With three months to go before my 26th birthday (a little under two now), I achieved the milestone of writing my first six books and releasing them out into the world. Unlike my upcoming “10 by 27” (inspired by my “6 by 26”) this wasn’t planned; it just happened.
Therefore, and before my 26th birthday, I want to take a moment to celebrate my first six, published collections and pay them all homage for the special roles each of them played in my life. They’ve all done so much for me; the least I can do is dedicate a blog post to them.
These are my children, and although I have yet to figure out how to believe in myself, I still do my best to believe in them.
My “6 by 26”: (1) Amaranthine, (2) Devolution, (3) Armageddon, (4) Silk & Cigars, (5) Cerulean, and (6) The Book of Soft, Sweet Nothings
My debut: a book born from my obsession with the word Amaranthine and a desperate need to process my trauma. There’s so much I could say about you, but for now, I’ll leave it at this:
You’re my next tattoo.
Despite being born out of the “failure” of my first National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo18), you took on a life of your own and taught me an important lesson in accidents, creative rebirths, and possibilities.
Thank you, Devolution, for being brave enough to be the “oddball” of my published works, the old-world verse/poetic narrative told in short, lyrical chapters.
Right now, you have cousins, but I hope to give you a sibling someday soon.
The follow-up to Amaranthine, where I shared segments of some of my darkest experiences, the backstories behind my cynical world-view, and showed my work for and after John Milton for the very first time…
You are Armageddon.
You are the “cause” to my “effect,” and perhaps the bravest of all my books.
Thank you for being you [and also for making me an Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist].
Silk & Cigars — you let me speak my truths as a femme-presenting feminist and queer woman in a world where we are constantly met by cruelty and misogyny from every corner. You were potentially the scariest to publish, and you received one of my toughest reviews to date, but still you remain.
That’s why I gave you a better cover the other week; you deserve it. Thank you for being such a trooper.
Cerulean was the first of my books to ever represent my own images, beginning on the cover and continuing throughout the entire collection. You are the first thing I’ve published since beginning my M.F.A. degree, and it shows. You are a departure from my previous work, but rather than failing my amazing readership (who I love so very much), you appear to have still made them happy.
You also remind me of Amaranthine in certain ways. Perhaps it’s because you, too, feel like a bit of a rose.
My sixth book and the younger sibling to Cerulean, you are a strange one…
That’s for sure.
Thank you for holding so many giant chunks of my heart in your many pages. You do my grief justice and, in that, you are very much The [One and Only] Book of [My] Soft, Sweet Nothings.
As for my “10 by 27″…
Well, the one and only thing I will tell you right now is that “Book No. 7” goes live in exactly 60 days!
Get ready, and stay tuned!