Keep One In The Chamber – Nicole on FC

This poem was featured on Feminine Collective today and I offer many thanks to Julie for publishing it. I was hesitant to publish it but I think it’s an important piece and I am very happy that she liked it as much as she did.

Keep One In The Chamber – have a read here

Photo Credit Julie Anderson – All rights reserved

My Manic Mind – WBD 2017

I wrote My Manic Mind a couple of years ago to explain what mania feels like for me. I tried to write it in a way that everyone, bipolar or not, could understand and possibly relate to.

My Manic Mind has been featured on Feminine Collective and was published in their gorgeous book, Raw & Unfiltered, and I would like to share it again for everyone who follows the site and may not have had the chance to read it.

Happy World Bipolar Day, everyone. Welcome to My Manic Mind.

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I have bipolar disorder and sometimes, well sometimes, I think I’m blessed because of it. Now I’m not trying to glamorize mental illness; trust me when I tell you I’ve been to Hell and back so many times I have frequent flier miles. But I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t miss some of the more intense moments I’ve lived.

You see with bipolar disorder there is what I like to call the sweet spot. The sweet spot lies between hypomanic and manic, and for me, it is glorious. When I hit the sweet spot colours are brighter, sounds are crisper and the energy around me sizzles. I am on fire. I am filled with creativity and brilliance. My body races to catch up with my mind, and I move at warp speed. What takes other people three days to accomplish I can get done in a mere twelve hours.

I am awake. My senses are heightened, and I laugh. My husband touches me, and my skin comes alive. My children are in hysterics trying to catch up with me; life is sweet. We are good, and we are happy, and we are love.

As my husband turns to me and says, “Baby, it’s time to take your emergency meds, you’re going up too fast, you know what will happen if you don’t” a sad smile crosses his face. He loves this Nicole, everyone does, but she never stays in the sweet spot for long, she goes higher than that, and it’s hard to bring her back down again.

“Before your meds kick in, please tell me what it feels like for you.”

He kisses me softly on the forehead and leaves me alone with my laptop.

Imagine if you will, the fair has come to town. Take in all of the sights and sounds, from the toddlers crying to the pre-teens laughing. They’re running and trying to cut in line at the ride that promises the biggest thrill. You smell the deep fried donuts, french fries and cotton candy. You hear the carnies yell out, “Bet you can’t make this shot, three for a dollar, step right up.” Every sound is amplified, from the creaks of the rusted gears on the Ferris wheel to the poor kid who is puking behind the fortune teller’s trailer. Everything is ALIVE. You look right and then left, which way do you go? It’s a maze of debauchery and adrenaline.

Chaos and pleasure are hidden around every corner. You want it all, but where do you start? You have only purchased enough tickets to ride two times, which will you choose? Do you spend your tickets in the funhouse, reflecting on your reflections? This one is too small. This one is too big. This one is just right, and it’s creepy as sin. You’ve seen your soul in the mirror at a circus, and it scares the hell out of you. Move on. Something has to take the sting away. One ticket left. You clutch it as if it were your payment to the boatman on the River Styx. Anxiety starts to swell. The noise is becoming too much and something inside of you has built up, you don’t understand what it is, all you know is that it needs to be released.

All you can focus on is the feelings that you must get out of you. There is no talking this down; there is only a primal instinct to shred every sense of dignity you thought you had.

The noise and the lights beckon you to stay, join us, and partake in this pleasure. Lose yourself in the rush. Forget all of your worries and everything that ties you down and just fucking LIVE. Take the feelings inside of you as far as you possibly can before you burst and shatter into thousands of unfulfilled dreams and promises. Find your release, and find it fast, they are closing the gates in mere minutes.

You follow the nervous screams and maniacal laughter until you see it, the main attraction. The rollercoaster is boasted as being the fastest and scariest ride to come to town. You trip trying to make your way to it as fast as you can. All pleasantries are off. You’ll push small children out of your way because you know what that rush feels like. You’ve turned into a junkie now; you need the escape. The release.

As you make your way to your seat, you push past the people that refuse to ride in the front. What’s the point if you can’t stare into the abyss on your rapid cycle back to the ground? You buckle yourself in, front row seats, but not too tight though, the rush of potential death gets you off. The attendant comes by to make sure you’re secure.You fight the urge to spit in his face and tell him to fuck off.

