Categories
Books Creativity

WWW Wednesday (March 30)

Happy WWW Wednesday! New here on Random Acts of Writing, WWW Wednesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. The three W’s are simple:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks to Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers for sharing this fun new blog theme!

So here we go…feel free to post your own WWWs in the comments below!

What are you currently reading?
 
Beasts of a Little Land
by Juhea Kim
 
“An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.”
 
I’m taking my time with this one, holding on tightly to the separate stories that are dancing around each other from page to page.



What did you recently finish reading?
 
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Art Spiegelman
 
“A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.”
 
Truth be told, I am not a fan of the graphic novel approach — but this book got so much press after it was banned by a Tennessee school board, I was curious and felt compelled to read it.


What do you think you’ll read next?

What Do People Do All Day?
Richard Scarry
 
“An illustrated panorama of the animals of Busytown at work, describing the occupations and activities of many of her citizens through detailed drawings with labels indicating processes and equipment used as they perform their jobs.”
 
Research for the next issue of my zine, MANIFEST (zine), I can’t wait to revisit a favorite illustrator and favorite characters from my childhood. Who could resist?
 

Categories
Books Creativity Storytelling Zine

SPRING 2022: No Other Choice

Waiting Room, John Register, 1990

Some of my favorite moments are those times you have no other choice but to sit still and think — the waiting times, the pauses, the storm days. I do some of my most creative work there in those unencumbered moments, those times in between the Busy.

I outlined an entire book during an MRI scan a few years ago. And my Words by Jen logo? I came up with that while waiting for a client to arrive at a coffee shop.

When I travel, I always show up early at the airport and sink into the slow wait of boarding and waiting and flying. Often, the tires hitting the tarmac come too soon — no matter what adventure is about to commence.

For me, there is something about that hollow space that gives my brain permission to go explore something new and unknown. Like Alice, following rabbits down rabbit holes and discovering things I never imagined!

It’s challenging to find those moments, though, especially these days when headlines have our rapt attention. When rabbit holes seem too frivolous in comparison to struggles and turmoil.

But as Carolyn Gregoire explains in her article Creative in Times of Crisis, “Art seeks to make sense of everything from our smallest sad moments to the most earth-shattering tragedies. It helps us to process and come to terms with the things in life that we can’t control and can’t really explain.”

“Any experience that shakes your world and challenges your assumptions can lead to heightened creativity and more authentic self-expression. Positive or negative, any experience that leads us into the unknown is also guiding us into the birthplace of creation.”

So, I encourage you to make time to explore that unknown, even now in these days of unending challenges. Give yourself breathing room, claim those unencumbered moments, and connect with your creative voice — it can be a solace, a grounding force, an anchor in the storm.

With Love,

Jen Payne

Categories
Books Creativity

February 12: BOOK SIGNING & ART EXHIBIT

Saturday, February 12, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
BOOK SIGNING & ART EXHIBIT
at Guilford Art Center
411 Church Street, Guilford, CT

• Book Signing with writer Jen Payne
• “Bigger on the Inside,” exhibit by artist Sarah Zar
• Free and open to the community

Connecticut writer Jen Payne has long been inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points — and her new book WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY tells of such a moment. It’s a conversation, a memoir, a love story — just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Told through a series of emails, WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE is the story of two people who reconnect after 15 years apart and work to reconcile their pasts…and futures.

She thought about him often over the years. Looked him up online occasionally to see where he was and if he was all right. It wasn’t until last fall that she found his email address, and several months more before she got up the courage to write.

Influenced by the work of Brené Brown and a proponent of the bravery of storytelling, Payne says WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE is “about having the courage to speak our truths; it’s about trust and vulnerability, and about the true blessings found when we open our hearts — come what may.”

What followed surprised her even more…


Please note, masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, please see current COVID protocols. Snow date: Saturday, February 19.


WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY ($16) will be available at the Shop at Guilford Art Center (411 Church Street, Guilford, CT 06437) and from Three Chairs Publishing.


