Poems are so emotional and we all know this. But some poems walk inside of and leave a footprint on your brain that never disappears. And that poet of those amazing abilities to do so is Sylvia Plath.
I have to say, one of the biggest reasons I cling to the meaning behind Plath’s poems is that they are so incredibly heartbreaking that you can understand why some folks sadly relate. Sylvia died so tragically but the way she died seems to override her work and the moods that drove her to that state of mind. Was she born with it? Did she wither away from her own tragic mind later on, her mind a curse she’d inherited because life just couldn’t pull her out from the terror of control snatched away from her. Marriage, children, a fight to understand her own mind and be driven to the point of helplessness that only could be brought to life in her writing? Let us discuss the latter. I might add that only artists, writers, poets and musicians probably relate the closest. No disrespect to those with a fully intact ability to be handed the perfect, stable mind. But to have a gift like Plath’s, you aren’t born handed the material the pain comes from. You earn it. If you have a history of depression, like me, you don’t need the training course of near crippling surges of creativity that bat around your head every.minute.of.the.day. And I truly mean that.
I’m quite fascinated by Plath’s genius form. I have been especially interested in her lately, since I dredged up some of her early poetry and find myself quoting it around social media. Yes, yes, I’ve shamefully watched the movie based on her life and although Gwyneth Paltrow is not even close as Plath, it was still terribly sad. I felt her children’s pain. As for Ted, he was kind of an a-hole who of course felt his superior ways justified any affairs. However, please understand this is just my opinion of the film. Ted Hughes just might have been husband of the year in real life. I do want to confirm though, with my very, very accurate eyesight that he did NOT in any way shape or form look like Daniel Craig. At least Gwyneth looked a teensy bit like Sylvia depending on the hairstyle. Daniel was…no. Just no. But he was incredibly handsome nonetheless.
So how does this relate to my latest book, the sequel to the first? I read a verse lately that stirred feelings about the male lead character who is pretty messed up himself. The female lead is a dreamy, poet-artsy type who’s messed up too. One big happy story! But really, there is plenty of drama yet humor as well. Plus of course the required romance doses that won’t even get your book read without them for the YA crowd. (Was I that romanticized as a teen? Hmm).
Anyway, I loved including poems in my second book and they fit perfectly at the spots I placed them in. Just little verses, not the whole bucket of dreary or newly blossomed love, etc, etc, etc. Death, etc, etc, etc. This fictional boy in question meets all the requirements for a dark poet lover’s cocktail: Cute-check! Self-absorbed at times-check! Confused-check! Cute-check! Has the ability to heal but doesn’t know it-check! Doesn’t want to be saved but has the equally confused girl who thinks she can-check! Cute-check! Paranormal dude-check! Strong-willed-check! I could go on but hey, you don’t really care, probably. On a serious note, it really is an emotionally deep story and does NOT fall into the plethora of paranormal subjects or dyst/uto/pian trends right now. So please don’t even glance at it if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s as far from fluffy as you can get. Because surely there are hundreds of people who are buying it right this second. (Insert cries of disappointment and frustration here).
I found that when my character includes poems and their meanings into her lifestyle or pain, in some cases, it shows how passionate and emotional I have made them. I used to be the same way. I wrote poetry too, decent poetry, horrible poetry. What teen girl didn’t? What I enjoyed about using my favorite prose is that others just might look them up too. I can guarantee if you read a Plath book on either poetry or her life, you will go around jotting her verses on social media too. She is just…well…there was no one like her when it came to the tormented mind and heart.
My absolute favorite quote that I must repeat everywhere I have online accounts is this from Ariel:
“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression. Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”
Perfectly sums up my boy, Damian, in A Halo Sun. How many guys in your life, have or still do FIT THAT PURELY AND UNDENIABLY? If not, you’ve never suffered a ‘Sylvia Plath broken heart.’
Be kind and be thankful this holiday weekend.
It’s been one year and a month since I published my first young adult novel The Sharing Moon. And one year and a month that I spent putting together the sequel. It wasn’t as easy as the first. Kind of like the opposite having kids. The second kid you’ve got the hang of it. The second book for me was all about being too focused on the first. Mainly on the characters who have still remained with me to this day.
Book Two took one of the bad characters and spun his own story. Not just the bad guy turns good either. This was someone who some readers might think deserves no forgiveness at all. But that’s what makes it even more fun to create him. When I considered the number of books I’ve read where the cold, unfeeling character became the opposite I figured it’s reasonable. He doesn’t just become a good, honorable person. There’s a lot of angst along the way and sometimes plenty of reminders of who he was in the first book. I’m proud of him, though, and the other characters too, because they all make it possible. Possible to redeem a hopeless soul and also give me a sense of how readers decide whether or not they will forgive someone who might have made their skin crawl at one time. Plus, he’s cute. If you make him cute, you can’t lose.
The end of this book came with the realization that unless I plan to go through another year of stress and writer’s block or become some famous author I better call it quits. I have loved every minute of every day of the entire journey. From great reviews to bad ones, from endless tweets and Facebook posts to Goodreads fans and friends that I’ve made. I have been so blessed to experience this dream. I’ve been so thankful I took the time to do it, even when I was working full time and stayed up all night long to keep going. Between doing my own writing and research and marketing, it’s easy to want to give up. Then I’d look at a message I received from someone and that was all it took to keep plugging away. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do it. Ever.
I fell in love with two boys and became best friends with two girls as a result of my books. I will cherish the days and nights I spent writing and crying and laughing and making every little thing about them likable and unlikable. I’ve made so many connections online and in real life. Those won’t be going anywhere. And I love them all.
Thank you for supporting me and giving me a chance.