Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image (The Blog)/ One-Year Anniversary

This will be a short blog.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. I cannot believe it’s been a year already! Time surely flew, didn’t it? I’ve experienced so much such as disappointments, rejections, becoming a published author and obtaining the role of an aunt, and many more.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I started this blog, it was only to support my cousin. I had no idea what I would blog about, if people would read it, or even take interest in it. However, I am proud to say that this blog has 50 followers! Others would think that’s not a lot of people. I’m glad that these individuals have chosen to follow, witness, and listen to my story as I continue to grow while finding my voice, myself.

I’m still working on making my blog current; I’m glad I don’t have too much more to catch up on. First, I just want to thank every one individual who has ever commented, liked, read, and followed this blog. I’m truly grateful and appreciate your loyalty. Second, I want to thank my cousin, Precious for this awesome idea. I didn’t know that this blog would lead the actual publication of my poetry collection; yet, it all worked out for the greater good. Third, I even want to thank my invisible haters. I had no idea I even had any. But they were fake supporters, opportunists who claim to support “indie” authors, and pretenders who try their hardest to keep you down while they shine. Personally, my favorites were the ones filled with jealousy. Why? I don’t know. Just as I’m struggling to make my dreams come true to self-fulfillment. Guess what? You can too. Anybody can.

I hope this blog continues to reach and connect other people out there; the voiceless. Just as I share my story within every entry. You can do the same too! Also, I pray that the blog will grow as I know I will. But I can’t do it without you.

Again, thank you! My story is still ongoing, unfolding.

It’s not over.

Happy Anniversary, LGB!!!

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Chance of Lifetime: The L.A. Art Show

This will probably be a short blog entry…or not.

Well, back in January, I got the chance to go the L.A. Art Show and Aldis Hodge would be among the other artists to meet and greet while discussing his artistic collaboration with another beautiful artist name Harmonia.

Yes, this trip was spontaneous. Totally unplanned, but what the heck? When I plan stuff, it never turns out right. So, this time, I tried something different. I book a room; my drive was like 1 day, and 2 hours away. I started driving Friday, on January 12th. I knew Aldis would be at the event on the 14th. I wanted to make sure I was there. The drive was long especially when I had to drive through the state of Texas! My goodness! As I was driving, I began to think, “Lord, am I ever going to get out of this state?” I did enjoy the scenic route. The multiple states I had to drive through just to get to Los Angeles; the things I saw, the various speed limits, etc. However, once I got to Arizona and New Mexico, I was just drenched in sweat. When I left, it was cold like 32 degrees. In Arizona and New Mexico, desert heat! I couldn’t stand it.

But on January 13th, around 11: 34 p.m., I had made it to my destination. I was exhausted; the place where I booked the room gave me the 3rd degree about paying a security deposit. I told them I didn’t see that on their website and asked why they didn’t inform me of that information when I call to confirm my reservation. Some stranger, a guy, offered to pay the security deposit for me. I was grateful because I threatened to sleep in my car if I had to. They gave me the key to my room, and I just fell across the bed, passed out.

The next day,  I got up early to take a shower, get dressed, and pack. Of course, I had no idea where anything was located. Thank God for Google Maps (it works, sometimes). I didn’t have to drive far just an 8-minute drive. I found the Convention Center; it was massively HUGE! I’m thinking to myself, “I really got to get out more.” I park and go inside. I had no idea what the dress code would be for an event like this, so I dressed up a little with my blue jean, denim sneakers. (I was thinking about wearing heels; I’m glad I changed my mind.) The event opened at 11:00 a.m., but Aldis would not be there until 1:00 p.m. I stood in a very long line for a long while. Finally, the line began to move. Once I received my stamp, I started taking pictures of me, other people, and people asking me to take pictures of them.

The art gallery was littered with multiple art pieces from so many other artists. To be honest, I started in the middle and worked my way to the left side; I never made it to the right side of the gallery. That’s how spacious this place was. I took so many pictures of the art; it kind of made me connect to my creativity, my vision. I felt like I was meant to be there to witness other forms of talent with art: sculpturing, painting, crocheting, glass, mural…too much to count.