Jen Payne has published two books of poetry as well as a collection of essays and original photographs. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee; the Guilford Poets Guild 20th Anniversary Anthology; Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson; and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health. Payne is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993. You can read more of her work on her blog Random Acts of Writing, randomactsofwriting.net, and in MANIFEST (zine) which creatively explores concepts of change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times.

Sarah Zar is a book-obsessed, multi-disciplinary artist who has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Whether drawing, painting, collaging, or sculpting, Zar uses images in a literary, psychological and symbolic way. While finishing her Master’s degree, she played the saw in a gypsy chamber ensemble, taught contemporary art & aesthetics, quantum theory, literary theory, NLP, nonsense cryptology, psychology, and the art of microexpressions. Zar is currently working on community-based artwork in which anyone in the world can be painted into an epic narrative scene about the War on Imagination.

Her specially curated exhibit will be on view in the GAC lobby throughout February.

The Guilford Art Center is a non-profit school, shop, and gallery established to nurture and support excellence in the arts. Through classes for adults and children, gallery programs, a shop of contemporary crafts, and special events, the Center provides opportunities for the public to participate in the arts, to experience their cultural and historical diversity, and to appreciate the process and product of creative work. Founded in 1967, the Center currently serves over 2,000 students, presents juried and invitational exhibits of art in the Center’s gallery and operates a shop of fine, handmade American crafts year-round. The Center also presents the Craft Expo, held on the Guilford Green each year in July, that features works by more than 180 of the country’s most distinguished artisans.

Categories
Books Memoir

Everyone Needs a Guide

Dale and me at the launch of my first book, Look Up!, in 2014.


The first time I met Dale Carlson was in 1996 over coffee at the Hidden Kitchen in Guilford, Connecticut. She was the first person to call Words by Jen from the first yellow page ad I ever purchased.

And while we would both tell you that we were not really sure we really liked each other that day — and many days after that as well — we would go on to make almost 30 books together under the name of Bick Publishing House.

Ask me today what inspired me to write books and how I came to start my own publishing company, and I will tell you about the 25+ years that Dale and I worked together: the long hours of editing around her kitchen table, selecting art and cover designs, developing a house style, and promoting her books. All of the things I do for my clients’ books and my own books now, I learned from Dale.

But she wasn’t just a client. Dale was my long-time mentor and spiritual guide who helped me understand my family dysfunction and my mother’s mental illness, who taught me about meditation and the many faces of god. She showed by example that you can create a life on your own eccentric terms, and how it is to move around in the world in the body of writer.

Often, our approaches to life were vastly different — how we saw the world and how we coped as different as our backgrounds and ages. But in so many ways, we were kindred spirits who could complete each others sentences and easily nod in agreement more often than we expected.

We talked just recently about our work together and our long, enduring affection for one another. “It is so lovely,” she said, “to know how entwined we are! Love you, dear one.”

I love you, too, Dale.

Dale passed away on January 23, 2022. You can read more about her life here, or from her many books that are still available online.






Categories
Books Creativity

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY, A New Book by Jen Payne

Saturday, February 12, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
BOOK SIGNING & ART EXHIBIT
at Guilford Art Center
411 Church Street, Guilford, CT

• Book Signing with writer Jen Payne
• “Bigger on the Inside,” exhibit by cover artist Sarah Zar
• Free and open to the community

Connecticut writer Jen Payne has long been inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points — and her new book WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY tells of such a moment. It’s a conversation, a memoir, a love story — just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Told through a series of emails, WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE is the story of two people who reconnect after 15 years apart and work to reconcile their pasts…and futures.

She thought about him often over the years. Looked him up online occasionally to see where he was and if he was all right. It wasn’t until last fall that she found his email address, and several months more before she got up the courage to write.

Influenced by the work of Brené Brown and a proponent of the bravery of storytelling, Payne says WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE is “about having the courage to speak our truths; it’s about trust and vulnerability, and about the true blessings found when we open our hearts — come what may.”

