Tea & Madness, a memoir written in prose and poetry, is separated into the four seasons inspired by C. Streetlights' experiences: grieving a lost baby, coping with depression, anger, betrayal, surviving rape, and the accepting that there are some things she cannot forgive. Balanced somehow within this darkness is the wonder in motherhood and empathetic relationships. As her seasons change, she continues trying to find the balance of existing between normalcy and a certain kind of madness.
"In C. Streetlights, Tea and Madness, moving on, letting go and finding a home within is a never-ending search to becoming a whole human being. The reader sees that we all are "messy creatures," "energy" in the natural world, and "mountains...quilting their new fall colors." Streetlights brings us into the everyday nature of our world...Tea and Madness bridges our contrasts: sadness and happiness, forgiveness and hate, and reminds us that there is a wilderness inside all of us, full of the things we love and hate."
-- Loren Kleinman, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs
"Tea and Madness by C. Streetlights is so artfully crafted the reader finds themselves inside the tragic, beautiful mesmerizing and intimate seasons of the author's life utterly transfixed. C. Streetlights' voice is unique, powerful and reminiscent of an old soul equally wise and profound. It's a touching poetic way of painting her world. Tea and Madness is an exceptionally well- crafted memoir of prose and poetry that sneaks up on you, and warms your heart. Stunning debut."
-- Jacqueline Cioffa, author of The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine
"Tea and Madness is a lovely and touching book about a woman's triumph over trials both physical and emotional. For those who have experienced profound loss or grief, this book will be a comfort to you. For those struggling past abuse, C. Streetlights illuminates the topic with clarity, exposing the ugliness of abusers and the healing nature of letting go. Both poetry and memoir, this book has a musical quality, some of the lines need to be read and re-read, a five star experience in a handful of full, emotionally appealing small paragraphs. I found myself whispering lines aloud and smiling at the way they lightened my heart. Thank you, C, for this spiritual experience."
-- Elite Indie Reads
"Through her brilliant, crisp writing and admirable, clear-eyed honesty, C. takes us through the seasons of her life in stories and poems that are short enough to read quickly, detailed enough to draw us in, and processed enough to satisfy and offer us hope for our own lives. Things happen to C at the hands of others, but ultimately - whether it's her 4-year old self refusing to be an elephant or her young adult self who sits in the rocking chair listening to the night's lullaby and vowing "I can't change the hurt and anger from the past, but I can change how I feel about it" - C takes responsibility for her own life, not as a martyr, but as a woman wise beyond her years. C is a self-determined woman who has turned her scars into stories of courage and kindling, illumination and buoyancy, resilience and wisdom."
-- Jeanne H. Chambers, Life is Too Short to Be Ordinary
"I read this one night while working a swing shift in a treatment center for teenage girls who suffer from a plethora of problems; it breaks my heart that some of "my girls" have suffered from sexual trauma. With my nose in this book, I walked the halls while checking on these girls. I cried. I imagined their stories being played out in the pages of this book. I pray they find the power to overcome that trauma, and, like C. Streetlights, empower others to rise above. My life's most difficult moments surround the death of one of my babies. Though we knew his prognosis was not favorable, we prayed, hoped, and had complete faith for a miracle. Our miracle lasted four days. I am a different person because of my son. I am a different mother, a different wife, a different daughter, sister, friend. I pray I am not just different, but better. Reading through these pages evoked raw memories. C. Streetlights's response and portrayal of her loss is honest and reflective. It is painful, but full of HOPE."
-- Amazon Reader
As a child, C. Streetlights listened to birds pecking at her rooftop, but instead of fearing them, was convinced they would set her free and she’d someday see the stars.
Southern California sunshine never gave C. Streetlights the blonde hair or blue eyes she needed to fit in with her high school’s beach girls, her inability to smell like teen spirit kept her from the grunge movement, and she wasn’t peppy enough to cheer. She ebbed and flowed with the tide, not a misfit but not exactly fitting in, either.
C. Streetlights grew up, as people do, earned a few degrees and became a teacher. She spent her days discussing topics like essay writing, Romeo and Juliet, the difference between a paragraph and a sentence, and for God’s sake, please stop eating the glue sticks.
She has met many fools, but admires Don Quixote most because he taught her that it didn’t matter that the dragon turned out to be a windmill. What mattered was that he chose to fight the dragon in the first place.
C. Streetlights now lives in the mountains with a husband, two miracle children, and a dog who eats Kleenex. She retired from teaching so she can raise her children to pick up their underwear from the bathroom floor, to write, and to slay windmills and dragons. She is happy to report that she can finally see the stars.
C. Streetlights is now represented by Lisa Hagan Books and published by Shadow Teams NYC and her memoir Tea and Madness is now available.
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