Blooming in the Dark is a beautiful poetry book by Jennifer LeBlanc and Kristen McNeill. The poems contained within it are relatable and tug at the heartstrings. At their core, they are representations of different aspects of the human condition. They address issues such as love, friendship, identity, and healing.
They particularly delve into the intricacies of love – the intensity of it, the toxicity that can be created when this emotion is manipulated and the damage it can do when provoked. It tells of the depression of those left by loved ones, the loss of identity by those that were manipulated by lovers, and the healing required to reach a semblance of peace.
Interestingly, this book also thoroughly explores the love between friends and how a toxic friendship can leave someone withered and low. However, not everything is sad and depressing in this book. Some poems talk about overcoming imposter syndrome and the need to be perfect.
They talk of embracing the present and moving into new chapters of our lives without regret or remorse, of fighting our demons and winning, and of forgiving and letting go. In many ways, this book celebrates healing and the realization of the authentic self. It makes you remember your pain, your joy, and how they interweave – it feels like a love letter to your soul. It makes you feel seen, all of you – the intense and the laid back. Clearly, the authors poured their heart and soul into this project, ensuring that it was an accurate description of what it means to be alive.
They do a good job of weaving emotion into the poems without making the language feel heavy – it almost feels like you are reading the words of someone who has lived what you have lived. It also helps that while the authors do some symbolism, it is clear what they are talking about. They manage to create a beautiful balance between veiling and message execution, making this book easy to read, even for poetry beginners.
Once you start reading it you can barely put it down – it could take just a couple of hours to finish. As long as you like deep emotional poetry, Blooming in the Dark will be a breathtaking read for you.
Pages: 181 | ASIN: B08W4P1Q2C
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Natyre Boy is a vivid collection of thought-provoking poetry on nature. What inspires you to write a piece of poetry?
It’s usually something I’ve experienced, been part of or seen which provides that wee creative spark of inspiration. I guess to some extent I’m an observer of life in all its forms and I try to capture those fleeting and precious moments as best I can in poetry.
It’s really important to me to convey both the visual scene and the feelings experienced in those moments too, to make them as near as I can to a shared experience with the reader. I always hope I can paint pictures with words. That probably sounds pretty pretentious, but it’s really not meant be, more of a mission statement than anything else.
My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Autumn Seas’. Do you have a favorite poem in this collection?
I do, I have a couple. The poem/ rhyme which makes me smile the most is ‘Entomology – Lesson 1’. It was such fun to write, and captures a fair bit over its eight short lines.
The other favourite is ‘Revelry.’ It is both very recent, so recent in fact it was a stop the press moment, and it was an incredibly spontaneous response to a photograph a friend posted on social media. The photo appeared and around thirty seconds later the poem popped. I love it when that kind of thing happens, the real spontaneous stuff, you know?
What are some poetic devices that you like using?
That’s a really interesting question. I don’t consciously set out to use any of the poetic devices, they just kind of invite themselves in depending on a poem’s topic. Rhythm, rhyme, metaphors and a bit of alliteration, I do use others but those would be the main ones. The other thing I try to do, which comes from my musical background I guess, is I consider how a piece would be performed. For example, would a series of words on a single line of poetry be delivered in one continuous stream or would it be split with pauses between words to accentuate, or create dramatic effect. So I have that strand in the back of my mind, sometimes I ‘hear’ the poems more as a performed lyric if that makes sense.
Do you plan to write and publish more works of poetry?
Yes, thanks for asking. There’s a third volume in this collection, also being published by the lovely folks at 8N Publishing with a planned release in Fall 2022. It’s progressing well, I’m happy to say. Like ‘Noir [or When The Night Comes]’ and ‘Natyre Boy’, there is a core theme that runs throughout this third volume and once more the cover has been created by Jane Cornwell so the three volumes are a suite as it were.
I’m also working on a short novel, which was unexpected, so we shall see where that goes in due course.
All Roads Destined is a collection of stories from fantasy to science fiction with links back to your first collection. What was the inspiration for this collection of stories?
