“1.conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination;odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque:fantastic rock formations; fantastic designs.2.fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions:We never know what that fantastic creature will say next.3.imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish orirrational:fantastic fears.4.extravagantly fanciful; marvelous.5.incredibly great or extreme; exorbitant:to spend fantastic sums of money.6.highly unrealistic or impractical; outlandish:a fantastic scheme to make a million dollars betting on horse races.7.Informal. extraordinarily good:a fantastic musical.”
Unrestrained, beauty of the game,
Uncontained, no limits are found.
Unrestrained, freedom without shame.
Uncontained, leaping with no sound.
Undetained, words flowing amaze.
Undenied creativity —
Unconceived all the possibilities,
Undenied art — ingenuity.
Art, there is no limits, no bounds,
Start, nothing ventured is the same.
Art, bizarre and odd, they surround.
Start, with words; imagination reigns.
Impart advice: “Do What You Like.”
Dart here, there –no right way exists.
Art, the forms of imagination,
Dart, the fantasticalpersists.
” A Lento consists of two quatrains with a fixed rhyme scheme of abcb, defe as the second and forth lines of each stanza must rhyme. To take it a step further, but not required, try rhyming the first and third lines as well as the second and forth lines of each stanza in this rhyming pattern: abab, cdcd. The fun part of this poem is thrown in here as all the FIRST words of each verse should rhyme. There is no fixed syllable structure to the Lento, but keeping a good, flowing rhythm is recommended.”
Good Morning and welcome to another bi-weekly edition of my interview series. Today, I’m interviewing the talented, inspiring, seventeen-year-old, poetess, and writerNelly Mgendi who prefers to be called Nelly Cherry from the blog Nelly Cherry. Please take time to visit her site, she has many gems of poetry to be read.
1. Nelly, Please Tell Us About Yourself:
My birth name is Nelly Mgendi but I have adopted the name Nelly Cherry and that is the name I prefer to go by. I am Tanzanian by birth and currently living in Kenya.
In a nutshell, I am adventurous and I like to discover new things. I’m funny and as some would say, I am quite the drama queen. I was also raised in a humble religious home.
When I was younger, I never liked poetry or writing whatsoever, even though, I was a huge fan of reading books. Back at home, people didn’t think of me as anyone extraordinary, as someone who had hidden talents. All of that changed when I came to Kenya where I am treated with love and have support. People don’t see me as the plain and uninteresting “Nelly Mgendi” but “Nelly Cherry,”a girl who is full of surprises.
Moving to Kenya made me realize there is more to who I am as person than I or other people thought back home. I found a passion for writing in Kenya. At first, I hated it, but I grew to appreciate writing and learn about writing and creativity in-depth. Today, I love writing and cannot live without it; writing has made me a better person.
As the saying goes: “ Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This was extremely applicable for me and how I judged writing before I fell in love with it.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I considered going into writing when I was about to finish my O levels in school. I bought a journal to express my thoughts and started writing. Through social media I saw various different blogs, and decided blogging my writing would be a great idea. Before WordPress I joined Blogspot, a blogging platform I didn’t enjoy. So, I signed up for WordPress where I felt welcomed by a wonderful and warm community and my dear friend Vester Miles.
I decided to permanently, use WordPress for my social media platformfor writing.
“Today, I love writing and cannot live without it; writing has made me a better person. As the say goes: ” Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This was extremely applicable for and how I judged writing before I fell in love with it.” – Nelly Cherry
3.What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
Poetry is my comfort zone because it is where I get to express myself. I’m not an open person so poetry is where I can show who I actually am. I write because there is more to who I am than what people label me as being. Writing gives me comfort and it helps me forget about my own problems. Also, it gives me some sense of hope and purpose in life. Writing aids me in dealing with any situation which comes my way. It helps me express and cope with emotions, issues, and situations, as well as use my imagination.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
All of my writing begins as I perceive the people around me. I look at and dig deeper into my surroundings and the events that are currently, happening around me and in my life. I also find inspiration in music of different genres. I search for the ‘storyline’ in a piece of music and the bigger picture behind the song I’m writing about. I find motivation to write as I read about and read the works of other writers and poets who are not afraid to write what’s genuinely on their mind.
