Interview With Tosha Michelle


Happy Monday! Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I am happy to share with you September’s second interview: the fascinating, beautiful, and gifted poet, Tosha Michelle from the blog — Everything I Never Told You: Lucidly In Shadows, Poetry From A Hand That Writes Misty. 

Please take a look at her blog here: Everything I Never Told You


Tosha Michelle

1. Tell Us About Yourself Tosha? 

My name is Tosha Michelle and I hail from the land of grits and sweet tea. I’m a poet and author of two books — Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle and Self Help to Self Harm. The first is a chapbook and contains some of my earlier poems. The latter is my silly take on the self help genre. I’ve written things since I was a child but I didn’t take up blogging until about five-years-ago. I’m also an abolitionist and Academia addict. I’m the Radio Host of -Chit Chat Chicks Live and La Literati. I’m a book worm and perpetual nerd and dreamer.

 


 

2.  What Does Writing and Poetry Mean to You Personally? 

Poetry  — reading it, writing it — is one of my greatest forms of pleasure. There’s so much life and emotion which can be found in poetic verse. I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to write when my senses are heightened and I’m in tune with my internal angst or joy.


“I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to writ when my senses are heightened . . .” – Tosha Michelle


3. Why Do You Write and Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write?

I’m a woman-child in a state of grace, struggling to find my voice and place in this world through introspection, self-reflection, and most importantly by social activism and advocacy. I firmly believe in these words: “Be the change you want to see.” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.


4. Are There Personal Causes Behind Your Writing and Values In Life? 

Love combined with action can and will make an impact on the world. It takes heart and guts to take on the seemly insurmountable, and we must. We must take a stand against injustices such as human trafficking, child abuse, and poverty.

Can one person change the world? Absolutely! Picture a world without Martin Luther King, without Gandhi, without Mother Teresa, and the countless other men and women who fought injustices in their culture, challenged the unchallengeable, and helped change society for the better.

Changing the world, making a difference where you can, and taking a stand, these are issues I often write about. Writing is a fantastic way to make a difference in the world.


” ‘Be the change you want to see.'” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.” – Tosha Michelle


Tosha Michelle 2
Tosha Michelle

5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?  Have You Published Any Writing? What Is Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

Mornings are the best time to write, there’s something inspiring about the promise of a new day. As I stated earlier, I wrote Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle and the book, Self Help To Harm. As for projects, I’m working on putting together a collection of my  more recent poems. I also have a project with a fellow poet. We are working on a book together.


Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle: A Poet’s Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal

By Tosha Michelle

Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle Tosha
http://www.amazon.com

You Can Purchase Tosha’s Poetry Book Here on Amazon.


Self Help to Self Harm: The Dubious Guide To Life, Love, and Relationships

By Tosha Michelle

Self Help Tosha
http://www.amazon.com

Purchase Tosha’s Self Help to Self Harm Book here on Amazon.


4. What Is Your Writing Process Like? How Did You Publish Your Books?
I self-published on Amazon, the process was fairly easy. The hard part is marketing yourself and your writing. I’m not sure if I would take the self-publishing route again. I tend to write obsessively and in spurts. I need a quiet place to create, with no music, TV, or other distractions.


5. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres? Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?

 I love poetry and I am a huge fiction fan. I also read a lot of non-fiction as well. I’m a history buff and adore anything related to history and the past.
Writing is such a personal thing and I can only speak to what helps me. Writing every day is something I practice. I also read a great deal. I do think writing and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk. My Southern roots are showing 🙂
I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.


” . . .[Writing] and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk . . . I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.” – Tosha Michelle. 


6. Can You Please Share A Few Links From Your Blog With Your Favorite Or Most Loved Pieces?

“And Everything”

He makes my heart leap

But i’m so very careful of the rocks

In the distance I see the lush

greenness of the vineyard.

The roots true. The vines ripe

Do I have faith in the landscape?

It still looks abstract from here.

I walk on with my shoes of hope

wearing clear blue skies and a

thawed out soul.

Still I worry about a change in

the weather, falling into a ravine

My spirit like a sacred dare

challenges me to forget my fears,

to journey on deeper into what

could become less or more.

His voice in the distance

permeates my darker self until

all I see is sunlight.

