By Geo Ong
As the title suggests, these are my initial thoughts on Mindy Nettifee’s new book, Glitter in the Blood: A Poet’s Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing. I enjoy hearing and reading about what other writers think about writing. I enjoy hearing and reading about their processes and techniques, their struggles and successes, and their overall philosophies. Over the past year I’ve adopted very helpful techniques from other writers, and so far they’ve made the difference between writing and not writing, or, as I now refer to it, being happy and being frustrated.
Glitter in the Blood is very much what it claims to be: a poet’s manifesto. Nettifee states in its introduction: ‘The central thesis of this poetry manifesto is about bravery.’ It is a book written to help you towards braver, more truthful, and more honest writing. Better writing, in two words. It is written to help you towards conquering fear, which, for the writer, manifests itself in multiple forms.
The book, however, is also an arms-extended celebration of writing, a complete declaration of love for the art. Her words of encouragement, tips of advice, and referential anecdotes all come from a heart that knows it must write, and it is speaking to the rest of those hearts who know it, own it, and want to grow bigger.
Like I said, these are just initial thoughts. I will most likely be keeping my copy of the book right by my desk, next to other reference material, and it will most likely transform into different books as my days and weeks and years go by. But one thing about the book will hopefully stay the same. Reading Glitter in the Blood is like having one long conversation over the course of one very special day with one very special friend. After the two-hour mark with one person, the catch-up is long gone, and you start to tell each other things not everyone is meant to hear but the two of you.