As for the Outposts, I wanted to continue on since I’d left it as a cliffhanger in All Roads Home. I then felt I wanted to bring more loneliness and some addiction awareness into the equation as these subjects, real or imagined, can be sad and frightful.
I felt that this book was a bit darker than the last collection. What were some themes you wanted to capture while writing this book?
I did want to go darker, bring more science fiction in but based off subjects that make people uncomfortable. Again the addiction issue, some odd poetry. As you said in your review, the short story The Crone was your favorite. It was also mine, too. And I love when something like that can just come upon me, the imagery and the way I want it to be read.
You also included a selection of poems in the section titled The Fragments. What was your favorite poem from the collection and how did you pick which poems made it into this collection?
The poems or fragments I write in between or even during a WIP. My favorites in this book were Clocks and The Water Globe, both having to do with the passage of time.
What is your process like for writing short stories? Does it differ from longer novels?
There’s a certain pace with short stories that I prefer. I may be inspired to write a longer novel one day, just not yet.
Destiny is what we bring to the world where the roads are stained with tears and blood, and paved in eternal stone. In Part One, the continuation of The Outpost Trilogy shifts from post apocalyptic to science fiction. Part Two, The Enduring contains five dark fiction short stories. Part Three, The Fragments include fifteen poems of urgent struggle and destination. New York author, Lisa Diaz Meyer relates to the odd, macabre & funereal. ALL ROADS DESTINED is the second of her ALL ROADS trilogy.
Posted in Interviews
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All Roads Shattered by Lisa Meyer is the third book in the All Roads collection. This collection of dark fiction stories and poems begins with The Outposts III, which satisfyingly continues with the story of Georgia and Mitchell who we have been following through both books one and two. As we left them in book two to come to terms with their new life together, in this collection, Lisa picks up with the journey the two still must endure.
Then there is a three-part story in the form of People of Gods, a haunting selection of 12 pieces of poetry in the section titled Fragments, two further extended stories in the section The Enduring and finally, to end the collection, three small but perfectly formed short and simple stories which pack a huge punch in the section of The Oddities!
The Oddities features three ‘out there’ stories with Preacher, Crooks, and Helge. In a word, wow is what springs to mind when reading through each of them!
With Preacher, I never saw it coming at all, but the conclusion was oh so satisfying! Crooks was a great concept and equally mesmerizing. However, Helge had to be the most disturbing story of them all! I had, in fact, become so captivated by the last three stories that I wasn’t expecting the book to end when it did.
Helge produced some near awful visions in my mind as I read through, think Jack the Ripper style, back streets of grey and misty London; enough to give you nightmares. Yet, it was a tremendous and thoroughly satisfying end to a superb collection.
Having read both the first and second books in the collection, a part of me would have thought that perhaps by now Lisa may have run out of steam. After all, All Roads Home and All Roads Destined were for me, both 5 star reads. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
When you have read all three books, you may begin to feel that Lisa has a stronger connection to the futuristic sci-fi genre. This is perhaps because it is always the more extensive of stores and at the very beginning of each collection, with a continuation throughout the three.
However, in All Roads Shattered, the story I found the most compelling and atmospheric was Dinner with Myles. This was a story which I didn’t want to leave and could easily imagine Lisa writing a book based on this genre; such was it handled so well.
The ending to this story was, yet again, superbly accomplished by Lisa, as all her short stories have been throughout. However, I would still love for her to write a prequel to this one! Neil and Myles are wonderfully drawn, and complex characters and I could very well imagine them as partners working on crimes and investigating mysteries!
The great thing about reading Lisa Meyer’s collections is that each one gets better as you go along. That is particularly hard to achieve for many writers of such collections, but the All Roads Shattered collection is perhaps the most extensive and best written one yet.
It almost feels as though Lisa’s confidence has grown with each outing and this is therefore reflected in the intensity and broader scope of her writing. Her stories seem to expand and take on a deeper meaning in their unique genres in this collection, and I believe her writing style almost borders along the lines of perfection this time.
If you only manage to read one story, then Dinner with Myles should be that one. I can guarantee you that once you’ve sampled this nearly perfect piece of prose, you will feel compelled to read on.
Pages: 252 | ASIN: B0718Z38LD
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