You’re pissed off at the time it takes for every other sucker to get belted in. This is your ride, and they have neither clue nor any business being on it. You run this coaster, and it moves when you say so.

The climb up the tracks feels like a sad sort of foreplay to you. You hear the gears churn and the squeals of the unimportant people who’ve hitched a ride behind you. When the coaster reaches the peak, it stops, and your heart starts to pound. You are so out of sync with everyone here, but in tune with everything that matters. For the briefest of moments, you are free. The air is thinner, and there is nothing above you but sky and possibilities. If you unhooked your seat belt right now you know for certain that you could fly.

You raise your face to the Heavens and take a deep breath; the anticipation of the plunge is ecstatic.Raise your arms and feel your ass lift off the seat. Like lightning, the coaster dives into its decent. The speed is finally a match for all of the thoughts that race through your mind; it overtakes and for a second there is stillness. The quiet ecstasy of something that is more powerful than you, and it is delectable. You’ve met your match, and you urge it on, faster, harder, DO NOT STOP.

The coaster whips and weaves over its tired and worn track. People scream and even cry, begging for it to stop. You shut them out while focusing on the way the wind howls through your hair. The impulse to keep riding swells to a radiant compulsion. Before it is half over, you are devising a way to get more tickets. You can’t even be satisfied with the thrill of the ride. All you can think about is how you will be able to make it possible to ride again, and again, and again…

You are finally free. There is something more powerful than you, and the innate instinct to harness all of it overtakes every sense you have. You are no longer here to release anything. You are here to devour and discard until you finally feel full.

There is no end to this fair, this ride, and this hunger; there is only that swift decent into oblivion.

©Nicole Lyons 2015

Oblivion

I wrote this piece for the Creative Nonfiction Literary prize with CBC Books, sadly I wasn’t longlisted for the contest, but it did find its first home on Feminine Collective.

The rules were that the piece had to be creative nonfiction, and it had to come in at 1500 words or less, I think mine was pretty close to that.

Enjoy Oblivion, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Picture Source: Pinterest

Oblivion

Someone making an unsuccessful attempt to be quiet had pulled me into the place that hovers on the cusp of awake and asleep. A sound, unmistakably familiar yet hard to recollect, prevented me from surrendering back into oblivion.

Psssht.

Sifting through the haze I landed on a memory of my cousin and me stretching the spout of a red balloon that we took turns blowing up. As we stretched and pulled, our hot air would screech its way back out of the spout, creating a high-pitched symphony of squeals that delighted us both.

But it didn’t take long for us to grow bored with this game. The harmony grew dull once the spout became gummy with our spit and clogged with backyard dirt.

The balloon made a sad sound when we threw it into a puddle.

Psssht.

Exhaustion, the kind prescribed by psychiatrists, had found a way inside of me, coiling its hungry hands around my soul. From somewhere in the void I struggled and strained my ears, holding on to this sound and using it as leverage to pull me out of the blackness.

Slowly I became aware of my body, feeling the weight of each pound of flesh and bone that tethered me to the bed.

Opening my eyes, I was struck by how heavy my lashes had become. Blinking moisture back into my eyes I tilted my head, listening for sound, but there was only silence. I watched the shadows play off the walls and wondered what time it was until I wondered why it mattered.

Here it always looked like an artificial twilight until the sun comes up. There was a thick fog that weaved its way through my mind, blotting out the most important pieces of me. It would have been terribly alarming if I could have mustered something inside of me to care, but I couldn’t.

From a distance, I heard footsteps approach my room. They were the rubber-soled quick kind that meant business. Nobody knocked around here. I don’t know if it was because they didn’t want to give us the illusion of privacy or the illusion of control, or either.

She was whispering to someone just behind the door, and from the conspiratorial tone of the conversation I assumed it was a coworker. She left the door open behind her, enabling the fluorescent light to permeate the room and cast a bigger shadow as she approached the bed.

Riiiiiiip.

Instinctively I recoiled as she yanked the curtain down its tracks, exposing me to the rest of the room. I glanced around and was relieved to find that the curtains were drawn around the other beds.

“Good morning, Nicole. I’m here to take your vitals.”
The cuff was tight on my arm and she muttered something about low pressure, high pulse, while avoiding my eyes. Something about the way she didn’t look at me when I asked her why I was losing my focus, gave me permission to plant a seed of paranoia in my mind.

