Coping with the pandemic has been overwhelming for many people, some experiencing changes in sleeping and eating patterns and difficulties in concentrating and sleeping. For writer Joel Wendell Frederick, he used the lockdown to do the final touches on his first book titled Caffeinated Whispers.
The 107-page book, which comprises a series of poems, was independently published on May 30.
Frederick, who is from St Augustine, works in the security industry. Owing to work commitments, he said he did not have time to finish his book. Caffeinated Whispers, he told Newsday, urges the reader to pause and reflect as the poems speak of joys and life challenges. His lyrics are a combination of life experiences, fiction, and imagination.
"Things slowed down, and I was able to complete it. The poems reflect love, heartbreak, romance, and many other factors that influence our emotions," Frederick said.
"When people drink caffeine, it stimulates their mind and body. I wanted my poems to stimulate the readers’ minds subtly."
Frederick reminisced that he always had a burning desire to write and to explore this passion at a tender age.
He considered his deceased stepfather Clifford Lezama as one of his greatest inspirations. Lezama wrote poetries, many of which Frederick read as a child and into adulthood.
"He died in 1999 at 70 before he had an opportunity to publish his first book. He completed it but did not know anyone or the process to publish it," Frederick said.
"His poetries are different from mine as it was more emotional and based his experience of love. It was a therapy for him to cope with his wife’s death."
Frederick also considers his poems a form of therapy.
Generally, men don’t speak about their feels as do women, he said.
"Men bottle up feelings. We repress our emotions. I use the pen as my medium, as my therapist. Whatever my feelings, I write it," Frederick said.
"As I completed this project, I am already working on others to get the ideas/ words out of me. I hope to touch readers’ hearts through my pen."
Frederick said Caffeinated Whispers tells of emotions manifested into masterpieces of metaphors, colourfully painted and articulated onto paper or spoken.
So far, the book is only available on kindle e-book for US $ 2.99 and on paperback for $US 11.99. He is awaiting hard copies from abroad, and then he intends to have them sold in local stores.