Welcome to another blogger/writer interview. Life has been truly busy for me and I do not always have it in me to do these interviews every week, but I do want to do them so I will try for three times every couple months or one more if I can handle it.
Today I’m so excited to share with an interview with a fabulous writer and poet I have blogged with for many years. Her name is Michelle (Mich) Navajas or Michnvas as I know her on WordPress.
Hello, I haven’t been really open with regard to my identity. But I’d like to be called Mich as this is the first syllable of my blog name. I am a Filipina and I don’t have any additional social media accounts, only my WordPress Blog.
I was born and raised in the Philippines, a tropical country. We only have two
seasons. Our country is currently at war. One major city in Mindanao is under a state of martial law after it has been attacked by some terrorists three months ago.
As well, I live a little farther from the battle zone and it’s quite safe. The daily news of the number of casualties and fatalities among our civilians and government troops is heartbreaking. I wish one day soon the war would end.
Also, I graduated with a degree in Mass Communication with a Major in Journalism. When I became married, a career in media seemed to be not feasible anymore so I decided to become a teacher. I studied units in Education and at the same time, had my local board exams to become a teacher.
Thus, my career in education was born. I enjoyed my education studies so much that I pursued my Masters and eventually went on to finish my Ph.D.
2. How Did You Find Teaching? Tell Us About Why You Decided To Stop Teaching and What Are Is Your Family Like?
I began teaching as a career as a preschool teacher, then moved on to teach elementary and high school students. Later, I was hired as a College professor. I taught in college for five years until I realized that I was becoming so busy that I didn’t have enough time for my children as they grew up. After 15 years of teaching, I decided to resign and
After 15 years of teaching, I decided to resign and be a full-time mom to my four lovely girls. My family loves to travel a lot and create memories together. My kids are now grown. Also, my family loves to travel and create memories together and my children are now grown.
I have a 21-year-old daughter who’s graduating University and soon will be a
Chemical Engineer. My second daughter is in Senior High School and my third (and
youngest child are both in Junior High School. They are all doing well in school and
they have been behaving well too.
Also, my kids are down to earth and trust their parents. They are also each other’s best friends, despite having friends their own. They ensure that the friends they
make outside the home are the kind of friends who share the same values they have learned.
As well, my husband works as an Engineer in another country. He comes every two
months for a least 20 days. Life is good, actually the best. I probably have everything every woman could want in life and I am thankful for all I have.
“I probably have everything every woman could want in life and I am thankful for all I have.” – Mich Navajas
3. Tell Us About Some of Your Favorite Past Times? Where Does Writing Fit Into Your Family Life?
I will be turning 41 years old in June and I have learned life’s lessons the hard way over the years but it has never toppled down my spirit because after all, I am still blessed. As well, I love to do yoga and exercise daily because it keeps me sane.
Why? Well, because sometimes mommy duties are overwhelming especially if you’re hands-on on mom. Raising four intelligent girls is not a joke. My only consolation is that I have managed to keep their feet grounded while they excel and endeavor in life.
Also, I love coffee. It has been my constant companion except for my pen and paper and my smartphone which I blog on. I don’t have any social media accounts because I still believe in keeping my private life private.
But I blog because it makes me exercise my creative mind and at the same time, it’s fun to have a virtual self. I enjoy the company of my WordPress friends too. I love that blogging permits me to have intellectual and sometimes, poetic discourse with others.
3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What does it mean too you?
I began blogging after resigning from work. I didn’t know what to do with my creative mind. So one day while we were traveling, I happened to see an article about WordPress. That’s when I began writing. At first, I didn’t know what to do or how to do it I didn’t even know what my blog’s focus would be. My initial months on WordPress were shaky.
More than the idea of sharing my thoughts to all of my readers, I enjoy the intellectual and poetic conversations I have with other bloggers. I have many brilliant bloggers friends and the best part of blogging is learning new and fascinating ideas from other bloggers. Ideas are endless in the blogging world and that’s amazing to me!