However, I looked up and Aldis Hodge passes right by me. Earlier, I was looking for his art piece, trying to find the section he would be in. Oddly, like me, I had passed by it. I was one of the first people to see and meet him and his mother. I asked his mother to take a picture with me. She was a little hesitant at first, but I got her to take 2. The funny thing is meeting Momma Yolette, Aldis’ mother, I almost fainted! I was hyperventilating, burning up, trying to speak…His mother had to calm me down. Why did I do that? Once, I had read how Aldis and his elder brother, Edwin acknowledged their mom: what she taught and sacrificed for them. To be in her presence, I was just in awe. How embarrassing (the story of my life).

Then, I took a picture with Aldis and Ms. Harmonia. He asked my name, shook my hand, and was like, “It’s nice to meet you, Jasmine.” I’m like, “Wow, is this really happening to me? I’m a small town, countrywoman. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to me.” I left right after the pictures were taken.

My grandfather lived in Lancaster, so I stopped by for a visit. He bought 2 copies of my book and asked me to autograph them. I just look at him and laugh to myself. I had to leave because I had to make it back to work on time. Plus, there were reports of snow hitting Mississippi. I thought I would make it before that, but I got caught in it. It was very windy when I arrived in Midland, TX. I thought my car was going to be blown off the road; I have a small car.

Before I reached Dallas, it had started snowing. It wasn’t heavy until I arrived in Shreveport, LA. I had to call my friend because I was scared. I’ve never driven in snow before. He stayed on the phone until he couldn’t anymore. I made it to Mississippi safely around 5:30 a.m. I had decided not to go to work; I couldn’t anyway. The bridges had iced over so bad that many cars were either sliding off the road or sliding into the bridge. Thank God I made it home.

3 things I will admit:

  1. Although, I’ve never driven in snow before; just watching it fall in front of me and to the ground was simply beautiful and breathtaking.
  2. Meeting Aldis, Momma Yolette, and Ms. Harmoina was one of the most treasured life experiences I will cherish for the rest of my days.
  3. The LA Art Show was definitely worth the trip. Other than Aldis and Ms. Harmonia, I hate I didn’t get to meet any other artists. Just seeing those art pieces was awe-inspiring.

With that being said, at least I’ll have another crazy adventure to tell my nephew, D-baby when he’s older. The crazy, spontaneous antics of TeTe Jasz.

Yea, I can’t wait.

*More blogs to come. I was aiming for 4 in one day, but 2/4 is not bad. Just more for me to write tomorrow.*

Here are a few pictures from the LA Art Show. Trust me, that’s not even half of them.

 

 

 

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Backdrop Pt. 2, In the Interim: The Gap after the Publication of My Book and the Birth of My Nephew

It’s the last week of March. I’ve been meaning to keep my blogs current, but I will have to divulge the “why” on another blog entry. As for this one which is long overdue, I have to fill in the gap on what happened after my book was published along with the birth of my nephew.

Shortly, after those two events happened simultaneously, I was asked to come and speak at my Alma Mater, Jackson State University (JSU), to the graduate class of publishing and marketing. I shared my experience with them about being a self-published author, the marketing ordeal, etc. Overall, I admitted to having fun with marketing my book once I found my footing. I told them the various software, tools, and methods that I used and felt would be easier for me. At the same time, it helped me really tap into my creativity on another avenue. Some asked questions; others asked about the book cover, formatting, and all. One of my old instructors asked me, “Why did you choose self-publishing instead of traditional?” I answered, “Most traditional publishers do not feel that poetry will sell. However, with self-publishing or independent publishing, it opened so many opportunities for me. I got to connect with other “indie” authors, writers, graphic designers, and the other creative individuals. In the beginning, I had no idea how to market my book. I reached out, asked others about the methods used to promote their book, and they were all too eager to share their knowledge with me. It was so exciting to be able to ask for help or ideas that these individuals just opened up and advised on what to do. It wasn’t a competition. Once I had what I needed, I just had to apply what they revealed; for the most part, it worked. A couple of students acknowledged that I inspired them to write or even publish their books, poems, or whatever. When my presentation was done, I passed out my author information, encouraged them to contact me if they had any questions or needed help, and I exited that class with a smile on my face. For the first time in a long time, I held my head up. I didn’t look down at the ground as I was walking. I corrected my posture, strutted, and told myself, “I am somebody. I do matter. There are people who are looking at me, admiring me; though, I don’t know who they are. I still want to give back, plant a seed, and hope the seed takes to their soil. Like so many others before did for me.”