Who can say what dust will bring?

Wine or a cloud spun our of

misguided fate?.

For now the light glimmers

How freeing it is branching

it’s way out into the unknowns.

July 29, 2016 -Tosha Michelle


Here Are Two Additional Poetry Pieces From Tosha’s Blog:


Tosha Word Quote
Tosha Michelle (Unknown)

Thank you Tosha Michelle, for answering my interview questions. I enjoyed reading your answers and the books you have written both seem as if they’ll be great reads. I know the poetry will be awesome, but I think you perspective on dating, love etc. would be an interesting read as well. I hope everyone will check them out on Amazon. Also, love that you are an advocate for change for the terrible things happening in our world.


Would you like to share about yourself, your writing, and your writing process? Please reach-out to my through my Contact Page and I will send you some interview questions. I would love to feature you on my bi-weekly interview series, whatever kind of writing you adore. Thanks for reading 🙂


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Poem: Free Verse – “Second Chance Child” #amwriting #fiction #poetry #adoption


http://www.wallpaperlayer.com

———

Ageless pages, in words transform, 

Who are you to be so adorable? 

Dreaming in daylight, waking in sleep;

Cherub cheeks and supple skin, 

Bright eyes so blue and curious, 

A baby giggling, gurgling.

So mysterious, you came from —

A woman who wouldn’t mother you;

Maybe she couldn’t? Or perhaps, she refused?

But I wonder how she shut herself off from you? 

Leaving your beautiful face, curious reflection

Your cutesy, adorable infant-self, 

Imprinting on another woman.

We all know you’re little, need protection, 

We need remember you’re delicate, cuddle you close.

She didn’t know; how could she not?

How did she leave? 

And when you were adopted and grew,

Did you care anymore? Yet being so small, 

The new woman before you, you loved.

She became the lights in your eyes, the stars in your sky, 

Until half-grown one day, walking with friends, 

You overheard parents talking of you –adopted? 

Such conflicting feelings and such anger, 

Wrapped in teenaged angst. 

Why didn’t she want you? 

She gave you away;

You’re mad at the woman who raised you, 

Your real mother, but not by blood.

Because in your adopted mother’s face you see, 

The face of the one who left you alone.

On those cold wet cement steps (you learn),

Before you could do anything.

Defenceless, you imagine yourself a babe, 

Left to die — or be found by someone horrible. 

But you are here and here you are

The day you find your first mother, 

The biological one you loath, 

You see the drug affects, the needle tracts, 

On her arms, the scars, and the abuse. 

Forty-something woman seems as if she’s sixty hard-lived.

Skin as leather, smoker’s cough, raspy voice, 

Shows you a picture of a much prettier woman, 

Her so young, walking the wrong path. 

Now she’s smiling and patting your hand, 

So relieved you’ve come to see her now. 

One wonderful and beautiful thing she birthed. 

She erases the rage you’ve acquired, 

Makes you feel not so mad because you know, 

She didn’t want you to be her one day.

So she did what she had to do for youshe sacrificed. 

And you mourn for her, for you —

All the time you wasted hating.

When at home lives your real mother,

And before you lies a stranger,

Your biological connection to her dying.

A string formed between you of DNA;

A reason she gave you up, 

To live and thrive through life a better way.

So, young one, I hope you do. 

Your second chance, 

Has always been yours

—-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Heart Breaker


Blank space, blank choice, little child of angelic voice.
Blank tape, blank hate, person of all brilliant things.
Make way, make haste, if you have a voice speak it now.
Cause you are the tone of a thousand rings.
Self-assurance, security.

Blank song, sing along, blank heart so desolate.
Black choice, blank ring, play the ringtone cut off the song.
Cause you are the moon in my sky, light up the sky all big and bright.
Stole away my heart that sings, cause your a coward, I hope that stings.

Blank voice, blank eyes, lying spies that betray my sight.
Blank hate, blank fate, how will you face me now you think?
Cause you are the child that never grew, selfish boy I’m talking to you.
Say what you say, when you want to sing. But you’re a liar of broken dreams.

I thought if I said it, you’d here my song.
I thought if I meant it you’d show a little strength.
I thought if I vented, you’d end my suffering

All these blank pages, I’ll write alone.