What’s New…What’s News…

In the Works…

WriterPortrait_01Now that my first book is out, you might be wondering what I’m working on publishing next. I actually have two expeditions underway along the trails of the literary life. I have words on the page for a creative piece, and am also completing research for my first non-fiction work.

The non-fiction work will explore the often darker subject of domestic abuse and its least visible form—emotional and mental manipulation. As an author, I hope I can shed more light on this area of a subject that touches each and every one of us, whether we notice it or not.

Highly personal, this is a topic of which I am passionately committed to being a catalyst for change and thereby compelled to address in writing.

I’d like your feedback on title ideas. I’m thinking of “When Nothing is Wrong”  or maybe “Victims in Silence.” My third idea is “Behind the Face.” What do you think? Shoot me your feedback by clicking here to send me a quick email reply…your input will be of great value…and perhaps even rewarded!

And stay tuned to all the latest by signing up for my mostly-monthly newsletter. Click here to sign up, and make sure to stop back by here again as later this month I share a very special BIG ANNOUNCEMENT…until then, much love and light…

Along came a visitor from the canyons of Utah…

trish-hopkinson-photo-2015Premier Provo Poet Trish Hopkinson, co-founder of Rock Canyon Poets, stopped by for a visit on my blog this past Sunday. For those of you who know Trish, you know you won’t want to miss this. For those of you who don’t, take a look here and find out why you need to know her.

Trish has published two chapbooks, “Emissions” and “Pieced Into Treetops” and have been published in several anthologies and journals, including The Found Poetry Review, Chagrin River Review, and Reconnaissance Magazine. She is a product director at a software company by profession and resides in Utah with her husband and two children.

I’ll be returning the favor this Sunday by stopping for a visit on Trish’s blog at trishhopkinson.com. My topic for pondering, “Poetry: Why Even Bother?”

Goodreads Giveaway Gets Going Today…

cover_frontStarting today (May 18) and running through the end of May, you will have the chance to win one of five free copies of my first book, a poetry collective entitled “The Dirt Still Looks the Same.

Now on sale through Amazon, this paperback normally sells for $12.95. All you have to do is watch for this promo through Goodreads and follow the instructions to throw your entry into the hat.

Lucky winners will also receive some other groovy swag and be signed up for my mostly-monthly newsletter if not already on my subscriber list.

Keep an eye out for your chance to enter and win…and after you’ve soaked up all that poetry, let everyone know what you think about it all by posting a review on Amazon and Goodreads—please! Reviews are most definitely welcome, and absolutely vital to an author’s continued development and success! Visit Goodreads today to learn more…and to enter!

And for those of you who have already purchased a copy, THANK YOU…now please take a minute and post a review on Goodreads and on Amazon…your reviews will help me keep going and growing!!!


Trish Hopkinson: Why I Write


Premier Provo Poet Trish Hopkinson, co-founder of Rock Canyon Poets, has stopped by for a visit. For those of you who know Trish, you won’t want to miss this. For those of you who don’t, be sure to keep reading to learn more about why Trish writes, and why she ever did.


Then watch for me to return the visit next Sunday, May 22 when I stop by Trish’s blog at trishhopkinson.com.  My topic, “Poetry: Why Even Bother?”

Why I Write by Trish Hopkinson

In response to Terry Tempest Williams essay by the same name.

There was a time in my life when I tried to fill in the blankness with other art forms—photography and scrapbooking, calligraphy and lettering, a little graphic design, or the simplest of artistic prospects, like creative chore charts for my children. My practical, perfectionist side took over and muted my words, my pen, my urge to write. There seemed no specific purpose in pouring out poetry while swallowing wine, or a cold brew late at night. Years past and my happiness subsided; I felt incomplete, lacking, and sullen. Nothing was filling in the blank. Then I heard about a local poetry event, a poetry slam at a bookstore. I went. I never looked back. I had to learn the hard way why I write.

I write because I am selfish— a selfish poet. I write so the words will soothe my head. I write so monologue can escape. I write to serve my mind its medicine, dribbling it out like moldy penicillin that I drink up when my throat goes dry. I write to create a vaccine for sadness and insanity, like heart heroine. I write, not to print or publish, but as a passion placeholder; not meant to impress, not meant to be permanent. I write to recycle memories, damaged and raw, unrefined cud of thought. I write to force it up and spit it out. I write to remember, to form a poetry blanket of brain insulation, a cushion from the cold. I write to extract the byproducts of being, biodegradable and organic, like the warmth of childhood grilled cheese and tomato soup. I write to indulge in crucial comfort food, to fatten up after a poetry fast.

I write for me. I write because there is something intensely ironic and humane about being human. I write to lift up the heaviness of tangibility, to keep my thoughts light and my breathing deep. I write for my children, to show them that being selfish has a place and makes you more accessible to those you love. I write to uncover sympathy and turn it over, to expose the soft belly of empathy, to peel away layers of hardness, and to be someone’s friend when they need me. I write to relieve the busy-ness behind my eyes, the thoughts that keep me awake when I should be sleepy, and the unsettled havoc of the work week.

I write from gray, from the edges of blackness and whiteness. I write to interpret the static, the noise, the many alternate voices. I write to establish a persona, to determine my roles and how each role alters others. I write to find the mother, wife, daughter, sister, student, friend, and poet wandering within. I write as a woman, as an aspiring artist, as an extension of myself. I write out of necessity, out of bursting urges. I write with determination and courage. I write bravely, when all else is quiet, shy, and scared. I write to share secrets and solve mysteries. I write for relief. I write to fill in the blankness.

