Autumn: The Perfect Season for Writing

Photo by rikka ameboshi on Pexels.com

This week in Berkeley County, West Virginia. The moss green and viridian leaves of summer have turned to lovely shades of ochre, garnet, and gold. We are free of the oppressive summer humidity and I’m wearing my favorite sweater. The daytime temperatures are in the mid- to high 70s. Light blankets are on the beds for 40+ degree nighttime temperatures–perfect sleeping weather in my opinion–it’s almost time to pack away summer clothing and to dry clean coats and jacket. In the garden, the jalapeño and Cowhorn plants are still producing chili peppers. I turned over the soil where the tomatoes grew. (Again, another frustrating year for tomatoes). And it’s time to cut back the prolific and invasive morning glory vines that are trying to overtake the many mature lilac bushes that edge my yard. Home and garden maintenance–never-ending!

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. This special time of year is perfect for settling in with good books, journals, a new calendar, and new writing notebooks. Steaming mugs of spiced apple cider, gluhwein, family gatherings, and pumpkin anything. For many of us in the east coast, fall is a cozy, peaceful season of warm woolen blankets, heavy quilts, soft lighting, Renaissance fairs, and reflecting upon summer memories we made with family and friends. A wonderful time to make plans and to set new goals and dreams for 2022. And for naps. I’m a big fan of naps.

Going within. Stillness. This dormant period of the year is the perfect for reflection, creativity, and for writing.

Despite a very busy August and September with exterior and interior painting, I’ve been surprisingly productive with my work-in-progress, my second novel titled The Laments. Often, writing is my way of taking some measure of control of my life when things are in disarray or in chaos, as I find myself this morning with the electricians and two painters tackling the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom.

Earlier in the week, I carved out a little niche in the living room to write. This morning, I know my writing will have to wait a day or two as the painters inch closer to “my safe place”. C’est la vie. It all needs to get done before it’s too cold to paint.

I remind myself that home maintenance and chaos are necessary at this time. Emptying rooms allowed me the first opportunity in ten years to downsize, throw out, donate, and sell items I no longer need. It feels great. I feel lighter. More energetic. It’s amazing how well purging works on my psyche and mood.

Come winter, I shall enjoy a freshly painted home and all outlets in this old house will be in working order for the long, cold months ahead. Preparation. Organization. Downsizing. Purging. Cutting out. Fixing. Maintenance. Peace. Productivity.

This all sounds familiar. This sounds like the creative process. It sounds like writing.

Stay safe. Get your vaccines. Happy Autumn to you and yours.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is currently working on her second historical novel set in Puerto Rico called THE LAMENTS. She is the mother of two amazing young adults and tells herself that one day, she will walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela again.

www.linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

The 23rd International Latino Book Awards Finalists

Hello!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and staying healthy. Mask up, everyone. The Delta variant is a real and present danger. Get your vaccines. I’m ready for my first booster shot after the two initial vaccines. Not taking any chances.

I’m thrilled to share that my first poetry collection, Tight Knots. Loose Threads. is a Finalist in the 2021 International Latino Books Awards for Best First Book, Fiction. Tight Knots. Loose Threads. joins A Decent Woman, my first historical novel, with literary awards–what an honor.

Congratulations to all the Finalists and Honorable Mentions! Thank you ILBA and Empowering Latino Futures, judges, and readers for all you do for Latinx authors.

Eleanor x

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/rDqxdvzQef6lt4912wBWFuFq9AaV8CfNZUPaOokAw4W/Z92j9b7lSOGQTVsbrqIcog

“Empowering Latino Futures
International Latino Book Awards
The Largest Awards in the USA Celebrating Achievements in Latino Literature


Major Publishers Are Paying Attention to Books By & About Latinos
By Kirk Whisler

The International Latino Book Awards is a major refection that the fastest growing group in the USA has truly arrived. The Awards are now by far the largest
Latino cultural Awards in the USA and with the 276 finalists this year in 105 categories, it has now honored the greatness of 3,470 authors and publishers over the past two decades. The size of the Awards is proof that books by and about Latinos are in high demand. In 2020 Latinos will purchase over $750 million in books in
English and Spanish.