A few weeks later, I connected with my other poetry groups. I didn’t even know they were so many poets in Mississippi. (Lol, I guess they were in hiding.) Years ago, before I graduated from JSU, I had met with a group of poets called the MS Society of Poets, or as I call them, The Belhaven Poets. Why? Because they meet at Belhaven College. I wanted to become a member, but for monetary reasons, I couldn’t join at the time. Yet, I was invited to come and share my poetry. And I did. They were in love with my poetic babies. Before, I didn’t want to share because I’ve always met such negativity, skepticism, and rudeness about my poetry or how I write it. Afterward, one of the poets pulled me to the side and said, “Your poetry is something else. It’s very thought-provoking; it provokes awareness: emotionally, mentally, etc. Don’t you dare stop writing! Continue to write! Continue to be you as you’re fashionably are! Don’t let anyone take that from you! Who cares what others think or say. These are your words; let them unfold and tell your story! No one can stop you except you!” I was so shocked when she said that. But those words left an imprint. It’s funny I haven’t thought about those words until now, as I’m typing this blog. I forgot her name, but I will never forget her or what she planted inside me.

My other group is the Anonymous Poets; I love these poets. There is nothing but a handful of them; they still meet anyway. These are more seasoned, experienced poets. And I’m the only “young’un” as they refer to me. Deep down, I know it makes them happy to have a “young” poet among them. Perhaps, it makes them feel young at heart. Besides, I’m really an old soul myself. What others do or what they are into, I’m just not into it. Just the simple things do it for me.

 

Whenever I meet with them, I feel right at home, spiritually. It’s an indescribable feeling to be among the same individuals who share your passion, who crave the words and emotions that need to be expressed without ridicule or judgment. We’re all there to just share our thoughts, our vision: to just birth creativity and let it be. Not tearing it to shred because it doesn’t fit one’s “criteria.” Poetry is energy; it flows, and it comes from within our hearts, our spirits, our minds; the very thing that comprises human beings. It’s been a while since I’ve been with them, but I will return to that welcome table. Count it!

In a couple of my previous entries, I talked about my 1st Author Vendor Event with Ms. Gigi, and the Jackson Expo, my 2nd Author Vendor. Now, I’ve caught up to what happened last year. And, well, lol, that’s last year.

This is 2018; I got to get caught up from January to now.

Hope you’re ready for it.

Backdrop Pt. 1: Results of the Book Signing

I promised to do a couple of catch up blog entries from the publication of my book, the birth of my nephew, and everything in between. I will not lie; I was hesitant to share this part of my journey. But it’s important. Later, I will explain why.

December 8th was the day I scheduled my book signing. It was at Yazoo City’s public library, Ricks Memorial. The book signing would be from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. However, that morning, Mississippi got snow! That rarely happens down here. Even if it snows, it never sticks. Anyways, I was a little late because I had to drive carefully and all. (I’ve never driven in the snow before, so I had to be more cautious driving than usual). I got there, set up the table, and waited for people to come. Yazoo City is a very small town, so I wasn’t expecting a big crowd. If three or four were to come, I would’ve still been grateful.

The reporter from the Yazoo Herald arrived; Ms. Cathryn was her name.  She interviewed me; then, I found out something interesting about Ms. Cathryn. She is currently writing a book, and she asked if I would be interested in reading it. I told her, “Sure, I would.” It made her smile. After the interview, she took a couple of pictures and posted them on Facebook to help get the word out and around about the book signing.

Time was passing by so quickly, and I realized that no one was coming. I was sorely disappointed and hurt. I kept beating myself up like, “Did I do something wrong?” “I did the flyers, hanged the flyers myself in community markets and local business owners, and I talked to the newspaper.” ” Did I miss something?” My first book signing to me was a failure. No one came. There were patrons in the library, but no one showed interest. When 1 o’clock came, I packed up in shame.

Just before I left, a miracle happened while at the library. I saw a lot of creative art pieces on display by a local artist. I connected with her, Ms. Melodie Patterson.  Days after the book signing, she asked where she could purchase a copy of my book. I told her where. Next thing, she took a picture holding my book. I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe it!

Shortly, she personally invited me to come to her private school and speak to their students. I just froze and thoughts began to swallow me whole. But I prayed, and I let God use me as an example to encourage, inspire, and motivate the next generation.

I spoke on a lot of things; I will mention 5 highlights:

  1. Keep God first in everything that you do. Let him lead and guide you.
  2. It’s a process. Once you start the process, you have to go through and endure the process. Don’t rush it.
  3. There is no age limit on growing up! As long as you are living, you are going to keep learning things and growing from them.
  4. Find and walk your own path. Nobody can walk yours for you, and you can’t walk theirs.
  5. Be yourself. You will be miserable trying to “people please” everyone. Pursue your passion. Make yourself happy.

One of the students wanted to talk to me about publishing a book similar to the format of Anne Frank’s diary. I was amazed; she’s 14. The student talked, laughed, and giggled. She even invited me to her graduation in 3 years. As she was leaving, she muttered, “It just feels good to talk to someone who is just like you. Someone who really gets you, and you’re able to be yourself.” I just sat there. I couldn’t believe that I had that kind of an impact on someone especially a teen. I’m so used to being in the student’s seat. It felt weird being on the other side of the table.

Ms. Melodie was just as shocked as me. She revealed that the student never talked to anyone, and she, herself, didn’t know that the student could write. She smiled at me and said, “You made quite an impact.” I was humbled. Those students at the Thomas Christian Academy are full of creative talent and life. Just being around them breathed life into me.

Let me back up a little.

Again, I was not going to share this, the result of the book signing. But a friend of mine reminded me how it’s important to share successes as well as failures. Most people will share the successes and not mention the rejections or failures that they encountered along the way.

In this case, people need to be able to relate to someone who is not just succeeding but failing. Yet, within failure, there is growth, perseverance, and strength of will/character. You never know who’s looking at you from the shadows, behind the curtain, or out among the crowd.

I never knew anyone was looking at me or even noticed me. I’m so used to being invisible, voiceless, unheard. Being a published author has blessed me to connect with other creative individuals like myself.

So yes, my book signing was not what I wanted. However, it became a blessing in disguise. There was something I missed: the schools, the churches, and a few more. I didn’t get to them in time. I will relaunch another book signing. I won’t miss anyone this time. If I have to visit the schools and churches myself, that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t want to just touch lives, I want to change them too.

All I have to do is plant a seed…

But I’m making sure it’s a positive one. So many people invested in me over the years, and most are not here to see what their wisdom and guidance has helped shape the woman I am today.

This is a journey; it’s my journey. I’ve spent my whole life running from it. I’m not running anymore. It’s not about me. There’s a bigger picture now (always have been). What I do, what I say ripples to other people. It affects them some way. I want to make sure it’s a positive way. We have enough negativity in this world.

That ladies and gentlemen…

That’s how a seed is planted.

 

 

*My goal was to have all my ends tied up with the backdrops. But I won’t make it before the new year, 2018. That’s ok though. Pt. 2 to the backdrop blog entry will be the next entry at the beginning of the year. A reflection of the journey I’ve started.*

2018 on the Rise: New Goals, Making Dreams a Reality

2017 has been full of challenges and growth. I remember when I started this blog. It started out as encouragement and support for a family member. And it grew from there. Also, my blog became another outlet for me to stay productive in my writing. Although I fell off for a while, I am still able to pick up and continue one blog at a time.

