Oconee native Brandy Angel has fulfilled a goal that she began working toward in elementary school: publishing a poetry book.
The book, “Wonderings and Wanderings,” is Angel’s first. It's also the culmination of thoughts and experiences with COVID-19 lockdowns.
Angel is a mother to two daughters, a traveling nurse for nearly 10 years, a professional photographer for 12 years, an artist and the founder of Be The Change - Brandy Angel Foundation.
Angel published the book herself through Amazon, spending about a year compiling and editing the poems, formatting them within the book and submitting it to Amazon for printing and distribution.
Angel said that putting her feelings out into the world was scary because of how personal it is, but the benefit outweighed the anxiety.
Part of what inspired Angel to finish her own book was reading a poetry book called, “Field Guide To The Haunted Forest” by Jarod K. Anderson.
“It really touched my heart and made me feel so much comfort,” Angel said. “It really felt like getting a hug from a stranger, and I felt less alone. It truly inspired me to work harder at finishing my own book.”
Angel said people have reached out since buying the book to share how it helped them feel less alone in their experiences, which is part of what drove her to publish the book.
“Sometimes you just have huge feelings and huge thoughts that you need to put down, and you realize other people are going through the same things,” Angel said. “And if you can help somebody with your own experiences, you should.”
The title of Angel’s book stems from how she passed time during the COVID-19 lockdowns: wondering over thoughts and wandering through the woods.
“The name ‘Wonderings and Wanderings’ just popped into my mind as I was looking over the collection of poems.
The book’s cover photo was taken by Angel’s boyfriend, Alex Ugolini, while the two explored an old mill.
Angel said her favorite poem in the book, titled “Spiderwebs,” evolved from a poem that she had written as a teenager about learning from mistakes and growing from failures.
“We each navigate our spiderwebs we call life. Every choice is leading us in a new direction, a new version of our story. A foundation so delicate that any predator could rip it all down effortlessly, thoughtlessly, vengefully,”
Angel wrote in an excerpt. “Yet we build it again, with our new knowledge on how to construct it stronger, smarter, better.”
Angel said she loves poetry because she feels it’s the best way to connect with people. She compared it to how music connects people but without a melody.
Angel plans to write more poetry books, said she would love to write children’s books and finish the novels she has written throughout her life.
“Wonderings and Wanderings” can be purchased as a Kindle eBook, hardcover book and softcover book on Amazon.