“Writing give me comfort and it helps me forget about my own problems. Also, it gives me some sense of hope and purpose in life. Writing aids me in dealing with any situation which comes my way.” – Nelly Cherry
5. What Time of Day do You Most Like to Write and What Are Your Current Writing Projects? Do You Plan on Publishing Your Writing?
I love writing in the morning when I have a clear fresh mind, but sometimes I write anytime, whenever I’m inspired to write.
My current writing projects include the poems: “Summer,” “Happy Father’s day,” “In Misery,” “Faded,” and “Abandoned Soul.” Also, I am working towards writing a book. I am planning to publish some of my writing in the future. But right now, I’m going to continue blogging on WordPress as a way of publishing my writing.
6. Can You Describe the Process You Go Through to Publish Your Writing? What Is Your Writing Process Like?
It is a long process for me to publish my work. I am still trying to get an editor which is why my work is currently on hold; however, I do have a writing process.
First, I write my ideas on a piece of paper or on my phone. Then, I look around for more inspiration and write the ideas I have on my Mac so far. If I don’t have a complete idea, I listen to music. Then, I go back to my Mac and write what the music has inspired in me.
After I am done, I ask my friend Ashley to provide me with further suggestions or tell me what she thinks of what I already have written down. Opinion from a ‘first reader’ matters a great deal as their opinion helps me decide on what I will continue to write. The first reader may have her own ideas or thoughts on my writing. I often, combine her ideas and my own when I’m writing.
7. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing and/or Reading styles and/or Genres?
I prefer fantasy and science fiction genres. I love science fiction because it can includespecial effectsin film. You are able to visualizeideas and live in your head with creative ideas in science fiction. Also, I love reading the science fiction genre as it has imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, and time travel. One of my favourite books on fantasy is called: Crossed Borders. In science fiction, my favourite books are the Divergent Series and Hunger Games.
“Opinion from a ‘first reader’ matters a great deal as their opinion helps me decide on what I will continue to write. The first reader may have her own ideas or thoughts on my writing. I often, combine her ideas and my when I’m writing.” – Nelly Cherry
8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us Which Is Pertinent to Writing or Yourself?
My advice is to never stop dreaming and never give up. Also, never be afraid to voice your ideas and write what’s in your soul. If writing is what you love, you need to put your time and dedication towards it.
As well, learning to listen to other people’s ideas is extremely helpful to you as a writer. If you’ve a problem, don’t be afraid to ask because learning never stops. Don’t be afraid to show your work because you’re afraid of other people’s opinions. Write and show the world who you are. Write what you feel but while you are writing, consider other people’s feelings.
I love when people express their thoughts and ideas on writing and it brings new thoughts and ideas to your own writing. Also, having people critique my work is valuable. Listening to what people want to say in regards to my writing, and what they think I should improve on helps me write. One of the most significant values I have learned in life is:“Learning never stops.”
“Don’t be afraid to show your work because you’re afraid of other people’s opinions. Write and show the world who you are. Write what you feel but while you are writing, consider other people’s feelings.” – Nelly Cherry
9. Please Share With One of Your Favourite Pieces of Poetry.
Hidden in the closet like playing a game of hide and seek,
I lock myself inside afraid of getting out.
Am locked in, afraid of releasing myself in the wild,
Afraid of breaking out as fear takes over my mind.
Embracing, exploring, discovering who I really am,
I finally go out of my way and show the world,
Breaking the walls I have built inside me,
Coming out and showing my true colours.
(By Nelly Cherry)
10. Here Are Some Links To Some Of Nelly’s Other Pieces of Poetry:
Thank You so much Nelly, for sharing with us your journey to becoming a writer. It is exciting and inspiring to see you put so much of yourself into your work. I can see how passionate you are about writing and your poetry, it’s wonderful to see. Thank you as well, for your wise and motivational advice to other writers. Nelly’s blog can be visited here: Nelly Cherry.
