I also write for / Scriu si pentru

I also write for / Scriu si pentru

Revista Tango Romania

Saturday, August 26, 2023

POEM: Black

I am mourning my mother.
I’m wearing black for forty days.
I don’t feel like wearing color even after the funeral is over,
And I have said my last goodbye.
I keep wearing black.
Every morning,
I open my walk-in closet and select my next black dress to wear at work.
Then the next black blouse.
Then the next black shirt.
Then the next black skirt.
Then the next pair of black pants.
Until I have exhausted all my black outfits.
Now I understand why they wear black when someone dear to them has departed.
It’s not a social convention.
It’s not meant to display your pain to the rest of the world.
It simply reflects how you feel when you process your loss.

Once I’m done with the black section of my wardrobe, I switch to grey.
My next grey dress.
Then the next grey blouse.
Then the next grey shirt.
Then the next grey skirt.
Then the next pair of grey pants.
Until I exhausted all my grey outfits.
I am not ready to wear color just yet.
I make a slow transition from black to color by wearing grey.
I give myself time to heal.
Until I am ready to make peace with my loss and wear color again.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 95.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

POEM: Books Are a Girl's Best Friends

I grew up surrounded by books.
My home was a temple of books,
And my parents taught me the love for the written word.
Now I am a writer.
When I was a little girl,
My favorite fairy tale princess was Belle.
She loved books more than anything else in the world.
When the Beast took her hostage,
He found a way to win her heart.
He gave her what she loved the most – books.
He shared the most valuable treasure in his castle with her, his library.
And she fell in love with him
When I was a little girl,
I loved imagining myself as Belle who entered the castle library in awe,
Welcomed by books and surrounded by friends.
Books are a girl’s best friends.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

POEM: She Left the Way She Wanted to

My mother battled heart disease for her entire life.
It was the slow killer in our family.
She always knew how dangerous the killer was,
And she wanted a peaceful way out of it.
She wanted to be the first one to go.
She once told my father,
If you go first and leave me alone, I will never forgive you.
I knew what she meant.

When her time came,
Although too soon,
It was peaceful and painless.
Just the way she wanted it.
My family was devastated,
My sister inconsolable.
And I told her,
Remember that she left the way she wanted to.
The first one to go, painlessly.

Soon after her departure,
My mother came to me in my dreams.
The next day I told my sister,
I dreamed about Mom last night.
You did? Everybody is dreaming about her, only I don’t dream about her.
My daughter did. You did. But I didn’t.
I just miss her so much.
Don’t worry, just be patient. She will come to you.

And she did.
She came to each of us,
The ones who stayed on this side.
She is now waiting for her love to join her on the other side.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 90.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

POEM: The Perfume

When I traveled to Cuba,
I bought a bottle of perfume in the gift shop at the hotel.
It’s called Coral Negro – “The Black Coral”.
I brought the perfume back to Canada,
And with it, a piece of Cuba in my luggage.
Every time I wear it,
It transports me back to Cuba.

I love its elegant opaque black bottle.
I am seduced by its marine fragrance which makes me think of tropical days by the ocean.

The shore of the Atlantic.
The scorching sun.
The hot sand.
The turquoise water.
The salty taste on my lips.
The breeze in my hair.
The corals on the ocean floor.
The shells on the white sandy beach.
The parties with loud music late at night.
The crazy dancing on the beach.
The sexual energy.
The magnetic attraction.
All in a bottle of perfume.
Autentica Cuba in a perfume.
From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 190.

Monday, August 21, 2023

POEM: The Beach

White sand.
Turquoise water.
Cloudless sky.
One hundred Fahrenheit.
I’m on the beach, soaking in the sun.
I lie down on the chaise lounge,
My body and my mind are completely at ease.
I have a book in my beach tote,
But I don’t feel like reading.
I am happy just to lie here for hours.
My skin is immune to sunburn,
I don’t mind the kiss of the sun.

I go into the water.
It’s warm and welcoming.
The bottom of the ocean feels like a soft blanket.
A crab bites my foot.
Sorry little fella,
I’ll get out of your way.