“More than the idea of sharing my thoughts to all of my readers, I enjoy the intellectual and poetic conversations I have with other bloggers . . . Ideas are endless in the blogging world and that’s amazing to me!” – Mich Navajas
4. Mich, Where do You Find your Inspiration and Motivation to Blog and Write? Why is Important For You to Keep Writing?
I write mostly poetry and my poems are by-products my imagination and eaves-dropping (lol) in cafes and restaurants while I wait for my daughters who are shopping or roaming around the mall. I recently
As well, I recently opened a convenience store. I actually thought then that I’d say goodbye to blogging because the store is taking so much of my time. However, I realized that my day to day dealings with people going to and from the shop has given me a plethora to write on. In between inventory and accounting, I still manage to write.
5. What Are Your Writing Habits? When Do You Prefer to Write? Do You Have Any Current Writing Projects on the Blog or on Your Own?
I write whenever an inspiration hits me. I write anytime, no particular time of the day. My poems are not that magical (I must say). They are written mostly in the afternoon- in an “unpoetic time” without stars or a full moon.
I love to create random poems about the people around me, or about conversations I heard from other people seated close to me in the café. I’mcurrently venturing into short story writing. I did my first story in three parts, all written in.
As well, I did my first story in three parts, all written in my native language as part of our National Language month celebration in August. I used to be part of our school paper back in high and in my University days. And some of my poems were published in our school paper then. did not pursue a career in writing. We all
But I did not pursue a career in writing. We all know that writing doesn’t pay the bills. So, I have had to figure out how to make writing a part of life. Add to the fact that I have children career oriented in communication, doing much more than writing on my blog was not part of my current career plan.
However, after four years blogging on WordPress, I have realized that it’s never too late to take up writing again. I have made several submissions to some of our local papers. And someday, I want to write a book too.
It would be a collection of my poems or it could be a collection of short stories. Stories of people I have met, stories of people who sat near me in a café. It could consist of stories of people who I may have not known but am to infer about while they quietly sip a cup of coffee.
6. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? What Is Your Preferred Writing Genre? Any Advice for Newbie Bloggers or Writers?
As I mentioned earlier, I write whenever I feel inspired. And oh, did I mention that I am an old school writer? I carry with me a small notepad or notebook along with a pen. I scribble all my thoughts down there and later develop them into a full-blown poem or story. I am most comfortable with free verse poetry.
For new writers, I would say that writing ideas and inspiration are out there. You only need to go out and meet people. You can also listen in on people’s conversations and stories. Most importantly,be keen about what is happening around you because, even the quietest man or woman, seated at the far end of the room, has a story to tell.
“I love to create random poems about the people around me, or about conversations I heard from other people seated close to me in the café.am currently venturing into short story writing. I did my first story in three parts, all written in.” – Mich Navajas
7. Anything Else You Would Like to Say Concerning Writing or Yourself?
Yes! I would like to say that I get frustrated seeing women in their 30’s and 40’s looking miserable because forget to take care of themselves due to motherhood and/or a busy career.
I am a mother of four and modesty aside, at 41 years old, I do my best to keep fit and eat right. Doing these two things keeps me appearing younger. To take care of your family and/or career, you need to have ‘self-care’ too.
As well, I want to advocate that women can be moms or busy at doing whatever they do in life, while gracefully growing old. Older women can still be beautiful and fit. Also, ‘self-care’ helps women to improve their life because it helps them to feel better about themselves.
My advice does not have much to do with writing but I want my writing to be an avenue to reach out to women. I believe that women can have a full and happy life after childbearing or having gained weight with age.
There is hope to be fit again and it’s not easy but also not impossible to be a healthier person through exercise, eating well, and other self-care methods.
