Good Reads Book Giveaway still ongoing….”A Mandala that happened on the way to a car crash and other stories.”

As some of you may or may have not noticed besides writing on this blog, I also self-publish my own books using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. At last count, I have published 22 of them since Jan 2013.

Well, book No.21 is available as a FREE paperback Good Reads.com giveaway item.

Here is a link to sign up:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/133633-a-mandala-that-happened-on-the-way-to-a-car-crash-other-stories

BookCoverPreview Short StoriesApril2015kindle cover Mandala Short Story bookThe paperback cover is on the left. The paperback is 54 pages and 6 x9 white pages with colored images. The kindle version is shown on the right. On kindle it costs just $4.73 HERE is the kindle link: http://www.amazon.com/Mandala-happened-crash-other-stories-ebook/dp/B00VJJDKRG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The paperback is $15.99.

HERE is the Book’s description off of Amazon.com:

A short collection of Short Stories, poetry, and artwork. It is a chapbook of Modern surreal fiction this first of its kind by this Author, Artist and Poetess. Emily Sturgill has a BFA in Fine Arts Painting and a Masters of Education in Art Education and Art Therapy.She runs a blog on WordPress.com called,”Sex in the kitchen Sex.” Since 2013 this is her 21 Self-published work. Her other books are listed on her Amazon.com Authors page. Mostly known as artist and poet this is Emily’s first attempts at short stories. Tread lightly, as she is by no means an expert mostly just a novice with one toe dipped in the water as the streams bubbles past. Scared of course to jump in and swim, terrified not to at least give it the ole-fashioned try.

And HERE is it’s first review:

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Format: Paperback

I have read many of Emily’s books. This book ventures out with some short stories, in addition to the wonderful poetry and beautiful artwork she typically has in her books. I was glad to see her utilizing her creativity and talent for an even broader spectrum of writing. Her writing is always colorful. The characters in her stories come to life through her descriptive words. There are themes of existentialism, love, and the brevity of life.

I loved the cover of the book, as is “Photo of Nightmare Monster”, the photo above There Is Noone Else, “To all the Women I’ve Loved Before”, and “Selfie”. All of the poems have beauty in their own way. My favorite poem in this work is Surface. She creates a personal list of things to be grateful for at the end of the book, which I believe everyone can benefit from creating their own so bravo to the author for reminding us of this and giving us an idea of how to approach it.

Big Man

Big Man
I’m not through with you.
Your photo is framed underneath
Glass on my nightstand.
Big Man,
You were my husband’s father.
I lived with you for five years.
I knew you. I learned to love you.
But I might have not gotten
To know you well.
Big Man,
I’m not done with you.
I miss you still.
I miss your infectious laughter.
I miss your sharp wit and your southern hillbilly ways.
I miss your stories of
Working in the coal mines.
I miss your tall tall tales
With a glimmer in your eye
And a smile on your lips,
I was far too young and naive
Not to believe you…

Even when your family
Later would tell me you
Were just making things up.

Big Man, I still cannot
Believe that your
Dead and gone
Yet in two days it
Will be nine years since your passing.

I try to remember you
For who you were,
The man who raised
The boy, who became
My husband.

I don’t like to dwell
On the ugly of your death
Or how Cancer
Ripped you away from
Our hearts and hands.

Big Man,
I ain’t through
With you yet.
It makes me sad, so sad,
I don’t want to let
You go.

I treasure the few times
And great memories I still have.
I feel better for knowing you.
I hope your ghost
Hangs out with all of us.

Your widow hangs onto
Her sorrow something
Terrible and awful.
Remembering the way
Cancer stole you away
And witnesses each anniversary
Of your passing even still.

Big Man,
I ain’t done with you yet!
My husband is wise.
He wants to celebrate
Your birthdays to recall
All of your goodness.
I agree entirely that
Is the way to honor somebody.

Big Man, I am just
Not ready to let go
Of you yet.
Your picture, I look at it
Often. So thankful you
Were the man who raised
My loving husband to be
The incredible man he is.

