Musings - Thoughts & Reflections on Life, Love & Surviving Heartache (Chapbook of Poetry, Sonnets & Short Stories)

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
The author shares a personal collection of poetry, sonnets & short stories with themes of love, life, heartache and survival together with images of the author’s original artwork selected to match the text. Angst mixed with uplifting & hopeful.
25% of each sale of this chapbook will be donated to assist AnimalsAsia continue their work in eradicating the hideous practice of Bear Bile Farming More

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About Nikola Vukoja

Born in Croatia, my family moved to Australia when I was 2.5 years old. Thirteen days after landing, mum gave birth to my twin brothers. They were born premature, and for a while, there was a chance we’d lose mum and the twins. Thankfully, all lived. Mum and Dad had my youngest brother Steve a little over a year later. So, by the time I was barely four, Mum and Dad had four children in a foreign country. A month after Steve was born, my maternal grandmother came from Croatia to live with us and Mum joined Dad in the workforce.

Though my beginning was difficult, I started school without being able to speak English; a factor which has impacted on my entire life, Nana had wonderful stories to share with us. We didn’t own a TV for several years, but I don’t recall missing it. Winter evenings were spent on the veranda watching thunderstorms as Dad told us about The God of Thunder “Perun” and his chariot flying through the thunder clouds, while summer evenings were for star-gazing.

During the day, Nana baked bread and cookies and made wonderful chicken soup and as we ate, she’d regale and often frighten us with scary stories with magical Slavic creatures, igniting in me a life long fascination in Slav mythology.

As a teenager, I won several writing competitions but decided to pursue a safer career choice, however, no matter what I did; I was constantly drawn to the arts. I am both a painter and writer. I have exhibited several times in Australia and Paris, where I lived for a period of time. As a writer, some of my poetry has been published. I came ninth in a worldwide short story competition in 2013 and I have several manuscripts at various stages of completion and am about to publish a Chapbook of poems, sonnets & short stories.

In the past 5-6 years I have learned a lot. I also learned I could not work full-time and write. So I left my full-time employment, took my life savings and decided to dedicate myself to my craft. And while there are times when the “cheques in the mail,” I have not regretted my decision.


Review by: Susan Day on July 07, 2014 :
When I started reading this book I was instantly taken back to my university days where I was reading the Romantic poets. What a fantastic time it was. This collection is just as touching and inspiring.

The beauty of these pieces can be found in their simplicity and honesty. In ‘Fog’ we hear the poet’s voice lamenting the loss of childhood in the teen years. Like a mist, we can hear the gentle rhythm of the poet’s voice describing her lack of understanding about this confusing time.

The haunting images embellish each poem. I especially love the drawing which accompanies ‘My Tree, My Forest, My Fears’ where the female form grows and is entwined into the trunk of the tree. Its simplicity only enhances the beauty of the image and the poem.

Also included are three short stories written by the author as part of a large series. Each story reveals a mature writer able to wield her pen to create an intriguing tale ranging from a husband’s observance of the various stages of his wife’s temper to the vividly represented Flaming-Winged Owl. I found the Croatian stories much more compelling than the Disney-ified ones that batter our senses on the popular media.

Money from the sale of this book goes to support AnimalsAsia - an organization that works to end bear bile farming, promote cat and dog welfare, and end abuse and neglect in zoos and safari parks.

I can highly recommend this beautiful collection to anyone who appreciates the finer art of poetry and storytelling. Grab a copy and support a great cause.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sharon Bayliss on June 25, 2014 :
In this short and sweet collection, you'll find a variety of emotional and lyrical poems that range from deeply personal stories of her childhood to a metaphorical allegory featuring a dove and a swan. I was impressed by her lyrical voice and also her range. Each poem had her distinct flavor but still felt very different. After the poetry, she shares three short stories featuring Croatian mythology. She mentions that these are a taste of a future full-length novel, and I'm quite glad! I look forward to reading more of the story.

And, by buying this book you support a great cause. 25% of the proceeds support AnimalsAsia, an organization that works to end bear bile farming, promote cat and dog welfare, and end abuse and neglect in zoos and safari parks.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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