The 2021 Finalists for the 23rd Annual International Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. About 42% of the winners were from major U.S. and Int’l publishers, up from 19% five years ago.
In order to handle this large number of books, the Awards had 198 judges in 2021. The judges shared how hard it was because there are now so many great books being published.


Judges included librarians, educators, media professionals, leaders of national organizations, Pulitzer Prize Winners, and even elected officials. The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Finalists are from across the USA, Puerto Rico, and 19 other countries. The Awards are produced by Empowering Latino Futures, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 1997 by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler. Other ELF programs include the Latino Book & Family Festival, currently being held virtually at http://www.LBFF.us, our 69th Festival. The International Society of Latino Authors now has 140+ members. Education Begins in the Home has supplied books to 155,000+ young readers. The Latino & American Indian Scholarship Directory has been used by 182,000 students. More than 80 episodes of the Latino Reads Podcast have now aired. ELF’s programs have now touched well over a million people. Over 350 volunteers annually donate 14,000+ hours of service.

The Awards Ceremony will be held virtually October 16 and 17 via http://www.LatinoBookAwards.org. Current and past sponsors have included AALES, AARP, American Library Association, Atria Publishing, Book Expo America, California State University System, California State University Dominguez Hills, California State University San Bernardino, Entravision, Independent Book Publishers Association, Las Comadres para las Americas, Libros Publishing, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Community College District, MAAC, MAOF, MiraCosta College, Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund, REFORMA, Scholastic Books, and Visa. ELF has recently gotten grants from Amazon, LULAC, SDGE, and the SBA.”

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing.

Eleanor is currently working on her second historical novel set in Puerto Rico called THE LAMENTS. She is the mother of two amazing young adults and tells herself that one day, she will walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela again.

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

eYs Magazine Winter 2021: Author Eleanor Parker Sapia

AUTHOR ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA – WRITER OF CARIBBEAN FICTION AND WOMEN’S FICTION, POET, AND ARTIST

By Marsha Casper Cook

Please talk about your roots and how you found out who you wanted to be in your new life. Your story is very inspirational.

I was born in Puerto Rico into a family of exceptional oral storytellers: my grandmother—the matriarch of our family—my mother, and my aunt. Their magical stories included lives of struggle, spirits, herbal recipes, ancestral rituals, good food, and a fierce love of family. I was the child at my grandmother’s knee, always begging for one more tale.

I doubt it surprised anyone in my family when I turned to storytelling through painting and later with writing. A simple trip to the corner store can yield ideas for new stories or poems, and a cast of characters for future novels. However, my journey to publishing novels set in Puerto Rico with a good dose of history and magical realism took a circuitous route. Publishing my first collection of poetry took even longer. Each stage of my journey was as important as the last—steppingstones to where I am today—living and thriving in a creative world.

Following in my parent’s footsteps, I married a US Army officer, and we raised our children in Belgium, Austria, and France. To date, I have lived in Europe longer than I’ve lived in the US and Puerto Rico.

For 25 years, I painted and exhibited portraits and still lifes in the most unforgiving medium—watercolor— which speaks of perseverance and keen observation. I stashed drafts of poems in an old cookie tin and volunteered with refugee organizations and counseling centers in Brussels, Belgium.

In 2000, two life-changing events coincided: my maternal grandmother’s 90th birthday and receiving a copy of Julia Cameron’s seminal book on creativity called The Artist’s Way. The following year, I invited five girlfriends to experience the course with me. I learned just as much as my friends, who encouraged me to keep writing. Around that time, the paintbrush no longer told the stories of my soul—I was hooked on writing. I would go on to facilitate four more creative clusters with participants who felt blocked creatively or were interested in discovering their artistic passion.

In honor of my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I wrote a tribute to her that included many of her life stories. After reading the tribute, my then-husband encouraged me to write an outline. That outline turned into the first draft manuscript of A Decent Woman, set in turn of the century Ponce, Puerto Rico, my hometown.

In 2005, life changed dramatically. Before I knew it, I was a single woman in her 50s. I left one life and started a new one in the U.S. when my children headed to American universities. I was forced to face the unknown, dig deep, and tackle many challenges, much like a baptism of fire.