“It’s just the effects from the medication the doctor has ordered.”

“Which one?”

I mumbled as I hopelessly tried to summon from memory the ever-increasing list of medications I was taking.

She wrote my stats on her hand,

“You’ll have to ask the psychiatrist about that when she’s in.”

I asked her if she had any idea what it felt like to be completely disconnected yet still cognizant.

Would she like me to tell her if my brain would allow me to find my words?

When she removed the cuff she softened and pulled the blankets back up around me, pausing to rest her hand on my cheek.

“Try to get some more sleep, it’s still early.”

She did her best to give me back my false sense of security, gently drawing the curtain closed again before she left.

Psssht.

What I would have given to get out of that bed, pull back the curtain and find myself at home showing my daughters how to chirp a bright red balloon.
I heard a noise from the woman in the bed across from me. I reluctantly left the balloon image and instead found myself wondering if it was a tic that she had always had. Or if the reason she pursed her lips together and then let out the odd bursts of air, had come as a way to redirect pain after she had slit her own throat. Like a suicidal breathing technique helping her through the dying process.

Psssht.

From the other side of the room, a drawer slammed. It sounded as though this woman was intent on making sure every patient was up before the sun. I was angry that I had been placed in the same room as this patient and I allowed myself to fixate on my anger, imagining great destructive scenarios, indulging in the pure pleasure of experiencing an emotion other than melancholy. Satiated for the time being and tired of using only my mind for stimulation, I decided to give in and let the drugs take me into the darkness.

There are many levels of crazy and when I looked at her I was aware of how easy it would be for me to become just like her. She was a constant reminder of what could happen if my perilous grip on reality faltered. I watched her go in and out of somewhere I couldn’t see, her eyes were glazed and she was no longer present. They gave her pill after pill and changed the dressing on her neck, and I stared at the dressing and imagined the wound underneath, it was her eyes that unhinged me.

“Nicole to the nursing station. Nicole to the nursing station.”

My psychiatrist stood with my chart in her hand waiting to walk me to a room for our daily chat. Sitting across from her I nodded at the chart,

“What do you write in there? I haven’t been here long enough to accumulate that much paperwork.”

“I don’t know exactly what to make of you, Nicole.”

She crossed one Armani clad leg over the other and tapped the tip of her fountain pen against her top lip while she assessed me. A wry smirk crossed her lips so quickly that had I not been expecting it I would have missed it altogether.

“I think we’ll continue to increase the lithium. I’m not happy with your levels, and I’d like to add an antipsychotic as well.”

“But I’m not psychotic,” I replied, not at all surprised at that point. I was completely void of emotion.

“They’re used for many things,” she answered.
Standing, she headed to the door, dismissing me with a curt nod.

“Watch your weight, some of the medications I’m prescribing can contribute to weight gain.”
She didn’t wait for a reply and I found myself chasing her down the hallway.

“Please wait, I’d like to talk to you about the medications you’ve already been giving me. I can’t focus, and I don’t feel right. I don’t feel at all. It wasn’t like this before I came here, I’m almost sure of that. I know I came here for help but I can’t recall when exactly that was. There are no more Mondays, no weekends, just morning, noon, nighttime meds, and I am lost in this oblivion.”
I sobbed and fell to my knees in the open hallway of the psychiatric unit. I wanted to go home so badly. I wanted my family. I wanted to feel the way I did before I was sharing a bedroom with a woman who had cut open her own throat. I wanted to feel real emotions again, not to live in a drug induced alternate reality.

“You’re being rather dramatic.”

Shaking her head she crouched down close, “I’m going to authorize another sedative for you. I want you to take it three times a day.”
We locked eyes as she stood. My breath faltered, hitching in my chest in response to the malice I had seen in her eyes. She turned on her heel and disappeared into the nursing station.

Psssht.

“And we’re supposed to be the crazy ones? That woman is fucking nuts.”
Though her words were passionate her voice was weak—every syllable a painful reminder.She offered me her hand and I was surprised by how strong her grip was. I lifted my gaze from the dressing at her neck and scanned her lips as they puckered in anticipation of the gust.

Holding my breath I met her eyes, and for a brief moment, there was understanding in them. And then she was gone.

Psssht.

 

© Nicole Lyons 2016

Summer Soul Slam 2016 Winner

The first Summer Soul Slam poetry event on The Lithium Chronicles has come to a close and I am so thrilled that I received as many submissions as I did with the short notice I gave. I promise that next year I will be more prepared and give everyone adequate time to submit.

I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who participated in this event and made it possible to get it up off the ground. I look forward to hosting more events like this one, and reading your brilliant submissions.

Keep writing,

Nicole

Summer Soul Slam Contest

The Lithium Chronicles Summer Soul Slam 2016 Winner:

 Natasha Alexander – Real You

 

Natasha

About Natasha Alexander

Writer, always Wife and Mother first. Perfect is overrated, I am flawed and yet loved. Now that I don’t chase perfection, I can chase my dreams. I have completed a “Write a Novel” course in 2015 through S.A. Writers’ College and passed with a distinction. I also completed the Copy-Editing and Proof-reading course through them in March 2016. My first Manuscript of 60 000 words has been written and currently seeking a publisher. Currently I have 5 published poems, they were all published through Feminine Collective, which I am very proud of. I have been writing poetry since I was 14 and the reason/inspiration behind all my writing is a stand against women abuse. It is a cause that I hold close to heart. Something that started as an outlet for feelings too ghastly to speak about has turned into my passion.

 

NA

 

 

 

Real you

I opened my door of secrets
I blindly let you swim in my feelings
Never once did I think
you would drown me in your own egotism

I took you to my true self…
a place I fear to go
I trusted you
I let you in
But letting you in never meant you were planning to stay.

You played the part of the Knight,
the one you knew I was searching for
You made me believe you were here for me
…here to stay
You made me believe this bullshit was love.

Then, without a trace of humanity
you one day remove your mask,
and all I see is an impassive face
resonating words
a vacant heart
and inflexible soul
All I see is YOU.

As I close my book
I leave another tear on my pillow
I send my love to the masked man
The one who wore the indulgent face
honourable promises
evocative heart
and saintly soul.

The man…that was never you.

© Natasha Kleb Alexander 2016

 

For more of Natasha’s brilliant work, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her author page at Feminine Collective.

Harnessing The Madness – Jacqueline Cioffa

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Harnessing The Madness

 

Don’t worry Hush, little mama

Dry your acrid, bittersweet, woeful tears

 

Don’t you cry, pretty mama

Your darling, happy, freckle-face baby is struggling, fevered, and

deliriously HOT

 

Oh, okay, go on then

Go ahead and cry, little mama

Cry those real, big-old-salty tears

Enough to fill an ocean

Squash the fire under mountains of regret, and molten lava erupting

 

Don’t worry, hush lullaby mama

 

Your baby girl is a strong, solid swimmer

You taught her that

You and her, submersed

 

Her JOY full love of water

 

Bouncy, giggly, freedom submerged while cemented together hand in

hand

She was fearless in your arms

Unafraid of stormy seas, tsunamis and heavenly floods

 

Little girl’s flapping her arms now, mama

Crazed, and kicking hard to swim to the top

 

Oh hush now, pretty mama,

don’t worry your fraught, exhausted mind or fret

 

Water trumps fire, and this girl

 

Your darling baby

 

She

 

Is

 

Harnessing the madness

 

Submersed, safe and sound in the Marianas Trench

Her screaming, gurgling lungs breathe better

 

In utero

 

Go on now, mama, gather your salty tear filled buckets and buckets and buckets

Pour them right over her head

 

Fire burns out, smoldering wet

 

The melody is haunting and heartbeat sweet, familiar

And sigh so lovely, lovely, lovely

 

Your baby feels all the feels, smells in color and vibrates clickety-clack

sounds underwater

 

Hush, now child, don’t you cry, too

Together in tandem

 

Your mama is there, she’s right there

Feet firmly rooted by rocks, wood and earth on solid ground

Smiling down

 

Harnessing the madness with her bleeding, thumping, overflowing

bursting heart

 

In two-time rhythm

Same heart, hers and yours

Keeping time together

 

She tosses a life jacket attached to an unbreakable umbilical cord, made

from solid oak, and knotty pine twine

 

 

The rope plays shadow games on the surface, as the water sways to

and fro

Under the prettiest, blinding white sunlight

Bubbles of air and H2O

 

Oxygen 

 

Hush now, mama, keep pouring  those frozen buckets of ice-cold-doubt

Over your girl’s scorching, sizzling brain on fire head

 

Hush mama, your little dolly is just a girl, and not a funny fish

 

She’s going to be A-OK, alright?

 

Hush mama, her head’s on fire, and lungs are all wet

But, she’s paddling hard and fast towards the surface

 

Flailing and searching for your firm grip, and steady resolve

Inside her shaky, trembling fingers

 

Oh, sweet heartbeat

The birds chip, and an indigo blue, clear sky, sunshine lights up the dark,

murky, clouded depths

 

Blue is the loveliest color

 

Pretty, strong, and powerful

Little mama is calling her name

 

Right there, oh, there she is

 

Mama’s shadow, bounce-back light and love reflection

Makes circle formations, bubble distress calls, and H2O air

 

Oxygen

 

Right above the surface,

Mama stands tall, barefoot on the green grass

Beside her baby girl, all along

 

Mama, your dolphin lung baby is gasping for air underwater, squashing the flames, and surrendering

 

Floating freely, buoyant, as the salt tides push her to the surface, and the scorching sun’s beautiful, intoxicating light feels warm and inviting

 

She sees her mama’s pretty face for the first time, smiling and kind

 

Aged

 

Bound forever by love, and heaven on earth

 

Little girl remembers, hope floats

 

Her one and only, mama’s fierce motherly love waits, prays and watches

 

Her all-grown-up girl

 

The gyspy, free-flying, Mustang wild spirit, good, mad woman

Grow roots, and quiet her wings

 

Thank you, dear mama

Yours, and only yours

 

L.o.V.e.

 

Anchors the soul

©Jacqueline Cioffa

jackie

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and a celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and stone crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness.

She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt. Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

Look for Jackie’s stunning column, Bleeding Ink on Feminine Collective.

Connect with Jackie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Jacqueline Cioffa on IG, and at Jacqueline Cioffa.

From Oppression Comes Light – Stephanie Ortéz

From Oppression Comes Light

Since I left you, I feel free. My soul is no longer trapped

to yours.

Like a bird learning to fly, I have regained the wings that

had been cut off from me.

Out of the ashes, I no longer surrender to carnal love. My

consuming desire gravitates towards the air, away from

my own prison.

I thought the most beautiful thing in the world was to feel

the joy of his hands, warm and protective.

But I wasn’t happy. Soon reality hit me like cold water in

the morning. I want to rejoice in my loneliness, stitching

my heart from old wounds. I’d rather feel the cold of my

bones at night than share my bed with a fool.

I let you go without crying. My tears evaporated a long

time ago like dust. Are those faces of love long gone?

I have room in me for love, but my eyes are fixed within

the parameters of finding myself again. I will grow old

and forget your name; I am not cruel, only truthful.

©Stephanie Ortéz 2016

Stephy

Stephanie is a highly caffeinated mother of two wonderful boys. She is hopelessly addicted to nonfiction books and literature that moves her to tears. She is an admissions advisor for George Washington University online where she assists homeschooled students internationally. Stephanie lives with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She is a passionate mental health advocate. Her writing has been featured on Stigma Fighters, Organic Coffee Haphazardly and The Feminine Collective. Find her brilliant words at Collected Essays of The Anxious Mind.

Crazy Diamonds – By Julie Anderson

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Photo Credit: arbyreed

 

I recently read an outstanding book that made the case FOR mental illness, rather than AGAINST it. Nassir Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Programme at Tufts Medical Center, wrote, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness.

Gandhi, President Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr., were examined from Ghaemi’s point of view. He made an excellent case that the mood orders of these leaders actually benefited them–becoming the best leaders the world has ever known in times of crisis.

Isn’t that phenomenal? Think about it. How many times have you felt ashamed of your mind? Ashamed of your thoughts, actions and sensitivity? If you are like me, I bet you would say, “every day.” In Phoenix Rising I wrote about the struggles I have with my mind.

What do we do about it? We attend therapy. We take medication. We hide.