I swim away.
My favorite part of a tropical vacation is swimming into the vastness.
A fellow traveler warns me about the undertow,
But on this day the ocean is calm, peaceful, unthreatening.
I spend another good deal of hours in the water.
Give me a tropical beach, and I’m happy.
The sun on the shore of the Atlantic is all I want now.
I immortalize the beach on the camera.
I can’t help but take hundreds of pictures.
Way to brag on Instagram, hashtag #PerfectGetaway.
Hi, I’m Sunny, and I’m in love with the sun.
I never want to leave.
I would stay here forever.

I collect corals and shells from the bottom of the ocean.
The water is so clear that I spot them effortlessly.
I love listening to the songs of the ocean when I press a shell to my ear.
I get myself an impressive collection of oceanside souvenirs.
Will bring them home to decorate my living room.

Back home, I browse the photo album.
So long.
I go into my studio and start painting.
The beach is still in my head, the canvas comes to life.
The blue sky.
The turquoise water.
The white sand.
The perfect vacation.
From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 187.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

POEM: Prayer

God, please give us strength.
Give us resilience.
Give us wisdom.
Give us common sense.
Give us decency.
Give us empathy.
Give us compassion.
Give us virtue.
Give us patience.
Give us unity.
God, please give us our humanity back.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

POEM: Summertime

I love spending my summers in the cottage country.
Quiet days and nights and weekends at the cottage.
Everything is so green here,
That the cottage itself can barely be seen from the street.
Completely hidden from indiscreet eyes,
Protected all around by a natural fortress of tall trees
That are like loyal guardians
Whose mission on earth is to safekeep my joyous days inside the magic circle,
And who won’t let anyone bother me from outside.

Campfires keeping me company every night.
The bright flame dancing in the pit.
Crickets singing.
Silly roasted marshmallows laughing out loud and having fun with me.
Beer partying with me.
Bright stars shining high up in the sky.

Reading book after book after book.
Browsing with leisure through fashion magazines.
Watching my favorite movies.
Sleeping till late afternoon.
Pampering my taste buds with local flavors.

Don’t know how much the time is.
Oh, but I don’t care.
I left my watch in the big city.
Facebook? Take a break.

Love swimming in the lake,
Beaching at the lake,
Boating on the lake.
Love wearing all my different swimsuits on the boat.
Boat, meet water.
Water, meet boat.
Love the summer days by the lake.

Love the small and cozy downtown that I can walk in fifteen minutes from one end to another, along the river that crosses the town.
Love wearing all my flowery summer dresses and flirty sandals downtown.
Love the mom-and-pop shops, thrifting, vintage, and antiques.
Love the used bookstore at the corner of Main Street and summer happiness.
Love the treasure hunting in the countryside.

Love the praline sundae from the best ice cream shop in a tri-county area.
Love to climb up the hill where I can view the entire panorama of the town from.
It’s called Panorama Hill.
Love to sit at a picnic table on Panorama Hill and enjoy my praline sundae while watching the sunset over the cottage country.

There is a place somewhere in this world that I call my retreat.
When I am at the cottage, I don’t worry, I am happy.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 177. I sold the cottage since then, but I wrote this poem in the summer of 2021, during my summer vacation that I spent at the cottage that year, all the while I was writing my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto which was published in late 2021.

Friday, August 18, 2023

POEM: Angry

I am angry at fires.
Angry at devastation.
Angry at tragedy.
Angry at loss.
Angry at sickness.
Angry at incompetence.
Angry at corruption.
Angry at greed.
Angry at violence.
Angry at vitriol.
Angry at obscenity.
Angry at intolerance.
Angry at insolence.
Angry at indolence.
Angry at decay.
I am angry.
I am angry.
I am angry.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

POEM: Mom's Dress

When my mother left this world, I was heartbroken.
A piece of my heart left with her.
I traveled to my hometown to say my last goodbye.
I joined the painful family reunion – my father, my sister, my relatives, my childhood friends.

I wanted to keep a souvenir from Mom.
She used to wear a dark green dress when she was young.
It had a beautiful palm tree print that reminded me of a stormy night in Florida.