Big Man, I just
Ain’t through with you
Yet.

image

Dreading the Dawn

Dreading the dawn.
Dreading the dreamtime.
Dreading tomorrow
Hoping it just slips away

Dreading the dawn.
Dreading a new beautiful day.
Dreading my own face in
My mirror…
Dreading what words I may
Say?

Dreading the dawn.
Dreading more drama.
Dreading the dreamtime
And I’m missing Mama.

Wishing she would
Have stayed here
In my life a bit longer.

Dreading the dawn.
Dreading the breaking sun
That will signal
Tomorrow.

Sometimes I feel
As if I just want
To hide myself
In my bed
Beneath a wall
Of sleep

And not crawl out
Until I know how
This next new day
Will exactly
Turn out.

Dreading the dawn.
dreading the dreamtime.
Exhaustion catches up
To me and wraps its
Warm arms about me.

Deep inside a troubled
Mind are two small
Golden whispers
Of words…

Simply:
A voice which is my own
Just murmurs
Have Faith.

Words without end

Words without End~

Thoughts scatter randomly
Upon the trail
Of unspent teardrops
And these thoughts
Form letters
They sprout greenly into
Words.
Why try to catch the birds
When your fingers
Cannot grasp
The simple blue sky?
Why try to catch words?
As we live, we breathe, then
Someday…
We all die.
Why am I a word collector
Bearing an empty butterfly net.
Why do I string thoughts
Together like the beaded string?

What is the purpose
In letting it all
Hang out?

To type it up,
To become an Egomanic
And assume somebody
Even cares to read
This vast wasteland
Of muddy words

Piled together
Into a ravenous sludge?
It’s a landslide
Of literal literacy.

A mind hell bent
On wrecking
The noble art
Of pure poetry.

I should apologize
I guess, for littering
My words and thoughts
All over this concrete
Invisible Internet landscape.

Sorry…that’s the only word
Left.
Sorry.

Merry go round

Merry go round-

Spinning, faster, faster

a twirling metallic

merry go round

and when or where it

stops

nobody knows.

Feeling caught.

Feeling trapped.

In the inner corner

of a blank page.

words left the station

so long ago

not much left to say.

childhood

nostalgia

silly nonsensical

rythmes to pass the

times.

Sometimes

I just want

off

of this puking frenzy

of a Merry a go round.

My feet hit the grass lightly

linger upon pavement

making no sound.

feeling invisible-

like I did when I was

very little.

Just want off

of this

spinning

metallic

Merry go wheel.

Song of Silence

Song of Silence

by Emily Sturgill

4/16/15

A song that is sung silently

hung like a halo

privately

among curses

among the plenty.

A song that hangs mighty

around ones neck

completely

gathered into a noose

of blood red roses

thorns

a song sung silently

drowning out

the obvious

and the sheer

terrors of insanity.

A secret song

sung silently

hung tightly

upon reams

of unwritten

poetry.

Book Review:”Professional patient: A memoir of Bipolar Disorder.”by Leesa Abbott Psy.D

Book Review: “Professional Patient: A Memoir of Bipolar Disorder.”

By Leesa Abbott, Psy.D. (2015)

A book review by Emily H. Sturgill, M.Ed, BFA

(Art Therapist with over 20 years experience living with bipolar type one disorder.)

The first 77 pages of this memoir cover Mrs. Abbott’s childhood, adolescence, and young  adulthood in very stark and honest details. Despite this being the author’s first memoir she seems to have mastered the craft of such writing. After 77 or so pages, I felt that her writing was so compelling it was necessary for myself to mark and highlight certain sections of her text.  On page 77 she describes in her role as a mental health professional encountering all types of people. In particular she details the struggles of interacting with persons baring personality disorders or traits of such disorders. She comments that,  “I do know that simply responding to people who have challenging personality traits with a softer, non-escalating response can change the dynamics.”(Abbott .L.p.77) She goes on to describe an encounter with a young child and his mother. She explains in depth that,

”Sometimes people have a thick layer of defenses but it is possible to connect with the wounded person inside. It does require patience and ability to ignore misguided anger.” While this is sensible and logical advice I find it more than a bit ironic. In my own experiences as a Graduate Student studying Art Therapy our professors advised us that clients with such personality traits made for difficult clients and we may wish to avoid taking on such clients unless we specifically were trained to work with them.

