February Round-Up

Hi, early (and late) bloomers! Thank you for being my subscribers. Here is a reader’s digest of what went on in my writing world last month. I will start with a poem that was published in the emag Scribe.


Brink of the Equinox

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

I am on the brink of the equinox — but I forget the signs — yearly — 
I am on the brink of losing my mind — this false exhaustion — eyes gluey — 
promises to myself hidden in the pockets of coats we don’t need anymore.

For pollen comes home now in mid-February — new ecosystems announce themselves — by way of clover and daffodil — and I feel unready to keep up — mourning doves are already singing my song — and I drive to the mountains — the elevation slows the season, and I can breathe.

By Imbolc’s new moon, everything is creation — I’m in the mode of begin — whatever was is shed — whatever calls me truer to my Self is answered — awakened, I must make use of this time — the red buds and Bradford pears pop and rain blossoms onto this new way of being in the world — and that is the taste of spring.

Samantha Lazar 2023

Local North Carolina people—

My friend Jayna and I started a new business. It is called Paint & Prose Arts: Creative Workshops in Visual and Written Arts. Our first workshop, “From Still Life to Memoir,” launches on April 29! Please read more about it and spread the word! We are so excited to make this dream a reality.


I’ve Published Two Books

Here’s how to read them

My first poetry collection, Reaching Marrakesh, came out in 2020. What better way to describe it than this blurb written by my dear friend and fabulous writer, Christina M. Ward:

Praise for Reaching Marrakesh: “We all have those defining moments in our childhood that introduce to us confusion, pain, and self-defining messages that haunt us into our adulthood. In Samantha Lazar’s debut poetry collection Reaching Marrakesh, Samantha takes her readers on a poetic pilgrimage with slice-of-life poetry that delves into those childhood messages and picks them apart for understanding. Her intensely personal voice and impactful nature imagery weave together a tapestry of understanding, wrapping the reader in the comfort and exhilaration of self-discovery, inner strength, and triumph through mental fortitude. She empowers both herself and the readers’ experience with an inspirational poetic tale of a soul taking flight. An impressive poetic debut, Reaching Marrakesh is an unforgettable collection of poetic enlightenment.”
 — Christina M. Ward, poet and author of organic: Fiddleheads & Floss vol. 1

You can find this book here:

Reaching Marrakesh
Praise for Reaching Marrakesh: “We all have those defining moments in our childhood that introduce to us confusion…www.amazon.com

Soon We’re All Gone to Seed is a compilation of scary, strange, and dark visions turned into short fiction and poetry. If you like magical realism, ghost stories, twisted dreams, and a little bit of hope, this book is for you.

Soon We’re All Gone to Seed: Poetry and Stories
Soon We’re All Gone to Seed: Poetry and Stories [Lazar, Samantha Rae] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying…www.amazon.com

Medium Works

If I have had anything go viral- this is it so far:

Your Addiction Wants You Dead and Other Warnings

I was pretty outraged and sad in February as well. Here are a few from those moods:

Photo by michael joiner on Unsplash

We Were

Fear Like This

Three Years

Superstitious Valentines Day

There were a lot of joyous and healing moments in February as well! I wish you all a fabulous spring equinox!

Thank you for reading. Samantha Lazar is a writer, poet, and teacher living in North Carolina with the loves of her life. She is the author of Reaching Marrakesh and Soon We’re All Gone To Seed. You can read unlimited stories by Samantha Lazar on Medium (as well as many other talented writers) by becoming a Medium member. Stay inspired!


Has Anyone Worked With Readers Magnet?

Crowdsourcing for others’ experiences

Image by Melissa G from Pixabay

I did a thing. I was called a few times by an agency- Readers Magnet. They are a relatively new company that works with indie authors, and they asked to work with me on my newest collection.

Readers Magnet pays readers to find books to promote through their events, such as the upcoming Library Learning Experience in New Orleans. This is a big event! Put on by the American Library Association, it features Ibram X. Kendi, Nic Stone, and Ani DiFranco, to name a few!

I wish I could go! But guess what? My little new collection of darker poems and short stories, Soon We’re All Gone to Seed, is going! I am not great at marketing myself (Is any artist?), so I went ahead and hired Readers Magnet to market my book.

I have sold a dozen, or so, copies since its arrival in October, but it has yet to receive any reviews. Side note: if you are one of those lucky twelve, please write an Amazon review. Thank you!

Has anyone else listed their independent books or otherwise with Readers Magnet? What was your experience?

Like the dandelion on the cover of my book, I let the seeds go with the wind. Where they land is anyone’s guess.

Cover design by the author

Samantha Lazar 2023

New Year Writing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Happy New Year, subscribers! Here is one thing I’ve been working on.