What followed surprised her even more…


Please note, masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, please see current COVID protocols. Snow date: Saturday, February 19.


WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY ($16) will be available at the Shop at Guilford Art Center (411 Church Street, Guilford, CT 06437) and from Three Chairs Publishing.


Jen Payne has published two books of poetry as well as a collection of essays and original photographs. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee; the Guilford Poets Guild 20th Anniversary Anthology; Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson; and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health. Payne is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993. You can read more of her work on her blog Random Acts of Writing, randomactsofwriting.net, and in MANIFEST (zine) which creatively explores concepts of change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times.

Sarah Zar is a book-obsessed, multi-disciplinary artist who has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Whether drawing, painting, collaging, or sculpting, Zar uses images in a literary, psychological and symbolic way. While finishing her Master’s degree, she played the saw in a gypsy chamber ensemble, taught contemporary art & aesthetics, quantum theory, literary theory, NLP, nonsense cryptology, psychology, and the art of microexpressions. Zar is currently working on community-based artwork in which anyone in the world can be painted into an epic narrative scene about the War on Imagination.

Her specially curated exhibit will be on view in the GAC lobby throughout February.

The Guilford Art Center is a non-profit school, shop, and gallery established to nurture and support excellence in the arts. Through classes for adults and children, gallery programs, a shop of contemporary crafts, and special events, the Center provides opportunities for the public to participate in the arts, to experience their cultural and historical diversity, and to appreciate the process and product of creative work. Founded in 1967, the Center currently serves over 2,000 students, presents juried and invitational exhibits of art in the Center’s gallery and operates a shop of fine, handmade American crafts year-round. The Center also presents the Craft Expo, held on the Guilford Green each year in July, that features works by more than 180 of the country’s most distinguished artisans.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

8 – Night Music

Night Music

The D key
on my neighbor’s piano
sounds like an owl

hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo
hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo

maybe a mourning dove

coo-OO-oo

coo-OO-oo

the bell buoy
off Mermaid Rocks?

doong doong doong
doong doong doong
 
Wrong direction, though
an alarm? my phone?

too low for tinitus
its angel songs

too late for a piano
I thought, but

hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo
hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo
 
coo-OO-oo
coo-OO-oo
 
doong doong doong
doong doong doong

That D key had center stage
drowned out the others
in pitch-perfect tones
enough to wake birds
and me, my angels in check

while the Sound rocked on…

Photo and poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

7 – Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Morning

sun

on

tulips

takes

my

breath

away.

Photo and poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

6 – Apple of Discord

Apple of Discord

I had, for years,
chosen words carefully,
like one might apples
in the January bin —
hold, look, turn,
feel for the bruises
beforehand.

And I set them out
carefully
on this paper
we call a screen
so there was time
to savor my meaning —
hold, look, turn,
let down your guard,
love.

But that proved
as elusive as the worms
that burrow in —
making scar tissue
of sweet, soft flesh,
unseen beneath the skin
where bruises bloom
and hearts stay broke.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. Image: Ceci n’est pas une pomme/This is Not an Apple by Rene Magritte. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

5 – Can You Hear Me Now?

Can you hear me now?

If a tree falls in the woods

is it inclined to consider

the possibility that no one hears it?

and does that make its falling

any less monumental?

What about the bear —

does its obvious defecation

negate the very action?

I mean

what is the value of

scat for scat’s sake

for Christ’s sake?

No matter.

