by April Helms,
Special Products Editor;
What started as a form of therapy and healing has turned into a published book for Twinsburg resident Carolyn Jones-Carter.
"I've always written poetry," Jones-Carter said. "But I started full time two years ago when I was severed from my job of 33 years. I used the writing as a part of my therapy. You can see the progression, from anger and shock to depression, to hope."
Her 77-page book, "Poems from the Edge," which was recently published, relates her thoughts and observations from the loss of her job, as well as the death of her husband and her observations about her elderly mother.
"My mother is a double amputee," she said. "She is 80 years old, but we sometimes forget that inside, she is still a woman. She still wants to go out in the park. She still likes the feel of silk on her skin. Her mind is still all there. She has everything you and I have, except two legs. Many don't realize that someone her age can still be involved in life, can still enjoy life."
Through poetry, she also shares her thoughts on world events such as September 11 and the slaying of the 23-year-old man on what should have been his wedding day in New York.
"That cut me deeply," she said of the shooting. "Police did not follow proper protocol in that. They were three unarmed guys, partying."
Jones-Carter is not the only member of her family who writes -- on the contrary. Both her son and daughter are "very prolific" writers, and her late husband also used to write. They also were voracious readers, she added.
"Each of us would sit in the same room in the house, each with one of our own books," she said. "To us, that was our bonding. We would read, then stop and talk about what we were reading, then continue. I never thought that was strange or unusual until someone came over and saw us."
But many of her poems deal with the loss of her job, her nervous breakdown and her recovery process, Jones-Carter said.
"I thought I had a lot to say that people could relate to," she said. "There's age discrimination and race discrimination. These poems are the result of much analysis, much introspection and much spiritual growth on the road to learning to define myself, for myself."
Her advice for budding writers is to keep notes.
"I keep a notepad next to my bed," she said.
Jones-Carter also said to write "from the heart."
"Pick a topic close to you so the feeling is genuine," she said. "Passion can't be faked."
Despite having just published a book, Jones-Carter is not resting on her laurels. Already, she is working on a second book of poetry, plus a mystery novel.
"My next book of poetry, 'Over the Rainbow,' will have a poem dedicated to the Virginia Tech shooting victims," she said.
The cover price for "Poems from the Edge" is $10.95. For details or to order, call 800-AUTHORS, or visit www.iuniverse.com. The book also is available through amazon.com.
Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3153