If you enjoy a bit of magic and chance in your writing, I suggest this writing exercise, introduced to me by poet Josh Lonsdale.

Create a piece by writing 10 random questions on slips of paper. Then fold them up and put them away for a week, forgetting all about them. Then write 10 random answers on slips of paper. Then pick, at random, pairs of questions and answers.

This is the second time I have tried it. Out came this piece:

Trance Stack of Mix and Match

(friend link).

New Book Release!

Now for something darker

Author’s Screen Shot

I am so excited to announce that I have published my second collection of poetry and short stories. Soon We’re All Gone to Seed is a compilation of scary, strange, and dark visions.

I meant to release this book last October, but you know, time just goes by. After releasing Reaching Marrakesh two years ago, I guess this collection needed more time to marinate, and I needed to write more stories.

If you like magical realism, ghost stories, twisted dreams, and a little bit of hope, this book is for you.

In case you were wondering, I self-published this collection. It is not easy to format books for print or e-readers.

It’s available on Amazon in book and Kindle formats. Enjoy!

Soon We’re All Gone to Seed: Poetry and Stories
Soon We’re All Gone to Seed: Poetry and Stories [Lazar, Samantha Rae] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying…www.amazon.com

Thank you for reading. Samantha Lazar is a writer, poet, and teacher living in North Carolina with the loves of her life. Her first narrative poetry collection, Reaching Marrakesh, is available here. Stay inspired!


November 28, 2021

Dear Readers, 

Welcome to my new newsletter, which I will send out bi-weekly. My letter will inform you of my writing projects, stories, blog posts, and poetry. You may even find something that inspires you. 

Thank you so much for reading!



Science Fiction Magic?

A few years ago, my cousin and I were waiting for the subway and riffing off each other’s ideas for Black Mirror episodes. I just love the brilliance of that show, and I wondered if I could write science fiction that reads like magical realism. So I re-published a short story (or first chapter, potentially) titled “One Percent.”

 One reader commented: “This reminded me of a Black Mirror episode, but with a supernatural spec––the telepathy. I also enjoyed the atmosphere. The concept is really cool! I wanted to read more!” 

Maybe you’ll enjoy it too and convince me to continue writing it.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Everyone meets online these days,” Melanie said.
“I know, but this seems way more complicated than using Match or OK Cupid.” Lauren sipped her coffee and laughed at Melanie. She was always trying to set her up!
“Just try it- I know it seems a little scary, but it really isn’t. Actually, I have found my real matches here. I mean, you do not want to meet up with just anyone, do you?”
Nodding, Lauren avoided eye contact with Melanie.
“Besides, Melanie said, “You can just delete it if you don’t pass the Portent. But I know you, and I know you will get in. You are one of us.”


Sky Collection Poetry & Quote Prompt

Sky Collection is one of my publications on Medium. In addition, I host monthly Quote Prompts and publish a wide variety of poetry, fiction, and personal narratives by new and established writers. 

After returning from a yoga retreat on the NC coast, I wrote the poem “Cycles of Darkness.” It explores the idea of embracing the shadow parts of ourselves after this quote:

“Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you.” — Frederick Nietzsche.

Here is the first stanza:

she walks about the sand
here, a piper is her grandfather
finishing dripped touches
on a Gaudi castle


Project Updates

Exactly a year ago, I released my first poetry collection, Reaching Marrakesh. My goal is to bring my second book of poems Sky Collection to life by the end of the year. Thank you so much for your support! 

Two other books are brewing:

One is a collection of dark and chilling short stories and poetry, currently untitled.
The other is a chapbook of prose-poetry entitled, Don’t Tell Grandma.

Did you know you can read endless stories by myself and many other inspiring writers on Medium? Consider upgrading to a monthly subscription here. 

Follow along on my writing journey and be in touch here

That’s all for now. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my writing work. If you enjoy it, please consider sharing it with a friend or your sister. 

Love, Sam

Dancing lessons from God by Jay Sizemore

Intense and beautiful poetry!

Rusty Truck

~after Kurt Vonnegut

If I wanted to end the world,
they’d give me the Nobel Prize
for perfecting genocide,
for understanding the plight
of the garden plow
and inventing the first religion
to call prayer nothing
but a poem written in excrement.

The cat’s cradle
of God’s love
can be found
in the indices
of the unholy.
but what is God?
What is love?

Time, such a beguiling bastion
of the illusive spirit,
its passage like a staircase
accepting the momentary weight
of our countless footsteps,
where we fool ourselves
into believing we matter
more than we are matter.

The ragged rim of oblivion,
welcoming as a leper’s smile,
calls us from our oubliette
to explore,
to build the better bicycle
and pretend
not to feel the cold
of the nuclear winter,

where the snow falls
like orange blossoms,
and the horizon yawns,
a Calypso
made of beautiful worms.