How has writing novels changed you as a person? If yes, please feel free to elaborate.

I believe my creative journey had more to do with my personal growth than the actual writing of my books. Before my divorce, I volunteered as a Spanish language refugee case worker and as a volunteer counselor in the only English-speaking counseling center, both in Brussels, Belgium. After my divorce, I moved back to the U.S., where I graduated from a massage therapy institute, I worked full-time as a bilingual (Spanish) social worker with the immigrant/refugee population and became a Reiki Master.

During that same time, I honed my writing skills, but the draft manuscript of A

Decent Woman wouldn’t see the light of day for five years until a shoulder injury precluded me from continuing a career in massage therapy—I was at a fork in the road. I made a life-altering decision to leave my job and to move from the Washington, D.C. area to West Virginia, where I could afford to write full-time.

Through writing novels and poetry, I found my voice quite organically. My previous career choices bolstered and inspired me to write novels of courageous women living simple lives in extraordinary times. The characters in my book said what I needed to share with the world—stories of misogyny, domestic violence, racism, and early feminism. Sterilization of women against their will or without their knowledge. Hate crimes against women and prostitutes. Class struggles. I use it all in my stories.

I believe life helped me grow into the role I was destined to fulfill—that of a storyteller. My hope is to continue to honor my maternal line and my Puerto Rican roots with my writing.

In your new book, a debut collection of poems titled, Tight Knots. Loose Threads, you expose a side of you that no one knew. Was that decision difficult for you?

Just before my first poetry collection was published in April 2021, a good friend, a therapist, read my collection. She wondered if readers would view me in a new way, and wondered if my raw, emotional poems of love desired, love denied, and heartbreak would confuse friends and readers who’d loved A Decent Woman.

While readers and friends on social media know me as a writer, a divorced mother of two awesome adult children, a feminist, an activist, who loves to garden and travel, my reply to my friend was, “How well do we know anyone?” My close friends and family weren’t surprised, at all.

I understand it’s human nature to often put people in boxes to better understand them, but I don’t enjoy limits, literary or otherwise. I was ready to unpeel more layers of my emotional onion. To stretch out and take up more room as a mature woman and as a writer.

I didn’t shy away from writing about controversial, delicate, taboo themes in A Decent Woman and there were many. Writing poems about controversial and delicate situations and exposing raw emotions wasn’t difficult either.

Now, although every poem isn’t about me, I admit to feeling a bit vulnerable about the intimate nature of some of the poems. What helped me move forward with publication was the Coronavirus pandemic and turning 63. We were and are still living in a world of unimaginable loss, grief, and fear. The year 2020 moved me enough to retrieve the poems I’d stashed in the old coffee tin for over twenty years and to write new poems for my first collection.

In my opinion, it was the perfect time to release Tight Knots. Loose Threads. I hope readers will relate to the poems and not feel alone as we’ve all experienced heartache in love and relationships. I thought, if not now, when? I’m glad I listened to my gut.

What do you think the Publishing Industry could improve on?

One frustration I share with many writers is the push by some publishers and agents for writers to garner as many reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads before and after a book is published, as if that guarantees literary success. Honestly, writing and marketing our books are hard enough. Of course, I absolutely adore hearing from my readers and am incredibly grateful when a reader takes the time to review my books, so the last thing I want is to annoy them with constant requests for reviews. So, there’s a delicate balance.

Then, there’s paying for literary reviews—a gray zone. Most writers I know don’t have extra money to pay for reviews. I don’t know the answer to the dilemma of literary reviews. I write stories I’d like to read, and if I connect with a reader, that’s wonderful.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I’m a slow writer. On occasion, as I watch writers publish a book or two each year, I can fall into doubting my process. But that is short-lived. My process works for me. I believe in allowing a story to come together in an organic way. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about my story 24/7. I don’t begin with a firm outline or a firm ending. I always have a rough idea of where I’m going and what I want to highlight in the story, such as domestic violence, misogyny, racism, growth, or battling personal demons. Being locked into a particular storyline or ending without deviation disrupts my creativity. What I want for myself as a writer is to reach others. As a reader, I want to be moved.