Trish Hopkinson has published two chapbooks, “Emissions” and “Pieced Into Treetops” and have been published in several anthologies and journals, including The Found Poetry Review, Chagrin River Review, and Reconnaissance Magazine. She is a product director at a software company by profession and resides in Utah with her husband and two children. To learn more, visit trishhopkinson.com

We made it!!!

youth-570881_960_720Another year moves behind us as today marks the end of our celebration of all things poetry.

National Poetry Month aka #NaPoMo is marked each each year in April through a variety of ways…I chose to challenge myself to writing 30 poems during the past 30 days of celebration…

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my final three…poems 28, 29, and 30 can now be enjoyed here…along with the other 27.

I did it…we made it…and I thank all of you for your interest, support, and ongoing words of encouragement. Enjoy!!!

And be sure to come back every day for the next few days for some more exciting news as this author and poet continues to splash around and play in the wonderful world of words…and just in time for Mother’s Day!!!

I see a big reveal coming your way…stay tuned…

Almost there…

the finish lineIt’s now day 27  of my quest…
to write 30 poems in 30 days…
marking National Poetry Month 2016.

The journey has been difficult,
the challenges have been many.

But I’ve managed to keep my word all along the way…the finish line is now in sight and I’m much more certain I’ll make it to the end.

Check out my latest here…poems for days 25, 26 and 27 are now up, having been properly introduced to their fellow team mates.

And be sure to come back for this weekend’s finale and wrap-up !

This month’s journey through the land of verse continues

newspaper-63189_960_720Closing day 24 of this 30-day journey through the written word and all of its power, I have just posted poems 21 through 24 here. And yes, I’m still asking myself, “what have I gotten myself into?”

As I said before, it is part of who I am at the core to follow through and keep my word unless something comes up where I just can’t. So I continue to plow forth…

And if you are wondering about the photo…well, you’ll just have to read poem #23…

If you’ve been following along with me during the month of April, you know it’s National Poetry Month (aka NaPoMo 2016). As an author, editor and poet, I committed myself to writing 30 poems over the month’s 30 days to mark the occasion.

I might add that, while trying very diligently to keep up with the terms of this self-contract that I verbally made with all of you who are my most treasured faithfuls, I have also been putting the wraps on my first book.

By the way, if you haven’t signed up yet for my monthly newsletter that will be launched at the beginning of May, please do so now by visiting my welcome page or by shooting me an email with your email address to melissa@mcmeske.com.

Thanks so much for stopping by and supporting my dreams. I look forward to continuing my journeys with you as together we get through this thing called life…

Yes, love is one of those four letter words…

Happy_Valentines_DayFor all of those who dread the weekend ahead, there are many more of us who look forward to it. Sunday is Valentine’s Day…the holiday where love is celebrated just as it should be. And lovers have a wide variety of ways to express just how much the ones they love mean to them.

For me and my handsome hubby, we chose to turn the day into a double whammy chock full of love by getting married on that day just two years ago. The date was 2-14-14, and it was 14 months after we first fell in love.

You couldn’t get more romantic. We also knew that in the future if either of us forgot our wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day, there would be real hell to pay!

Love is a four letter word. As is hell. They both invoke so much passion inside of us when they enter our hearts, our minds, our lives. When you think about it, all of the four letter words are felt with equal passion. “I hate you!” “F*** you!” “Sh*t!” “Damn!” “Go to hell!” OR “I love you!” “I miss you!” “Kiss me!” I could go on.

Each and every one of these declarations trigger deeply felt emotional responses within their exploiters as well as within their targeted recipients if, in fact, they are living objects (we all know that the objects aren’t always alive).

Ironically, there are more four letter words that we use to symbolize the love we want to express to someone. Card. Gift. Rose. Kiss. Poem. Song. Ring. Meal. Wine. Beer. Oh, and one might invoke that one four-letter word again in some cases…you know…a good “f***” or more nicely put, a romantic evening of lovemaking.

Chocolate doesn’t make the four-letter word list, but I’m sure we can figure out a way to make it work within the limits if we try.

All of these symbols, these expressions, are as passionately impactful as the emotions they have been invoked to represent.

Words are powerful, even at just a mere four letters.

I was told repeatedly for a good chunk of my life that “feelings are liars.” But, as my Kevin has pointed out to me often enough, feelings are who we are. They are how we feel.

If our feelings are liars, then does that mean we are all living un-authentically every time we tell our children we love them as we kiss them good night? Are we lying when we grieve the loss of someone who we told for years how much we love them? Is it false to cry when we hurt? Does anger feel fake as it flushes our faces? What is it then that causes our hearts to swell with pride when we watch our child perform his first drum solo or have his first piece on display in the art gallery? Were we all faking it as we watched in horror and disbelief as the planes crashed and the towers fell?

Love is one of those four letter words. And maybe I used to think it was often a lie. But I have come to terms with it, and all the other four letter words we embrace or dread. I am now living as authentically as the world will let me. I am enveloped in love, and life sounds good, and feels even better. I invite you to do the same.

Now we just need to come up with a four letter word for chocolate…or better yet, those red velvet cheesecake brownies that my sweetheart makes better than anyone else ever.

Valentine’s Day…bring it on!