Unkept is now available in paperback and eBook versions. You can find the book at the following places:
And because I know you love when I forget to wash my hair, I made this video for you to help celebrate:
The “how” is easy enough, isn’t?
Sit down, get up, make a cup of black tea, forget it’s steeping, get up and throw it down the drain, come back, stare at your computer, check Facebook, stalk random pictures of cats, catch up with an old friend by creepily browsing their pictures (blue is not their color), go back to the screen, look up how old Jennifer Aniston was when she started playing Rachel on Friends, go “huh,” go back to the screen, the white screen, the raw and blindingly bright screen, write a word. Fuck up as wife. Then a few more words. Fuck up as a mother. Then a few more after that. Edit like your fingers are scissors slicing through the keys. Receive love when you feel you don’t deserve it. Kiss your manuscript on the lips and send it off to someone who cares for it as much as you do.
View its birth. View the death of who you used to be.
So the “why.” The “why” is not so easy.
The “why” has come from a pain as all good things do. The “why” is my head dividing into different sections, the core of it trembling, like shoulders trembling with the weight of the world. It’s a dissection of self that is raw and real and here is what it comes down to: I’m failing my daughter.
Rowena from Out of Print Writing asked me the “why” and I gave her this answer:
…Vienna and Heather represent the two halves of my mind and the book sews them together. And it’s also a personal ode to my daughter, that she trusts herself no matter what and knows that she will always be loved and that no damage can be done on her part to change that.
She will always be loved. There is no damage that she can do to change that. Yes, yes, yes. But sometimes, my heart and head says “no.”
Being a mother is damage. It’s a continueal streak of grittiness that doesn’t wash off and then you’re propelled into a world that tells you to always be clean. And that’s why there’s a smile on my face, that “everything is fine” smile that we as people (and specifically women) are forced to show the world, the world that wants nothing more than for you to be perfect.
Well, fuck that.
The “why” then is this: nothing is fine…ever. There are fine moments, more than fine moments and there is a happiness that can spread through your chest with its warmth, but “not fine” is a constant and you just have to be okay with that fact. Not just for yourself, but for the people who will ultimately let you down. Because people are people and love should never have to depend on their reaction.
I want my daughter to be fine with not being fine. And know she deserves love and deserves to give it regardless of what her heart, her head and the good people of the world have to say about it.
So if you read, Unkept, go in knowing things are most certainly not fine for my characters. Go in knowing that this “not fine” is hidden in speech and clothing and behavior and a “put togetherness” that is seen any day, on any given side walk. Know that underneath their sternums the warmth isn’t there, but a raw sense of being wronged, being unloved, feeling everything “un” and living in the difficulty that comes with silence.
But also that indomitable flame of hope. Because such is life.
Thank you for reading and learning more about Unkept. I would love your help in spreading the word about my book, so if you’re game, do you mind clicking THIS LINK and supporting my Thunderclap campaign? It takes just a click. I appreciate it!
No, like seriously, YOU. GUYSSS.
I did something.
I started a Thunderclap campaign which means I am now the goddess of the heavens.
I’m just kidding. I’m already the goddess of the heavens.
Really what this campaign does is cyber shoot my message all over the interwebs until everyone feels like taking a shower.
Which is unfortunate because I’ve apparently ran out of shampoo.
I’m hoping to get 100 supporters to share my message via their Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr platforms.
It only takes ONE CLICK to help a writer girl out and if you do, I would love you FOREVERRRRRRR. Like really weird zombie love. Deal with it.
My husband asked if by “Thunderclap,” I meant twerking while holding my book and filming it for a YouTube video because, and I quote, “that would sell like a million books.” I think this is 2015 speak for “I really like you.”
As Compilations Editor for Tipsy Lit, I have had the pleasure of sifting through the work of some extremely talented writers, and after a lot of consideration last month I found myself being pulled back to two authors in particular: Wayne Burke and Jada Yee.
Their poems are the kind that when spoken aloud leave a taste on your tongue that is hard to describe; you can only say that you want more. We are honored to have been given the chance to showcase these two collections via Wattpad, and invite you to head on over and read some brilliant work.
In Dreams We Hunt the Lion by Wayne Burke
In a collection that Burke describes as “minimalist” and “accessible”, In Dreams We Hunt the Lion guides readers through the nooks and crannies of everyday life in a way that is smooth and relatable. From the suffocation of the mundane in “Fixed” to the daydreaming rush that is “White Lines”, Burke gives us a writer’s twist on an ordinary world.
Wayne F. Burke is the author of two literary studies, KINGDOM COME: The Fiction of Howard Frank Mosher, and WRITERS LEFT OF CENTER. His book of poems WORDS THAT BURN is published by Bareback Press. A second poetry collection, DICKHEAD, is scheduled for publication by Bareback in July, 2015. Burke has lived in the central Vermont area for the past 25 years and is presently employed as LPN in a nursing home in Berlin, Vermont.
In Bruises We Bloom by Jada Yee
In a collection that focuses on the struggle that is self-acceptance, poet Jada Yee lays out her words like rose petals on the page – both timid and powerful. From the quiet, careful hurricane of “Lines” (“Beyond medicated glass / things are pretend / things, less rehearsed”) to the beautiful, simplistic nature of a poet at work in “An Artist Will Understand” (“but that first ordinary, marvelous brushstroke across the canvas… / that elegant motion of a match as I light it for a candle… / that’s what it’s like to recover my heart.”), In Bruises We Bloom packs emotion with a punch that leaves us stinging in the best way.
I chose these poems because they summarize my state of heart and mind during certain years of my life. I hope one day I’ll bump into my high school English teacher just so that I can thank him for telling me that poetry can be about anything. Editors have told me that my writing is organic and narrative, while others have said it’s very abstract. And, among friends, that’s the toughest thing to explain; what my style is and what I write about. I don’t think of myself as a tree-hugger but I’ve been inspired by nature and empathy. Sometimes, plain words or phrases can spark something. When I work on my writing at the computer, I listen to music. I’m always afraid that this is cheating because I use the syllables in the lyrics and the sound in each beat to orchestrate my poetry. Although finished poems don’t “sing,” it has become rooted in my method. Each one of these poems was composed with a particular song between my ears.
Jada has had work published in Poetry Now, Crack the Spine, Poydras Review, and Penny Ante Feud.
Read more of Jada’s poetry here: