Poetically Imperfect

Sleep is for the weak. Inspiration Lasts Forever.

Good morning!

I am really excited that I get to share the cover of Ben Ditmars’s latest poetry collection with you. I know, it’s been awhile since you heard from me, but between publishing other projects, writing and starting school I haven’t had a lot of time. I hope you can forgive me. If you can, then take a look at this beautiful, gorgeous, serene cover with me. Are you ready? Read on to see what it’s all about.

Nature calls from the depths of itself, heating embers of a flame lost to global warming and withering romance. Hear voices find their truth as weeds tangle with free-verse and haiku poetry.


Release Date: September 29, 2016

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

I told you didn’t I? Isn’t it great? Ben’s poems always have a unique theme and style with each new collection. I can’t wait to see what this one holds. If you’ve never read poetry before (or have only read mine) I can’t recommend this book (or poet) enough.



Hi everyone, I thought I would write some quick updates about what’s going on with me because I haven’t written here in awhile. The first being that there is now a giveaway up on Goodreads for a paperback copy of Waking the Wild! Thank you to everyone who has entered the giveaway so far! It’s open from today until July twenty-first to the United States and Canada, so if you’ve been wanting to read it now is the time to enter. When the winner is selected I will sign it, stick a pretty matching bookmark in it and send it on its way. You can enter the giveaway by going here.

(If you don’t win, the ebook is only $2.99 in most places and the paperback is less than ten dollars.)

The second thing I wanted to remind you all about about was Once Upon A Book Author Signing and Happily Ever After Ball. If you live in Michigan (or near Michigan or can get a ride to Michigan) there will be over seventy authors signing books (myself included) and overall having a great time. It’s a good event for families, too because there will be activities for kids and children ten and under get into the signing for free! If you’re looking for a fun, book-centered vacation then this is an event you won’t want to pass up.

I’ve mostly been working on finishing a novel and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat. Even though I won’t be able to make it to a live show the soundtrack is still fantastic. When I have downtime I’m watching reruns of Buffy and this new show I found called Humans. Has anyone else seen it? It reminds me of many of the topics we discussed in my Cyberpunk Fiction class about the nature of humanity and artificial intelligence. What are some good shows that you’ve seen lately? (Is anyone else bummed that next year’s fifth season of Orphan Black will be the last?)


It’s been almost three days since I’ve published Waking the Wild and I still feel pretty good about it. There was a four year period between publishing my first book and publishing this one, and with good reason. I wanted to learn. When I published my first book I had no idea about what I was getting myself into, but I also didn’t see the harm in trying. What could really go wrong?

Not much, but it wasn’t exactly the best thing I could’ve put out.

I thankful that I know that now. I’m thankful that I met so many fantastic people who took the time to point me in the right direction, to teach me what I needed to know, to introduce me to people who would help make Waking the Wild the best it could be. Does that mean I’m done learning? No, because even now I’m still finding things that I could’ve done better. Still, my new book is way beyond anything I thought it could be, and I’m so proud of it. I’m proud of me. I’m happy that I can share it with all of you.


“There is a defect in us
as human beings
because we think ourselves
a fortress, a mountain, unbreakable
but at the center
in that stillness of being
there is a chasm
of love
which echoes hope, compassion, empathy
try again, it says
and though the fault lines are full of darkness
we are held together by
the optimism and foolishness
of a single spark”

One of the thing I did differently with Waking the Wild was to get it some exposure. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get interviewed by author Lisette Brodey about my writing process and my influences as a poet. I had a lot of fun doing it and I’m hoping you enjoy reading it. I also tried out ads on a few social media platforms. If you read my new book and you like it, please consider leaving a review or telling others about it. Every little bit helps.

(The best thing I did to improve my new book from my last was to get it edited, formatted and had a stunning cover designed. If anything, always get your books edited.)

This book was very personal to me. I discuss it in my interview, but a lot of the work that went into this book was written during a difficult time in my life. I’m still not completely through it, but I’m getting stronger with each day. I hope that the book will find its way to people who need its messages the most. I hope that you will find something in it to love.





One of the pillows you can find on my store at Society6.

One of the pillows you can find on my store at Society6.

If you read my last reblogged post, then you already know that life is more difficult to manage these days. I still deal with heath problems, family difficulties, problems with attaining my education…Life doesn’t stand still even when we wish that it would. Life keeps going for me. The only thing that’s different is that the person that I need the most to help me get through them can’t be here. Losing someone, anyone, is a struggle. I’ve lost people before, but it’s different somehow when that person is your best friend, when they’re young and it seems like their life was still forming and heading somewhere. It’s hard for me to accept all of the could haves, would haves and interrupted plans that have to stay unfinished. That’s why I’ve been pushing myself into work, into self-education and into school. If I’m busy, then it gets easier to push everything else into the back of my mind.

Even when I was struggling to write I wrote a few poems. Poetry is always the easiest for me because it is the truest reflection of myself and my life. As of now I am thirty-two poems into my next poetry collection. I don’t know when it will be published, but I’ve set an appointment in early November with my cover designer. I’ve also opened a store on Society6 that will sell my poetry as art prints and other products. I’m still experimenting with pricing and poems, so if you have any thoughts please let me know. I post frequently to both Facebook and Twitter, so if you have trouble getting a hold of me you can find me there. My current favorite of products that I’ve made is the Little Things pillow.

Usually when I’m not writing, I’m reading, but even that’s been difficult for me lately. I’ve always been the kind of reader who can jump from book to book and back again, but it’s gotten a bit out of control. The one book that really grabbed my attention is We Slept Here by Sierra DeMulder.

We Slept Here is a case study in vulnerability and honesty. In this sequence of memoir-esque poems, Sierra DeMulder pulls at the threads of a past abusive relationship and the long road to forgiveness. The poems themselves become an act of recovery and reclamation, wherein the poet finds again the voice which was taken from her. These are hard poems, made up of clarity and healing, which attempt to share some of their peace with the world.

While it is bittersweet and lyrically beautiful, it also inspired me to be more honest in my own poetry. Poetry can be narrative as well as abstract and We Slept Here has a great execution of both. Even if you aren’t normally a reader of poetry, you should think about giving it a try. I can’t recommend this collection enough. Another recommendation for poetry as narrative form is Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. It is the author’s memoir told in poetic verse. I read it some months back but I’ve been raving about it ever since.

“The writer’s passion for stories and storytelling permeates the memoir, explicitly addressed in her early attempts to write books and implicitly conveyed through her sharp images and poignant observations seen through the eyes of a child. Woodson’s ability to listen and glean meaning from what she hears lead to an astute understanding of her surroundings, friends, and family.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

I hope that you will consider both of these books as your next read, and if you have any books that you’re currently reading and in love with please share them in the comments below.

Back to life events. In October I have the opportunity to go to my first big author event while simultaneously having a mini-staycation. I really dislike the word staycation, but it’s appropriate. I’m both nervous and excited. Hopefully, health and fate permitting, I will be able to go. I also might be travelling with new business cards. (Have I mentioned that my cover designer, Najla, is awesome? Because she is.) The excitement of the trip is somewhat diminished by the fact that I had wanted my friend to go with me, but I’m trying to stay positive. Even though life is still difficult, I’m trying. I keep trying. Some days that’s the best I can do.

A post from my N.J. Ember blog that applies to my life overall.

Writing After Dark

Last month my best friend died. That looks so strange, and no matter how many times in last few weeks I’ve been forced to say it out loud it doesn’t seem real. I don’t want to rehash the details. (Something else that I’ve had to do too many times.) It happened suddenly, with no discernible cause, claiming not only my best friend’s life, but her ten year old brother as well. The loss is devastating and defies words. It reminds me that life can often be stranger than fiction.

During the first few days of the incident, the hardest thing to deal with was all of the questions. Everyone wanted to know how it happened, why it happened, and asked me as if I should have the answers. I didn’t. I still don’t. Then, in the clumsy, well-meaning way that we comfort the grieving, people said: as terrible as this is, maybe it can inspire you…

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I’m not completely sure how I feel about this year yet. There’s been some great developments (some of which are still underway) and there’s been some hardships, but one thing is for sure: it’s all progressing quickly. How is it April already? Lately, my focus has been on continuing with my education and writing in every way possible. Both have been challenging and time consuming, but I know I’m headed for some amazing things. Please be patient.

My best friend turns twenty-five today. I feel really lucky to have known her for most of my life. There’s something special about the rarity of it, but also because there’s memories that none of my other friends can share in…There’s exclusivity. I turned twenty-five last month, and the one thing I’ve learned over and over again is that maintaining any kind of relationship is difficult. People grow, evolve, move on, they grow apart, (and in some sad cases, they recidivate.) So, yes, I feel lucky to have this special bond with my blunt, brave, smart, wonderful, beautiful, pain in the ass, best friend. Cherish the people that make you a better person and that want better for you. Cherish the friends that love you when you’re anything but loveable…That’s what twenty-five(ish) years have taught me.

Today is also the day that Rewriting Mary Sue is featuring one of my flash fiction pieces called, Bird Song.

Like much of what I write, it wasn’t easy to put on paper. I write what hurts. I go where the pain is. Where the heart is. Being vulnerable. I don’t enjoy it, and writing…It’s putting something that you created out into the wild the world to be judged. I haven’t exactly mastered having that thick skin that being a writer requires, but at times I feel that whatever message the piece is sending is too powerful to ignore or keep to myself. I took a risk, and fortunately it turned out for the best. Rewriting Mary Sue is a fantastic website that believes in promoting realistic, strong, female characters that go far beyond the Mary Sue stereotype. To say that I’m honored, (as I  already have many times this morning,) is an understatement. The best thing that I can do with my time here is  put my heart and my art into things that I believe to be worthwhile. So, if nothing else, please go read some of the other fantastic content they work so hard to create.

Thank you to everyone at Rewriting Mary Sue, and to my readers, for all of your support. You’re amazing.

Read Bird Song: http://www.rewritingmarysue.com/

Someone is dead but there is no justice
Someone is dead but there is no justice
Someone is dead but there is no justice
they say it just is
and ask no questions.
Is Liberty blind,
or was she taught not to see?
Echoes of history grown from strange fruit of the poplar tree.
Reading by wrote but cannot spell,
A mother lost a son
and they say all is well.
Who will dispute the story
a dead man can’t tell?
Originally posted to Hello Poetry. Inspired in part by a status post from Poet Andrea Gibson, Liberty Needs Glasses by Tupac Shakur and Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit.