This amazing body art is the work of Jasmine Morrell of the Spirited Tattooing Coalition in West Philadelphia. I cannot say enough good things about Jas.
In March of 2016 I turned 50 which was a sobering landmark birthday for me. That birthday started a very long and continuing period of introspection about my life. One thing I said early into my 50th year on this earth is that I wanted to have more impact on the world. I didn’t know exactly how this would happen, what shape this would take, just that the passage of time had made me realize that this was still really important to me and that it was not too late to pursue this goal.
When I started my Brave and Reckless blog in the beginning of October, it was an impulsive decision to make a very specific blog post publicly available. I never could have predicted how much my blog would take on a life of its own and how radically it would change me.
Back in October I was kind of shocked that anyone would want to read anything I had written and I honestly doubted that I had much to say. The 167 original essays, pieces of fiction and poems that I have written and posted since October would argue that perhaps I do have something to say! As of today my blog has been viewed 10,079 times by 5,727 different readers from 73 different countries. I think this is pretty damn cool but this is not even the really cool part.
The really cool part is that I know in my gut now that I am a writer. I knew this when I was a teenager and in my early 20’s but I lost this important knowledge, this identity, somewhere along the way and it has been vital for me to remember and get back in touch with this piece of myself. Once I started to write this fall I literally have been unable to stop. Writing is now as critical to me as breathing and eating and drinking water.
Another really cool part is that I have found an amazing community of writers on WordPress who agree that I am a writer. Their support and friendship has meant more to me than I could possibly ever express. Nothing makes my day like having a reader take the time to reblog one of my posts or to reply and tell me how much it resonated for them. To know that I touched someone else with my writing is the Best. Feeling. Ever.
The even cooler part is that posting that first blog opened amazing doors for me that I never even knew existed. I have won a writing contest, been nominated for two blogging awards, am now a contributing writer to two literary collectives that knock my socks off and am now in a position to pay it forward and encourage and support other writers. I have impact. Wow. Who knew?!
The best part of this journey for me has been to find my tribe and my writing homes. I am so proud and awed by the writers that I get to work with and I want to introduce them to you. If you aren’t already following them, consider it. I am literally blown away on a daily basis that I get to collaborate with these brilliant, creative, modern writers who are blazing a fresh trail in the universe.
The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective (A Forum for Divergent Literature) is the brainchild of the incredible Jasper Kerkau and home of 20 of the most cutting edge and exciting writers I have ever encountered. They are also 20 of the most amazing human beings I have ever encountered and I love them dearly. A wiser human being than I once called them his kind of rascals, vagabonds, and misfits. They are absolutely my kind of rascals, vagabonds, and misfits as well. My most recent work on SD’s site is my first collaborative poem written with the lovely and divine old-soul British writer Lois Linkens. It is entitled Careless Whisper and is our tribute to George Michael.
The Whisper and the Roar (A Feminist Literary Collective & outlaw poets swearing) is headed up by the amazing Georgia Park and regularly introduces exciting new voices in feminist literature. My most recent piece for The Whisper and the Roar is Child Welfare. This is one of the most intense and intensely personal pieces of writing that I have ever published publically.
Secret First Draft is a sister site to the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and will be active in the upcoming weeks in introducing you to writers who are new to us who we think are too good to be missed. One of my favorite pieces of my poetry, The Name They Call Her can be found there.
Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me.
Peace and Light,
Bold and Reckless