It’s probably just

predictable poop.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. Image courtesy of the Yosemite Bear Team. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

4 – Coyote Vision

Coyote Vision

The shot was sharp and specific

so precise and premeditated

the anticipated yelp or howl

silent, never came

but he did, in a vision

said, this way this way quick

and we ran through trees

hidden from the path

to a den deep in the woods

a portal to another moment

he in phantom form now and

I, nothing but a thought

on a wave of breath.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. Image: Wikipedia. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

3 – The Wrong Impression

The Wrong Impression

He ran, he told me,
through the corridors of Heathrow
the framed Monet under a free arm,
it, his grand gesture
to the unrequiting, me

Monet’s water lilies
The Water Lily Pond
(to be precise)
its soft curved bridge
symbolic, perhaps,
of his efforts to cross over
from friends
to something more colorful,
shall we say?

For the untrained eye
it gave the impression of love,
but look closely to see
a thousand random dots,
their missed connections
a terminal romance.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. Image: The Water Lily Pond, Claude Monet. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Memoir Poetry

2 – I prayed he left more than a spoon

I prayed he left more than a spoon

As the sun rose, he whispered,
I’ll come back if I’ve left anything
then packed and went
as quickly as he did that first time
some ten years before.
It was a fishing trip then —
a last chance visit with family
before graduation and grad school —
this time a funeral, his uncle.
No lingering, not like other years,
when we dozed dream-wrapped
late into the morning……..loved.
But with New Jersey such a long ride
from our reverie,
he left before we had a chance to…
……..a chance to say anything more than

Same time next year?
Should I bake a cake?
I’ll come back if I’ve left anything.

I prayed he left more than a spoon,
held my breath in pregnant pause for weeks
until it was clear there was nothing
to come back to……..not even the spoon
which still makes its way into coffee,
stirs up the memory of that morning
and what might have been……..afterall
had he left anything more.

For Cliff. Poem ©2021, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month, with a sweet nod to Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. Image: Lorette with Cup of Coffee, Henri Matisse. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

1 – Morning Haiku

cardinal on my schedule

doesn’t need to notice clocks

sings sweet song at six

Poem and Photo ©2021, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Month. Are you fascinated by time, too? Then order a copy of MANIFEST (zine): It’s About Time today!
Categories
Books Creativity

A Common Heart Beats in All of Us

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
book review Books

My Year in Books 2020

I must confess, it doesn’t surprise me that this is the first time in five years I did not meet my personal reading goal of 50 books. There were long stretches of time in 2020 when sitting still was next to impossible, nevermind tasks that required focus and attention-spans.

Which is not to say I wasn’t reading at all or didn’t have a stack of books at the ready. There was always an active book or two — bookmarks holding my place until I returned — and a patient pile of bookshelf finds, Amazon impulses, and contactless library pick-ups sitting in wait.

At some point, I was able to settle back into a fairly regular reading habit — all 10,466 pages of 40 books according to Goodreads’ annual “My Year in Books” report (see below). At some point, I even slogged through The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt), only because I was determined to read the book before watching the movie.

As usual, my annual accounting of reads is a hodgepodge: old favorites, some young adult novels, poetry, a few lifestyle/inspiration books, and plenty of escapist fiction.

My favorites of the year? Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens), The World That We Knew (Alice Hoffman), and The Conference of the Birds (Ransom Riggs).

My least favorite titles didn’t make the list, because I’ve implemented the Page 29 Rule which gives me permission to put down a book sooner rather than later.

I think it’s funny that I began this long, hard year reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Ottessa Moshfegh) and The Book of Speculation (Erika Swyler), and ended with Bryan Washington’s Memorial, about findings oneself at a crossroads.

Aren’t we all at some kind of crossroads, here at the end of 2020?

The good thing is that there will always be books. Come what may, there will always be that patient pile waiting for us, that bookmark holding a sacred space for when we return, the character who grabs our hand and says come with me for a while…and we do.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading.


Categories
Books Creativity

VIDEO: Chikmedia Holiday Gift Guide

Every year, the ladies at Chikmedia put together a list of must have women-owned products you need for the holidays. The 2020 edition includes fab gift items from:

Wine Shop at Home
Miss Lou Makes
Lay & V
NSW Jewelry Designs
Contribution Clothing
Blendi
and…Three Chairs Publishing!

