Sometimes we think there is only one way to use our voice. We’re either a singer, or a writer, or an artist, or a photographer or a dancer … or whatever. The truth, as I have learned, is that the voice manifests however is appropriate in the moment.
I spent many years struggling with all my voices. I was a poet, a writer, a singer, a painter, a photographer and the battle for supremacy was so hard that none of them got my attention. I was too frustrated. Now, part of this was my inability to focus, which came down to childhood trauma and all its wonderful side effects. This included my inability to believe in anything I was creating. I couldn’t see it. It was as invisible to me as I was (and made myself) to the world.
It’s taken a lot of personal work to find my way to the other side of this and realize that each of my voices has its moment when the spirit moves.
Setting my heart on the page without fear of it getting tromped has always been, and continues to be to some extent, an exercise in introspection, self-awareness and courage. One cannot grow up in the shadows without feeling overwhelmed by that first, second or even third step into a spasm of light.
It’s a tale too long to tell for this introduction, and perhaps one day I will share it. For now, some brief insight into what stirs my world as a writer, poet and communicator.
In So Many Words reflects a quiet strength and, I hope, a sense of joy and fun built on the bumpy road of life.
My horses have played an integral part in the journey to finding my voice. How appropriate, therefore, that each should join me on this journey with larger-than-life names reflecting their larger-than-life personalities. Shakespeare* (Bear) trotted into my life in 2006 as my healing journey was beginning. What a time we have shared! He represents the broken heart now mended and learning to soar. Sophia Loren (Sophi) jumped on board in 2015, and is giving me my wings. Bear makes me smile and keeps me grounded. Sophi inspires my dreams and potential, both as an equestrian and a writer.
My healing journey with Bear inspired me to participate in a Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) certification course, and as of 2014 I am a practitioner of this amazing healing work. My practice is established on our farm an hour north of Toronto. My focus is understanding the nature of, and creating, sacred healing space.
Of course, the journey is not complete without the love, perspectives, wisdom, joy, pain, awareness (or lack thereof), humour, opinions, memories and experiences of family and friends. Whoever they are, whatever their purpose for being in my life they help me to see myself and my place in the world more clearly. It is a great gift.
They also provide fantastic fodder for my characters. 😉
As a writer I am enthralled by other wordsmiths. My interest lies mostly in historical fiction, mysteries, some humour, and books that uplift and strengthen the spirit. Favoured authors, for their stories and style, include Margaret George, Edward Rutherfurd, Steven Saylor, Sophie Kinsella, Anne Perry, Kate Morton, Barbara Erskine, Kenneth Roberts, Anya Seton and Taylor Caldwell. Favourite poets include Robert Frost, Ogden Nash, Gerard Manley Hopkins and, of course, William Shakespeare.
For my part, I have a number of blogs, short story and poetry projects on the go. My recently completed debut novel, Murder on the High Cs ~ a light-hearted murder mystery set in the melodramatic world of divas and dysfunction, is a fun poke at the world of opera in which I grew up. In 2018 this labour of love was long-listed for the Crime Writers of Canada “Unhanged Arthur” Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel.
Presently, I’m revisiting a novel started several years ago which tells the story of a woman’s redemption following 27 years trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage. Based on my grandmother’s story, it’s set in the 1960s, when women mostly put up and shut up. She was a courageous woman.
The laurels at the top of the page represent the WINNIE Award for Best Equestrian Photo Journal my project Unsung Heroines of the Horse Industry received from the EQUUS Film Festival in New York City, December 2018. The momentum behind that project was crazy. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The voice of my photography ringing loud. Offers momentum for the others as we progress through time.
Speaking of time, thank you for sharing some with me. Be sure to check out the menu at the top of this blog to discover what else is going on in my imagination.
Be well …
Writer . Fine Art Photographer
*Shakespeare suddenly and tragically departed this world November 20, 2017 at the age of 16. He lives forever in my heart.
©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019 … Aimwell CreativeWorks