Life has taught me to be open to change, discovery, and that starting over can be golden. I am a big fan of rewriting as much as necessary and to listening to my characters. It’s not uncommon for my story to change and evolve. That can only come from knowing your characters inside and out. With time and patience, the dividends pay off.

What keeps you up at night as you near the end of finishing one of your books?

Great question. What I struggle with is knowing whether a story is finished, which is easier to discern with painting.

I ask myself if I’ve done my best with what I know today to rewrite a sentence, a page, a chapter for clarity, rhythm, and lyrical meaning and weight. Ultimately, I listen to my gut—I trust I will know when I’ve reached the end. Readers may, of course, feel differently about our story!

What does Literary Success look like to you?

While receiving literary awards and accolades were a thrill, success of any kind can be a short-lived, slippery slope. I remind myself to not rest on past laurels. After each published book, I’m back at the beginning—learning more about the craft of writing, honing my skills, working hard, and doing research for the next novel.

Marsha Casper Cook – CEO, Author, Screenwriter

If readers love, remember, and recommend my book(s) to other readers over years and years, that is literary success to me. I want to move my readers as much as I need to be moved to continue to write good literature. It’s never been about making money.

Because of your new book, a collection of poems called Tight Knots. Loose Threads, you have increased your readership into a different market. Will you continue that path?

I wrote poetry long before I considered writing a novel. So yes, I will continue to write poetry, which feels as natural as painting, writing novels, and keeping a journal, where many poems are birthed. Painting for over 25 years helped me write A Decent Woman and The Laments. Writing poetry helps me access emotion and continue to write poetic prose in fiction, and writing fiction helps me write deep poetry. It’s all connected.

Writing poetry is also cathartic and healing. It’s a great way to peel away, examine, and discover old or new layers of my personality and life experiences in an intimate way. While poems of a more sensual nature may bring up feelings of vulnerability or of feeling a bit exposed, I tell myself that by being “naked” and unafraid, I’m connecting with readers who I hope will realize they’re not alone—we’ve all experienced love and heartache and pain. It’s universal.

In the future, I also hope to write a poetry collection and a novel in Spanish, a beautiful, lyrical language.

Are you pleased with the way readers have admired the courage it took to compose such a wonderful collection of poems? And did you expect readers to find themselves understanding your journey in a way that many poets never achieve?

Thank you for your kind words, Marsha. The readers who reviewed Tight Knots. Loose Threads before and after publication were gracious and generous with their praise. I am grateful for the gift of their precious time as many are busy writers. It is always heartwarming and validating when others understand our journey and resonate with what we’re trying to convey.

I had hoped readers would find themselves in the collection. It reads like the journey of a love affair from flirtation, passion, and love to confusion and sadness, followed by anger and grief. The death of love. There are many voices in this collection. It’s real life. Love is universal.

While I don’t consider it an act of courage to put out a poetry book of this type, it did require me to reach deep into myself and to push the boundaries of my comfort zone. I grew as a woman and as a poet.

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

Sounds cliché but learn to write by reading. I encourage aspiring authors to read books in their chosen genre, books by their favorite authors, and books recommended by favorite writers. I also encourage folks to write through the scary bits of the story as that’s usually where the meat and essence of the story are found. If you’re not passionate about your story or if you rush the creative process, it will show.

Lastly, your story matters. The saddest thing to me are unwritten stories.

What are you working on now?

Since 2016, I’ve been working on a second novel called The Laments. The story begins in 1926 in a Roman Catholic convent in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and a Spanish-built leprosarium on Isla de Cabras, an islet located five miles off the coast of San Juan.

The Laments is the story of an idealistic novice nun whose monastic life is shattered by crimes at her Convent. As a means of escape, the conflicted novice volunteers to serve the patients at Lazareto Isla de Cabras. A colorful cast of characters and chaotic events will clash with the nun’s mission to save souls for God. She will be challenged to take a hard look at making her final vows and to take an even harder look at truth.

The Laments will be in reader’s hands in early 2022. I hope readers connect with this story.

My thanks to eYs Magazine and to you for the wonderful opportunity to connect with the eYs audience.