Dr. Abbott’s advice on the topic seems to make much more sense and also highlights her skills at helping others.  The Author speaks rather frankly on the duality of the roles in her life as both mental health professional and mental health consumer. Not only is she a counselor, a healer, a therapist but also a client herself. This gives her a unique vantage point.

Later in her book she sums up a personal account of her own depression. She tries to explain the distorted thought processes someone who is depressed goes through.

“I tried to get rid of as many personal items as possible I believe as a way to start making myself disappear. It was as if the fewer belongings I had the closer I was to not existing

at all.”( Abbott.L. p.99)

Often a common sign of depression can be a person giving away all of their belongings. On the next page she talks about her illness as a “dirty little secret.” And her own battle to keep these two worlds in her own life separate. Later on page 109 she discusses a hospitalization for her own bipolar disorder, “I didn’t see how I was similar to my roommate and the rest of the people on the ward. I felt different because I worked in the profession. I felt I had a secret that must be protected at all costs. I also felt my illness wasn’t as serious as theirs must be. Of course I realized later in life with 20/20 hindsight that was untrue.”(Abbott.L.p.109)

Most of her memoir she struggles to find balance between Mental Health professional and Mental Health Client. Sadly, there is such a stigma left in our society especially in America and much of that is rampant among mental health professionals.

During the second half of her book the Author constantly discusses this push and pull between wellness and becoming unwell. There is a conflict between being a caring compassionate professional in this field and the shameful isolation in being a unique person with their own diagnosis.

One of my favorite parts comes near the end of the book. It is here we see her as a caterpillar finally shattering the cocoon of stereotypes and growing her wings. Back on page 77 she gives the reader a quote from Mother Theresa, but I see many ways on how this quote is echoed throughout the Memoir itself. “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is love without getting tired.”(p.77) The Author in many ways embraces her own self through love, self-love and love for others as well. She accepts she is a butterfly. She accepts that she is also a coin with two faces. Her inner conflict seems elegantly resolved as she reflects that.

“One day I had an epiphany.” This leads to much description of the need to develop her own self-worth for herself. She details this development of self-worth along her journey.

“The feeling of confidence and that I deserve the good things that come my way had to come from with-in me. I had to forgive myself and cherish myself. I had made mistakes-big ones, whoppers, but I am human. I also had accomplishments, accomplishments that I had achieved despite mental disorders I didn’t ask for.”(Abbott.L.p.207)

I feel that this is not just another personal memoir but also it’s a story about living a double life. I’m willing to bet that many other professionals across a wide range of careers are also leading double lives-secretly struggling with a mental illness too. People who might be afraid if the word got out about their illness they might lose or ruin their entire careers. That stigma in and of itself would result in them being shunned by their peers. That of course is unacceptable yet things like that cause discrimination all the time. What is so beautiful about Dr. Abbott’s memoir is she gives us a road map of how to come clean. She describes in full detail her manias and depressions-this disease and how it has impacted every angle of her life. It’s really a personal account about transformation. To go through the steps to become a professional in the mental health field, to later being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder to lastly becoming an Advocate for those with mental health issues through her work with NAMI. She takes that journey with us-her readers-and at the end she re-emerges not broken into a two side coin but whole and united as a Mental Health advocate. This is a great book to give insight into how it feels to have a mental illness and just because you have one-that does not mean you cannot become whole and embrace yourself like a brilliant butterfly. To buy your own copy follow this link here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/1312218797/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

To buy a copy of this book  you can buy through Amazon.com or also through Barnes and Nobles Booksellers. It is $19.99Leesa Memoirs cover

Book Give Away on Good Reads! Win a free autographed copy of my short story collection:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/133633-a-mandala-that-happened-on-the-way-to-a-car-crash-other-stories

Enter to win one of two available paperback copies of this book signed by me.