Check out the video now, then head on over to Chikmedia to do a little shopping!

Pictured: MEGHAN ROTHSCHILD, Chikmedia
Categories
Books Creativity

Chikmedia Holiday Gift Guide

Every year, the ladies at Chikmedia put together a list of must have women-owned products you need for the holidays. The 2020 edition includes fab gift items from:

Wine Shop at Home
Miss Lou Makes
Lay & V
NSW Jewelry Designs
Contribution Clothing
Blendi
and…Three Chairs Publishing!

Check out the video now, then head on over to Chikmedia to do a little shopping!

Pictured: MEGHAN ROTHSCHILD, Chikmedia
Categories
Books Creativity

There’s Something Greater

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
Books

Whatcha Readin’?

This is Joe. Joe reads books. Be like Joe. Visit 3 Chairs Publishing’s online SHOP to buy books today!

Categories
Books Creativity

Even Now: The Solace of Nature

Waiting Out the Storm

Poetry by Jennifer A. Payne

“Not till we are lost, in other words not till
we have lost the world, do we begin to find
ourselves, and realize where we are
and the infinite extent of our relations.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Written from the shoreline of Connecticut and the wide and windswept beaches of Cape Cod, this book is an intimate look at life transitions and how we cope with the unexpected.

Reflecting on the sudden loss of a close friend, author Jen Payne returns, as she does in her past books LOOK UP! and Evidence of Flossing, to the solace of nature. On the opening pages, she allows the poet Rilke to remind the reader “Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have. Be earth now, and evensong. Be the ground lying under that sky.”


PRINT
5.5 x 8.5, Paperback, 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-4-7
$15.00 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 40 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-8-5
$4.99 (digital download)

Categories
Books Creativity

Evidence of Flossing: The Movie

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind
Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Video soundtrack: Forest Chorus, by Quiet Corral.

Categories
Books

Welcome Books!

Looking for a good book to bring you back to simpler times? Visit 3 Chairs Publishing’s online SHOP today!

Categories
Books

It’s the Weekend!

Visit our online shop for an awesome selection of good weekend reads!

Categories
Books Zine

Shop ‘til you drop…with consequences

Click here to learn more about the Three Chairs online shop!

Categories
Books Creativity

Funny, sad, sexy, maddening…

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
Books

July 2020


Check out my Three Chairs Publishing shop for all of these great books and more!

Categories
Books Creativity

Coping with the Unexpected

Waiting Out the Storm

Poetry by Jennifer A. Payne

“Not till we are lost, in other words not till
we have lost the world, do we begin to find
ourselves, and realize where we are
and the infinite extent of our relations.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Written from the shoreline of Connecticut and the wide and windswept beaches of Cape Cod, this book is an intimate look at life transitions and how we cope with the unexpected.

Reflecting on the sudden loss of a close friend, author Jen Payne returns, as she does in her past books LOOK UP! and Evidence of Flossing, to the solace of nature. On the opening pages, she allows the poet Rilke to remind the reader “Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have. Be earth now, and evensong. Be the ground lying under that sky.”


PRINT
5.5 x 8.5, Paperback, 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-4-7
$15.00 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 40 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-8-5
$4.99 (digital download)

Categories
Books Creativity

Discover the Possibility of Divine Connection

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
Books

Summer 2020

Check out my Three Chairs Publishing shop for all of these great books for summer!

Categories
Books Creativity

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
Books Creativity

Love Poems to the Something Greater within All of Us

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: What We Leave Behind

Poems & Musings by Jen Payne
80+ Original & Vintage Color Photographs

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection?

Part social commentary, part lament, the poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, naturalist Jennifer Payne explores the essence of spiritual ecology: the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Its pages are illustrated by an absurd and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage color photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that prompted the title of the book.

No matter your faith or following, the poems and musings in Evidence of Flossing speak to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It is, as NPR contributor David Berner writes, “an unflinching account of our unshakeable relationship to the modern world…God, nature, and ourselves.”

