As an indie author, social media is huge. We're constantly making sure we're engaging, we're tweeting our books, our poems, and following back people....it's EXHAUSTING! I did a small thing and deleted all social media apps (except for Instagram) off of my phone. I am addicted to social media, and even if I'm not a constant poster, I'll scroll through my feed to make sure I didn't miss anything. Pre-kiddos, I'd say this wasn't such a big deal, but with children who constantly watch you, I needed to be more mindful of how I spent my time with them. I didn't want to be glued to my phone all day, and by that same token, didn't want them to grow up thinking that it's normal. We turn off our television and don't answer calls/text messages when we sit down to eat as a family. Sure, we can have some screen time, but family time takes priority.
My mental health is also a priority and seeing a feed full of political divisions made me more anxious, more grumpy and less "fun."
soooo what does this mean for April?
APRIL is PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) Awareness Month AND it's also National Poetry Month.
1.) I'm taking part in PMDD Awareness Month by (drum roll)...... writing a poem/day! There is a fun photo challenge that will be on Instagram. *FUN FACT: yours truly is a volunteer social media assistant for the Gia Allemand Foundation, which provides education, resource and support for those affected by PMDD. I'll be pulling double duty, and posting some fun photo challenges for you to do AND pairing my own twist by using the challenge as my poetry prompts. "Should" be fun. Care to join me? Follow on instagram.com/leilatualla
2.) I mentioned in my random rambling update that I am participating in a workshop called "Excavating Motherhood in/through Art," well I'd like to begin a series over on my very very neglected blog. As soon as I have enough material to cover, I'll start linking it to this site.
3.) I was saddened to hear that the Christian publicity compay I take part in as a reviewer is dissolving. I've got one more blog tour and review with them in April and once that's done, I'll start reviewing only poetry books (and books by Penny Reid just because). It's time consuming to read and review, as it takes time away from my own kiddos but
4.) I started an outline for my "Letters to Heaven Trilogy" and I'm going to start working on storyboarding the first book, "Finding your way Home." This will be a follow up/flash forward on Dylan and Lenora Evers story from "Letters to Lenora."
Whew! April is going to be such a busy month!
How are you doing with your writing, friend?
Sometime in January, I submitted a piece to be included in a motherhood poetry series. I got word a few weeks ago that my poem was selected! It went live this weekend and can't wait to get this baby in my hands.
So humbled and still can't believe I get to be a part of something great. Proceeds for this will benefit "Share The Dignity", an Australian based charity that provide the basic personal necessities to women and girls in need!
WOMb is a fresh and inspiring collection of poems celebrating Mothers from poets all around the globe. Over 120 poets from countries such as America, Canada, UK, Australia and India combine to lend their voices to explore the theme of Motherhood in all its glory, pain, joy, sorrow and wonder. This is the second poetry collection published by the indie press By Me Poetry. Founded in Melbourne and launched on Instagram in October 2016, By Me Poetry continues to celebrate poetry and promote the unique and heart felt points of view of poets from across the world. The book features notable poets such as Caroline White, Muby Williams, N.R. Hart, Kathia Huitron, Perry Poetry, Soshinie A. Singh and many more emerging talents. The cover design artwork is by Australian Graphic Artist Never Forever and the interior illustrations are by KK Foster. This book is one to not only cherish but also to pass on to mothers, grandmothers, sons and daughters and makes the perfect gift this Mothers Day. All profits of this collection will be donated to "Share The Dignity", an Australian based charity that provide the basic personal necessities to women and girls in need. Enjoy!
This Sunday, I will be doing my second (and first for the year) poetry reading. I've already stress ate through 2 boxes of girl scout cookies and I'm done to one box of Caramel Delights. This.isn't.going.to.be.pretty.
On the one hand, I'm so excited to be speaking in front of talented writers and poets and just being in the same breathing space.
On the other hand, I'll be speaking in front of talented writers and poets and I'll be in the same breathing space as them. I can't wrap my head around it. Honored to be invited but I ate through 2 boxes of girl scout cookies by myself in less than 2 days.
I'll be reading Sketch me as a Woman during my time. FUN FACT: this was the very first poem I've written after years of not touching poetry. I submitted it to Echoes of the Blog, where it was published on April 2017. Link here.
For more on this event, check out the FB link here.
If you're in the Houston Area:
Located at 1030 Heights Blvd, EQ Heights
Some other updates:
I submitted a chapbook to a contest (eek) and it'll be interesting how that goes. I already have plans to publish it in the future. It began as a series of "I ams" on Instagram and has just taken a life on its own. I sent it to an editor at the beginning of February and received amazing feedback. And then without thinking about it, sent the 25 poems to a contest. I'm as surprised as you that I didn't document this stress eating event, but last month, my household was hit with another round of the flu, so I haven't had time to dwell on what I just did.
What about you, friend? I hope you are writing things! I signed up for a workshop called Excavating Motherhood in/through Art and I've been wildly inspired these past four weeks. This workshop has really made me reflect on my identity as a mom and a writer. I hope to do a post on my experience doing this workshop and share all that I've learned with you all soon! Find your writing tribe. If you can't find one, create one! This workshop has been online with some hands-on exercises and I've been able to block off an hour every Saturday to do a live call with these inspiring ladies, nay artists.
Keep dreaming. Keep pushing. Start your hustle and write.
I was invited to share my thoughts on identity and motherhood over at Fly on the Wall blog by Isabelle Kenyon. Here's what I shared,
"Motherhood, as isolating as it can be, is an ongoing process of forgiveness and grace. Forgive the messes, and give yourself the grace that what you are doing is what is best for you and your family. No matter what it looks like. No matter what box it fits in or doesn’t.
I’m learning to stop every so often and remind myself that this is not just my season, but theirs. In their childhood, in their innocence and what they’ll remember when they look back and reflect on. Our identities are fluid, and seasons of joy and grief cause shifts in who we are and what we believe we are. Our circumstances shape our identities in how we see our world, and how we respond to it. And isn’t that the most amazing thing to realize? We are not stagnant but a constant evolving thing. We are not the same today as yesterday." -
To read more on my "Identity is Fluid" post, visit the blog here.
I drink too much coffee, read too many books, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.