Would you like to share your writing and writing process with otherwriters and bloggers? Would you like to be interviewed such as Nelly? Drop me a note on my contact page and I will send you some interview questions. Thanks for reading 🙂
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!
There are memories and memories inbetween memories, things you shouldn’t know. But I write and I say, what naturally comes to flow. Spending a day building raw story into characters who have flaws and appeal. Characters who are relatable and show affection, lust, a special connection with each other.
I am building story from the ground level, thanks to a friend, who tore my story down line by line so I am able to build. I’m grateful for everything he sees that I do not. How the story doesn’t flow and how the characters actually appear.
What’s believable in real life? I think an interesting situation because the story involves magic and in real life we don’t believe in curses and the power of magic. We write of it extensively wishing for such power, such talents, such super-human abilities. Probably because we’re human, and sometimes being human makes a person feel mighty small.
Today’s memories are about editing and refinement. Answering questions I wouldn’t know how to ask. I’m learning. Digging deeper, past the simple, into the complex. I don’t want a one-dimensional story. Though it has magic I want the characters to be real people and I want their flaws and likes/dislikes to show. I want what they’re good at, their occupations, their speech and actions, the people they have around them, to demonstrate their characters.
The minds of people are endlessly fascinating, especially the minds of those who say everything or say nothing. My Grandpa said little, his mind was complicated. He was a Pastor whose smoking habit ended his life at seventy-three -years-old. He would ask questions which made one think and consider alternate routes as he taught me the games of cribbage, chess, and when we attempted cryptograms and crossword puzzles. Grandpa’s questions always hinted at digging deeper, searching for another method, and missed details.
But my Godfather, he says everything. And what he says is thought-provoking. He is always thinking of other people, how to help. He is the bestfriend to his friends and he has many. He can listen but mostly he talks and he’s wise with his words.
I miss him and the second place I call home, his and my Godmothers charming house. His wisdom and continual thinking, his belief in God solving all problems, and finding answers from an omniscient God are well expressed; he gives me such peace after we’ve had a conversation or I’ve listened to him talk.
And I’m thinking about a paint night I’m doing with friends at the bar Sunday night. Painting, did you know I love it? I will need a couple drinks to merely do as the instructor says, but I know what my hands and mind will do.
I will mix the paint, either ruin or add to the design. I desire creativity. I’ve said it before, creativity cannot be boxed in its true form. But with a drink or two and two good friends, the evening will pass and I’ll come home, painting in hand.
Also, finding a good guy — one whom you enjoy being with and talking with is difficult. You need to be attracted to their looks and their intelligence. You hope they such as you, have plans to do ‘something’ with their life. Finding a guy with all these parameters, is it asking too much? I’m not sure. I’m not extensively experienced here.
But time after time I’m disappointed when a date becomes, “come over to my place,” usually at night but sometimes in the day. There is no dating involved. There is no understanding of, ” I’m not interested.” And certain men keep messaging or calling.
I’m not adverse to sleeping with the right guy. I haven’t found a right guy lately. I don’t know if I’m such as Alice’s friend at tea I’m, ‘mad as a hatter’ to believe there are good guys out there who want to have fun out of bed and when a woman trusts them, in bed too. Laying that foundation of trust is vital.
I don’t think this thought of mine is right accordingto God but I’m trying to find a happy middle. Maybe my happy middle won’t make me happy?
I’m tired of guys who only want a night here and there. That was university, I’m going to be thirty-one in July. I’m not twenty-one and even twenty-one year old me would have smacked a guy who kept after her after she repeatedly told him to back off.
Guys don’t get it, they scar women. This is stuff I cannot believe I’m writing but eighteen-year-old me was extremely naive at the bar. Her friend ditched her for some guy. She was all alone and trying to get away from this guy who followed her around the bar. She didn’t have the confidence a girl three or so years older had at the bar, batting away and shooting down idiots before they became stalkers for the night.