8. Just for Fun, What Are Your Top Three Blogs? What Do You Like About Them?
After five years of blogging, I have come across brilliant bloggers/writers and I can’t even manage to name only three. I love your poems on Mandibelle16, David D’s poems, Rosema’s poem’s, Maria’s poems, NMY’s poems, Calmkate’s poems, and NJ’s poems.
Moreover, I love Yassy’s poem’s, Gina (singledust’s) writing, Rose of Poet Rummager’s writing, Kim of Anotetohugette’s writing, Ivor’s poems, the guys from Slasher Monster’s writing, and many other bloggers and writers who I cannot think of at the moment.
I also adore Osyth’s long narrative reflections of her experiences and I love the travels of Mirriam. The spirituality in the blog of Sue and Di is also amazing.
“As well, I want to advocate that women can be moms or busy at doing whatever they do in life, while gracefully growing old. Older women can still be beautiful and fit. Also, ‘self-care’ helps women to improve their life because it helps them to feel better about themselves.” Mich Navajas
9. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Of Your Favorite Blog Pieces?
You held my hand tight
As you bid goodbye
It was hard
It was insane…
You kissed me softly
with a whimpering cry
It froze my mind
It broke my heart…
You strained me in your embrace
clasped me in your arms
It pricked me
It stung me…
Then it rained on a summer afternoon.
I was driving home when it rained so hard..really??? raining on a summer day??? It freaked me out..ahh maybe this is what global warming is all about…or, maybe just maybe, this is how it feels to leave a beloved behind…feels like rain on a summer afternoon…
Here Is Some More Poetry from Mich:
She writes: “My favorite post is my “Summer Rain” post (above) as this poem gave birth to a series of summer rain themed poems which boosted my blog statistics and gained me, new followers. Please go check out these series of summer rain poems.You will be surprised of its ending or how I ended it… I too was surprised!!!”
Thank you so much to Mich. Here is a link to her blog once more: Michnavs – Poetry In Motion in more time. I will try to have another interview out this week or the next as I am playing catch up. You can reach me through my Contact Page.
” Jessica look-up at the windmill,” Caleb yelled pointing above their house.
“I’m looking, where is it?” Jessica said seeing nothing.
“How can you not see it?” Caleb asked. “The windmills gigantic.”
Caleb grabbed his big-sister’s hand: “We’re going to go inside the windmill Jessica, then you’ll see it’s real.” Jessica gave Caleb a baffled look as he appeared to be miming opening a heavy door.
Then something strange happened, Jessica was able to see what was behind the door. To both siblings delight, the windmill contained another world. There were shops selling odd wares and clothing, apothecaries selling elixirs, and coffee shops filled with human-like creatures. These human-like creatures had eyes and hair in every colour of the rainbow.
A woman with purple eyes peered at Jessica and Caleb. She smiled at the children.”Welcome, I’m Viola, you must be the new children –the humans gifted with magic. Come I will take you to your new home. Your education has begun.”
Jessica and Caleb followed Viola; they never looked back.
Read Part 1 here: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Never Again
Part 2: Never Again – Returning to The Chateau
Jolene was back at Chateau Blanc to visit her Auntie Cathy after five-years abroad. Cathy worked as an event planner at the Chateau helping with Weddings, Fundraiser, (etc.). Jolene had always thought of Chateau Blanc as magical and mysterious castle as a young girl. She was thirty-five now with a daughter of her own, fourteen-year-old Kasia. For Jolene and Kasia, the Chateau held a sentimental appeal they associated with Aunt Cathy.
Jolene had faded out of her life in Nice, France, living with her Aunt Cathy at the Chateau when she wasn’t travelling as a model. Jolene had thought it would be safer to start a new life with Kasia in Canada. The move took Jolene and Kasia away from their beloved Aunt Cathy. But it also helped Jolene cut off all ties to her ex-boyfriend Scott who had become a great bother to Jolene.