You can find out more about Eleanor at linktr.ee/ EleanorParkerSapia

Special note to Eleanor: It has been my pleasure to interview you and I would also like to thank you for the wonderful friendship we have developed over the years. Marsha

June 2021 Update

June 24, 2021

Hello! The last blog post I shared was two days after my first poetry collection, Tight Knots. Loose Threads. was released on April 27, 2021, and what a busy time its been. Trying to finish a novel while releasing a new book is not easy. In that situation, we are forced to use both sides of our brains–the logical, analytical left and the creative, artistic right–at the same time. I’m heavy on the right side of my brain, so it can be a challenge.

Another reason I find book marketing and writing a novel challenging is that I don’t multi-task as well as I used to as an at-home mother of two kids. Why is that? I live alone. You would think I have more free time, right? I don’t. The difference is that I live alone. There’s no one but me running errands, keeping up with car inspections, planting and watering the garden, or doing or arranging for home maintenance projects. I live in an old house, over a hundred years old, and Lord knows, it’s a constant challenge to keep up with home projects, interior and exterior.

The pandemic didn’t help. Yes, I survived the global Coronavirus pandemic. I’m grateful as hell, but I believe living alone during lockdown and pre- and post-vaccines, took its toll. Being in solitary confinement (that’s what it felt like most days) isn’t a normal state for anyone. This year, I tried my best to stay positive and keep hope alive, but I had to dig deep. Especially after the January 6 insurrection, voter suppression in many states, and so many needless deaths in this country. Thank God for writing. As my writing mentor says, “Art is salvation”. It was my salvation. My distraction. My joy.

The pandemic was a great catalyst for many folks. There’s nothing like a global pandemic and the tragic and needless deaths of over 600,000 souls (in the US) to put a fire under your seat to complete what you’ve kept on the back burner(s) for twenty years. I wrote my first poem in 2000. I pat myself on the back for editing an old poetry manuscript and seeing Tight Knots. Loose Threads. published this year. The book isn’t in brick and mortar bookstores yet, but it will be. Soon, I hope!

I also pat myself on the back for entering my poetry collection in two categories in an annual international literary competition, and for applying for a writers grant, which I’ve never done before. I’m 63. If not now, when?

Now I understand why grant writers are paid big bucks, wow. Writing a good 200-word statement and a 400-word statement took time and care, and forced me to be concise, clear, and creative–a great writing exercise. I can write until the cows come home, but being concise? That’s a different beast altogether. Or maybe that’s just me. I must say, the experience of writing poetry helped with the application. I learned a great deal and was grateful for the experience. So, fingers crossed.

I’m heading to PR this summer. It will be my first trip since 2019 and I can’t wait. Along with resting and regrouping, there’s always more research to be done for my work-in-progress, my second historical fiction novel. It’s called The Laments and it’s set in 1926 Old San Juan.

I wish you a fun and safe summer with your loved ones. Stay safe and get vaccinated.

Eleanor x

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing.

Eleanor is currently working on her second historical novel set in Puerto Rico called THE LAMENTS. She is the mother of two amazing young adults and tells herself that one day, she will walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela again.

Book Release Day – April 29 – Tight Knots. Loose Threads. Poetry

April 26, 2021

Three more days!

Release Day is an exciting day for any author. It’s exciting to see the words you written – agonized and cried over, rearranged and rewritten – in final form. In this case, I’m speaking about my first collection of poems titled TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. published by Winter Goose Publishing.

I’m more than excited to receive the physical copies of my first collection of poems. A dream come true. I say that with all my books and it’s true! But this week, especially today, three days before the release, time is moving like a super slow, silent snail leaving a slimy trail on a sidewalk! Slow!

Then I remember, everything moves forward as it should. Timing is everything.

I wrote my first poem, a Haiku, as a child in elementary school. I still enjoy the challenge of writing Haiku. I wrote my first poem in 2000 as a wife and a mother of two high school students. Nineteen poems followed. Life changed for me. As a single woman, I wrote over forty poems. Ten years later, I wrote ten poems and realized I had enough good poems for a collection. Between November 2020 to January 2021, I wrote eight more poems.

Then the real work and the stage I love began–rewriting, editing, and finessing. It’s the same with writing novels–I love the editing stage.

When I’m working a painting or writing, I’m often asked,

“How do you know when you’re done?”