Even though I’m still working on becoming a Copy Editor, I’ve decided to go back to school to get my Master’s Degree. It’s a one-year program. Of course, the program will not open up til August 2018, the fall. So I’m working toward getting everything together to attend. Then, I’ve been doing a lot of research about creating my own literary journal to help the creative community. I’m looking into Graphic Design, so I can learn how to do it myself. If I had the funds to pay someone else to do it, I would; however, I don’t. Plus, it will help me get back into my creative flow.

Concerning my book, I have a few author vendor events coming up, and the first one takes place in February. I have a couple of book signings scheduled. I’m very excited yet nervous at the same time. Now, that I just got hired for my new job, I will be able to promote/market my book like I want.

So many promising avenues are opening up and providing countless possibilities. I will say that becoming a published author was not in my plans. But I just thank God after 20-something years of people asking, encouraging, and poking me, it came to fruition. With my book, I was able to connect with so many authors, writers, and poets too.

I am so proud and proud of myself! 2017, thank you for the preview of what’s to come. 2018, let’s make it happen! Let’s not wait! Chapter 30 is blank and ready to be occupied with memories, adventures, and experiences. Time to make my dreams a reality!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!! Welcome, 2018! I pray it’s wonderful!

December 22, 2017 – Celebrating my 30th Birthday: Successes, Lessons, and Experiences

This will be a very short blog entry.

Technically, I promised myself to stay off social media and electronics, but what can I say? I owe a few previous entries anyway. So what the heck?

So, today is my birthday! I’m so humbled yet excited. I must say my birthday came quicker this year. It crept up on me. Last night, a bit before midnight, I was thinking to myself, “Lord, I’m really going to 30. I can’t believe it. Already?” I couldn’t help but smile though.

Let me explain further…

For a while, I know I was dreading the dreaded “30.” From society’s and family’s perspective, I don’t have anything as to what is usually expected of me. I’m not married, no children, no home to call my own, no relationship, and I’m still living at home with a parent out of necessity rather than wanting.  Putting it that way, I’m like super behind. You have people younger than me that are married, with children, their own homes, and have a career, not a job. I put a lot of pressure on myself. But hey, I was just following the script. What script? The script we’re drilled to memorize and executing from childhood to adulthood. I guess I didn’t make the cut.

Then, I began to feel like I had to play “catch-up.” I’m thinking: ” Man, I’m so far behind. I don’t have this. Or I don’t have that. I’m trying, but I just can’t seem to get ahead. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not good enough? Am I cursed?” Yes, I was just beating myself. Until a few nights ago, a good friend and I were having a conversation; and, she brought something to my attention.

She said, “Jasz, man’s timing and God’s timing are very different things. So don’t subject yourself to man’s time frame. Just because you don’t have now doesn’t mean you won’t ever get it. You’re 30 could be your new 20. Look at Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson, they didn’t blow up until after their 30s. And JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, is older than you; yet, she still blew up when she wrote those books. Yes, as women, we are pressured by society and family. But who really knows when except the Lord? It has to line up with God’s will and timing. Not yours or anyone else’s. I’m just saying.”

She had me thinking. Besides, I’m still trying to find out who am and what I want to do for the remainder of my existence. I have to live my life and find out who the “real” me is. I thank her for sharing that with me. And all the pressure just suddenly lifted. I decided to just take it one day at a time. It’s all a process. Not only do I have to go through it, I have to stay in the process as well. Basically, I threw away society’s script and family’s script; I’m making my own up as I go.

With my birthday, I am reflecting on so much. My book: successes and learning experiences. From self-employment to unstable, temporary jobs, I can definitely say that I can finally see my growth, not just as a poet and writer but as a person too. I can’t do anything but thank God for everything that has and is preparing me for the next level in my life.

I can’t keep running. So, I’m going to take it head-on.

But that’s tomorrow’s issue; today, I’m celebrating me and the small victories!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

(Next entries will catch up everything. I know I’m behind, but life continues to roll on).

