Break The Cycle Volume III coming soon!
April is my favorite month of the year. It is SPRING which is my favorite season. Everything is coming back to life, earth turns green, the sun shines bright in a clear blue sky with storybook clouds that occasionally float by… it is a time of renewal. April is also host to two causes near and dear to my heart: National Poetry Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. I plan to honor both of those events every day during the month of April with a poem a day and that’s no joke! 🙂
The first feature combines both events. It is the third anthology in my Break the Cycle book series. I wanted the focus of Break the Cycle Volume III to be Recovery. While there are several poems and stories that do address moving forward after the trauma of child abuse, this Volume also includes some cautionary tales that shows the fallout of neglected and abused children.
Some of the stories are tough to read and early feedback is that a few of the poems and stories make readers cry. I have also heard from people who think it is sad to publish a book that may open old wounds and that they could never read such a book. That’s okay.
The book is for people who need to confront their childhood demons and these stories help them find their own voice. Those are the people I am hoping to reach with the Break the Cycle series. Because I have been there. I am aware of the painful emotions reading stories about abuse can dredge up, but it is freeing too because you see people sharing their stories, letting the secrets out that they have kept bottled up for years, and taking steps forward away from the past that threatens to keep them bound.
Reading empowering books and writing from the heart helps heal your soul, at least it has helped me and others who have told me that it has helped them too. So, I publish Break the Cycle books with no apology and with the hope that springs eternal from one survivor to another.
The proceeds from this book and all the Break the Cycle books are donated to organizations that help neglected and abused children. The next volume will be published in 2018 and the final volume in 2020 – that is my goal. There is something magic about the number five! My prayer is that the people who need to read it will find it and it will inspire them to share their truths and lead to a healthier, happier life. That and helping kids is what it is all about for me.
In the books, I write under three pen names. Why? I have used the names for years and write many poems anonymously because it frees me to write without self-imposed limitations. I also like the pen names. I sometimes pretend those names will be added to the list of famous writers. Of course insecurities that often plague writers kick those thoughts to the curb, but I have fun with the visions of grandeur.
Below is a poem from I wrote under a pseudonym in Break the Volume III. If you read the book, you will know one of my pen names! I wrote this poem to honor my Aunt Judy who took me in after I was removed from my family due to years of abuse from my step-father. When I first moved in with my aunt, I was hurt and angry that I had to be the one to leave. I didn’t understand why my step-father wasn’t the one taken away so I could stay with my mother and brothers.
My aunt was very kind to me and treated my like her own child. She taught me so many things but the most important was forgiveness. Working through my issues took a lot of patience on my aunt’s part. She could have left it alone, but I am sure my bitterness would have festered to the point that it would eclipse my soul and I would have no desire to have a relationship with anyone opting instead to stay in my shell. I am so grateful for what my aunt (and uncle) did for me.
After I grew up and had kids of my own, I understood her sacrifice on a different level and told her several times how much I appreciated her help. I still don’t think she understood the depth of my gratitude. On her deathbed just a few weeks ago, I told her that I was paying her kindness forward by taking two of my nieces in to raise who are the same age I was when I moved in with her. I told her that her legacy lives on. To be a foster parent, what a tough, but beautiful legacy to leave. It is not a life I would have chosen had she not paved the way for me to turn a bitter heart into a beautiful soul.
I was furious.
You taught me forgiveness.
I was scared.
You taught me strength.
I was sad.
You taught me smiles.
I was lost.
You taught me love.