As Jolene crossed the path which lead to the Chateau, she was caught off guard by a feeling of desiring to hold Kasia’s hand. Jolene knew her head-strong teenager would never agree to be that close to her Mom; never mind, holding her Mom’s hand. Waves lapped up against the edge of the path and Jolene knew at times it stormed and the waves slammed harshly against the walkway, taking away anyone who was foolish enough to cross.
Kasia dragged her feet behind Jolene and Jolene told Kasia: “Come on now ma belle, tres vite! We don’t want to spend too long on this pathway. The sea could become rough.” Kasia laughed at Jolene’s worry and shrugged when Jolene gave her an admonishing look.
“It’s fine Mom,” Kasia said. “The sea has been calm today. It’s not going to start storming in the time it takes us to cross to Chateau Blanc. I was wondering. . . why do we live so far from Aunt Cathy now? We used to see her all the time when I was a kid?” Jolene sighed.
“I keep telling you Kasia. It started when I obtained career changing, modelling jobs in North America. I wanted to earn my degree in Fashion in Toronto, where I had been given a full scholarship. Then, I started designing clothes with your Aunt Judy whom I met in school. Our business grew. You should know, you work in one of our main stores of La Petite Mademoiselle in Ottawa. You already know this ma belle. What are you really asking?” Kasia looked down at her feet. They had crossed the pathway and the Chateau was a short distance before them.
“I don’t understand why we left Auntie Cathy. She’s the only family we have besides an odd cousin or two. You’ve never even told me who my Dad is and I’m pretty sure he’s from here. I think that’s why we left. Not only for your modelling career and your education.” Jolene paused and tried to redirect her conversation with Kasia.
“You could be a model Kasia, if you like. Simon my agent, was saying how modelling would suit your love to travel well, before we left New York yesterday. You’re 5’10,” beautiful, you have slight curves, and are outgoing.When we get back to Ottawa, I’ll arrange a meeting with Simon. Maybe, we can even model together?” Jolene mentioned casually. Kasia’s face crinkled and she gave her Mom an ‘are you serious’ look when Jolene said they could model together.
“I know I could model Mom. Boys tell me I’m gorgeous all the time and the girls hate me for how much I look like one of those models in Seventeen. That’s why almost all my friends are boys except for Janelle who is a petite model. But I’m not sure I want to go the same way you have gone with modelling. I think I want to write or be an artist of some kind. And yes, I want to travel everywhere.”
“Well, that’s fine Kasia. But you could make serious money for school and travelling if you you model. It’s a great start for a young girl such as yourself.” Jolene added. Kasia looked at Jolene and a small smile passed her lips.
“Okay Mom, that sounds like something I’d like to try. So where is Aunt Cathy? I thought she said she’d meet us in front of the Chateau. I bought her some tulips from the market as we passed by a flower stall in Nice. I think they might wilt if we don’t see Auntie soon.”
“My thoughtful girl.” Jolene said messing up Kasia’s long dark hair with a head rub.
“Oh, I can’t believe it, Jolene! Is this my sweet Kasia? You’re almost all grown up ma belle. I hardly recognize you from the seven-year-old girl I last saw playing with her Barbies in my sitting room.” Kasia blushed and presented Aunt Cathy with the tulips she bought her.
“Oh, tres beaux!” Kasia blushed and was pleased with Auntie’s compliment.” Merci beacoup! I love tulips in the spring. And these are such a pretty shade of pink. How are you darling girl and how is your Mother?” Cathy said looking Kasia and Jolene over with pride. It was clear she missed them a lot over the past five-years.
“We’re doing fantastic Auntie,” Kasia said beaming.”Mom models a bit but mainly she runs her chain of clothing stores La Petite Mademoiselle, with my Aunt Judy, her close friend. It’s a clothing store with beautiful classic clothing for all body types, size double-zero to twenty-two.” Kasia added.
“I was at a private school and had a nanny up until grade nine, but I’m turning fifteen soon. Mom told me I can get a tutor and travel with her during high school. Mom also told me while we were walking here across the pathway, that I could model to make some money for University and travelling across Europe in four-years.” Cathy smiled down at Kasia and gave Jolene a questioning look after some of the things Kasia said.
