Unsaid: Book Review

I hope you enjoy my book review of “Unsaid” by Asmita Rajiv. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Let me know what you thought of my review and what you thought of her book! We all see things differently, which makes it extra special when we’re able to see things similarly.

Unsaid: Book Review

Unsaid by Asmita Rajiv

Unsaid by Asmita Rajiv

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“Some tease, provoke, entice. Some run away, some hide. A memoir of my thoughts…the ones that I could catch.” – Asmita Rajiv

Before I even read this book, I was drawn to the cover art. Although the pictures inside were quite different, the raw black drawings felt appropriate to a manuscript about our unspoken thoughts.

Asmita says early on that she chose to veer away from a clear organization, and I feel like it worked well for her. It is a mixture of short-form poetry paired with her artwork (reminiscent to Rupi Kaur), traditional poetry, and prose.

I can see why she named it “Unsaid,” but these also feel like conversations that we do have. It feels like the thoughts we think when we’re trying to break through into healing, like conversations full of vulnerability, and how we ache to share our ideas and breakthroughs with others.

“Unsaid” is for anyone that wants a word of encouragement sprinkled with understanding. I received an eARC, but I recommend a printed book so that you can take her suggestion at the beginning. Turn to a random page, and ask yourself what you think about the entry. Ask yourself how those words relate to your life right now. Maybe it will resonate, and maybe it won’t.

In her last letter to us, she accepts that we might disagree with her conclusions or have some of these same thoughts. For instance, in “Anatomy of a Thought,” I was reminded that laying our thoughts bare can take away some of their power, and some things are not better left unsaid.

Thank you, Asmita Rajiv, for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I feel privileged to have read your words.



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Light in the Dark

With the days still short and uncertainty rampant, sometimes we all need a little light in the dark. And all light begins with a spark. Although the holidays are over, I hope these stories will brighten your day and provide sparks of inspiration.

Light in the Dark

The first of these is my short story, “Winter Daughter: A Yule Tale,” recently nominated for Spillwords “Publication of the Month.”

Winter Daughter: A Yule Tale

You may have noticed one of my latest illustrations in “Winter Daughter: A Yule Tale.” This is the full watercolor painting!

Winter Daughter (Light in the Darkness)
Winter Daughter Watercolor Illustration in “Winter Daughter: A Yule Tale” on Spillwords.com
Original (12×9) – $108 | Giclée Print (14×11) – $46 |Canvas Print (20×16) – $128

Sometimes stories inspire art, and sometimes art inspires stories. I honestly think that we can find inspiration in almost anything. That is what this poem is about. Although the holidays are over, the winter is not, and sometimes the smallest things can keep us going.

A Little Cheer: Sparks in the Darkness

Some memories are like snapshots and wordless impressions. I remember that it was a tiny apartment, full of empty spaces. Sometimes it felt like loneliness, but other times like solitude and safety.

It was another Christmas alone, and the decorations felt too heavy, too much. But a string of lights, I could handle that. As I stood in the Christmas aisle, a bit overwhelmed yet determined, I saw them.

Keep Reading on Vocal

If you enjoyed these, you can read more of my work here.

I’m sending you lots of love as we press through the winter days and toward spring. It’s not far away, and it is coming.

Light in the Dark

Home Body: Book Review

Here is my book review of “Home Body” by Rupi Kaur, originally posted on Goodreads.

Home Body - Book Cover

Home Body by Rupi Kaur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have been looking forward to this for a while. It’s the first of her books that I had the privilege of reading, and now I want them all. My first introduction to her was in quotes and illustrations, all of which were beautiful by themselves. In a full manuscript, they formed a story that was worth experiencing as a whole.

When “Home Body” showed up on my doorstep, I can’t explain my excitement. It honestly showed up exactly when I needed it. When I turned the first page, I devoured it. Now I want to reread it, savoring each page.

Through a series of small poems, the author takes you along on her journey through trauma, depression, and healing. It felt like I was watching her grow. Certain details, while explicit, felt necessary. It felt vulnerable and brave, as you must be to share your past and your process so transparently.

Her words are beautiful. Each illustration feels appropriate while enhancing the words around them. Cover to cover, this book felt special. While my experiences have not all been the same as hers, there was something simultaneously personal and relatable in her words.

She talks about the things that get us through the aftermath of trauma and the joy of learning to love parts broken by others. It makes me want to sit with another person and talk about everything I loved and felt down in my bones. I’m so glad that Rupi Kaur shared this with us, and I’m glad I had the chance to read it.



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In Case You Missed It: Excerpts

In case you’ve missed it…here are excerpts of my recent work. If something interests you, then you can click the links to read more for free.

This installment features excerpts of fiction, poetry, and self-care.

Looking for something to read today?
The Jack O'Lantern - The Forest imagery.

Spillwords.com published this Halloween Flash Fiction in their Spillwords Halloween series.

The Forest

I decided to go on an impulse. I couldn’t tell you why. I walked through the forest, bundled tightly. My hands gripped my belongings, deep in my pockets. It was as though I were afraid to let them go.

I could hear the rustling leaves and whistling wind. Lanterns glowed as I waited with everyone else. We stood in long lines that stretched for hundreds of yards.

Continue Reading on Spillwords.com

The Great Migration
The Great Migration

You can read my Halloween Flash Fiction entry, on Reedsy Prompts.

The Great Migration

I woke as some people fall asleep, drowsily, and then completely. My mother said that’s how it would be my first time. I had dreamed of flying and falling all night. I wondered if that was what it would feel like, all at once exhilarating and terrifying.

As I came to myself, the dreams were still flitting over my awareness. The light was streaming through my Venetian blinds, and a chill touched my skin. It finally felt like autumn. It wasn’t only because of the cold. Something in the light was more yellow or orange, even this early in the morning.

It slowly dawned on me what today was. I pulled myself farther under the covers for a moment and tucked my blankets around me like I do on my sad days. Only this time I was so happy. I wanted to soak in the morning for just a moment before we all leaped into final preparations.

Our coven always held the great migration on Samhain. This was my first year joining the migration. My sister told me that it felt like being reborn.

Continue Reading on Reedsy

Surviving Seasonal Depression in 2020: Routines to Help You Cope

Self-care article on Vocal.

Surviving Seasonal Depression in 2020

*TW: Mental Health

Congratulations, you’ve survived everything that 2020 has thrown at you so far. It feels like anything could happen next, and a familiar nemesis is on the horizon. Not only could your seasonal depression feel heavier this year, but some of your usual coping mechanisms might not feel available to you.

This only means that we need to get creative and find new ways to survive in the fourth quarter of this year.

Continue reading on Vocal

The Moth - Blog Post

I published this poem on Booksie, as part of a poetry contest.

The Moth

A moth flew through my balcony doorway and made a beeline for my lamp.  

I tried to help. I switched off the lamp and switched on my balcony light. But there was still that space of darkness in between, and my deck light wasn’t nearly as bright as the lamp had been. The moth didn’t want to budge… or maybe I wasn’t patient enough.

I struggle between impatience and too much patience. Either I move on quickly, or I wait too long.

Regardless, it wouldn’t go outside, and for a while, I let it rest inside the lamp’s glass curve.

Maybe it was just too tired. I’ve been too tired before. So tired that I couldn’t see more than a pinprick in front of my face. So tired that I couldn’t move or didn’t want to. I’ve been so tired that all thoughts pulled me farther beneath the waves, heavy as anchors.

Continue reading on Booksie