Blogging Mama

Total Pageviews

Thursday, December 14, 2017

5 Star Poetry Book: Evidence of Flossing; What We Leave Behind - Poems by Jennifer A. Payne

The Evidence of Flossing; What We Leave Behind 
Poems by Jennifer A. Payne

About the Book: Part social commentary, part lament, the 73 poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Their investigation of the human condition and its folly — politics, religion, development, technology, consumerism — is juxtaposed to a series of poems about our natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Poetry + Trash Ask Readers to Consider “What is our legacy in this vast and wondrous Universe?”

Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Explore the answers to these questions and more in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, a new book by Connecticut author/artist Jen Payne.

A timely publication given the state of our world, Evidence of Flossing is more than a simple poetry chapbook. Its pages are illustrated by a random, absurd, and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the title of the book.

A take on traditional street photography, these images examine human nature from a different and thought-provoking perspective. Several of the photographs were featured in a recent Arts Council of Greater New Haven art exhibit entitled “Where the Whole Universe Dwells.” They are part of a collection of more than 100 photographs of used dental flossers found by Payne between 2014 - 2017, and speak to the subtitle of the book: What will we leave behind?

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. Both books are published by Three Chairs Publishing,

Paperback: 180 Pages
Genre: Poetry/Art
Publisher: Three Chairs Publishing (October 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0990565114
ISBN-13: 978-0990565116

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is available in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Etsy, and IndieBound.


“The poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are a brilliantly incisive
commentary on our simultaneous human sense of beauty and waste and loss.” — Dale Carlson, ALA Notable Book author

“In Jen Payne’s exquisite introduction to Evidence of Flossing, she provides the purpose of this book: to illustrate, poem by poem, the very fraught relationships which define us, human to human, human to earth and animal, and human to the unifying spirit, which may or may not be her lower case “god.” She is sober, admonitory, enraptured and antic by turns, her illustrative photographs always a source of pleasure or irony — often both. This is a most unusual book, richly thoughtful and sorely, sorely needed.” — Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, author, Letter from Italy, 1944

“It’s uncanny how Jen Payne grabs hold of seemingly ordinary strands of life — then surprises us with new meaning. A master at storytelling, Jen brings us to the realization that the stories she shares are actually ours. An engaging, thought provoking and masterful reflection on our collective legacy in this world.” — Mary O’Connor, author, Life Is Full of Sweet Spots and Dreams of a Wingless Child

Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto:

Evidence of Flossing 
is a thought provoking read 
that left me forever changed; 
somehow simultaneously 
poignant and uplifting.

This poetry book takes readers wherever they themselves want to go. Evidence of Flossing can easily be a lovely gift for a friend or simply a coffee table book that serves as a conversation starter. It can also be an uplifting spiritual experience if you as a reader want to take it to that level. A combination of street photography and poetry, this book is absolutely beautiful on a superficial level as well as when digging much deeper. The experience is completely dependent upon the reader themselves. The author, Jennifer Payne, provides the medium and the reader determines what they are ready for.

This is not a book you will read and forget. In fact, it’s the type of book you will refer to friends, pick up from time to time, and think about often as life propels you forward. The inspiring and uplifting meditations and beautiful photography make this is a great read across the genres and ages.

About the Author:

Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. Her writing serves as witness to these in the form of poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and essay. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, her writing is accompanied by her own photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, Jen believes that partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of her work, and makes the communication more palpable.

In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is her second book.

Jen is the owner of Three Chairs Publishing and Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, the Guilford Poets Guild, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Installations of her poetry were featured in Inauguration Nation an exhibition at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven (2017), and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (2016). Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

You can read more of her writing on her blog Random Acts of Writing,

Jennifer can also be found online at:





----------Upcoming WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour Dates

Friday, December 15th @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews
Jennifer Payne is interviewed by Lisa Haselton; find out more about Jennifer's latest poetry book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.

Monday, December 18th @ Elaine Drennon Little
Fellow author Elaine Drennon Little reviews Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind by Jennifer A. Payne.

Monday, December 18th @ The Writer Site
Luanne Castle reviews Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind by Jennifer Payne. Don't miss Luanne's insight into this beautiful poetry book.

Tuesday, December 19th @ Life is Full of Sweet Spots
Mary O'Connor reviews Jennifer Payne's latest poetry book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this lovely book!

Wednesday, December 20th @ Depth of A Woman
Stop by Depth of A Woman to read Joss Burnell's review of Jennifer A. Payne's Poetry Book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.

Thursday, December 21st @ Spirituality Without Borders
Jennifer Payne and her lovely poetry book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is the topic today at Spirituality Without Borders. Read Rita's review of this lovely book and find out more about the lovely author behind it!

