Affection, suffering, freedom, relationships, self love, emotion, and positivity are just some of the words Raman Mander, a 25-year old Glen Valley resident, used to describe the topics found inside her first published book of poetry, Little Hugs.
“I feel as if we all need each other and have a voice, and I think providing a safe space for all ages can allow for others to connect and also live out their own passion through encouragement,” Mander said.
That safe space came after Mander graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing and started her health care career Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
After falling into, what Mander described as a ‘dark place’ during a difficult time in her life, she said she was advised by friends not to hold her emotions inside.
“I wrote in high school, but after nursing school, I never wanted to see another text book again,” Mander laughed, describing how she found her way to the expressive writing format.
Mander started to write about her experiences, eventually making it a daily goal to write what she was feeling – regardless of the joys and sorrows experienced.
“It’s almost easier to shut down and go into a hold when things are tough,” Mander said she learned through her writing. “Life does happen, but you’re not alone.”
After sending her work out to a few publishers, Friesen Press helped her through the process. Now, she is in near disbelief as she holds physical copies of Little Hugs in her hands.
“It doesn’t feel real,” she said. “It still hasn’t sunk in.”
The title comes from the experience she hopes readers get from her poetry, smaller “hugs” of comfort found in each poem that form one large embrace of encouragement and support after completion.
“It’s about love and being able to use self-love to love others,” Mander explained. “Everyone is worthy and capable.”
Little Hugs is available in paperback and hardcover at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Friesen Press.
People can also purchase an ebook copy through Indigo, Google Books, Kobo, Kindle, and ITunes.
A book signing is in the process for next month in Abbotsford at House of James (2743 Emerson St), on Nov. 19.
Mander is also the creator of of the podcast, Real Quick, a project she summed up as “learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.”
For more information on Mander and to keep up to date with her events, people can follow her on Instagram, @littlehugsfromraman.
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