Buy I Twirl in the Smoke

About the book:

Meres-Sia Gabriel’s mixed-genre memoir lovingly offers the gift of a life’s worth of learning to its readers. This collection traces one woman’s story from youth to motherhood, from pain and insecurity to self-confidence and self-actualization. Through its songs and meditations, the work testifies to the transformative powers of love⎯romantic, filial, divine, and self love. Twirl sweeps the reader up in its rhythmical embrace, extending its love to all those who would welcome it and inviting readers to take part in love’s radical transformation.

Graphic Designer: Mariam Lara Amin
Feedback/Copy Editor: Pepper Luboff

ISBN: 978-0-615-47359-8
6×9, 45 pages

I Twirl in the Smoke book , $12.95 plus shipping and handling

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7 thoughts on “Buy I Twirl in the Smoke

  1. When thinking of what my spiel would be to interest strangers in my book, I focused on the twirl. Why “twirl” in the smoke? What is the significance of twirling? Twirling is an important concept in this book for the implicit significance of circles, cycles and the healing attributes of spinning. I even wrote two poems with twirling in the title. But as I continued to think about my book and who could find meaning in it and why, I realized the smoke is actually the more central theme. Twirling is important, but incidental. It’s an action I take to engage with the smoke. I could easily dance in the smoke, sing in the smoke, breathe in the smoke, dream in the smoke, etc. I could take any number of actions in the smoke. But the smoke is constant. So, what is the smoke?

    Depending on perspective and context, the experience of smoke can be purifying, cleansing and healing, like the smoke of a smudge stick. Or smoke can be something that clouds one’s vision, thoughts and path. Either way, I can twirl to engage with the energy of the smoke and enjoy a healing experience. Or, if the smoke is an agent of confusion, sorrow and sadness, I can twirl to harness my own electrical energy and transform it into clarity, creativity, vision and beauty. It’s up to me.

    Since my book is an experience, much in the same way that a song is an experience, I’m questioning if a spiel would even do it justice. When a singer wants to convince someone to buy her album, she sings a song. When a visual artist wants to convince someone to buy his art, he paints a picture. No words are necessary. Do I “need” a spiel to convince people to buy my book? Won’t it be better if I provide an experience?

    Who would appreciate I Twirl in the Smoke? You.
    What would you enjoy about it? The experience of twirling. The experience of seeing yourself again.
    Strengths of I Twirl in the Smoke? It’s authentic, musical, sensuous, dynamic, sensitive, reflective and refreshing.

  2. By Meres-Sia Gabriel

    I am so excited about my book! When I used to dream of writing a book, I imagined I would write an epic novel that would reveal the mystical truth of this phrase: “What is at first a cup of sorrow becomes at last immortal wine.” I copied this phrase onto a small piece of paper and tacked it on the wall next to my desk. “One day,” I told myself,” I will write something that describes the journey of turning sorrow into bliss.” But once I started to actually write a book, with a deadline to publish it, the book took on its own form.

    I gathered together all the pieces of poems and essays that I had written over the past ten years. I had no idea what story could be told from them. I sorted them the best I could with my theme in mind. But after a while I started to lose sight of my theme. As my self-imposed deadlines approached, I kept only the pieces that called to me. When I would think of writing my novel, and the time that such an endeavor could take, there were certain of my pieces that urged me to get them out now-before the novel. It’s almost like I heard them say “Wait! let me speak first!” They were demanding to be heard. And they became a distraction for me. So I listened. Without my logical mind even understanding why, I chose those pieces to be in this book. In my conscious mind, I was choosing pieces that I felt I could easily edit or that I felt told expressed and uncommon voice. However, I didn’t think I had a story. I thought I had just a collection of pieces, some prose, some poems. I didn’t even think it was necessary to put the pieces in any particular oder. Thank God for Pepper, my copy editor. She actually provided more than grammatical assistance. Pepper asked critical questions and made thoughtful suggestions. One of the last suggestions she made was to organize my work by theme or in chronological order. I asked her to do the honors. When she organized the different poems and essays, I agreed with the flow of it. Then the book began to speak to me.

    I rested with it. After all the editing, once I was sure I had a clean body of work to hand over to my graphic designer, I relaxed a bit and asked myself “What is the story I am telling in this book?” I’m still figuring it out. Between catering to the demands of mothering and teaching, I’ve yet to completely allow myself to relax enough to not think about the work I’ve just created. I know that when I get to the point of not thinking about it, I will learn so much more from it. However, this is what I hear it say so far:

    “Thank you for writing me. I am your heart’s intentions and the colorful musicality of your soul. I am the immortal wine that you have created from deep sorrow. I am your intuition. I am your spirit. I am as great as any novel you will create. And I am fun, so love me!”

    This book looks/feels/reads just like me: It’s soft and strong, gentle and fierce, unsuspectingly deep while appearing very simple. It is the music I always hear.
    Thank you for taking the time to listen to it.

  3. So, What is Your Book About?
    by Meres-Sia Gabriel

    The more people ask me this question, the more I work at defining the answer.
    Answer #1: It’s a book of poetry.
    Typical response: Nothing. People usually stop asking questions then. They will buy the book to support me because they know me. After all, what can be expected from a book of poetry other than poems?

    Answer #2: It’s a book of poetry about all kinds of love
    Typical response: “Oh!” They may want to know more, but don’t know what to ask.

    Answer #3: It’s a book of poems and prose about love and my experience as a mother, woman, lover and child.
    Typical response: “Sounds nice. I want to read that.”

    All of these responses are from people I already know or have an association with. What would strangers say?

    The Question:
    Why should I buy your book?

    The Answer:
    It will sweep you up in a whirlwind of love

  4. My Dream
    I dreamed the world ended last night. Everybody was in west Oakland. It was crowded in west Oakland. Then the world started again. Since everybody was in west Oakland, it was like they were yelling out to assign jobs to everybody- even the kids. Some of them were driving trucks. Some people were assigned to watch other people.

    I guess I was laughing at people because my mother said I kept laughing in my sleep.

    • You were probably overjoyed that everyone had jobs. What a concerned and beautiful dream to have.
      One Love, from Grandpa Emory.

  5. Isandla is 11 now. She will be 12 in June. I asked her to post her dream so that she could be a contributor on my blog!! And because I like the way her mind thinks- even when she’s dreaming 🙂

  6. I stayed home today to finish the final touches on my book with the hope of sending off to the printer this morning. But Lara, my graphic designer, won’t be home until 1pm. We are three ladies at the end of this book thing and we all work other jobs. Lara is also a mom like me. Pepper works for a publishing company. So, my book gets done in between our other duties. It’s still getting done, however. The girls (my daughters) are asleep. They conveniently got sick on my day off.

    I’m at the computer wishing I could hack into the PDF of my book that Lara sent, so that I could make the changes!!! But I trust all is in divine order. So, since I’m at the computer I found a distraction. I’m watching Linda Lewis documentary on You Tube. I discovered her in a series someone posted about the whistle octave. She sounded as sweet as Minnie Ripperton so I started searching for more info about her and came across a documentary she was in in 1970. Turns out she’s of English nationality.

    Some people hit the whistle octave, but not all carry it as sweetly as Linda and Minnie.

    Once Twirl is completed and I’ve begun to circulate more financial energy toward my creative endeavors, I will pursue regular voice lessons. In ten years, I’d like to make an album. Sooner than that, I will make an album from material of Twirl . It’s poetic and I hear music when I recite some of the pieces.

    I was recently upset at the way someone was treating me and my work. All of my friends and family support my book. Anyone who knows me and can see or feel me trusts that they will find nourishment in I Twirl in the Smoke even before they read the whole thing. But ever so often, I open up to people who refuse to make that kind of energetic exchange with me. I give them a sample of me, some of my vulnerability and they trod all over- for their own fear, or arrogance (which is fear again.) But I have learned to be vulnerable and strong, so I internalize the experience and create fuel out of it. Nevertheless, at this stage of my process, when my book is like my baby- just born and not yet ready to show to the world, I feel especially sensitive. I regret when I go against my better judgement/intuition and allow someone who is not in tune with my process to see baby anyway. But when I make that error (as I have done twice already) I remind myself of something I just taught myself recently: I can choose to go down one path and no one will recognize me. They may ignore me and even try to hurt me. I can just as easily choose a different path and find that everyone was waiting for me. They love, hug and celebrate me. They know me and they are invested in the fulfillment of my dreams. I can go down the path of “Huh?” or the path of “Who?” The “Who” path is crowded with people who love me, even if they are just meeting me. The “Huh?” path is barren. The few who are there are miserable, misled and selfish. On this path I find myself asking “why?” and feeling confused. When all I really have to do is change paths!!! I change paths by changing my question. I ask “Who loves me? Who supports me? Who celebrates me?” Then I stay close to them. They were already there anyway. I choose “WHO!!!”

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