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.
‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ is a poetry anthology, the profits of which will go to UK charity, MIND. The book consists of 116 poets from around the world and details a whole range of mental health experiences.
The expected date of release is Thursday 8th, on Amazon.
I'm so grateful and humbled to be part of this anthology alongside some of the most promising and established poets. I talk to editor Isabelle Kenyon about the project.
‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ Q and A
Question: How did this project begin?
Isabelle: I knew I wanted to work collaboratively with other poets and it was actually the theme of mental health for a collection, which came to me before the idea of donating the profits to charity MIND. This was because I knew how strongly people felt about the subject and that it is often through writing that the most difficult of feelings can be expressed. I think that is why the project received the sheer number of submissions that it did.
Question: How did you select the poems – was there a process?
Isabelle: In some cases of course personal taste came into my selection, but I tried to be as objective as I could and consider the collection as whole. I wanted the book to have as many different personal experiences and perspectives as I could find. Because of this, I have not been afraid to shy away from the ugly or the abstract, but I hope that the end of the book reflects the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for mental health and that the outcome of these last sections express positivity and hope.
Question: Why should people buy this book?
Isabelle: Easy – to support the fantastic work which MIND does and to support the fantastic poets involved. Rave about their work because I believe the poets involved are both talented and dedicated.
The Light Leads to Love - Reflections of Faith Anthologies 3
A mother comes face to face with the woman who would have murdered her baby.
A child who’s been betrayed by everyone hurts the only man who’s ever shown her kindness.
A teen stands at the crossroads of his impulses and his convictions.
A reformed addict needs help from a total stranger to protect her child.
Love lies at the heart of the Christian’s journey, but in moments of crisis, love often seems the most difficult of the virtues. In this anthology, nine of the brightest voices in independent Christian fiction offer novelettes about individuals at the crossroads, and the opportunities they have to respond with Christian love in all its forms.
“By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
Whether it’s a grieving husband or a girl dead before her time, each soul finds itself face to face with a choice: follow Christ’s toughest commandment, or remain focused on oneself.
Join these nine authors on a journey into the most difficult facet of the Christian life, but the one by which Christ Himself promised we would be recognized.
Patricia Bell · Faith Blum · Bokerah Brumley · Dyanne Gordon Green · Jane Lebak
Leila Tualla · Robin Merrill · A-M Frisby · C.L. Wells
I was interviewed by author H.L. Burke over at her blog. She asked random questions and I had fun answering them.
"You win a vacation to a hotel with an amazing spa, free buffet, great view, and everything you could imagine for your perfect getaway … but the hotel is completely staffed by giant spiders. Do you accept?
No. Never. Nope. And thanks for officially giving me nightmares about giant spiders staffing any vacation packages, I may win in the future. Scratch that, I will probably never enter these vacation packages because of this scenario.
When cats take over the world, how do you plan to win their good graces?
Continue to do everything to their bidding? I thought they've already taken over.
Which of the following potions would you like to possess: a Love Potion or a Sleeping Potion? I'm a tired mama, I would take the sleeping potion in heartbeat. Has that already been invented? I'd sprinkle sleeping potion all over my kiddos' beds."
You can read more on the interview here.
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 drink too much coffee, read too many books, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.