I know.

I knew TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. was ready for publication when after the twentieth time (or more) I’d read the poems and didn’t make one single tweak or change. I was finished. The collection was finished and ready for readers. And I’m a picky creative, smile.

It takes a helluva lot for me to say, “I am done. This is finished.” And I always add, “I’ve done my best with what I know today.”

Common question asked of writers are, “Is the story about you?” and “Are all the poems about you?” Absolutely not. Love is universal. We’ve all experienced love, love denied, betrayal, loss, the one who got away, and we’ve all hoped for true love.

I hope you will order a copy of TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. and that you enjoy my words. If you do enjoy the poems, I hope you will consider leaving an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you in advance! Be well!

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing. The release date for the collection of poetry is 4/29/2021.

A novelist, poet, artist, and photographer, Eleanor lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second historical novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1926 Puerto Rico

Advance Reader Reviews: TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry

April 11, 2021

Happy Sunday to you!

This morning, I spent a frustrating time trying to add editorial reviews on the Amazon page of my debut collection of poems, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry. It was so much easier in 2019! I definitely need a refresher tutorial.

So for now, in lieu of adding editorial reviews the standard way on Amazon, I’m honored and pleased to share a few of the advance reader’s book reviews as they appear inside TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS.

Loose Threads is the work of a mature woman in her moments of complete openness. This is the writing not of a young thing who has yet to taste the bitter sweetness of betrayal and passion, but a writer who has been loved, stroked, abandoned and, in some ways, betrayed. The writing is evocative in its maturity, rich and varied in its poetics. These poems will appeal to the secret reader who dares to say, ‘Oh yes. I have felt that Yellow Blindfold.’”

—Jack Remick, Montaigne Medal Finalist, BOTYA Finalist, author of Gabriela and The Widow, Citadel, and Satori, poems

“Eleanor Parker Sapia’s first collection of poems offers an intimate look at words between lovers, from the erotic “Sexylandia” to the threat of “Open Wound,” from first glance to final slam of the heart’s door. Sapia’s “parched life” runs fresh and hot with brushes of skin on skin, exchanged glances, tumbles through the annals of deep love, and breaks, only to be brave enough for another reach into intimacy. This is a collection of poems for the lover, the dreamer, and the deep longing of a woman’s willful heart.”

—Julia Park Tracey, Poet Laureate emeritus Alameda CA, author of Amaryllis: Collected Poems

“The challenge women creatives face when applying their authentic voices to their work is often fraught with opposition— most notably when their words threaten to tear away at the careful underpinnings of misogyny, narcissism, emotional abuse, and manipulation. Eleanor Parker Sapia’s collection of poems in Loose Threads not only tore—but they shredded, dismantled, and exposed, and eviscerated––and I’m here for all of it.”

—Sahar Abdulaziz, Award-winning Author of But You LOOK Just Fine and Secrets that Find Us

“The weight of loss and longing permeates the passionate poems in Tight Knots. Loose Threads. by Eleanor Parker Sapia. Sensual and seductive, this collection explores the suffering of love desired and denied, of relationships lost, and of strength regained.”

—Arleen Williams, author of The Alki Trilogy and The Ex-Mexican Wives Club: A Memoir

Tight Knots. Loose Threads. is a beautiful journey that explores the various phases of love. From the tender love we see in the opening poem Love Language to the anguish in Never Enough to the longing Parker Sapia captures exquisitely in The Wait, this is a collection about a woman unafraid to share her truths and her heart.”

—Nancy Arroyo Ruffin, 2017 ILBA Award Winning Author, author of Live On Purpose and Letters To My Daughter

Tight Knots. Loose Threads. captivated me from the start. In each poem, we hear the clear, distinct voice of a woman experiencing and contemplating the complex nature of love and relationships. Life and love will always remain delicious, often in heartbreaking mysteries. Eleanor Parker Sapia understands that and shares her truth with disarming honesty and impeccable language.”

—Mary Rowen, author of It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way, Leaving the Beach, and Living by Ear

My deepest thanks and gratitude to all my advanced readers for the gifts of their precious time and generous reviews.

More wonderful reviews to come on Release Day, April 29, 2021.