There is an old photo in my family albums from the seventies,
When my sister was a preschooler,
And I was not even born yet.
Mom wore the beautiful green dress in this family photo.
She kept this dress over the years,
Even after she stopped wearing it.
Decades later the dress was still in her wardrobe,
On a hanger,
As if she could never part with it,
Almost like a wardrobe heirloom.
Even my sister wore this dress when she became a young woman.
She turned the heads of many a young man.
I did not wear it though.
By the time I grew up,
The dark green dress had lost its spark,
The years passed had been unkind to it,
And all that was left from its old days glam
Was the beautiful palm tree print
That reminded me of a stormy night in Florida.

But I still wanted it as a souvenir from Mom.
After the funeral,
I made a pillowcase out of Mom’s dress.
And now the pillow with the palm tree print is on my black leather couch in the living room in my house,
As an emotional cushion.
And every time I hug it,
I feel like I hug my Mom.
Circa 1976
From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 88.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

POEM: Maui

The paradise turned into inferno.
Our humanity turned into monstrosity.
The flames to the right,
The ocean to the left.
God, please, not like this.
Please, not like this.

Monday, August 14, 2023

POEM: The Photograph

There is an old photograph in my family albums, circa 1966.
It’s my mother at seventeen.
When I was a little girl,
I used to think,
Who is this beautiful young woman in this photograph?
Until I knew it was my mother when she was seventeen.
A portrait of a mother as a young woman.
My mother has since left this world,
But the photograph stayed on my shelf.
I say good morning to my mom every day as if she could talk to me.
I kiss the photograph wishing that I can kiss my mom and still tell her how much I love her.
From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 86.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Praise for "Sunset in Toronto" by Victoria West

My dear friends and readers, for today's story I would like to share some of the positive reviews and praise that my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto received since its publication in 2021. 😊 

Canadian Culture magazine

     To find beauty where it may not often be present, and to discover hope where life may not always offer hope, is a gift only the truest of optimists possess. … 
     Sunset in Toronto by Canadian writer and poet Victoria West highlights what it means to connect emotions with the mind; West ensured that her audience could recognize these emotions each time they go through the pages and that her writing did not make readers feel pity. Instead, readers can understand her point of view, even as far as feeling understood themselves. Sunset in Toronto is an easy and engaging read, as the real-life narrative explored throughout the book magnifies what it means to look forward to every moment the reader experiences for the rest of their life.



     Sunset in Toronto by Victoria West is a collection of poems about love, grief, passion, and life. ... Readers would be able to peek into the author’s way of seeing things and her exuberant life. …
     The author’s free-verse poetic style gave way to a steady flow of lines and stanzas weaved with emotions that the author wants to get across to her readers. … West used the strength of realistic imagery to fully give the readers’ imagination a good feel of her thoughts. … Sunset in Toronto evokes a serene feeling like when you’re watching a sunset.


Irina Apostu
Author of “Touristic Vancouver” 

     The book of poetry Sunset in Toronto by Victoria West came as a really nice surprise and as a reminder that life is beautiful in any circumstances. It’s a gift for the nostalgic souls who keep looking for the beauty in little things but also who love to take a bow at life’s grandeur.
     Victoria’s book is organized in three major sections accompanied by candid photos. She invites the readers into her world and allows them to see her true self with the good and the bad, the ups and downs, and with all the vulnerabilities. …
     So, grab a blankie and a warm cup of tea, hide in a little corner and read away… You’ll travel the world through Victoria’s heart and eyes.


GoodReads and Amazon reviews

Genuine and real.
I enjoyed Sunset in Toronto by Victoria West. I found it very genuine and real, at times almost like reading someone's diary. It is very easy to read and flows well. The messages I got from it were on finding joy in the small things in life and the importance of family and love- in this life and beyond.


Beautiful insight into a fellow-Torontonian's mind during one of humanity's most challenging times. I related a lot to much of what she wrote that in many cases, it felt like reading my own thoughts! This collection was very touching and sweet. As a visual person, I liked her use of photos throughout as well in support of some of her anecdotes. Overall, I appreciate how vulnerable the author was in sharing her most personal experiences.


