For those that have been following me on social media for some time you may have noticed me talking about a memoir I’ve struggled to write for years. This memoir is one that has been difficult for many reasons, the biggest reason being that it deals with some very personal things from my childhood. This is a story I feel is important to tell, it’s one I want to tell, but sadly it is one that will currently to be canceled on my projects list.
I’ve been open about the childhood trauma and abuse I have survived. From living with a narcissist parent to my journey coping with a very abusive sibling, these are difficult topics for me to tackle. I work everyday on self-care to help me cope with the things I’ve endured, but I’ve realized, though the story is very important for raising awareness, it is one I cannot bring myself to continue at this point in time.
These struggles and my survival stories are hard to understand, at times, for those I have told them to. As a writer, I have often found that I cannot find the right words to express my life or my emotions while truly believing that all that I have endured have given me strength through surviving and passing on the wisdom I have gained through my traumas.
I shared some of my stories here under ‘story-time’ articles, but those, I have come to realize, only highlighted my personal beliefs of my life and family through a ‘nicer’ filter. Though my life had what felt like brief moments of general ‘goodness’, those are the moments I would like to hold closest to me. The good times got me through a lot of the darkness, which seemed around every corner I turned growing up and even into my adult life.
I also believe this memoir or set of memoirs would upset some of my family upon publication. I may live a more open lifestyle and life many of my family prefers privacy and out of respect to those that would want this I will grant it to them, for the time being.
One day the story/stories will be released for readers, but now is not the time to do it. I apologize. The closest readers will get to see into my life is through my dark poetry. Two collections are currently out, but plans of a third is in the works.
Last year I challenged myself to create a new poem every day for the month of April for Napowrimo. This year there are no challenges, but there are sales! Both poetry books I have out are going to only be 99 cents on all retailers for the entire month.
This is not a normal poetry book. It is an exorcism of the soul. A poet will write about the highs and lows of their life in excruciating beautiful ways. Wrapping their pain with a ribbon to either be kept as a secret or presented. L. Bachman has gathered some of her most emotionally raw verses selected from a nineteen-year period of her life and is the first volume of complete non-fiction to date.
With bruised white knuckles, created by a humbled self-diagnosed battered and broken being on the road to healing and coping from a painful childhood. This is a display of work created to express personal struggles and surviving through periods of insomnia, moments of love, depression, anxiety, and healing.
Cover to cover you will read the inner workings of a reclusive introvert that has spent her lifetime trying to answer her own questions about who she is, what part she plays in life, and trying to heal from things she couldn’t. You will see into the mind of the woman known as L. Bachman through over thirty poems left up to the reader to interpret with an introduction by author KJ. Taylor.
Award-winning writer L. Bachman, author of the acclaimed Blasphemer series of horror novels, presents here, with Melankholia, a new triumph in dark poetry. Melankholia is Bachman’s second collection of dark verse. With this work, Bachman expands upon the brand of poetic gloom established in All of My Every Things, her first poetry collection which was released to widespread praise in 2019. The pages of Melankholia call forth a literary darkness that qualifies the collection for membership among the first ranks of the 21st century’s new dark poetry movement.
Drawing upon the styles of Dark Romanticism and Gothic Horror, and pulling from the traditions of weird horror fiction while employing a unique style of introspective lyricism, Bachman’s words both examine and balance the interplay between light and darkness, presenting to the reader a troubling ambiguity between psychological trauma and supernatural horror: In Bachman’s world, the pages of Melankholia reveal, darkness is always present, but light does not signify asylum from catastrophe, either: “Holding the sun / I found the light is frightening / Perhaps I will burn to ash.”Melankholia is a landmark new collection of dark poetry. At turns haunting and rich, the poems of the work leave enough room for the dim light of hope to seep in. Each poem tells a tale. Melankholia includes poetry from All of My Every Things, pieces created in 2020, and previously unpublished works from the past twenty years of her life.
Once you click a ‘go to sales’ link you’ll be presented with a landing page. Click the ‘buy now’ on that page and it will direct you to all the retailers of the ebook/digital editions of the above books. Click your preferred and find the sales there.
How does one start in poetry? How can someone go from novel writing to poetic prose? Both valid questions and both questions you may ask. I can only share from my personal experience, but as an actively working fiction novelist and poet, I shared a few tips that may help you along your journey.
Read as much poetry as possible. Read a vast variety of different poetry from different poets throughout history and even current. This, for me, was a gateway to expanding my horizons. Every new poem or poet I came across I could see or try to see where that poet’s message lied. Whether it was about a falling leave in Autumn or the great despair of losing a child.
Learn more about poetry itself beyond the reading of the different prose you come across. The research into the poetic world will introduce you to more than you may know. For example, you will learn about free-styling poetry compared to a structured haiku set-up. These are important upon you developing a style for yourself. You may even discover you want to try your hand at all the different poetry forms!
Keep a journal nearby. I already practice this as a novel idea that may come and go. I will need to write it down before I lose my thought. Poetry ideas and lines can come just as quickly as they fade away. You may think of a beautiful way of saying something you’ve struggled with for some time, a journal can net that fish before it escapes.