Remember, you can preorder TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS today!

https://amzn.to/3dSiazF

I hope you enjoy my first collection of poems, and if you do, I hope you’ll consider posting an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you and stay well!

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing. The release date for the collection of poetry is 4/29/2021.

A novelist, poet, artist, and photographer, Eleanor lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second historical novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1926 Puerto Rico.

Q&A: TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry

What a thrill it is to see my first poetry book, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. on my Amazon Author Page alongside my first novel, A DECENT WOMAN. Thank you to Winter Goose Publishing for taking a chance on my novel and this collection of poems. I remain grateful.

I realize it’s an hourly thing and Amazon book rankings go up and down, up and down, but an hour ago, TIGHT KNOTS. was still #1 in the Poetry about Death genre, #2 in Poetry About Love, and #2 in Poetry About Love and Erotica. And a bestseller (#27) in Love and Erotica Poetry. It’s always a thrill no matter how many books one has written.

BUY THE BOOK:

https://amzn.to/3dSiazF

So what am I doing publishing my first collection of love poems at the age of 63? Shouldn’t the art of writing love poems be left to the young? Shouldn’t I be on the couch knitting? I love to knit, by the way. Or maybe defrosting the fridge? Doing anything other than writing love poems that my publisher just added to the love, death, and erotica poetry genre categories? Erotica. That makes me smile.

You know what? I should be doing all those things plus writing love poems that will make you cry, laugh, raise your eyebrows, cause your heart to swell, and make you think. Make you think about your past, the present, and yes, of a future with love.

Love is eternal. Love is magical. It doesn’t matter how old you are — we all need love — and love doesn’t solely belong to the young.

Speaking of young, maybe you’re wondering, “Do Eleanor’s adult children know what she’s been up to all these years with her poetry?” The answer is yes! My kids and their loves read an early draft of the manuscript and they are very supportive. Each one is a brilliant writer.

A friend teased that she will know which poems are mine. I said she won’t because we’ve all had our heart broken. We’ve experienced love. We’ve been married, single, and divorced. And no, I’ll never tell which poems are about me. After all, a lady needs an element of mystery.

So, why publish a collection of love poems now?

2020. Isn’t that reason enough? Tragically, over 500,000 beautiful souls died and it broke my heart. Why not? Life is precious and I am celebrating LIFE.

The second reason is for women over 50 and beyond, who sometimes feel invisible, no longer relevant, or stagnant in their day to day and creative lives. It is possible to write a book and to keep writing at any age. Please don’t forget, there’s no perfect time, it always seems too hard, and your words matter.

WE WILL CARE.

Lastly, I dared to publish a collection of poems at 63 because I have been writing poems and stashing them in folders, in desks, and on Word for twenty years. Long enough. If not now, when? Never doesn’t work for me.

The poems gestated and went through enormous transformation. Light was refracted, bent, and everything became clear that it was time to put the poems together and birth this book.

While I may not know all the ins and outs of writing poetry, my heart needed to speak. I listened. Some may say I’m taking a risk, but it doesn’t feel like a risk to me. It feels great! My heart has carried these poems long enough.

Now, I can write more poems and focus on finishing my second novel, THE LAMENTS.

Thank you for pre-ordering your copy of TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. See? I’m thinking positive!

The official Release Date is 4/29/2021. I hope you enjoy enjoy my debut collection enough to post an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. I already know book reviews are golden gifts to all authors. I thank you in advance.

Stay well, be happy. Never give up on love.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing. The release date for the collection of poetry is 4/29/2021.

A novelist, poet, artist, and photographer, Eleanor lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second historical novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1926 Puerto Rico.

When Eleanor is not writing, she facilitates creativity groups for women, tends her gardens, and tells herself she is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago a second time. Eleanor is the mother of two fantastic adult children and a Chihuahua named Sophie.

Pre-order now! TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry, 4/29/2021

April 9, 2021

Good morning!

What a brilliant day to share exciting book news!

Today, my debut collection of poems titled TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry is available for e-book pre-order on Amazon!

The AMAZON release day for the paperback and Kindle version is 4/29/2021!

https://amzn.to/2Qa0MOT

Here is a review from a very kind advanced reader:

Tight Knots. Loose Threads. captivated me from the start. In each poem, we hear the clear, distinct voice of a woman experiencing and contemplating the complex nature of love and relationships. Life and love will always remain delicious, often in heartbreaking mysteries. Eleanor Parker Sapia understands that and shares her truth with disarming honesty and impeccable language.

Mary Hogan, author of It Doesn’t Have To Be That WayLeaving the Beach, and Living by Ear

How thrilling to see my first poetry book on my Amazon Author Page alongside my first novel, A DECENT WOMAN, both published by Winter Goose Publishing. Thank you to Winter Goose Publishing for taking a chance on my collection of poems.

What possessed me to publish this intimate collection of poems? Why now?

Are all the poems about me?

When did I write the poems?

Am I worried this collection of love poems — some sensual, a few erotic — will alienate my readers?

Will I shock readers?

Where do I find poetic inspiration?

Will I publish another collection in the future?

For the answers to these questions, tune in!

I’ll tackle these relevant questions in more April blog posts. The first one will drop tomorrow!

I truly hope you’ll take advantage of the e-book pre-order sale price of TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS.

And if you enjoy my debut collection of poems, please don’t forget to post an honest review on Amazon. Many thanks in advance. Book reviews are pure gold to authors.

Be well and get your vaccine.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the recipient of two International Latino Book Awards for her historical novel, A Decent Woman, set in 1900 Puerto Rico. Eleanor is a novelist, poet, artist, and she facilitates creativity workshops designed for women. Eleanor is writing her next historical novel, The Laments, set in 1926 Puerto Rico.

TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. Poetry, Release Day: 4/29/2021

March 30, 2021

It’s Cover Reveal Day and Preorder Day!

I’m excited to share the full cover of my debut collection of poems titled,

TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. I am head over heels in love with this cover!

TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. is now available for preorder:

https://amzn.to/3dSiazF

The release date is 4/29/2021!

Thank you for your visit. Please come back for up-to-date book news, great giveaways, and author goodies to come.

Stay well. Wear your mask and get your vaccines!

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2019. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”. Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments” set in 1926 Puerto Rico. Her debut poetry collection, “Tight Knots. Loose Threads. Poetry” will be released on April 29, 2021 by Winter Goose Publishing.

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

The Year of the Plague: 2021 Vacations

March 24, 2021

The writing life can be a pretty sedentary life. It’s my life and a personal passion that involves heavy thinking, research, learning, hard work, and sitting. Lots of sitting. I can’t recall as sedentary a year as 2020. My body craves movement. My heart desperately needs to hug and kiss my children and loved ones. My soul dreams of beautiful vistas, a gorgeous beach, a turquoise ocean, a pool bar, new adventures, good times.

The year of the plague. Prolonged stress. Managing emotions. Emotional well-being.

Older people surveyed in the first couple of months of the pandemic showed a higher resilience to the pandemic lockdown. It’s not that older folks were not suffering at the same levels as younger folks, they were and they were more at risk. It appears older folks coped better with the stress of living and surviving a global pandemic.

Why is that? I believe it’s because older people have more life experience. We have better coping skills and resilience gleaned from a lifetime of challenges and difficult experiences along with a good dose of wisdom thrown in that only comes from experience.

For two weeks now, younger tourists and spring breakers in Puerto Rico, my birth place, are losing control and forgetting themselves and others. Friends and family members on the island say it’s been a nightmare dealing with tourists and young people ignoring mask mandates, running amok in cities and on beaches, and being rude and violent with the police and with locals. Seriously?

We’re all dreaming of a beach vacation with a fully-stocked pool bar and dancing under the stars. Come on!

If you can’t behave like a civilized human being during a global pandemic, stay home. If you can’t show respect and obey the rules while on vacation in destinations, such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, where people live, work hard, wear masks, and try to keep their Covid-19 infection rates low, stay home. Period. Yes to stricter laws for dealing with such ridiculous behavior.

Run amok in your own neighborhoods and cities. Don’t ruin it for others. I want to get home soon.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Practice safe distancing.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2019. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”. Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico. Her debut poetry collection, “Tight Knots. Loose Threads. Poems” is due for release in April 2021.

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia