Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Musings by @Nik_Vukoja - A Chapbook Supporting @AnimalsAsia

I am pleased to share a review of Musings - Thoughts & Reflections on Love, Life & Surviving Heartache by Nikola Vukoja.

In this short and sweet collection, you'll find a variety of emotional and lyrical poems that range from deeply personal stories of her childhood to a metaphorical allegory featuring a dove and a swan. I was impressed by her lyrical voice and also her range. Each poem had her distinct flavor but still felt very different. After the poetry, she shares three short stories featuring Croatian mythology. She mentions that these are a taste of a future full-length novel, and I'm quite glad! I look forward to reading more of the story.

And, by buying this book you support a great cause. 25% of the proceeds support AnimalsAsia, an organization that works to end bear bile farming, promote cat and dog welfare, and end abuse and neglect in zoos and safari parks.

On Smashwords, you can use the coupon code RL33S, which will allow anyone buying the chapbook a 30% discount (between 21st June -21st July 2014).

Nikola was kind enough to allow me to share a sample poem and it was difficult to choose one because they are so different. I finally decided on Autumn Child because I love the imagery and the story behind it.

Autumn Child

Looking back on memories past; 
ones collected from snapshots and moments in time, these remain the memories closest to my heart.

Thoughts filled with long autumn days; 
of foggy morns sliding with my friends on crystal grass as the dawn’s green carpet crackled under the stomp of water-proof feet;
and mittens and scarves to kept out the cold. 

Collecting mushrooms in the chilled, misty morn, with baskets and gumboots and laughter.  
Sunday breakfast when we’d all sit together;
telling stories and sharing our future dreams over bacon, sausages and eggs.

With Blackie The Cat stretched out on the old wooden bench, peaceful, quiet and content, while bee’s collected the last of the summer nectar before the silence that winter brings.

Late season plums and rosehips in big cane baskets. Tantalizing bottles of preserved peaches and pickled peppers lined pantry shelves. 
The sweet smell of caramelized sugar as home-made jams bubbles on the stove, the aroma of cakes and fresh baked bread.

These are my memories of autumn as a child growing up; with three brothers, a cat, a horse, two dogs, and all kind of fowl. 

The sad, the bad and the ugly, although I’m sure were there too, have drifted away like chimney smoke into the stillness of the night.
These memories float back as the days get shorter, the night’s cooler.
Memories; triggered by the smell of open fires or the stillness of the morning broken by a cooing of a pair of ring-necked doves. 

I often long to be that child again, when the world was safe and funny and warm and the nights were for playing games and slumber parties.

I share now as a woman all grown, with my nephews and niece some of these moments, the magic of secrets, and the joys of sloshing through muddy leaf-litter and the delicious pleasure of roasting chestnuts. For one day when they too are separated by time, by work, by distance, they can recall the magic of having felt truly happy.


More about Nikola Vukoja:

Born in Croatia, raised in Australia and living in France as well as traveled much of Europe, Nikola is a citizen of the world.
The eldest child in a large family, she speaks, reads and writes several languages.
She is a painter and a writer who is a true jack-of-all-trades having worked in sales & marketing, run a farm, owned a restaurant & catering company and worked as an accountant – she calls herself "a true-snake who tends to shed my old skin often".
Nikola hosts the #NestPitch competition and has several writing projects in the works.




Host/Administrator for #NestPitch Blog:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Sharon for your blog post, your reviews and your support, not only with this, but with everything <3