On the ferry, on the inland sea

Poetry is and always has been how I cope with the hardest experiences of my life. It is an art form, as Mary Oliver said, that connects the conscious mind with the heart.

Lichen Bright detailed the roughness of my late teens and 20s while Following Sea recounts my emotional journey with infertility and the consequential questions of ancestry, family, home.

Recently, Brandi Lytle of NotSoMommy.com, a site about being childless not by choice, read and reviewed my new book and asked me to write a guest post chronicling my story and how it led to Following Sea.

I’ve never written so openly about this part of my story (as in, non-fiction prose) so it’s set my nerves a-jangling, but here it is.

Hemingway said: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Because truth is important. It’s the path to one’s own energetic stories, where the best writing lives (even, I might add, if it’s transformed to fiction along the way).

I’ve always believed this, even when it’s hard; as I get older, I believe it even more.

“Writing is nothing if not breaking the silence,” says Betsy Lerner.

We own what’s happened to us. And, really, at the end of our lives, isn’t that all we truly own?

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P.S. I’ve had a few people ask how to get Following Sea. Beyond the usual venues – ordering online or through your local bookstore – you can always order a personalized, signed copy from me through the link on the book’s page. Be sure to include your mailing address!