This poem, "I am," can be seen in the anthology Please Hear What I'm not Saying. Proceeds go towards MIND, a charity that advocates, educates and support those in the mental health community.
"I am," lead to a series of little poems that I'm still working on but I hope to turn this into my next published work. Be on the look out for that!
So the other day, I was in a "must get rid of stuff" mood and cleaned out drawers and my kids' closets. I threw away 3 trashbags FULL of broken toys, shredded papers and random, random half eaten pieces of candies.
In this midst of this, I thought about what a memory hoarder I am. I found movie stubbs from 2015 and concert tickets and a few notes on nutritional goals, resolutions and micro poetry.
It was quite literally a load of memories that I had hoarded over the years that I decided was time to let go. I still (God willing) had plenty of time to have more experiences, more memories and whether we like it or not, memories are intangible. No matter how much I hold onto this movie ticket, I will never relive that same moment. Sure, a lot of happiness was associated with this particular movie (my daughter's first time at the movie theatre) but as the years go on and the words to this ticket fades, what will I have? Let's be real here. Nothing but just trash in my hand. But I'll still be able to remember what movie we went to - Big Hero 6 - and the events that happened.
Of course, I have things that I don't know if I'll ever part with, such as their hospital bracelets or what they both wore when they left the NICU. Our memories keep us warm when we need them the most and bring us to our knees when we remember feelings of inadequacy, of helplessness, of gratitude....
In keeping up with this theme, I have decided to completely stop blogging from my site over at tuallaleila.blogspot.com.
That blog site has taken me from post college, marriage, career, motherhood....I couldn't bear to hit delete. I think of it as more of an online diary and God knows I still treasure all my journals.
So the content is still there but I'm determined to do more blogging here.
Start from scratch.
Make more memories.
And this where "Life after the Storm" comes in. At my core, I am passionate about moms, preeclampsia and maternal mental health. I'd like to pursue something in those in the future but for now, I'll be switching and deleting things around here. And I hope its a more seamless transition. I'll be posting my poems here and blog about any of those three subjects. You can still find my faith based posts over on Daughters of the Deep, or if you're so inclined to follow my observations as a "Token Asian," I still contribute over at Echoes of the Struggle blog.
There are places for all my passions. I'm just sorry it took me cleaning up after my memories to realize that I need more organization in all areas of my life.
Five days into the new year, how's it going, friends? I just submitted my first poetry piece to Poetica - it was a call about motherhood, and let me tell you, I have a few things I still need to get off my chest - ha! I'm taking part in two different blog tours, both with reviews this month. So even though I set up my Goodreads challenge for 25 books this year, I'm ready to hit the ground running. I don't have goals this month, just to continue to write poetry daily and continue to read what I can. If you're on Instagram, follow me @leilatualla for a daily dose of poems!
Happy reading, have fun writing and let's make this our best year yet!
I always do resolutions. I've been doing this "new year, new you," thing since high school. As I've gotten older, I've come to terms with the fact that resolutions - at least in my case - are unattainable. I stopped doing them altogether when I had children. This mama doesn't need one more thing to add to her pile.
Life does happen even as we plan. However, the only way to help this organized chaos for this anxious mama is to sit down and come up with some semblance of a plan. A few small things that I'd like to accomplish.
In 2017, I only set out to write one book. I didn't plan for it to be a memoir, let alone one riddled with poems. I didn't even plan on being involved in anthologies, but three published my poetry and one is set to publish my novelette.
I don't know if I can even follow up or top this year, but 2018 is looking promising. I've been fortunate to live in a city where the super bowl was hosted, a world series happened right after a hurricane changed our landscapes and leveled neighborhoods. And a few days ago, a winter wonderland to remind us of how random and beautiful life can be.
So my writing friends, what will 2018 look like for you?
In this coming year,
1.) I will do some querying for my upcoming (and work in progress) poetry collection. the Token Asian writes will find a home somewhere.
2.) Submit articles to the Mighty, the Huffington Post, Blessed is She and inCourage.
3.) Submit poems to 12 different publications - 1 poem or 1 publication per month.
4.) Continue to promote and market books; do 2 different things for marketing once a month.
5.) Continue to learn, to engage, to participate in the writers' community:
So as we reach the end of the year, I'd like to thank you friends who have helped shaped my 2017. Get to writing.
And in case I don't have time to write again, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family. I'll see ya next year!
Do you remember that poetry half marathon I did back in August?? Once the marathon ended, those who "won" the marathon, full or half, could submit their poetry to be included in an anthology. So excited to announce that my poem, "Rainbows," written in hour 10 of the half marathon is published here among talented poets. Get your copy here:
Well, I "only" had two November goals and I failed them both. *sigh.
1.) NaNoWriMo - 100 poems for my the Token Asian writes poetry collection. - ummm I wrote 10?
2.) be inspired and read poetry! I'll be reading through the poetry books that I bought and reviewing the authors that have inspired and supported me. - I'm down to three poetry books, so yay?!
I don't have a whole lot of things going on as far as writing goals this month. I will continue to read as much as I can and review those that I already have. Excited for next year, though! I enjoyed reading up on new authors and reviewing. I've been fortunate to have 2 different contributing blogger experiences that I'm thinking about taking 2018 into a freelance writing work. Who knows. But as we wind down for the year, I am thankful for you all who have kept up with me and my writing journey.
Stay on the course.
Stop dreaming and start striving.
So I really don't know what that means, but I do know I had fun adding all the books I read this year and the ones that I've reread again, such as Penny Reid and JK Rowling.
My October Goals were:
1.) Read and Review the following:
- Lalibela's Wise Man by Matshona Dhliwayo - review to be posted on Oct. 5th.
- A Forest, a Flood and an Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre - Litfuse Publicity tour and review on Oct. 10th.
- my awesome friend, Abigail Wilson, has a book out called The Day Between: a memoir of miracles that will be released on Oct. 10th!!! Can't wait to read it and add it somewhere on this calendar!
Okay, so I haven't read this book. I know, I'm a terrible friend. And I was thinking of the reasons about why I possibly wouldn't want to pick this up off my nightstand and get to reading. I thought maybe once I finished all the books I said I'd review, I'll get started. So I read all the others as fast as I could.
I thought maybe once I'm in a place where I can be "mentally ready," I'll read....
...the thing about grief is that, there isn't very much time to process and or mentally prepare yourself for the emotions that may come. I already know I'll be crying throughout this book. I already know where to pause and where to thank God that this woman who has supported and encouraged and prayed for me wrote this book. While there are behind the scenes to every grief that friends and family are not privy to, I know there will be some moments that will surprise me and make me weep even more for knowing Abigail's story and truly seeing how God has used her during this time.
So I'm not as ready to dive in as I thought as I was...but to my dear friend, I promise that your story will be read and reviewed and cried over and you and your family will continue to be prayed for. I am in awe and so grateful for you. ~
- A Small Book about a Big Problem by Edward T. Welch - Litfuse Publicity tour and review on Oct. 23rd.
- Scarlet Virgins by Rebecca Lemke - review to be posted on Oct. 27th.
2.) Post about my book signing experience! I will be at Ichigo-Con event in Pasadena, TX on Oct. 28th from 10 am - 1 pm. - gah!! Another thing I forgot to post about!!
3.) Get to brainstorming for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! Do blog posts count towards something - ha!
Awww NOVEMBER. This is my absolute favorite month!! I only have 2 goals this month:
1.) NaNoWriMo - 100 poems for my the Token Asian writes poetry collection.
2.) be inspired and read poetry! I'll be reading through the poetry books that I bought and reviewing the authors that have inspired and supported me.
and although this is a goal, I'll be changing a few things on my blog, my website, my social media accounts. I'd like to "streamline" them into one and not have to worry about over posting or forgetting to post where. It's not something that I need or want a deadline to - it is holiday season, after all - but I'd like to take a few minutes and tweak a few things before the new year.