As the saying goes, “Every soul has a story.” Lauri Halterman has found a unique way to share her story, publishing an autobiographical book of poetry, “Alaurilee: Rhymes of a Random Soul.”
“I chose to write books so my poems can inspire others, especially those who are going through difficult times,” Halterman said.
Halterman will share her writing techniques and the steps she took to publish her work during a presentation at the Blount County Public Library on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.
“Alaurilee: Rhymes of a Random Soul” is a collection of poetry that Halterman has written since she was 12 years old and compiled them to tell her story. She was prompted to publish them because her father encouraged her. In 2009, Halterman visited him in their home state, New Mexico, when he was dying. On one of her visits, he told her how proud he was of her. She explained that during the dying process, he had periods of confusion and one of his visions was being in a store in California and seeing her book of a shelf.
“It inspired me to finish it,” Halterman said. She dedicated the book to her father. Her father also inspired her to use the name “Alaurilee.” Lauri explained that her father always had fun ways of saying her name, “Lauri.” Eerily, after she published her work, she went back to listen to one of the last voice mail messages that he left before he passed away. In the last message, he said, “I love you, Alaurilee.”
Writing about universal themes, Halterman divided the book into three distinct sections to reflect three phases of her life. The first section, which she dedicated to teachers who had a positive impact in her life, examines “The Early Years.” The second section’s poems are threads of Halterman’s life lessons from her late teenage years and early married life. Part III, “Love, Life and Growth,” contemplates love and peace through trying and joyful times.
“There are poems about memories, poems about nature,” said Halterman of her work.
Writing poetry as an autobiographical tool is a subject that Halterman knows well, and she will be sharing her knowledge with program participants at the library. Throughout the presentation, she will read from “Alaurilee: Rhymes of a Random Soul,” to illustrate examples of writing poetry in an autobiographical form. Halterman will also provide resources such as websites dedicated to poetry writing and writing prompts.
Throughout the self-publishing process, Halterman learned about the different publishing options in addition to book design, cover design and copyediting. During her library presentation, she will share her knowledge for those interested in the publishing process.
“I want to help people see their dream,” Halterman said.
Halterman is achieving her dreams. The next phase of her life will involve more writing, including working with a local illustrator on a children’s book, she said.