It is a first edition and in new, mint condition. If you win it will be shipped and delivered to you at no cost whatsoever.

It is free to enter BUT you must be a member of http://www.goodreads.com to qualify.Signing up for an account is free. It is a bright shiny happy community of readers and authors.

Thank you, Sincerely, Emily

BookCoverPreview Short StoriesApril2015

New Release: “Don’t watch me bleed: Confessions of an Uterus in pain: Poetry.”by Emily H.Sturgill

I decided to release & combine all my Endometriosis poems into one slim chapbook.

To do so meant I had to delete the majority I had previously posted onto my blog.

I left the two little gems that I wrote yesterday. However the rest of my Endometriosis Pain poetry can be found in this new book.

Here is a link on kindle:

And here is a link to the paperbook version via the Createspace.com Store:

https://www.createspace.com/5417217

&%^$E!!! Extreme Caution is advised. Material is suitable for older teens and Adults over 18.

I would say its ok for teens 16-18. Mostly contains profanity and some graphic worded imagery.

Book Description;

A brief glance into the disturbed mind of a woman dealing with both mental illness and Stage IV Endometriosis. The emphasis is upon her chronic pain condition and the overall impact endometriosis has on her life including her mental health. This is a short poetry collection intended for mature audiences only. Some profanity and graphic imagery is described. This disease is too often undervalued on its effect on a woman’s mind body &soul. This is raw poetry written from an angry, lonely and painful place. It is a self-purging of a pelvic problem that is commonly misunderstood by both laypersons and those in the medical field.
It is roghly 48-49 pages in length.
And is that perfect gift for that woman you know who has everything, including painful periods, ovarian cysts, fibroids,painful intercourse and an electric heating pad or a water bottle she carries wherever she goes along with a purseful of Advil and Kleenex.Oh, yes all of that besides a Uterus who won’t shut up & is constantly screaming at her.

The Red Line

The Red Line-by Emily H. Sturgill

4/4/15 9:38 AM EST

The Red Line

where does all this blood

and gore come from?

and why do people try

to deny

women who are in intense pain

the truth of their condition

why do they insist these poor

creatures are feeding them

nothing but lies?

Get on The Red Line Baby…

Come along for the ride…

we got plenty of seats

if you’ve got the time.

We will show you a trick or two,

of how we do what we do.

How we manage the pain,

it’s a losing game

with plot twists and curves and angles

galore.

Go ahead we dare you!

Just open the door.

Jump on The Red Line Baby.

Come along for the ride.

We cannot guarantee it-

but we can certainly bleed it.

We cannot guarantee it-

because you’ll never believe it!

We cannot guarantee it-

but the pain will send you reeling

and it’s could possibly make you

feel as though your losing your mind.

Step up here.

Just in time.

For the Red Line.

Every 26-45 days..

the moon cycles backwards

and a woman screams outwards

She screams out her pain.

And the blood does flow

freely as though

she cut open a vein.

But we are told, that this is normal,

this much blood.

this much pain.

perfectly normal.

to suggest any otherwise?

you must be insane.

So Jump right up the Red Line

Baby.

Watch me twist, turn, yipe,

and contort-as if I am a puppet

and my uterus holds my strings.

But isn’t this just what women do?

Isn’t this just normal, childbearing stuff?

It’s ok that the men do not believe it.

What hurts us the most,

are the other women who doubt us.

Then the doctors too who do not believe us.

Take your time.

Get in Line.

Jump right in, then learn to swim.

swim as though you are

very afraid of drowning

not in tears, not in lakes

but in rivers filled of blood.

Come on, aboard, everybody

get on quick. Step right up,

onto

The Red Line.