Play with your words. Experiment with assonance and initial rhyme. These can help develop a flow in the work and a style. Along with this experiment, with metaphors.
Don’t be afraid to restart a poem. Editing your work is a good way to polish it. For me, this was natural as I would write a chapter draft or even a manuscript draft and re-approach it with fresh eyes during the phase of writing of self-editing. A poem doesn’t have to be perfect and if you think it is the first time you’ve written it, approach it again later on to test your original feelings of the work. This is also a good way to develop your writing and poetry, never publish the first draft of anything you ever write. Publishers will know and so will readers, it will feel ‘off’.
I am sure upon reading the title many of you are thinking it’s a misspelling, it is not. Those that have been following me around the web awhile are probably thinking ‘she’s playing with words again’ and kind of. Melankholia is old Greek, the spelling version for melancholia.
As defined by Merriam-Webster, melancholia is –
1: severe depression characterized especially by profound sadness and despair Tense, irritable, I crashed into a fit of melancholia and found myself crying over inconsequential problems.— Susan Wood A depressed Johnson was not the father figure that Boswell, himself prey to crippling bouts of melancholia and insecurity, wanted to celebrate.— Brooke Allen
2: a sad quality or mood : MELANCHOLY There’s a touching melancholia to his voice …— Ralph NovakLike Wallace’s breakthrough novel, “Infinite Jest,” “The Pale King” is pervaded by an air of melancholia, an acute sense of loss.— Tom McCarthy
Now, along with this Merriam-Webster also adds a ‘did you know’ section and this is where the interesting path into this post begins:
Melancholia traces back to Greek melan (“black, dark”) and cholē (“bile”). Medical practitioners once adhered to the system of humors-bodily fluids that included black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. An imbalance of these humors was thought to lead to disorders of the mind and body. One suffering from an excess of black bile (believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen) could become sullen and unsociable-liable to anger, irritability, brooding, and depression. Today, doctors no longer ascribe physical and mental disorders to disruptions of the four humors, but the word melancholia is still used in psychiatry (it is identified a “subtype” of clinical depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and as a general term for despondency.
I have been open about suffering from chronic insomnia, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. This word seems to fit for the majority of the work that I do in the form of poetry.
With all of that out of the way, I circle back to the question at hand, what is Melankholia? Inspired by the above information I began working on another collection of poetry. It was announced around the time of the first, All of My Every Things, I planned on doing another set and that I didn’t know when I would be doing it. As this year has been a roller coaster, for everyone, and I have shared very little of what’s happened to me personally choosing instead to focus the turmoil creatively, as I tend to do anyways behind-the-scenes.
Haven’t numerous works left around after selecting them for All of My Every Things that I still wanted to publish out I needed a home for them. I also did a challenge for Napowrimo this year that created a large amount of work (check them out on the website), some great, some good, and some that could’ve been better, but writing happened nonetheless. I had, as you can see, a lot of material not to mention I had been writing a great deal with all I have had going on this year that inspired me along with past trauma and feelings I usually tap into for inspiration I decided it was time to begin collecting, polishing, and continue forward with another selection.
I began last year contacting people for possible leads into help with this projects, but when the pandemic hit much of the focus shifted, understandably, elsewhere. I took some time to readjust, focus more on projects coming up (like The Blasphemer Series: Ghosts and a short story prequel) and do what I do best when I am in situations I cannot fix…work.
The birth of Melankholia sounds easier than it really is. I have privately struggled with organization, formatting, and graphics this time. Now confident enough to make an official announcement I share introduce you to the second installment of my Dark Romanticism/Gothic Romanticism poetry collections.
This book will contain selected collected poems from All of My Every Things, poetry from my Napowrimo entries, and many previously unpublished works. What makes this collection most unique to date is I will include illustrations and images along with the poetry. Obviously, by the digital cut of the cover it will include an introduction for the reader by the wonderful poet Oliver Sheppard entitled: An Anatomy of Melankholia.
Excerpt from An Anatomy of Melankholia
But amidst Bachman’s poetic despair, amidst the doubt, amidst the references to ambiguous supernatural figures, to the brutality and the tragedy of life, and to horrors that may or may not be allegories of aspects of our human condition—amidst haunting Bachman poems that have titles like “The Horned Beasts,” “Into the Dying,” and “When You Lay My Body Down” —in Bachman’s poetry one also encounters startling flashes of hope. “A glimmer can be seen: A flame of hope,” Bachman writes in the poem “Darkest Hour Never Dies,” included in this book. “The more you focus upon it; the more it will grow.”
Perhaps this is a surprising sentiment from a woman whose thoughts traditionally run as dark Mrs. Bachman’s tend to run. But we, the readers of this collection of doomy and intriguing verse—we can also entertain hope ourselves: Hope that with Bachman’s second collection of poetry, finally available here in print, a collection that is evidence of a poetic talent growing by steady leaps and bounds—we can have hope that the fascinating journey we’re taken on by Bachman’s imagination—we can have hope that this is simply the beginning for a profound new voice in the genre of a fantastic, dark, modern, and melancholy verse.
Credit: An Anatomy of Melankholia by Oliver Sheppard/Melankholia by L. Bachman