I would like to propose a new way of thinking. After reading this book, I believe we should celebrate our minds. Cracked, bruised, and maybe crazy–I believe our mood disorders make us shine brilliantly–like a diamond.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON FOUR MOOD DISORDERS AND THEIR POTENTIAL POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES:

 

Depressed (That’s me): Are in touch with the human experience, and empathetic. Being able to put ourselves in the shoes of another is a beautiful thing. Compassionate and thoughtful, depressives at their best can also make a habit of evaluating themselves. No denial allowed; depressives are realistic. Known to be ace problem solvers, depressives are also trustworthy.

Bipolar (Mild): Thinking out of the box is second nature for the bipolar individual. Creative in song, art, performance, and prose–bipolar tendencies are responsible for much of what we find breathtakingly beautiful in the world.

Anxiety: Observant, attentive and sensitive. Having an anxiety disorder is a shared trait amongst surgeons and bankers. Anxiety makes it’s host alert and vigilant. Not a bad thing, if you look at it like this.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality: (That’s me as well): Get it done, the right way. Conscientious perfectionists, some people with OCP make great leaders in business. Creating order out of chaos is one discerning trait.

 

I am certainly not suggesting that we thumb our noses to therapy and dump our meds in the trash. I am not suggesting that mental illness is a joke or something that should be taken lightly.

On the contrary, I am suggesting that instead of looking at our glass as half full (like we tend to do) and chalk ourselves off as fuckups–we have an opportunity to celebrate the positive side of our gifts. Even when some might have the audacity to call us crazy let’s remember what we really are. Brilliant, rare, coveted and valuable; Crazy diamonds, that’s us!

 

 

Julie Headshot3570_a_m_1jpg

Julie Anderson is a fashion survivor, sort of. After spending decades globetrotting wearing her “Supermodel” cape, she is now the Creator and Publisher of Feminine Collective.

Feminine Collective provides a platform for stories that mainstream media often denies. . Writers from around the world: women, teenagers and a few good men have contributed to the site, making it dynamic and diversified. Unlike any other site online.

She collaborates with her dynamic business partner Marla J. Carlton, in a seamless manner. The two women have recently published: Feminine Collective: Raw & Unfiltered Volume 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others. They have also launched the Feminine Collective Foundation, serving at risk women and children.

An entrepreneur, publisher, writer, actress, fashion model and photographer, Julie has a creative vision that has yet to be satiated.

Her personal site: julieandersonofficial.com is the only authorized place on the web that showcases her career, past, present & future.

 

 

 

#BeReal – JULIE ANDERSON

Two of my favourite ladies in one place. I love Hastywords’ Be Real series, today she is featuring the amazing Julie Anderson.

HASTYWORDS

I am truly honored to have Julie Anderson as my #BeReal guest today. 

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FEARLESSLY VULNERABLE

“To live exuberantly–to fully know and be fully known by another—we must be prepared to illuminate the dark spots in our most intimate relationships and in our selves.”

–Arianna Huffington, On Becoming Fearless

When I was a little girl I dreamed big. I spent my days and nights wondering and dreaming about the future. What would I become, who I would be? Whatever it held for me, it was going to be magnificent. This I always knew.

 I dreamed big.

Visualizing my world of magnificence, it was a world free from pain and isolation. I was an outsider always looking in. An outsider who wondering why I could not speak for myself, did not have a voice, have a presence or the strength to commit to my convictions.

At 17, my ticket to ride magically…

View original post 1,302 more words

Feminine Collective RAW & UNFILTERED: Volume 1

the book

The Universe smiled on me the day that I crossed paths with an extraordinary woman by the name of Julie Anderson. I can’t possibly tell you all how much this woman and her dynamic business partner Marla Carlton have empowered so many others and me but I can sure as hell try.

I have been a huge fan of Feminine Collective since I first read an outstanding piece written for the site by none other than the brilliant Jackie Cioffa, author of The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine, which just happen to be two of my favorite books. 

After I read Jackie’s piece I spent the better part of a day on Feminine Collective and read what I can only describe as some of the most phenomenal writing – ever. The kicker is that what I was reading were true stories of women, and a few good men, who poured their souls out, raw and unfiltered, no holds barred exquisite writing. 

Sometimes these stories, essays and poems were funny and sometimes they were heartbreaking. Some were highly informative and some were gut wrenchingly painful, but all were written with a great passion and published with such care and attention to detail that I was amazed.

