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Tainted Lionheart by Christine Weimer – Guest Post

About Tainted Lionheart

Tainted Lionheart is a collection that focuses on the progressive phases of heartache. Broken into three parts, Christine Weimer takes you on a journey through the bruising and brooding of pain- and the process to which we breathe through it. It speaks to a vast audience in representation of the mess-to-mending of heart. It gives voice to those who need to be reminded that it is okay to hurt, and it is okay to be angry but it is imperative that we find our inner-strength so that we may let go, rise, and begin anew.

The compilation of poetry and prose works you through the motions of honing your inner lionheart by understanding that you are brave enough to recognize hurt, work through your fury, and find ways of acceptance. Though life may taint us, we all have a lion, or lioness, within us.

For far too long, I let my ego get the best of me every time it would convince me that I’d never be a writer. Despite my longing desire to establish my career while interweaving my greatest passion for words, I found myself consumed with self-doubt. Second guessing my ability to use my voice, I put the idea of becoming a writer on the shelf. Telling myself that though I’d always have the creative outlet, I just couldn’t see myself writing on a larger platform.

And then circumstances of life experience hit me like a thunderbolt during the most vulnerable time in my adult life. I went through something- as we all have been through things- and those things left me with an overload of emotions and feelings I just did not know where to channel. But I knew I needed to put them somewhere. At the time, my situation was personal to me, as I had not confided in the ones I loved about what was happening. So, I did the only thing I knew how to do instead. I wrote.

And I wrote. And I wrote. And after that, I wrote some more. I started to realize that through the words that flowed, I was learning more about who I was than I ever had before. Not to mention, I began to see that writing poetry was the least destructive way for me to wrap my head around my circumstances to understand what had landed me where I was.

I would sit in my little potted garden in a section of my driveway in the late hours of the night while my baby girl slept and let whatever was in my mind spill out into my notes. I’d cry, and I’d ponder, and I’d question my own words when they’d hit me with the truth I didn’t realize I had in me. Before I knew it, a spring into summer had gone by and 400 poems were sitting in my phone. Poems that I would often go back to and read and feel a sense of placement in my own world.

Those poems contained the most intricate, vulnerable pieces of me at the time- but they were my truth. And, not to toot my own horn, but they were by far the best works I had ever composed in my life. Every piece I wrote was one  step towards validation that there was, in fact, a voice to be heard here. With each stanza, I felt my mind get louder in its tone with me, reassuring me that what I was putting out there was important.

I vividly remember the moment I knew these poems were more than just my therapy. I was playing with the concept of a lionheart. This idea that despite having been hurt that I was still a courageous person. I came to see that in actuality it was what had happened to me that turned me into the lionheart I had believed I was. I was tainted. But I was strong.

So, I wrote a letter to my tainted lionheart. I told her everything I thought she needed to know. I read it back and while tears streamed, so did the epiphany that this was it. This was my story. This was my first manuscript. Tainted Lionheart. That is me. And I needed to be unashamed to show this to the world.

I knew I couldn’t have been the only one who had fallen upon the journey I had endured, and even if I was, that there were other women out there who also felt alone in whatever it was they were going through. I started thinking about how sad it was, that so many of us felt we had to sweep the unsightly sights of our lives under the rug for the sake of carrying a shame that wasn’t ours to begin with. In that instance, I felt it was more of my duty than my choice to put this story out there. If I could be one more woman who refused to carry that shame, then that’s who I’d be.

I compacted Tainted Lionheart from 400 pieces down to about 120 of what I felt told the story best. Broken up into three sections- bruising, brooding, breathing- I wanted to be sure it was displayed in a way that took readers through the journey with me. The part where I was hurt, the part where I felt down, and the part where I rose from ashes. It was important for me to portray the concept that it was okay to hurt, and it was okay to want to revel in your sadness for a while, but it is absolutely imperative that you end up standing taller than you ever had before.

But it was when I began shopping around for publishers, that the true voice of Tainted Lionheart came to light. Despite having made some connections to publish on a more mainstream platform, I began fearing that the personal connection I wanted to make to the women who read this book may have been lost when I gave up most of the control to my work.

I toyed with the fear of losing my integrity to not wanting to become a famous author, but just be
a pillar to this idea that women can share their stories with grace and without abashment. In spite of this worry, I was no longer second guessing the ability I had to publish my work, and that was the most significant part.

Then one day, shortly after I had completed my BA in Creative Writing & English and had turned down an offer by a small publishing house, I sat with my best friend of twenty years and expressed to her the concerns I had. I expressed to her that in this process I had learned so much about the publishing world, and about constructing a manuscript. I wanted to do it on my own. Stick it to the man and create my own platform for this story to be published on. A platform where women like me, women who felt their voice was irrelevant, could find a place to speak it loudly.

So, that’s what we did. Our Galaxy Publishing was established in August of 2019, and from the moment we began using the space to speak about my story- our whole worlds changed. I found myself engrossed in countless women who had reached out to me after they found out I was about to be publishing a collection regarding this type of story. Women who related to me, who were inspired by me, women who validated that what I had to say mattered.

Tainted Lionheart was released on November 13, 2019, and I am so proud to say that it sold over 100 copies in its first week of sales. Having had no audience prior to publishing this, I have never felt more accomplished as I do knowing that this book has reached and resonated with people. It has been just four months since publication, and as its audience continues to grow, so do I.

This book was not just about a scorned woman’s cold heart warmed up again. This book was not just about putting work out there and being able to say I was a published author. This book was my freedom. This book was my way of saying that I did not have to live with what had happened to me as if I were a caravan for its weight. This book was my way of establishing myself not as a writer, but as a vessel for others like me.

I am anxious to see where else this book takes me, and even more excited to see where the next one goes. But above all, I am full of gratitude for the opportunity to help other women find their place among the stars. The chance to show them that, they too, are tainted lionhearts.

Christine Weimer is a native New York City Writer, Publisher, Editor, and Co-founder of Our Galaxy Publishing. Her passion for wordplay began at eight-years-old when she explored writing as an outlet of self-expression. The craft has flourished with her through all phases of life- both simple and complex.

After obtaining her BA in Creative Writing & English, Weimer sought a way to professionally, and creatively, express her voice to promote fresh conversation and thought through open interpretation. She currently lives with her daughter where she writes and runs her businesses from home. She prides herself on family values and thrives on learning and observing those around her.

Tainted Lionheart is her debut collection.

Connect with Our Galaxy Publishing!

Publications | Christine’s Instagram | Facebook | Instagram

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