Posted in Book Reviews

Rebel Eyes by Dmitry Wild

51+P5w2oCJL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I’m a poet at heart. I got my start as a writer by creating poetry. The first book I ever “published” was a poetry book (in first grade). The first thing I ever actually got published was a poem. So, when I get the chance to read the works of a fellow poet, I take it. Dmitry sent me his book for an honest review.

Rebel Eyes is a collection of more than poetry. It includes prose and some stream of conscious writing (LOVE THIS).

Wild doesn’t share his story in a bio in this book, so you’re left guessing about him by what you read in his prose. From what I can tell, he came to the United States from Russia. As an immigrant, he experienced a different life than I, which made reading his words even more intriguing. I was able to delve into a life I’d never experienced and learn the similarities and differences between us.

The book is an energetic read. There are highs and lows, putting you on a roller coaster of life and emotion. You’ll get an understanding of Wild’s life, his love, and his dreams, while also feeling like you’re a part of it.

I enjoyed this collection of words. I highly recommend it for poetry lovers and lovers of biographies, as I feel like it’s a great look into one person’s life.

Posted in Book Reviews

A Journal for Everyone (Food, Meditation, Poetry, Goals)

Here are four journals worth checking out.

Eat Better, Feel Better, Live Better by Nazima Qureshi

41hNqDiVMkL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Trying to get healthy? Having dietary issues? This is the journal for you.

Eat Better, Feel Better, Live Better is a 52-Week Food Journal that will help you eat healthier and learn which foods might be causing you trouble.

Each entry space allows for your meals throughout the day and snacks. Track how much water you drink, how you felt after the meal, how much sleep you got the night before, and whether or not you exercised. There’s an extra space to record your cravings that day and what you did about them.

I loved this book. I especially loved that at the end of each week, there is a space to reflect on the week and how you felt about the outcome. You can jot down notes on what you want to do the next week differently.

The Practical Meditation Journal by Jim Martin51T0gyJrxJL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

I took a course on meditation through my schooling. I loved it. I also had to write a meditation and record it. This opened up a huge new passion, and my husband and I are actually working on a meditation album together (he’s doing the music, I’m doing the rest).

The Practical Meditation Journal will walk you through meditations and allow you space to write down how the meditation made you feel, among other things. Not only do you get the experience of meditation, but you also get to start using guided journaling, both of which are good for your mind and soul.

In Her Words – A Poetry Journal by Marya Layth

411FDJ6dfaL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_I expected more out of this book when I requested it. I was expecting a guided journal that would inspire poetry from me. That’s not what it is. I mean, it’s meant to inspire, but it’s not a guided journal. It’s a basic journal with mostly blank pages. Keep reading, I’ll tell you what it holds within – you may still be interested.

In Her Words is a collection of quotes from women poets. Every other page begins with a quote. You can use the quotes as inspiration if that works for you. I didn’t find any of them to be all that poetically inspiring – but that’s just me. You could use the journal like any other blank book to write your poetry of choice. It’s up to you!

Dream Big – A 5-Minute Goal Journal41JqsSizjCL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

Got goals? Feel like you’re never going to reach your big goals? This journal might be able to help you meet your goals in just 5-minutes a day.

This is a guided journal that will ask you a lot of questions about your goals and what you want to accomplish with your life. This is the book to help you master your life’s work.

I like Dream Big because it really gets you focused on the day-to-day of chasing your dream and meeting your goals.

So, I got these books free from the publisher under no obligation to even do these reviews!

Posted in Book Reviews

National Poetry Month Book Review: Freedom for Me by Jessica Lucci

51SRejN2X5L._SY346_I was lucky enough to get a free gift from Jessica Lucci today. It was a copy of her new poetry book that was just released yesterday. I wasn’t given this book to review it, but I felt such a connection to Lucci’s words that I was compelled to say something about it. A Kindle copy of Freedom for Me is only 99 cents on Amazon.

The book’s intro immediately caught my attention. It’s a message to people going through, or who have gone through, domestic abuse, letting them know they are not alone. As someone that has survived domestic abuse (and more), I felt drawn to get reading. As I read, I began to feel a kinship with Lucci and found a lot of similarities in her experiences with my own, which can be read about in my own poetry book that touches on abuse, Fighting With Myself.

One poem that really resonated with me was “Days and Nights.” This perfectly describes what my days and nights were like with my ex-husband. I learned so many lessons from going through 8 1/2 years of domestic abuse, which I had not seen or acknowledged myself until I was diagnosed with high blood pressure out of the blue and was driven to find out what had me so dang stressed.

Anyway, back to the poems. “Disgust and Desire” reminded me of my sexual relationship with my ex-husband. Forcing yourself to do your “wifely” duties is painful and heartbreaking, AND it IS sexual abuse. Having sex when you don’t want to, even if it’s with a husband/wife, is still sexual abuse, it’s still rape.

“For the World to See” captures that feeling once you’ve gotten free of an abusive relationship. It’s like you’re a newborn adult in a strange world, still afraid to let others in. I could keep going on about how I relate to poem after poem in this collection, but I won’t.

I will say that this is a well-written collection of poetry. You’ll find a blend of poetic styles, some rhyming and some freeform. You will find tears, pain, and more. “If he had loved me” ends one of the many poems in this book and that rang so true with me too. I wasn’t loved in my previous marriage. I was a means to an end. I was used so that he didn’t have to be alone. I was his second choice, and he made sure I always knew that.

Lucci’s poetry will evoke painful memories if you’ve ever been in a bad relationship, but it’s also an inspiring tome that will remind you of why it’s so important to be free.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

National Poetry Month Book Review: Beldams & Bedlam by Jen Chichester

510XNk+MdmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Happy National Poetry Month! I know it is already half over, but I’ve been busy writing poetry (among other things). I’ve also been reading plenty of poetry this month. One of the best poetry books I picked up this month is Beldams & Bedlam: Another Verse, Another Curse by Jen Chichester (it’s available on Amazon, print and Kindle). It’s a fun romp through craziness and aging, and that’s probably why it resonated with me so much.

Chichester is a personal friend, but this is an unbiased review. Her poetry is honestly some of the best stuff I have read in years. Most of her poems are short and to the point. While they could be longer and tell you more, they get the point across just fine in those few words.

This book of poetry touches base on witchcraft, aging, and many other mysterious things. I found it an easy read, but it makes you go within yourself and determine how these poems speak to you and about your life. It’s deep. It’s dark. It’s unforgiving.

There are 41 poems in this third collection from Chichester. I couldn’t put it down when I read it. You’ll feel that sometimes the poet’s life sneaks into her poetry, yet she also finds inspiration from all sorts of things, from history to pop culture. I think this makes her poetry more accessible to more people, and even more interesting to a broader array of folks.

This poem is one of my favorites in this collection:

Unseen 

The feckless fiend

Did not see

The gypsy, the witch

With her violets and voodoo dolls

Or the hundred feet wall

Standing tall, proud, firm

Against love and its compass.

Her witchy poems are my favorites. When you’re on Amazon, be sure to click on the author’s name so you can see the other fantastic poetry books she has available.