Les Belles Lettres
Pronounced: Lay Bell Let(rh!)
Les Belles Lettres isn’t my first self-published book, but it’s the first one to be published on a large scale. 253 pages compiled of select, passion-filled works from throughout my life, plus all my recent writing up until the book was filled at the beginning of 2019. Once I finished writing, I spent 6 tough months working on compiling the book together, cover design, proof printing, and the publishing process. All of which I couldn’t have done without the partnership of my husband, Josh!
I’m more than excited and ready to finally share Les Belles Lettres Volume 1 with you!
Les Belles Lettres (The Beautiful Letters) is a collection of poetry, prose, and thoughtful musings that come from the deep desire to bring beauty and enlightenment to fellow dreamers and romantics.
In a world where bite-sized, commercialized snippets have been glorified as poetry, Les Belles Lettres is an ode to classical poetry, and a take on modern day prose alike. Inspired by an old poetry anthology one might find in a vintage book store, with the feeling of a newly discovered, yet age-old treasure.
It is a collection of my writings, spanning from across my teenage years, into young adult and womanhood. It is not just poetry, but also a journal, a note to self, and a love letter to the world.
Les Belles Lettres is written for anyone with an eye for beauty and an artistic soul, with no limit on age bracket or gender. An experience encapsulated in words, and divided into 4 chapters: Love, Musings, Inspiration & Poetry.
Behind the Book
The Cover Design:
When deciding on a cover, I was heavily inspired by the vintage French nrf books. They are very special to me since I collect them every time I’m in Paris. So I wanted to imbue that same timeless magic in my book, and bring a little bit of Paris to readers. Paris has been a huge inspiration to me in recent years, but the beauty of French language, culture, and art has been inspiring me for decades. One of my earlier self-published poetry books was called ‘Poésies’, which in English we think of as a bouquet of flowers, but in French it translates to “poetry”. It only seemed fitting to me then, as my collection of writings has always felt more like a bouquet of words.
It only makes sense that, as I’ve finally come full circle these many years later, I return to my roots where I first found my inspiration. My bouquet of pretty words has blossomed into full blown letters… written to myself and to my fellow dreamers. The term Les Belles Lettres stands for any writing that exists simply for its beauty and inspiration, and that too felt fitting for my book title and series. Series…? Yes! There is Volume 2 already in the works!
My writing tends to revolve around the same topics, which I narrowed down into 4 chapters for the book. I wanted to include not only my full on poetry and prose, but also pieces from my personal journal and shorter thoughts that hold weight for me. Whether you’re lingering in the chapters to read longer poems, or just quickly flicking through the pages for some impactful words, I wanted there to be something for everyone in this book. And it was important to me that these pages offer true value to whoever reads them.
I wrote heavily about Love when I was a young adult, which filled an entire section of this book. Those fitful years are sometimes some of the most impassioned parts of our lives, and revisiting those writings really allowed me to rekindle that flame in a new way. I felt so much then, and I understand much more now. I realized how important it is to stay in tune with those feelings, and watch them grow and evolve. I’m a very passionate advocate for love (of all sorts), and this is why I made it Chapter 1.
Throughout my childhood and teen years, I had such an overactive imagination that I dreamed up extraordinary worlds within my ordinary life. Nature was my escape from the pressures I felt growing up, and I often found myself connecting on a very deep level to the earth and her mysteries. The beauty of life intrigued me, because I also felt so much pain simultaneously. I was a very sensitive person, and didn’t know how to handle my gift of discernment. I felt too deeply, saw through people, grasped too much but couldn’t understand the pain people caused each other. I needed the magic of simplicity, the beauty of nature, and the escape of dreams to fight my way through those years. These Musings gave me purpose, and they earned their place as Chapter 2.
During the years of my adult life where I didn’t write so much poetry, I still scribbled down my thoughts and feelings that turned into the Inspirations chapter. These were things that I felt I always needed to remember, or things I wanted to tell someone but didn’t necessarily have the courage to. I collected these thoughts and realized I truly felt the world needed to hear some of these things, and thus they got their own section in the book and make up Chapter 3- dedicated to bringing that positivity or new perspective to someone who might need it. This section is also dedicated to those who love short reads!
And lastly, Poetry… the thing that has been with me for years and years. I started writing when I was 13, and poetry came to me naturally around the age of 16. I can hardly believe how my voice has developed since the beginning. I even have a hard time believing some of my old writings could have come from my younger self, someone who had feelings too big, thoughts too deep, and yet not even a sliver of the experiences I desired. Poetry was my way to explore my deepest self and find out who I was, and who I was destined to become. I had stopped writing poetry for several years and didn’t realize at first how a part of myself was missing. Picking up the pen again, as rusty as I was when I began again, felt like returning to myself. And this is when I plunged head first into regaining my voice. It was the beginning of my Les Belles Lettres project.