I loved reading this. Each entry gives a specific and different feeling, but they all complement each other and create a very strong collection with a smooth and pleasant follow from beginning to end. Great job!


This was a GoodReads giveaway book. The poetry in this book was a bit different for me. I normally think of poetry as rhyming, but this doesn't follow that pattern. I very much enjoyed how Ms. West took everyday moments, such as a coffee date, along with places and times of year and gave beautiful words to them. I am highly impressed with this collection.


Thank you to all readers and reviewers who shared their appreciative thoughts about my book! 🥰❤️
Photo credit: Victoria West

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

POEM: Sisters

There is a book on my desk, it’s called “Sisters. Thoughts on That Special Relationship”.
I like rereading it every now and again.
I picked it up at a yard sale a few years ago.
When I saw it, it spoke to me, and it came home with me.

I have a sister whom I love dearly.
She is the most important woman in my life.
When I saw the little book at my neighbor’s yard sale,
It instantly made me think of her, my dear sis.
And the book had to be mine.

Seven years in age difference can feel like a half-generation gap.
When I was born,
She was a kid on the playground.
When I was a kid,
She was a teenager in high school.
When I was a teenager,
She was a young woman on her own.
While I was growing up,
It felt like I could never catch up with my big sister.
But the blood that we shared could not keep us far away from each other.
I was always just one step behind her.
And when I did grow up,
I finally caught up with her.
Two young women closed the half-generation gap between them and left it behind.
Moving forward together at the same pace,
Always there for each other.

There is an ocean between myself and my sister now.
But our hearts are close to each other.
Our deep connection makes up for the huge physical distance between us.
Sometimes when I miss my sister,
I like to read through my little book.
And I think about her.
One is truly blessed to have a sister.
She is not only my sister, she is my best friend.
We are sibling soulmates.
I love you sis.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 82.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

POEM: The Dining Table

The dining table has the power to keep a family together.
Every evening we gather around the table in the dining room to have dinner,
And to spend time with each other.
To ask each other, how was your day today.
To laugh about the good and to cry about the bad.
To nourish our bodies and our souls.
Dinnertime is familytime.
I am grateful for each dinner spent together with my family around the dining table.

When I was a little girl, dinnertime was my favorite time of the day.
Gathering around the dining table every evening was my favorite family tradition.
It kept our family strong and bonded.
Because the dining table has that power.

Once I grew up, I left my parents’ home to make a life for myself.
Now my sister and I have our own homes, our own families.
We live on two different continents,
But we talk to each other every day as if we lived in the same neighborhood.
Every time I call my sister,
I pick up the conversation from where I left it off yesterday.
The dining table in our parents’ home did that for us.

And now I want to keep the same tradition alive, in my own family.
Dinnertime is familytime.
The best tradition a family could wish for.
I teach my son to appreciate the power of the dining table – keeping a family together, strong and bonded.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 80.

Monday, August 07, 2023

The Long Weekend

I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend! It's the Civic Holiday in Canada this weekend. Summer is ripe, and there is no better time for a weekend getaway than this time.

My long weekend took me to the beach on Lake Simcoe, one hour North of Toronto.
Photo credit: Victoria West

Sunday, August 06, 2023

POEM: Questions

How is your love life?
Do you have a boyfriend?
Why don’t you have a boyfriend?
Are you married?
Why are you not married?
When are you going to get married?
Do you have children?
Why don’t you have children?
When are you going to have children?
When are you going to have your second child?
Do you breastfeed the baby?
Do you have a job?
Are you looking for a job?
Did you find a job?
When are you going to get a job?
Why are you so thin?
Why are you so fat?
Why did you lose weight?
Why don’t you lose weight?
Do you work out?
Why don’t you work out?
Why are you wearing makeup?
Why aren’t you wearing makeup?
Why are you wearing short skirts?
Why are you wearing long skirts?
Why are you wearing black?
Why are you wearing color?
Why are you so quiet?
Why are you so loud?
Why are you so soft?
Why are you such a bitch?

