Wild Woman Waking
Guess what? My offbeat travel guide Unexpected Texas is not the only book release I am part of right now.
Earlier this month, my good friend and creative partner Morgan Dragonwillow released a book on Amazon. Wild Woman Waking features Morgan’s creative writing, and each of her 57 poems is accompanied by one of my iPhone photographs.
A Poetry & Photography Collaboration
Morgan approached me with the idea for Wild Woman Waking last summer. At first, I sent her a photo every night after work. After a while, I simply let her pick from the pictures in my Instagram feed. I wanted Morgan to use images that called to her, rather than second-guess what she would like. (If you’re on IG, come say hi! If you follow me, I’ll follow you back.)
One of my favorite lines from Wild Woman Waking is, “change does not know that it’s about to happen.” I have certainly grown and changed by taking part in this project. At first, it was just something fun to do. But before long, our collaboration made me view my photography differently.
Knowing that Morgan was putting words beside my pictures made me see recurring themes expressed in my photography. For the first time in my life, I realized I had something to “say” visually. While it seems obvious to me now, this initially came as a surprise.
I explained this epiphany to Morgan in an early email exchange by telling her it was like: “realizing I talked in my sleep, then getting a chance to listen back to the recording and being shocked by what I had said.”
But enough about me! I love reading author interviews, so I asked Morgan a few questions about her creative process. Here are her replies:
Interview with Morgan Dragonwillow
1. What do you hope people will take away from reading Wild Woman Waking?
Possibilities – I truly hope they open to possibilities for themselves and to feel inspired to take action, either for themselves or for their community of women. Most of all I hope they will look at poetry differently and, if they haven’t or don’t write poetry, they will explore it for themselves.
2. What did you learn from creating Wild Woman Waking?
Most of my focus in the past was around women’s issues but for awhile now, during my healing of the masculine/feminine split within, I tried to broaden and be open to helping both men and women. Now I realize that my focus really needs to be on women’s issues (not that men’s issues aren’t important, I just don’t feel I am the right person for that job) and doing all that I can to help women be seen as equal and break down the barriers that are keeping women from stepping into their own inner power. At least what I can do through my writing, poetry and workshops. Wild Woman Waking helped me to see and focus where my talents are, helped me to see more clearly.
3. What projects are next? Where do you see Wild Woman Waking leading you?
My next project is going to be a poetry book (possibly with essays as well) of women’s sexuality and doing my part in breaking down the taboos that have kept women from being fully alive and accepting themselves as the beautiful, life giving beings they are. And as you already know and thankfully have agreed to, you will be supplying the photos once again! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for this book!
With my first poetry book, I thought I was just creating a poetry book because I wanted to be published before I turned 50 and I had enough poems with the same theme to do that. Now with this second book I see that poetry really is my way of communicating with the world around me and processing information that leads to healing. I see many more poetry books in my future!
4. What is something that no one has asked you yet, that you wish they would because you’ve got the answer bubbling up in you?
“I’ve heard you talk about workshops that you facilitate, what kind of workshops are they?” Empowering workshops that help women open to their possibilities, break down the walls that they ‘think’ are stopping them, and help them to see the steps they can take to get to where they want to go. I am also currently putting together a writing workshop to help women let go of the fear around writing (and writing poetry specifically), learn how to deeply connect in a short period of time, and get their words on the page.
Thank you Tui, for the great questions, for all that you do for StoryDam and community, and as my writing/photography partner!
Who is Morgan Dragonwillow?
Morgan Dragonwillow is a shadow poet and recovering perfectionist that strives to inspire other poets and writers. She especially enjoys helping those that have had trouble letting go of the fear holding back their words from landing on the page. It thrills her to her marrow when her words inspire someone to write; it is one of her greatest joys. Morgan released her first poetry book, Dancing within Shadow, in March 2013. She is intimate with shadow and dances into the heart of it. She believes that diving into what most people try to avoid makes great fertilizer for all types of creativity, especially writing and poetry. She writes poetry to be able to say things, feel things that she can’t seem to express or feel anywhere else. Morgan lives in Marietta Ga. with her partner, their Pekinese, and their long haired Tabby. She loves creating of all kinds but words are her passion. You can connect with Morgan from the links below.
Take the Wild Woman Waking blog tour
Below are links to all the other stops along the Wild Woman Waking blog tour. Each link takes you to a different website where Wild Woman Waking is featured. Morgan did a great job rounding up a baker’s dozen.
I’ve had a blast hopping through the tour. I feel like Morgan is personally introducing me to a really fun and creative crew. But don’t just take my word for it, click around and see for yourself!
Morgan is giving away personal poems, soul messages (you can read one here), a $25 Amazon gift card, and paperback copies (which aren’t for sale yet) of Wild Woman Waking!
The Winners will be announced on Monday, March 24th, 2014. Enter below for your chance to win!