I didn’t want to happen lol! But these things tend to happen with me.

        Thanks for following too! I hope you enjoy the blog!

        Liked by 1 person

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