She was so stupid. It’s effected her sense of trust ever since. He didn’t stop for a long time; it only felt like eternity. The repeated “No” in his ears, he was deaf to it until she cried wet tears. There were different guys after that, few who she didn’t mind getting close to.
But always, I have this disgust for men who treat women as if a woman’s existence is for their pleasure, because she wants or needs sex too. Should she have to sleep with a man after she has deliberated and said, “no?” No she shouldn’t, it’s always a woman’s choice, it’s her body after all.
Guy’s scar with their repeated advances boardering on harassment. They scar bruising you badly where they should be gentle. You look to see how purple your bruises are. Not understanding how he didnt comprehend, “don’t be rough.”
Enough. To much info. But this poem is prose; it is memories past and to come — some awful and some exciting. Building memories writing and living in a world that can be cruel at times.
But I think if you’re building if you’re working towards a goal you can be proud you’re using your talents despite the cards life and your stupid self may have dealt you playing poker.
Cheesy analogy but ever since I learned to play poker — Texas Holdem — in the basement of my Pastor’s house with friends I’d grown up or met in church at that time, I always think back to poker seeing such a carry over for life.
Each day, place your bets and see what the ‘river’ holds, and how the cards in your hand can be played. Ask for another card if you dare, trading one in . . .
We’d drink beer and play poker. We’d watch NFL football and play video games. I never entirely got why some days my poker playing was terrific, while other days I could fold most hands and end up broke. We paid twenty dollars in a pot at the beginning of each game. At times my one brother and I would play with the other players until 3:00 am or 4:00 am in the morning.
I didn’t play much poker after those years ended. But I feel sometimes as if I’m placing my bet, and trying desperately to hold onto my poker face. Tomorrow, more building. It keeps me going.
1. Some people abhor quiet and others they adore it, I would say I’m often in the latter group but not all the time; we all have this need to be sociable creatures to some extent, whether it’s to meet new clients and network; gab with our girlfriends or see the boys for a game; or simply sit in a coffee shop and absorb the hum of conversation occurring around us.
2. I have this love for quiet (or silence you might call it) because they’re special ideas and transfigurations of your imagination hiding within it; some people can feed their creativity in the loud and garish noises of a crowd of people yelling and hollering to a person near to them; but the best place for some of us to elaborate on ideas and call fourth the muses of our imagination is in the silence where we write brilliant stories, paint paintings, and daydream of our future creations.
3. Sometimes it’s not the quiet or silence which is meaningful, but the spaces inbetween the quiet, because in those hidden molecules lives a powerful and significant understanding between two people; it is love in it’s magnificence which exists within the silences of husbands and wives, partners, girlfriends and boyfriends, children and their parents, grandparents and grandchildren, friends, and people and their pets; this space within silence is a secret place two people who love each other exceptionally, coexist together without uttering a single word, while both comprehending each other deeply even within each other’s souls.
The pantoum consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the succeeding quatrain; each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. The first line of the series recurs as the last line of the closing quatrain, and third line of the poem recurs as the second line of the closing quatrain, rhyming ZAZA.
The design is simple:
Line 5 (repeat of line 2)
Line 7 (repeat of line 4)
Continue with as many stanzas as you wish, but the ending stanzathen repeats the second and fourth lines of the previous stanza (as its first and third lines), and also repeats the third line of the first stanza, as its second line, and the first line of the first stanza as its fourth. So the first line of the poem is also the last.
Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.
I think if you looked around you and plucked the thoughts out of the head of everyone that surrounds you,
You would be scared to find out what they think. You might think: ” But I don’t want go among mad people.”
And I would reply: “Oh you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” Your face is turning red now. You don’t believe what I say.
“How do you know I’m mad?” You may ask me. And I would laugh until the tears streamed down my face at such questions from a child.
“You must be [mad]. Or you wouldn’t have come here.” It’s my best reply. It doesn’t give the answers you desire but I’m in no mood for your questions now.