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature.


PRINT
178 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, Color Photos
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-1-6
$21.99 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-7-8
$4.99 (digital download)


LEARN MORE
About the Book
Reviews + Press
Preview the Book
Watch the Trailer
About the Author


Categories
Books Creativity

Finding the Solace of Nature

Waiting Out the Storm

Poetry by Jennifer A. Payne

“Not till we are lost, in other words not till
we have lost the world, do we begin to find
ourselves, and realize where we are
and the infinite extent of our relations.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Written from the shoreline of Connecticut and the wide and windswept beaches of Cape Cod, this book is an intimate look at life transitions and how we cope with the unexpected.

Reflecting on the sudden loss of a close friend, author Jen Payne returns, as she does in her past books LOOK UP! and Evidence of Flossing, to the solace of nature. On the opening pages, she allows the poet Rilke to remind the reader “Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have. Be earth now, and evensong. Be the ground lying under that sky.”


PRINT
5.5 x 8.5, Paperback, 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-4-7
$15.00 (plus tax + shipping)

EBOOK
Epub, 40 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-8-5
$4.99 (digital download)

Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

28 – There was something I wanted to say but…

my thoughts these days
are like cormorants.

Do you know cormorants?

Now you see ‘em
Now you don’t

Sometimes in reverent prayer
sometimes flying high
then swimming, diving and

GONE!

So you sit back against a rock
and wait for them to resurface
come back

one Mississippi
two Mississippi

three or four or ten Mississippies later
they show back up

rise to the surface
so you can go back to your day.

 

Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

27 – Little Blessings

She won’t remember
these days I didn’t play,
didn’t get down on the floor
with Abby and Coda
to rock the babies,
didn’t bark like a dog,
hide her from Grandpa lion,
or make the earth quake
Boom Boom Boom!

She’ll forget the missing
hide-and-seek,
the blanket tent,
the book we didn’t read,
the one of us who wasn’t
stealing blocks
or great little hugs
or selfies……….not again

For now she just remembers
to seek the mask-hid smile
to lean hard in for half a hug,
to blow a kiss, six feet big
to sing a See ya later!
as I turn away to leave
this sweetest little blessing
is the memory I get to keep.

 

Image: Poem ©2020, Jen Payne, for Lia with Love. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

26 – Trickster Dreams

The fox who darted just out of eyesight yesterday morning while I poured coffee is screaming

mid-night screaming

so I half-wake, check for the cat, glance at the clock, tumble back into our trip to New York

a brilliant spring day, sunshine and pink trees, a street cafe/coffee shop amalgamation of people

it’s pungent loud, crazy and beautiful

You’re up ahead buying a hand-knit mask, balancing your coffee and flowered purse

I’m pacing by the India-print tunics, on the phone with the ex-lover only you know about, flirting in that way we do so no one overhears

and before I can say I Love You goodbye again to you there in the City on that wonderful city day or to him again on the phone

I’m riding in a pick-up careening through the copse where the screaming fox lives, smashing head-on into a great old beech

its fox-copper leaves jingle like bells to wake me for the day

 

Image: Poem ©2020, Jen Payne, for Mary Anne Siok on her birthday. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Books Creativity Poetry

25 – Feather Juggler

They never seem heavy
just multiplicitous,
as if she stood
beneath a galaxy
of starlings,
wispy afterthoughts

…………raining

……down

from murmurations

their murmurings
perhaps,
or muses
task masters
EXPECTATIONS…..you say

perhaps

she does
make it look
easy, though
effortless,
effervescent —
bubbling over
like champagne,
watching

….it

……..fall

…………to

……..the

page

giggling

who wouldn’t kiss the rim,
let it tickle
like a feather
against your soul

then juggle
the soft ideas
aloft awhile
until something forms
in midair:

………………ideas

…….dreams

…………a poem

….of feathers

…………….floating

Image: Hand on Feathers, Martial Raysse. Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.