By this, I think he meant that we shouldn’t judge our own work, but let it go out in the world. Others will judge it. If you think of it that way, it frees us, as writers, from nagging insecurities. There’s always someone who has one a prize for their work or gotten public recognition, and it’s easy to be envious. But if we just keep our sights on our own work, and trying to make it the best we can, we can gently return to ourselves.
I have a new book coming out soon, a collection of poetry called Touch My Head Softly from Finishing Line Press. It is about my experiences with my partner’s having Alzheimer’s. I try not to think about how other people will judge my very personal poems. I wanted to do it and now the poems are out in the world: abandoned.
Here is the link to my book at Finishing Line Press:
Set in the Santa Clara Valley during the turbulent sixties and seventies, REAL ESTATE is the story of how a bucolic agricultural valley is transformed into the iconic Silicon Valley.
As acres of apricot orchards are converted into suburban subdivisions, families flock to the area. Air Force pilot Joe Jackson moves his family to Sunnyvale soon after the Hopkins build their dream house. Harriet Jackson, her father’s eyes and ears, finds herself living next door to Bobby Hopkins, aspiring circus performer and math whiz. They share a side-yard fence, but the worlds they live in differ radically. A shared love of the Beatles and the loss of the inspiring young President Kennedy bring them together in an unlikely friendship, but their family’s differences soon tear them apart. While Harriet struggles to fulfill her family obligations. Bobby builds a computer in his garage.
They meet again as adults, but by then everything has changed. In the electric valley, both Harriet and Bobby learn that family is not always destiny and houses are sometimes more than a home.
eBook: ISBN: 978-1-005-23640-3
6″ x 9″, 186 pages. Printed on archival quality paper.
For any of us who watched the insurrection of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. last week, the words of Amanda Gorman, the inaugural poet, rings true. This poem was, ultimately, optimistic, portending a better future. Poetry can speak to us like nothing else when times are dark.
I wrote a collection of poetry after my partner died of Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a very dark time in my life. My partner, a brilliant mathematician, deteriorated quickly, leaving me in darkness. The writing of the poetry helped me to process what happened. I have been working on Touch My Head Softly with my publisher, Finishing Line Press, to finish the process. It has given me purpose through the pandemic.
Locked away in the seclusion of the Terem Apartments, the Romanov Tsarevnas were no threat to the crown. Yet the same Romanov blood flowed through their veins, and they weren’t so easily forgotten – one of them ruled Russia for seven years. Maria Alekseyevna writes her deepest thoughts in her diary, hides away to read, and has a forbidden love that lives in her secret script.
Natalya Alekseyevna has dedicated her life to her sister, Anna Alekseyevna, who suffers from a condition that claimed her brother, Tsar Feodor Alexeyevich. She fills her days by creating her own versions of the ancient poems sung to the Romanov children. Fyodora Alexseyevna, the youngest, is nurtured by Maria, who hopes for a better life for her youngest sister. Sofia Alekseyevna fights tradition and rules the terem and eventually the country.
Covered from view, rare excursions outside the Kremlin enhance their lives and the discovery of a secret passageway – changes everything. Sofia’s absences from the terem are explained when Maria follows Sofia and learns her secret.
The author, Shirley Forrest Nomakeo received a B.S. in Graphic Design. She worked in the printing industry for twenty years. Before turning to writing full-time, she was a partner in a Golf Marketing and Promoting business in western Massachusetts. Currently, she is a published author. As an Independent author, audiobook producer, editor, and APA member, she writes full-time. She edits manuscripts for new authors and reviews audiobooks. She lives in MA with her husband and two children.
I can’t listen to music with words, as it interferes with my word process, but wordless music, classic or jazz, can sometimes enhance my writing. A Bach piece with choral work or John Coltrane’s horn can bring me there.
I guess combining art forms is usually a good thing. I’ve happily done readings of my poetry in art galleries. I think the art enhances the reading. How do you use the arts to enhance your writing?
My upcoming book, Touch My Head Softly is due out in early 2021;
Many of us watched in horror this week as the Capitol of the United States, a symbol of democracy for hundreds of years, was attacked by angry mobsters. Additionally, we are dealing with a pandemic that is infecting more than 22 million people in the country, a failing economy, and a dysfunctional government with many trust issues.
As writers, how do we cope with chaos around us? What does it mean for our writing? Do we become immobilized and stop writing? Do we add to the body of literature on the incident? Do we try to put positive energy out there to offset the negative?
My philosophy is to try to go with the latter.
I have a collection of poetry coming out in 2021 about my experiences with my partner who died of Alzheimer’s. I will be donating part of the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society to further their research. I’m just trying to make the world a more positive place. If I can help even one person with Alzheimer’s or a caretaker, it would make me feel better.
What do you do to put positive energy out into the world?
Have you ever written a personal essay on the same subject as a creative book you’ve published? My upcoming book, Touch My Head Softly, is about my experiences with my partner who died of Alzheimer’s Disease. I learned a lot about Alzheimer’s when my partner had it. I also did quite a bit of research on it for the collection of poems that I wrote.
I’d like to write an essay about Alzheimer’s. It’s a terrible disease that needs to be highlighted. It affects more Americans than prostate and breast cancer combined. I’m also donating part for the proceeds from the sale of my book to the Alzheimer’s Association for research for a cure.
Do you have any experience with writing a personal essay on a topic related to your novel or poetry? Would anyone like to guest blog a post in exchange on this topic for a guest blog here on a topic related to your book?
My upcoming book, Touch My Head Softly is due out in early 2021;
Her father, Bronson Alcott, was a Transcendentalist who knew Thoreau and Emerson. He moved here, to Fruitlands Farm, to form a Utopian Society. it failed after 7 months, but it influenced Luisa May, his 10–year–old daughter, to write Little Women and Little Men. What has influenced your writing?
I had a partner who died of Alzheimer’s in his 60’s. It influenced me to writer Touch My Head Softly, due out from Finishing Line Press in January.