After decades of writing poems and sometimes sharing them with friends, I’ve finally gathered the ones I consider my best, and put them into a book. In September 2015, I published Happenings, Heartbeats, and Mental Breakdowns as an ebook for Amazon’s Kindle. In November 2015, I published a print edition through CreateSpace. The ebook version is now available from several different retailers, but the print version can only be purchased on Amazon or through the CreateSpace store.
I made the cover using Canva.com, which is a fantastic site with amazing tools to design all kinds of graphic projects at little or no cost. I started by uploading a scanned photo of myself, dating from either 1993 or 1994, applied filters to manipulate it, added the wording, and it was done. (It took longer than it sounds, because I tried almost every kind of filter for the photo, and almost every font in a few different colors, and changed my mind multiple times before deciding I was finished.) If you’re wondering, Is that a bruise on her arm?, the answer is YES. I had donated blood when my blood pressure was too low, and there was some needle movement, and within a few days, an impressive bruise had developed on my arm.
Buy Kindle version or trade paperback from Amazon
(By the way, none of these are affiliate links because I still haven’t signed up to be anyone’s affiliate. When/if that changes, I’ll make sure to update this.)
Buy NOOK version from Barnes & Noble
Buy Apple iBooks version from iTunes
Buy from Kobo
The book description:
Sometimes I think summer has its own
pattern after all, some weirdly repeated
series of actions, happenings, heartbeats,
and mental breakdowns.
These are the first lines of “Road Work,” the poem that opens this collection and sets the tone for the rest of the book. The poems are personal, emotional, and sometimes confessional, but Manthe always strives to engage readers’ minds as well as their hearts. Many of the poems reflect the author’s lifelong struggle with depression, and others who have experienced the isolation that often comes with mental illness might find a little comfort and a sense of familiarity in these pages.
There are lighter moments, too: follow the nervous driver of “Nighttime on 95,” enjoy a snack of “Apples and Hot Chocolate,” and watch the speaker become first enamored, then annoyed, with a guy named Phil in “A Slice of Otto B.” From adolescence, and the joys and pains of young love, to marriage, motherhood, and the deaths of her parents, Manthe’s poems explore what it feels like to be constantly buffeted by the forces and stresses of everyday life, when she’d rather be lost in a book.
In addition to approximately 50 poems, the book contains a short essay entitled “Losing Everything but Our Appetites,” which Manthe wrote following her father’s death.