One day I decided to take a leap of faith and submit a piece I had written to Julie and within hours she and Marla both responded that it was a go for publication on their site. I am honored and humbled to be a small part of such an amazing collective of powerful voices and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to help announce the release of Feminine Collective‘s very first book. This is definitely a shining moment and I am so proud of everyone at Feminine Collective. Read on to find out what they are doing to help women and children with this book.

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2015

Feminine Collective’s RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 essays and poems takes the pulse of the next generation of writers

Los Angeles, CA – December 15, 2015: In their first bold venture into publishing, the masthead of Feminine Collective has pulled together an edgy, raw collection of essays and poems by women (and a few men) in Feminine Collective: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others. These unfiltered essays from the best of FeminineCollective.com are touchpoints on popular culture, and span topics from self-awareness to bold revelations, from stories of empowerment to witty perspectives on working life and culture today.

RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 is the passion project of Feminine Collective founders, international supermodel Julie Anderson, and art director Marla J. Carlton, as a celebration of women’s achievements. The collection gives readers intimate insight into the brilliant minds of top emerging writers.

Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of Unbinding the Heart, said, “In the pages of this book you will hear your deeper voice and touch the raw places of yourself where angels fear to tread and as you read them watch out because you might you just might become fearless and unbound.”

Actor and musician John Stamos said this about Feminine Collective, “When I need to tap into my feminine side, I run to FeminineCollective.com and now this book. It’s really smart.”

This astonishing book is divided into four sections, each highlighting both masculine and feminine perspectives that give us a glimpse into the often insane world of others. A collection of 44 writers in 376 pages—some published for the first time—converge to paint a portrait of the journey of the female mind in a dazzling spectrum that is an unrivaled compendium on raw, unfiltered voices including a poem by street artist Jules Muck. Famous for her green goddesses, as well as her green version of Gloria Steinem, Muck’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including the Bronx Museum of Art and can be seen on the book’s cover.

The foreword by Rachel Hunter, supermodel, actor and creator of Docuseries Tour of Beauty  describes Feminine Collective’s book as an experience “Where men and women can glimpse into the world of others … understanding the vulnerable, exquisite, powerful place of being a woman.”

Released December 11, 2015, Feminine Collective: RAW & Unfiltered: Vol 1 is available to purchase on Amazon.com. For the launch of this book, Feminine Collective has partnered with Women’s Center of LA. Now through March 31, 2016, Feminine Collective will donate 50% of the net proceeds from the book sales to Women’s Center of Los Angeles (WCLA). WCLA is a community of dedicated women with the shared goal of guiding, educating and supporting women and girls to attain the knowledge, confidence and courage for a life of personal success. On January 28, 2016, Feminine Collective will host a book launch party and fundraiser for WCLA in Los Angeles, open to the press.

About Feminine Collective
Feminine Collective is a platform devoted to raw, unfiltered stories and poems of emerging writers. They focus on nonfiction stories of interpersonal relationships, published four to six times per week, including essays, poems, and short fiction. While they avoid breaking news, they have been known to publish opinion pieces on current events. The provocative voices on Feminine Collective are unlike any found in mainstream media today—storytellers who openly share raw accounts of abuse, emotional and mental health issues, parenting, love, and self-image that empower, elevate, enlighten, and entertain. Each writer expresses a vulnerability yet unseen that impacts the lives of Feminine Collective’s rapidly growing readership. Feminine Collective was launched in January 2014 by creator Julie Anderson and co-founder Marla J. Carlton. Julie Anderson has enjoyed a two-decade long career as a supermodel—where she has been the face of influential luxury brands and cover girl on international editions of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Marla J. Carlton, a former international model, founded the award-winning Los Angeles based design firm, Specto Design  in 2002, where she works as an art director and writer.

About Feminine Collective Foundation
Feminine Collective formed Feminine Collective Foundation in December 2015 with the sole mission to raise money to donate to charities that are dedicated to helping women and children in need, including victims of domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, rape, human trafficking, at-risk teens and women who suffer from mental health issues.

 

How Bipolar Disorder Fu*ked me in All The Wrong Ways – Feminine Collective

I am super stoked. My article was published on the amazing site Feminine Collective today. It’s a personal account of how meds seriously fucked up my sex drive. I hope you check it out.