A big thank you to Bella for awarding me this Lion's Roar for powerful words. I am deeply honoured, and pleased.
This is probably the last post before Christmas party season begins, so here's the story behind the poems.
I first set out to write a book about pregnancy and childbirth, and all things sexual related to it that have been silenced. It began in a Creative Writing 101 class at university, (after 12 years of slogging as a secretary, I decided to go back to school and follow my dream), with a taboo Journal project.
The subject of the Taboo Journal was women's/my sexual universe: everything from first hearing about women's blood in the school yard to sex during pregnancy, and beyond. I also wanted to break the taboo around talking about my mother's alcoholism during my childhood. Speaking up about these things was difficult at first, but got easier as I circled around and back and over the stories and feelings locked up for so long. Having children made it a necessary challenge, so that the legacy of silence was not perpetuated. Especially, I felt a strong need to break the cycle so my daughter wouldn't inherit all the hang-ups I had (well, I tried).
There is still more to write about, much that didn't make it into the first book. But I recorded my body landscape changes during first pregnancy, spoke openly about the dark side of mothering (at home, alone, cooped up in winter like a purdah), and also the mixed blessings and joys of breastfeeding (gorgeous blissful moments vs needle-like pain), and tried to honour the friendships with other women I made at that time.
I wish there were more copies available, but it was a small print run; now I'm moving on to writing about the larger Feminine Mysteries of menarche, mothering and menopause in a non-fiction way.
I do have a menopause survey and a menstruation survey that people could fill out for my research - once i figure out how to post it on this blog. You can email me if you are interested in participating.