Review: Paintings: A Collection Of Lyrical Tales by Kelley Lee McDonald

  Paintings cover by Kelley McDonald

Paintings is a collection of poems and images I put together to portray a particular period of time. In my early thirties I became focused on two questions, "Who am I, and how do I want to proceed through life."

This project reflects that early contemplation. Compiling this work was liberating yet also confusing because revelations and knowledge, mistakes and ignorance converged all at once. At times, it was difficult to discern which direction I was moving in, but I've come to know there is great treasure everywhere, from the terrible to the terrific.

It has taken me 55 years to fully understand I will never reach a quiet precipice while on this planet. I have learned through my own experiences how important it is to know myself so I can nurture and continue to shape that truth from within. I'm so grateful a train of thought was ushered in to provide a place for me to return to in order to remain faithful and fruitful during hard times, but by no means, has this information permitted me to rest.

Everyday, I must decide all over again to be kind, thoughtful, and tolerant of others while forgiving myself as I repeatedly fail at this very exercise.

In short, these writings are about my desire to be better and to reach higher for the balance between body, mind, and spirit.

Paintings consists of 38 poems with 38 accompanying images. Each writing has a reflection of its own. Some relate to moments of great joy, yet others reveal a forlorn sadness while searching for the right path ahead. A few of the poems simply express the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

These are some of my life's paintings, I hope you enjoy them.

My Rating:  4 Stars!

This is a heartfelt book of poetry written about the meaning of life and insights it presents to us in the concept of life lessons.  The author did a wonderful job speaking of the things she has pondered upon during her journey here thus far.

If you are looking for a book that will inspire and uplift, this is a great one to invest in!  It would make an excellent gift for a friend or loved one.  A perfect addition to a morning cup of coffee or tea!

It paints a beautiful picture in words and art just as the title suggests!

Where you can find Paintings:  A Collection Of Lyrical Tales:

Also available at Apple iBooks

Interview with Kelley:

1. Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
“Paintings” is a collection of poems I wrote many years ago. In 2012 I decided to put images alongside these short tales in order to produce a book. The poems cover a wide range of experiences that include success, failure, wonder and despair.
In my 30s I began to experience for the first time, prolonged moments of genuine happiness. It was through that first glimmer of light a profound sense of joy began to make a permanent home within me. So I would have to say, because of my own experience with inspiration, I was compelled to write about my life lessons.
I have come to respect how very different we all are, and it’s because of our unique backgrounds, experiences and individual decisions that we journey through life beside each other, yet separately. However, it’s through our emotions that we connect deeply with one another to diminish the space between us. It’s within that shared place I want to contribute something.
2. What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
I’d like to be helpful through my words.
3. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I used to think I wanted to be identified as a good writer and receive a pat on the back for my skill in bringing an idea forward.
Yet because I’ve chosen to write about emotional subjects, I now know the real value comes from allowing others to privately recognize something universal about themselves which leaves me, the writer behind.
It is here I would say the struggle, has at times, been strongest because it’s taken much contemplation to understand a feeling of pride won’t sustain me. Within the process of creating and sharing, I continue to be shown if I successfully leave my ego out of the work then I’m fed with joy, and a sense of connection fills my spirit.
4. Do you have any works in progress? What are they?
Yes. I have many files of writings that I intend to format into future collections. These more recent “papers” as I like to call them, have taken a departure from the poetry genre to assume a more direct voice.
As with the poems in Paintings, these works are central to an experience, decision, or train of thought connected to my emotional base.
I’m also working on my autobiography. I have been lucky enough to live an unusually diversified life, and I believe there is good treasure to be shared by way of the many peaks and valleys I’ve come through.
5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
I want to fulfill my purpose in life. I believe that my writing figures into this concept very strongly, but it’s not enough to simply write about subjects that range from sadness and pain to forgiveness, kindness and tolerance. I have to blend with a higher standard through my daily practices.
If I can tip my inner proclivities in favor of words of light and minimize the hold that anger, fear and confusion have over me, then I’ve done well.
6. Do you have any other creative outlets? If so, what are they?
Yes, I have many! I enjoy rendering digital art, photography, home design and making jewelry boxes.
I particularly enjoy the simple aspects of taking care of the home I share with my partner, Ben. I find much pleasure in adding a special touch to our private world, whether it’s by applying a faux finish to the living room walls or simply cleaning the kitchen. I try to be mindful with every task I take on because that’s where the joy is.
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