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Falling Behind. A Poem by an Anonymous Author

I once found a little handwritten note in a library book, likely forgotten by the previous reader. I had a closer look at the handwritten note, folded in two, and realized it was a poem. I kept the note with the poem by the unknown author as it intrigued me. I left it in my nightstand drawer at the time and kind of forgot about it.

I found it again last night, and I read it again. It's a beautiful poem, even though I don't know who wrote it. I debated with myself whether I should share it, and finally, I decided that yes I should. This touching poem deserves to be read and heard, so I am sharing it here today.


Falling Behind

[Anonymous author]

This is me reaching out over the grandest canyons
This is me fighting at the chance to grab at the shadows of your sleeve in order to pull you back to me
When I know how quickly you’ve learned to leave
And how deftly you seem to pull it off
And this,
This is my bones slowly cracking under the weight
Of your many insecurities and naïve doubtings
And the way you’ve managed to keep my spine
Bending and curving far away from
Your own that it begins to break under the
Stream of the distance.
And the worst part is that each time I come
Crawling back with limp, broken fingers,
Tired from the tearing and clawing at my own
Ragged skin, you pick me up and stare me down and
Tell me there’s nothing you can do with my weary heart
Anymore and I’d best learn to
Find someone else
But the only one who can kiss these scars pure again
Is the one who was too far away to prevent them
In the first place
Though I know so well that
Your fleeing figure never plans to return
To my sagging bedframe
Or to the places where I carefully lay out my words in sentences
Almost close to perfection so that I could
Show you what it meant to be a little less
Insane than the rest of the world but
Always more mad.
And how my bones rattle in the darkness
When you’re already left
And I know your return is only a
Figment of my imagination.
If the author of this poem ever sees my post, I hope she doesn't mind that I shared it. ❤️❤️❤️

Photo credit: Victoria West

Friday, August 04, 2023

POEM: The Fake Celebrities

My DM is flooded with fake Elons,
And fake Johnnys,
And fake Brians,
And fake Toscas,
And fake Kimbals,
And fake Mayes,
And some other fake celebrities I haven’t even heard of,
But the impostors think I have.
Hello big fan,
I want to thank you for all your support and for being my fan.
This is my private account which I created to contact a few selected fans,
Because my verified account from Twitter is managed by my PR manager
And I don’t have full access to it.
Thank you for your message, dear impersonator,
Very nice of you to think of me.
The best I can do with this communication at this time is to ignore it.
Or flip it to the other side and write poetry out of it.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Book Unhaul

It's been a long time since I last posted an essay on my blog (I have published mostly poetry over the past couple of months), so for today's story I would like to talk about books. Specifically, a book unhaul. Or rather, the book unhaul that I did, because I only did one so far. 

I had a phase a while ago when I enjoyed watching videos about books on Youtube (or Booktube, how they so lovingly call it). I had developed a weird curiosity to see and admire other people's book shelves, what kind of books they read, what kind of books they add to their home libraries, what kind of books they unhaul. And I have to say, I was really drawn to the book unhaul videos, I watched lots of them, because it was interesting to me to know why people let go of books. And, as I discovered after watching a few dozens of such videos, the biggest reason why Booktubers do book unhauls is to make room for other books, new releases, on their bookshelves. In a way, it felt like being a frequent Zara shopper. 

So I did a book unhaul myself to see what's the deal with this concept of the book unhaul, how it feels to do one, and I would like to share the experience of my first book unhaul with you today. Originally, these books had been purchased at various Canadian bookstores, among them independent bookstores, or discount stores, or thrift stores. 

I used to own a cottage in the Canadian Cottage Country which I sold recently. At the time of closing and on my last visit to the cottage to pick up my last personal items from there, I decided to leave a little surprise for the new owners of the cottage. I did a proverbial book unhaul and left a few of my books at the cottage, for the new owners to enjoy. Those were books that I had read in the recent years before selling my cottage, and I figured that I wouldn't read these books again anytime soon. So here it is, my first (and the only one so far) book unhaul, books that now belong to another family, in another home library. I also should mention that most of these books are part of that passing on to the new owners of my old cottage, but a few of them were gifted to some of my friends as well. 

So without further ado, let me share my book unhaul, and I will say a few words about each of these books, as we go along.
Photo credit: Amazon
Harry and Meghan. The Royal Wedding Album by Angela Peel. The title is pretty self-explanatory, it's the wedding album of the royal couple Harry and Meghan, from their wedding in May 2018. Gorgeous photographs from their wedding. I bought this book at a discount store in 2019, and read it the same year.
Photo credit: Amazon
Diana versus Charles. Royal Blood Feud by James Whitaker, a British journalist and writer who writes about the British monarchy. This book is an account of Charles and Diana's difficult marriage. I bought this book in a thrift store in 2015, and read it in 2020 during the global pandemic, when I picked up my reading, like so many other people, during the lockdowns.
Photo credit: Victoria West
Diana. A Celebration, written by late Princess Diana's brother, Charles Spencer. I bought this book in a thrift store in 2016, read it in 2020 during the pandemic.
Photo credit: Amazon
Invitation to a Royal Wedding by Trevor Hall (a British author who writes about the British royal family). This is a wedding album of Prince Andrew's and Sarah Ferguson's wedding from 1986. I bought this book in a thrift store in 2016, read it in 2020 during the pandemic.
Photo credit: Amazon
Kate. The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl (a British journalist), a biography of Princess of Wales. The book discusses Kate's childhood, her school and university years, how she met William, their relationship, the royal wedding from 2011, the birth of their first child Prince George in 2013 (the book was published in 2013). I bought this book at a discount store sometime in 2019, and read in the summer of 2020 while on vacation at my cottage. That summer, the only place were I could go on vacation was my cottage, because travel was restricted due to the pandemic. And I read a lot of books that summer at the cottage and throughout the entire year, some of them being featured here today.
Photo credit: Amazon
83 Minutes. The Doctor, the Damage, and the Shocking Death of Michael Jackson by Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne. The title of the book is self-explanatory, it's an account of the tragic circumstances of Michael Jackson's death in 2009. The popstar's doctor Conrad Murray was held responsible for the faulty medical treatment of the singer which led to his death. 83 minutes refer to the time lapse since the doctor Conrad Murray found the singer breathless in his bedroom till the patient was brought to the hospital in an (unsuccessful) attempt to revive him. I bought this book at a discount store sometime in 2019, and read it in 2020 during my summer vacation at the cottage.
Photo credit: Ebay
Birthday Girl. Spunk and Sass for Your Special Day, a gift book from Hallmark. A fun book celebrating girlfriends in your life, I read it in 2019.
Photo credit: Amazon
The Darwin Award. Survival of the Fittest by Wendy Northcutt. This humour book is absolutely hilarious, made me laugh out loud. I read it in 2019, during my summer vacation at the cottage. The internet access used to be intermitent at my cottage at best, so instead of social media, I was spending my time there reading.
Photo credit: Amazon
Canadian Political Babble. A Cynic's Dictionary of Political Jargon by David Olive, another humour book, just as hilarious as the one above, about different misshaps by various Canadian political leaders from today and yesterday, from different political parties and affiliations. I read this book in 2019, during my summer vacation at the cottage.
Photo credit: Amazon
A Chicken Soup for the Soul mini-book about cats, Life Lessons from the Cat, edited by Amy Newmark. I bought and read it in 2020. Such mini-books from Chicken Soup for the Soul series usually have 10-11 stories, and are about 100 pages (or less) long. The other 6 mini-books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series that follow in this story were also edited by Amy Newmark.
Photo credit: Victoria West
Another Chicken Soup for the Soul mini-book, Divine Messengers, this time about miraculous experiences. I bought and read it in 2020.
Photo credit: Ebay
And another mini-book from the same series about miracles in our lives, Have a Little Faith. Just like the previous two books, I bought and read it in 2020. 

Then, a few more such mini-books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which I bought from a discount store in 2021 and read the same year. Two of these mini-books are dedicated to faith, one to love, and one to thanksgiving and gratitude.
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Victoria West
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon
And two more books from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, this time full-size, one dedicated to girlfriends, the other one to sisters. I bought both of them from an independent bookstore sometime in 2015, and read both of them in 2020, during the pandemic, when I was devouring books.
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon
Loose Girl. A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen. I bought this book from an independent bookstore in 2016, but read it in 2020 during the pandemic. It's a memoir of the author's complicated relationship with men and her desire for male attention, since she was a teenage girl till she married and started a family of her own as an adult woman. It was a good read. I first tried to read this book in 2016, the year when I purchased it, but somehow it didn't get to me. Then I returned to it in 2020, and this time I found it more compelling and I actually read it.
Photo credit: Amazon
101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home by David Bordon and Tom Winters. It's a book for parents and children about many different wonderful things they can do together as a family, such as picnics, hiking, road trips, etc. I bought this book from a discount store sometime in 2019, and read it in 2020 during the pandemic.
Photo credit: Amazon
A book-album dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor, published by People magazine. This is another book that I read in 2020 during the lockdowns, purchased from a local discount store (must have also been 2019 when I bought it, to my best recollection).
Photo credit: Amazon
Hillary. An American Life, published by Time magazine in 2014, a book about Hillary Clinton's political life. Like a few other books in this story, I bought this book from a discount store sometime in 2019 and read it in 2020 during the Covid lockdowns.
Photo credit: Amazon
The Gutsy Girl by Kate White, a personal development book for women, but written in a very funny way. I bought this book from a local discount store in 2021, and read it the same year.
Photo credit: Amazon
sTORY TELLING by Tory Spelling, an autobiography of the Beverly Hills 90210 actress, which is also the first book that she ever published. I bought this book at a thrift store in 2020, and read it during a summer weekend at my cottage the same year.
Photo credit: Amazon
Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie, a Canadian actor. This is a humour book, a collection of short stories. In the summer of 2021 I was spending my summer vacation at the cottage, and I bought this book at a local thrift store in the cottage country, and I read it right then, during that very vacation.
Photo credit: Amazon
Prince's Virgin in Venice by Trish Morey is another book (a Harlequin romance novel) that I found in a thrift store in the cottage country during my summer vacation from 2021, on the same shopping trip when I also got the Colin Mochrie book that I was mentioning earlier. I read this romance novel during that same vacation.
Photo credit: Amazon
And last but not least, another Harlequin romance novel, Bedded by the Boss by Miranda Lee (an Australian writer). I found this little romance book at a garage sale in my neighborhood in 2016, and it was only in 2021 that I got to actually read it. 

These are all the books that I unhauled. But after this experience, I realized that unhauling books is not really for me. I did not get that relieving feeling that Booktobers boast about after each of their massive unhaul. Letting go of these books felt for me afterwards as letting go of a part of me, and not as discarding something that I no longer needed or appreciated. So most likely, I will not do another book unhaul, but rather keep my personal library the way it is, and let it grow organically. To me, books do not lose their value over time. But maybe that's because my relationship with books is different than what I see among booktobers, and one day I will write another essay about my relationship with books and how I grew up surrounded by books, and I'll go deeper into this topic in that essay. For now, I will leave it here. 

Thank you for reading today's story and I hope you enjoyed it.

Wishing you all a great remainder of the week!

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

POEM: Because I Am a Woman

My menstruation is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My female body is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My femininity is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My maternity is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My pregnancy is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My childbirth is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My breastfeeding is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My motherhood is mine,
Because I am a woman.
My womanhood is mine,
Because I am a woman,
And it is not up for debate.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

POEM: The Vaccine

This poem was written in 2020, amidst the global pandemic. It was first published at Whitby Public Library – Archives, in January 2021.


The Vaccine

It brings us hope.
Hope to get together again.
Hope to speak to each other in person.
Hope to kiss and hug each other.
Hope to love each other in real life.
Hope to travel.
Hope to go to concerts, football games, and movies.
Hope to enjoy ourselves at parties.
Hope to be by our friends’ side at their weddings.
Hope to dine at our favorite restaurants and shop at our favorite stores.
Hope to attend our children’s school recitals.
Hope to dress up.
Hope to wear makeup.
Hope to do everything we couldn’t do during the most trying year of our life.


From my book of poetry Sunset in Toronto, page 79.