*LOL, I just saw that’s it’s not a short blog after all. Wait til you see the others after this one.*

Celebrate me

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t read poetry? (spoiler-free review)

Another Book Review for Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image

plentifulpages

Title -Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image

Author -J.N. McGhee

Rating -4/5

Release Date -September 11th, 2017

Publisher -Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Format -eBook (received from the author)

Little Girl Blues is a heartfelt collection of poetry that deals with topics like discovering how harsh reality is and figuring out where you fit in said reality.

The poems in this collection were really eye-opening. I’ve never experienced complete hopelessness as some of the poems described. They were written so well that I could put myself in the shoes of someone who feels like that. In the short time that I spent with them, these poems changed my mindset because I was shown the complete rock-bottom that some people can feel.

This collection was different than I expected. I thought it was going to be a story that went from someone being hopeless to…

View original post 246 more words

Jackson Community Expo

Yesterday, I was invited to participate as a vendor at the Jackon Cash & Carry Supermarket. This was my second event as a vendor. I really wasn’t feeling my best; but, I just made the most of the opportunity. There were a few entrepreneurs; it was great! I was really nervous. Of course, Ms. Gigi pulls me to the side to try to talk some sense into me. It worked (for the most part).

I didn’t sell any books, and that’s ok. I was just glad to collaborate with other people and learn about business. Ms. Meredith McGee was also there as a vendor. She pulled me to the side and shared a lot of knowledge with me. Basically, she told me about how to get exposure, what to do, what to say, and who to connect and reach out to. I enjoyed the knowledge that she shared with. By the end of the event, we both decided to swap our works and review them. It feels good to work with other authors as we continue to uplift and genuinely support each other.

Also, another young lady stopped by my table. I was so amazed at the fact she was excited about wanting to purchase and read my book. She was like, “Girl, it’s amazing to be a published author. In fact, it’s a blessing. God is going to take you places with this book. So you might as well strap in and get ready. I feel it is very vital as an African American to know who you are dealing with ‘image’.”  And her name was Jasmine as well.

I guess God is getting ready to take me places; I am scared and uncertain of the “where.” But I am trying to work on my faith. I know God has never let me down, abandoned nor forsaken me. To me, I’m just a small town, countrywoman just trying to find my way, trying to actually live life instead of existing, and find out who I am. And somehow I keep getting pushed back to “Square 1.”

Overall, I enjoyed the meet and greet with the other vendors. Hopefully, things will pick up. Still working on local promotion.

Next entry will begin to fill in the gap as the backdrop to catch you guys up.

Before I forget, I just updated my author/poet website: mcjasz2205.wixsite.com/jnmcghee.

I’m still working on linking my WordPress blog to my website, so I won’t have to keep starting new blogs. I will figure it out soon.

More updates to come.

Until then:

“Speak your truth, Live your truth! Use your voice.” © – Jasmine N. McGhee

 

Book Signing for December 8th – Secured!

Hello, everyone! I’ve been so busy trying to schedule a book signing. So I was finally able to secure a time, date, and location. This will be my first, official book signing! It will take place at a local library on December 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The rest of the info is on the flyer that’s at the end of the blog). I’m so excited yet nervous at the same time. Also, the Downtown Marketplace in Yazoo City, MS will be selling a few copies of my book in their store! They were really nice, helpful, and supportive.

Other than that, local promotion is going pretty good. It started off on a rocky, uncertain start. Once I found my footing, it picked up some. But all praises and glory go to the good Lord. I’m just so happy and humble that he has truly blessed me beyond words. As I prepare for this book signing, I’m hoping everything turns out ok.  The flyer is ready; I’ve been printing and hanging them in local businesses.

My goal was to do at least two book signings before the end of the year. However, it was so many other writers and authors trying to do the same thing around the same time.  So I just told myself to do this one; and, at the beginning of next year, I would try to schedule another book signing.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I can’t wait to eat to my heart’s content. I have so much to be thankful. This year has been filled with ups and downs, false starts, detours, etc. Overall, I can say that I have so much to be thankful for. My new nephew, my heart, Deon’tae – my D-Baby. I’m a published author; I’m connecting with other like-minded, creative individuals.

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

After everything slows up, I’ll do a couple of backdrop entries about what happened after the book was published along with the birth of my nephew. 🙂

I promise.

Book Signing Flyer #2.jpg

Little Girl Still Not Heard. The Story Continues to be ignored

Today is the day. A decision has to be made…

So, I had purchased a book review and an author review for $60. This individual claimed to support Indie Authors. I’m thinking, “Well, maybe this person can help. I’ve been getting lies, the runaround, etc.” When I woke up this morning, (I wasn’t fully awake yet) I read that review. It felt like someone sucked the life out of me. (The book review is a reblogged entry if you want to read it).

Basically, I’m a “failed poet.” “This book is the most difficult, most underrated form of art using words. Clumsiness, some metaphors seem forced, artificial, and not at all inspired. This short book is an example of what a few neatly placed words can done (it’s supposed to be “do”), what can be achieved within the confines of letters and punctuation.” And my book received a 4-star rating. On the contrary, my book was critiqued not reviewed.

To be honest, I don’t even care about the rating. It’s the wording of the review! Poetry is an art! Just like a painting, sculpture, or anything. It’s not the beauty of words; it goes beyond that!!! There’s a story within the poems that I’ve dedicated my life to writing, to convey.  For some reason, nobody is listening to the doggone story! They’re so busy trying to restrict my poetry to guidelines, rules, and how “they” think it should be. The cliche’, “You’ll miss the forest looking at the trees.” This review is a prime example.

Nobody doesn’t want to listen to the story, yet everyone is very quick to say, “everyone has a story to tell.” But who truly wants to listen? Who out there has the open mind to really see what the little girl is saying in that book?!

There is a huge difference between a writer and a poet. I’m a POET! Someone once shared “poetry burns the soul and evokes emotion.” A true and profound statement.

As I stated, I am that little girl. Yes, my story still goes unheard. Perhaps, if it was a novel, it would be more receptive. My allegiance is to poetry. I’m open to all types of literature. Poetry won my heart a long time ago. It saved me when “people” didn’t have the time to listen, care, or just have the time.

Being a published author is one of, if not the only, accomplishment in my life. Like, “Hey, after all the hurt, pain, multiple types of death, it all lead me here.” Now, I’m undergoing another type of death: the death of the soul, the death of a poet. Poetry used to be held in such high regards. In this decaying, withering, society, most wouldn’t know what art was if it was right in front of them.

I’ve been facing so much rejection because I’m a self-published author, or my book is poetry. But, I kept trying, trying to connect, trying new ideas…..

My worst fear: my poems out in the open; I can’t protect them or keep them safe. As long as they were on my computer, written in composition books and journals, and within my safe haven, I could control who I wanted to read them and put my poetry away. However, that’s no longer an option.

There are some who share my vision while others heartlessly mutilate my soul.

“Sorry, Little Girl. No one is listening still. So let’s go back to our unreality. Pretend we have a few like minds there. The world’s reality is not my reality. Their sense of rules is overbearing and unrealistic. But prejudice, isolation, and fake patriotism is the drivel that fuels society’s sanity. If rejection doesn’t kill me first, then I will be the world’s main course. And those that speak “truth” will be silenced within Dante’s Inferno. Never to be seen or heard from again: The ‘One-Hit Wonders’.

Subjected to mediocre meanings such as the period, an end. A comma, a possible addition. A semicolon, another addition making it more complex. Letters birth words involving the alphabet. How else would man have learned to categorize, to define the ‘thing,’ the ‘it.’  Yes, ‘it” could be anything. But what would yours be?

Let art live. Just let it be. Stop trying to cut it up, define it, understand it. It simply just the ‘is.’ Words do cut deep, and the truth is supposed to free the soul. Do you really want to be set free? Or be condemned to the world’s crumbling, archaic method of thinking?

I’m an artist; I will die an artist. But I will choose my demise.
NOT YOU!”

© – J.N. McGhee, poet (first), published author