You may wonder where here is. Well a lot of people wonder about that. Yet here they are infront of me asking me if they’re mad. Of course, you’re mad.
But I have an excellent answer to your question when you ask me a second time: “Have I gone mad?”I would tell you,” I’m afraid so. But let me tell you something. All the best people are.”
So if you’re still thinking about all the thoughts in all the minds around you. I suggest you stop and if you are a mind reader, only read the minds of someone who is mad. They are the only ones who truly understand.
It takes a little madness to truly comprehend. That life can be so fun and there are possibilities everywhere. Madness is a quality that I seek in everybody. Call it genius, eccentricity, craziness, or call it creativity. I call it madness. And it is fantastic!
I have often wondered if in these modern times, we are becoming to busy for our own good. By that I mean, do we actually need to be involved in activities and busy most moments of our lives. Or, is it a better idea for us to take some sit back and just spend some time thinking or just doing nothing. Have we become so busy and involved that we’re forgetting to be meaningfully social and on a hands on level helping others. Or, is it okay to not know your neighbours, the person your sitting next to at work, and take a hands off approach in aiding others such as those in need in our own families even. Have we forgotten ourselves along the way through life’s hustle and bustle, have we forgotten to be human?
When I was a little girl my parents had a 2 activity limit for my brothers and I. I think those two activities were piano and youth group. I remember being forever resentful that I had to be in piano and couldn’t play soccer or some other sport. But sports were expensive and my parents didn’t want to be involved in Bingo night every weekend to raise money for sports.
Even though I wanted to play sports, I thought it was a great thing later on that my parents allowed us time just to play and be kids. Sometimes we were bored but being bored meant that we learned how to keep ourselves occupied.
In short, our minds became a playground of activity (not just the actual playground) and I wonder now today if enough kids have the opportunity to just play and learn to occupy their time when they have nothing to do. Isn’t it important to learn to think for yourself, to makeup games and stories, and most of all, to be creative. Creativity isn’t made by having every moment of your life planned out for you. Creativity is made by having the time to just think and be inspired.
I also think we learn to help others on a more personal level when we take the time to be less selfish. Suddenly, it’s not all about what I want to do with my time but how can I use my time to be social and work with/aid others.
It is very easy to throw money at a problem and sometimes that is the best solution but as much as we need money for education and helping children, isn’t it more hands on and personal to tutor kids or help them learn or work on their reading skills.
Doing something like this (as an example) does a couple of different things: it allows a child to work on their reading and allows them to develop a relationship with you socially, maybe as a parent or a community member. In turn, this may encourage kids to want to help other children at present and later on in their lives in an impactful way. It teaches kids not be selfish and that helps the community as a whole.
Hopefully, it also teaches social skills so that children learn to talk about what their reading and share that with their mentor. Additionally, it is impactful on the mentor who gains benefits from teaching a child.
Lastly, taking time for ourselves in a busy world can help us avoid stress and some mental illness. Last night on the news I heard that 60 some percent of people suffer from mental illness, exponentially more, then the amount of people who suffered from heart disease or diabetes. But I imagine a lessening of stress might have a huge impact on these 2 other physical illnesses.
But most people don’t understand that mental illness can be as physical as heart disease or stroke. I experience this myself. Depression and anxiety for instance, can make a person extremely tired, cause them to not want to get out of bed they are so tired, and make a person physically fatigued. Not to mention the fact that depression happens in the brain, an organ, makes it as physical as cancer.
Moreover, we don’t take good care of ourselves when we are to busy not to think about ourselves. If we don’t eat healthy, get proper exercise, get proper rest, this effects our entire lives.
This is why I wonder why everyone wants to be so busy, are they afraid they might miss out on something? A lot of the time, this is probably not the truth. Every one thinks they’re missing out something but that is entirely relevant to any number of aspects such as your mood, the success of the event, and the people who attend.
And it seems to me anyways, that it would be a greater use of our time if we had time to think, help others, and ourselves. The consequences of not having this time is hurtful to everyone in society, hurtful to humanity.