Friday, December 22nd @ Writing on the Rim
Stop by Writing on the Rim and hear from Juliana Lightle about her thoughts after reading Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind by Jennifer A. Payne. Don't miss this insightful review!

Photo Credits:
Book Cover, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind (Flosser No. 007-1214 - Diner, Connecticut, December 2014, by Jen Payne)

Flosser No. 064-0616 - Flosser and Bone, Connecticut Parking Lot; June 2016, by Jen Payne

Author photo by Christine Chiocchio (Branford, CT)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

5 Star Book Review of "Naked Joy" by Nan Kilmer Baker

Run out and grab a copy of Naked Joy. I'll wait...

while I'm waiting I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and leaf through the mail...

do you have your copy?

wait, aren't coming back because you can't put down this fabulous read?

I get it!

About the book:

What do you know about Idaho other than potatoes or maybe that Ernest Hemingway killed himself here? NAN KILMER BAKER grew up in this sparsely populated northwestern state, a skittish Catholic raised in a town full of eccentric characters who intrigued her enough to write about them years later. Welcome to NAKED JOY, where the author’s heroine AUNT MILLIE raises peacocks, sews an elaborate wardrobe for her detergent bottles, campaigns for JESUS and ignores her sinister husband. Tortured by her mother’s hideous shoes and insensitivity, BAKER is traumatized when before she knows the word “cancer,” the town surgeon cuts off her neighbor CLAIRE’S right leg. An unforgettable visit to the prosthetic factory results as she joins CLAIRE and her glamorous mother while they shop for the perfect new limb. HEMINGWAY chose not to write about Idaho, perhaps because he wanted to keep it as his secret getaway. And get away is what BAKER longs to do while growing up in the “Gem State.” She escapes to attend college and spend a romantic year “studying” in Italy. Next the graduate heads east only to find work as a night receptionist catering to more lunatics. After enduring odd jobs and grad school, she marries and moves to Japan. There tragedy strikes, so the shaken new mother moves on to Thailand to experience a cavernous house full of maids, geckos, and the occasional snake. Eventually our world traveler returns to the states where she suffers “Reverse Culture Shock” and subjects herself to the horrors of retail. Not cut out for sales, she moves on to survive a stint as a spy while living outside the nation’s capital. A collection of charming, quirky, occasionally disturbing tales, NAKED JOY pulls back the curtain on life as observed through the probing eyes of a sensitive, small town girl turned worldly woman. While some writers have stories, others have their own unique voice and way of looking at matters. Warm, witty, and honest, Nan Kilmer Baker shares both.

About the author: 

Nan Kilmer Baker hails from Idaho, the “Famous Potato” state, where she began writing as a young girl and never looked back—moving from diary entries to ghost writing term papers to copy writing.

NAKED JOY is her first book, but in her dependably quirky blog she has been musing for years about topics as diverse as Mr. Clean, travel, toilets, butter and stain removal.
Nan is the mother of two young adults. Having lived abroad for years, she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband—and other treasures she collected during her travels.

5 star review:

Before I tell you about this fabulous book, I need to tell you a few things that are important to me:

I love coffee and it's even more amazing when enjoyed wearing slippers and sipping it with a close friend.

I love honesty and especially appreciate people who can laugh at their imperfections.

Of course, the list is much longer: faith, family, farming, blah blah blah and the list goes on.

I had to tell you about the coffee with friends and the honesty because it will help you realize just how big of a compliment it is when I say:

If you love sitting down with a brutally honest friend and enjoying a cup of coffee while laughing at life, you'll absolutely love the book Naked Joy by Nan Kilmer Baker.


The entire time I was reading Naked Joy (and it didn't take long because I couldn't put it down), I kept thinking about the warm fuzzy feeling it brought me. Like enjoying coffee with a friend, this book make me smile, laugh, cry, and I had all the feels as if I were experiencing Catholicism and life right there in Idaho along with my bestie Nan. Isn't that funny? I've never met the author and yet I feel like we grew up together. She has such a nack for storytelling and such a fabulous sense of humor. Regardless of your faith or where you grew up, there are confessions in Naked Joy that will remind you of your own coming of age. 

This is a book you can read quickly or something you can peruse at your leisure. If you are looking for something better than the Chicken Soup for the _____ books but you enjoy a short story that is charming, this is a great alternative. A super fun gift for yourself, or something you could buy a friend and I'm thinking the super fast Amazon delivery people would get it to your door (or theirs) by Christmas!

...and when you are done reading, pop over and we can bake some cookies, brew some coffee, and chat about the lovely Nan as if we had played hop-scotch on the playground with her as children!


About today's reviewer:

Crystal is a council secretary and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering
mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, five young children (Carmen 10, Andre 9, Breccan 4, Delphine 2, and baby Eudora, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at the WOW!Women on Writing blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!