Life presented me with a fresh bouquet of emotions today as I launch book number three in my “Rising” poetry and prose series. It has been a challenging 2020 for all of us, yet somehow
some of us have been fortunate enough to persevere and have made it six months without falling ill or succumbing to Covid-19. I am blessed to have been supported by my loving family and amazing friends as I pushed through the mind-numbing and emotionally wrenching racial issues and social unrest this past year to keep writing.
For the first several weeks, like many of you, I felt immobilized by the mounting virus-induced deaths, the sudden end to the normal rhythms of our lives. After about a month of being addicted to the news, I realized how much I needed to get back to writing in order to process all that had occurred. So off I went, rising early morning to write new pieces and edit the old, gingerly falling into a new normal of zoom work meetings by day and chilling with family in the evenings. And then George Floyd was murdered. It is difficult to describe how gut-wrenching it was to watch someone have their life so taken so cruelly. Again, my emotions froze over but felt a need to do something.
Moved by the love and passion I feel for justice and our country, I soon became an amateur social activist connecting and dialoguing with family and friends about what was happening in our beloved country as we all grappled with how to effect positive change. Eventually, I participated in several peaceful protest walks and joined a Zoom book study group. Reading how to be an anti-racist and discussing it with a group of strangers, some who have not become friends, gave me new a sense of purpose.
“Rise Unstoppable” somehow came to life amidst the backdrop of all the chaos and uncertainty that 2020 brought forward. However, it is rooted in empowering women and girls to find and own their power. It is a continuation of the themes explored in I’m Rising, celebrating the tenacity and the capacity we all possess to transform and rise to be an unstoppable force.
The themes in this collection focus on the self-created barriers we place on ourselves and the trauma of unhealthy relationships, including sexual and physical harm. This book also touches on the social and racial injustices that many of us face, as well as the challenges and biases we often address in navigating our work lives.
In these pages, I offer my thoughts on self-love, personal care, healing, and growth in the face of the obstacles and trauma life sends our way. While I do not claim expertise, I have learned a few lessons along life’s adventure that I am eager to share. I hope you find my poetic prose, affirmations, and verse relatable, and come away with an existential and lasting experience.
Rise Unstoppable can be found at most major book retailers and independent bookstore sites. For personalized signed copies, find it on The Stradford Store at Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheStradfordStore