“Chasing the Rainbow” Blog Tour

Day 1
About the Book: “Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey”

A collection of poetry that describes the coming of age and coming out of a man who struggled with his self-worth and identity, in the hopes to show others who share similar struggles that they are not alone.

Writer’s Q&A
When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?

Answer: I began writing when I was twelve years old after experiencing one of the most depressing times of my life. The summer of 1987, I attempted to end my life. I struggled with a great many things, such as identity and traumatic stress caused by events that occurred my earlier childhood. Events I do not talk about very often, but one day put them pen to paper, as they say. Anyways, to make a long story short, the fall of 1987 I was lucky to have an incredible English Teacher by the name of Mrs. Carr. Now our school was not the prettiest or the fanciest, but we were lucky to have passionate instructors who were truly passionate about teaching.

Mrs. Carr often commented on my writing style and once day during a 1:1 session she asked me if I ever thought of becoming a writer when I grew up. I fell over in my chair laughing at her. She had a great sense of humor luckily, however, she made it clear she was being quite sincere. She said she saw great potential in my writing style and with everything I had gone through in my life, she said it might be quite therapeutic for me. I told her I would think about. I will admit I was quite resistant to such a thought, as we were in the impoverished East San Diego region called “El Barrio Logan.” The school was in the middle of the barrio where is was riddled with drugs and gangs.  Anything artistic was not considered exactly “normal” in this part of town.

The day after Mrs. Carr and I had our conversation, she decided to spring on the class what she called a “pop writers challenge.” Even though it was not much of a contest, she would present these “challenges” with passion and great hype. The challenge that day was to write a poem about our past summer vacation. She implored us to make it lyrical. I remember her words to this day, “I want you to tell me a story through your poem… I want to laugh with you if it was a funny event… I want to cry with you and feel your pain if it was a sad event.” She liked playing music during these challenges and for that day’s challenge she played “Moonlight Sonata”. To be honest the first five minutes of this writing challenge I froze. My summer was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions as I stated earlier. I let the music take me into my emotions and memories. The name of that poem is titled “Freeze”.

My teacher like to showcase our work to the rest of our peers, so the following day Mrs. Carr did her usual impassioned speech on how impressed she was with each and everyone one of us but stated a few of the authors from yesterday’s challenged stood out. The poetic works that were shared were ranged from romantic, well as romantic as a 12-year-old could be, to extremely humorous. The last poetic works she shared was “Freeze” however she did not disclose the author to the class. She said, “after I read this poem, I will leave it up to the author whether or not they wanted to share the identity.” She tearfully read my poem, as if she was in my soul and was feeling the pain I endured. My peers were in awe making comments like “I want to give them a hug whoever they are” and “The poem should be published.” After the tears from my peers and continued statements I slowly stood up. This is how this author was born.

Excerpts from “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” by Forrest Robert Stepnowski

The Embrace

You are the warmth of my embrace, and the endless rhythm of my heart,

The whisper of the wind and the song of endless dreams realized,

How fortunate am I, when I’ve always thought I was one of those unfortunate souls?

You are the angel I have always dreamed of, but always thought never existed,

The sparkle of the heavens and the dance of a falling star,

When did I become the lucky one, to be captured by your light and love?

You are my life, my love, and my laughter during the endless darkness that tries to consume me,

The shield of the knight in shining armor when the dragons and demons appear to be on the attack,

How you make me feel just by your glance and the caress of your touch?

You are the beauty that I never could imagine in my deepest fantasies,

The mystery discovered and the joy of the sunshine upon

the cascading waterfall and the rainbows end,

How incredible I feel when I look at you and know that I am home?

You are the warmth of my embrace, and the endless rhythm of my heart,

The whisper of the wind and the song of endless dreams realized

How fortunate am I, when I’ve always thought I was one of those unfortunate souls?

Unfortunate soul, I am no more.

Freeze (written in 1987)

Feeling sorry for myself,
Seeing death as a way out,
Showing scars in memory,
Feeling sharp steel against my flesh,
Drops of red coloration fall upon the ground,
Life is flying past thy eyes,
Horrible memories come into mind,
Life is healing,
Loved ones are near,
Good memories appear,
Love is in my mind,
Drops of red fade away,
I am alive,
The ice has melted…

About the Author:

Forrest Robert Stepnowski is an advocate, a writer, a social worker, and a performance artist in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing poetic works and prose for most of his life. He realized how important is to share his work with others who have dealt with similar pathways of self-hate, self-deprecation, and self-loathing in the hopes they find they are not alone, as well as help them realize they are not deviants, nor are they against “human nature.” They are part of a collective of misfit toys on an island where being different is beautiful. We all have a voice, and the world should hear it. Forrest is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://www.forresttakesajourney.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forrestrobertstepnowski

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/frstepnowski

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/forreststepnowski

Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey (Available on Kindle and Paperback)

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

6 responses to “Welcome to the “CHASING THE RAINBOW” Blog Tour! @FRStepnowski @4WillsPub #RRBC”

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