Beautifully illustrated, the hardbound books looked like they might be children’s books. However, as I flipped through them and disposed of the packaging, I realized they weren’t. These books held deep, profound concepts that would take several reads to really appreciate.
I sat down last night at Denny’s and one of the regular college students was in “my spot.” We chatted for a bit, and I asked what paper she was working on. She told me it was comparing The Awakening with a paper written by the daughter of an ex-slave. The first woman had felt enslaved by her position as wife and mother. The second woman’s mother was enslaved and chose to turn that life into a narrative of beauty and strength anyway–art in life. The first woman apparently commits suicide as the only acceptable way out of her so-called prison. The contrast broke my heart.
I settled in with my poetry books to try to wrestle with them into comprehensible lessons and then I saw it. The free-verse poem of Having Tried Everything spoke exactly to the problem my young friend illustrated in her paper! I sat there amazed… and then I pointed it out to her. I think I’ll give her the book, too. #becauselessons
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Life Lessons and Insights in the Most Unexpected Places
I’ve always seen lessons in the simplest stories in life. Tonia Colleen Martin writes poetry and illustrates it in such a way as to do the reverse–in deep, complex poetry and illustrations she shares simple concepts in a deep and intricate way. At first, I didn’t like that. It felt contrived and convoluted.
However, the more I examined and studied her poetry, I saw something fresh and unique about it. Within the words and the pictures a deep lesson emerged. Had it all been written with the sort of simplicity I craved (probably due to a terrible sinus infection), I would have lost the depth and richness that Martin meant to share.
Recommended for people who enjoy thinking, examining, and mining words for the nuggets of truth hidden within and for those looking for the perfect gift for a friend going through difficult times.
About the Books
Author: Tonia Colleen Martin
Genre: Coffee Table Gift, Adult Fairytale Illustrated
Release Date: July 2019
Sleep often eludes. We try this and we try that. Still, the night gives a wake-up call we’d rather not answer. Having Tried Everything is the story of a terminally lonely insomniac who does answer. Stepping from the rut of routines and rituals, moving from the known to the unknown, she discovers not only mercy and abundance but who she is and the travesty and redemption of what it means to be human.
Having Tried Everything is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicably true. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and the writer. The very act of embracing this narrative provides the first step toward the wonderland of connection, acceptance, and gratitude. Where words abbreviate the astonishment of God’s signature on creature and creatures, the illustrations enhance and annotate. Suitable for all dreamers and courageous pragmatists.
The String Theory Beginning with Me is an illustrated prose poem tracing the journey to freedom from an internal landscape of chaos and fear. Using specific images from the natural world, this story condenses and simplifies a very slow, methodical transformation indicative of those who consistently seek the larger experience of living both in and beyond the here and now.
Because of its metaphorical language and its delicate presentation, The String Theory Beginning with Me, has a universal appeal and is an ideal gift for both contemplatives and the spirited.
About the Author
While I was still feeble in my selfness and narrow in my horizons, I became a collector of words.
Words often come and go all on their own. I do my best to arrange them in beautiful order. This particular arrangement is called Having Tried Everything: An exploration of redemption, hope and possibility through the eyes of a terminally lonely insomniac. It is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicable. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and myself as the writer/artist.
Thank You for stepping into this with me. The weight of this truth is surprisingly heavy and less accessible than I would like it to be. Divine Love and His intervention is the hope I often forget to cling. The Lie: You are alone and will end alone, has subtly confused me without my knowledge or consent for a very long time. My ability to escape its debilitating effects is in direct proportion to name it as a lie.
The miracle of being designed for relationship with the living God despite my frailties continues to astound me. My value as a human being is not predicated on my good behaviors or bright countenance, but rather by God’s compassion and mercy. The unshakeable truth of my wealth given freely to me by nature of my design and God’s generosity is not mine alone. Thus, the You in the story is ours together.
God bless you as you consider with me the miracle of God’s unmerited favor towards us based on nothing we’ve worked for or earned.
More from Tonia
On Labor Day morning, I woke up to an email reminding me I missed a deadline.
This is not the kind of message that incites creativity.
And now sitting here in my front garden, trying to imagine the sound of the neighbor’s leaf blower as that of a vigorous wind warming up to deliver an epic end-of-summer storm, I am face to face with a wordless me wondering how to communicate the enormity of what I want to say…after all, what happens in these two little, tiny, shrunken, abbreviated, synthetic replications of what actually occurred in the chronological space of history crosses into speculative territory. And I haven’t even met you.
If you dream of traveling but time, money or fear has held you back, The String Theory Beginning with Me is a story boat meant to sail you safely into the intergalactic waters of your own lonely soul. If you worry about failure, Having Tried Everything is an illustrated syllabus developed from a rubbing pressed against the gravestone of a dream, carefully framed by God’s healing light. Both books are designed to give you a holiday from clock watching and move you into a space of heartthrob time.
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29
Just Your Average reviews, November 30
Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2
Texas Book-aholic, December 3
All 4 and About Books, December 4 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 5
Mary Hake, December 5
Just the Write Escape, December 6
Blossoms and Blessings, December 7 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, December 8
Inklings and notions, December 9
Andrea Christenson, December 10 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, December 11
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 12
To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of each of the books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.