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Words, Beautiful Words

A Sky Collection Newsletter

Photo by Nataliya Smirnova on Unsplash

Hello Sky Collection readers and writers,

I hope you are all staying safe and warm where you live. Here in NC, the ground is saturated, and the cold rain continues. But muddy paws and disappointing impeachment trials aside, the beautiful words of this publication help keep me going. Thank you so much for your continued readership, and to our writers, thank you for filling our lives with your thoughts and art.

January Highlights

Did you know we now have an editor’s picks page? Please take a look! The featured pieces from January are:

Rain on New Year’s Day” by Vixen Lea

“Unity” by Gayle Kurtzer-Meyers

“Handy” by Amy Jasek

“Still Waters Run Deep” by MDSHall

“The Art of Healing” by Priyanka Srivastava

“The Halls of Power” by Janaka Stagnaro

Each of these unique pieces is worthy of your time!

Quote Prompts

My baby, who was due on Valentine’s Day, 2011, born 2/12/11, turned 10 this week, I have a lot of feelings about that. Our most recent prompt connects time passing and children growing up to parenthood and feeling needed.

Check it out:

Kids Don’t Stay

On a personal note, I have intentionally slowed down my own writing this month. It has been a year since my father died, and I am feeling more introspective without wanting to produce too much. I ride my moods.

However, there are many projects in the works. Did you know, besides teaching in the classroom, I teach individualized writing lessons and coach writers of all ages? I have a new client today, and I am very excited to work with her.

I am in the process of putting together my second poetry collection. I hope to have this ready by the end of the month!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued support!

Love, Samantha

Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate.

My Little Patch of Sky (Part 2)

A reflection on the winter solstice and this year

December 21, 2020- blurred photo of Jupiter and Saturn by author

Last night, we tried to set up the telescope my son got for Christmas last year, but the tripod was broken, and the view from my front yard was clear to look with our eyes. It was incredible to see the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction on a relatively mild North Carolina evening. Even though I live in the city, I can still find a way to block out much of the light pollution to star and moon gaze.

It was winter solstice 2019 when I decided to begin my Sky Collection project. I made a goal to write a poem a day inspired by taking sacred pauses to look up and notice. I did not write 365 poems for the project, mostly because so much happened this year. In February, my dad died, and right after that, the pandemic hit the U.S., so my teaching job became remote. I sure learned a lot about teaching online and about returning to school under strict safety protocols.Masked and Ready for School
Teaching during COVID-19 is making me a better educatormedium.com

Dealing with the loss of my father both closed me down and opened me up. A lot of my poetry in Sky Collection became about that experience. It was a way for me to grieve, I suppose. Growing up, I was always losing my dad. This year was just the final loss. Ambiguous grief has been difficult throughout my life. It is a sense of always waiting for the next trauma to happen.

Ambiguous Grief is Real
Coping with loss before it happensmedium.com

Ambiguous grief/anxiety took on a whole new meaning this year because of COVID-19, and that anxiety is far from over. I still feel like I am waiting. Waiting to be with people I love. Waiting to go somewhere. Waiting to feel safe enough again. Waiting to get my son into more stuff again. Waiting for things to go “back to normal.” I want to stop waiting and just be. So if I had to make any new year’s resolutions, that would be it.

My ritual with the new year is not to resolve to stop doing something. Instead, I decide what no longer serves me and slowly or all at once, I let it go. Sometimes I write those things down and burn the paper. Then I decide what to keep with me for the next year. So into 2021, I will bring a new sense of healing, a wonderful writers’ community, a powerful and beautiful writing practice, strength to be a teacher in-person or remotely, stamina to wear a mask all day, everyday.

Looking back at what I accomplished this year in my writing: I wrote a total of 115 poems in my Sky Collection project and hundreds more poems and stories in my notebooks and elsewhere on Medium. I opened up my publication Sky Collection to dozens more writers. I created a writing prompts practice, which inspired many people to create a diversity of responses.

Most of all, I am proud that I published my first poetry collection, Reaching Marrakesh, which is a book I think I have always been writing about losing my dad.

So even though I am finished with last year’s Sky Collection Project, I will also take into the new year my practice of stopping and taking in the sky. It is always important to take sacred pauses — to look up at the sky and notice there is so much more to our universe. To my little patch of sky, thank you for continuing to fill me with wonder and joy.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

  • Samantha Lazar 2020

Here is the link to the poem of the same title:My Little Patch of Sky
Sky Collection — Poem 96medium.com

This piece was originally published here.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to announce I have at last released a poetry narrative collection out into the world: Reaching Marrakesh. You can find that here.