” Kasia had a nanny? Where were you?”Cathy asked Jolene. Jolene sighed, hesitating:
” I was going to fashion school in Toronto and modelling across North America. It’s difficult being a single Mom, trying to fulfill your dreams, and take care of a child. It was more stable for Kasia to be at home when she was younger with a trusted Nanny.I have never been gone longer than four-days and Kasia always came with me on modelling and business trips during her long school breaks, such as in Summer. It was a great deal of work starting up my own clothing brand/store and growing it to the success La Petite Mademoiselle has now. We have stores across Canada and in the US.” Jolene said defensively.
“I just wish you’d let me have been with you and Kasia, Jolene. You two are my only family. I would have loved to look after Kasia while you were in school and travelling for work. I could have worked from home. You never asked me what I wanted before you left and I hardly heard from you.” Aunt Cathy said with anger.”You sent me a picture here and there on your phone. You never talked to me online or ever phoned me. I’m hurt Jolene.” Auntie Cathy wiped a stray tear from her kindly blue eyes.
“I’m sorry Auntie. I just thought — I didn’t think. But I had to get away from Scott and Katrina. I had to leave because Scott kept contacting me. I left and I didn’t look back. I’m sorry for that Auntie. But Kasia and I are back now. We’re going to try to open up a few branches of my clothing store in France. We’re going to see what the consumer market is like here. If you want, after we’re done working here, you can come with us back home to Ottawa.”Jolene offered happily. She had missed her Auntie Cathy more than she realized.
“I have lots of money now Auntie. You can do anything you want with your retirement. Why not travel with Kasia and I? Live with us in Ottawa or have your own place if you like.” Cathy couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“I would love that so much Jolene. Thank you for the invitation. Event planning is hard on a woman in her late sixties. I have a pension and money I’ve saved, but it’s nice to know I have so many more options for my retirement. I can spend my time with Kasia and you.”
“Who’s Scott?” Kasia piped into the conversation. “Is Scott my Dad? If he was the reason you left here, he had to have been my Dad.” Jolene and Cathy’s faces both went pale and they looked at each other uneasily.
“Oh, he’s no one dear. Just an old boyfriend.” Jolene said feeling stupid for mentioning Scott’s name.
” You never date now. He must have been important.” Kasia said slyly.
“He’s your father, Kasia,” Cathy said in one breath. “Oops,” Cathy said, “That slipped out.” Turning to Jolene Cathy said: “Kasia is fourteen now, she has the right to know, anyway.”
“That wasn’t your decision to make Aunt Cathy. I’m Kasia’s mother, not you!” Jolene stormed off to walk off her anger in the hallways of the Chateau. Kasia looked at her Aunt aglow with expectation and curiosity.
“Please tell me who my father is?” Kasia begged her Auntie.” Tell me the story of how my parents met? Why didn’t my father want me Auntie?”
Cathy sighed and adjusted her hair a bit nervously.”I shouldn’t,” Cathy said. “Your Mom is already so angry with me.”
“Please!” Kasia asked, “Mom always changes the subject and won’t tell me anything about my Dad. I don’t even know if he’s alive or dead.”
Cathy sighed and motioning for Kasia to sit down next to her on an antique love seat, she held Kasia’s young hands in her wrinkled ones, and told Kasia about the relationship between Scott Jeune and Kasia’s mother, Jolene.
“Scott and your mother went to highschool together. Jolene always had an infatuation with Scott since junior high school.Jolene went through an awkward phase before she turned fifteen. Ever since that age, your mother was known as a classic beauty. She always reminded everyone of Grace Kelly. You have inherited her beauty, Kasia.” Cathy exclaimed.
“Jolene was wild in high school. Your Grandma couldn’t keep track of her comings and goings, before your Grandma died in a car accident. Jolene was extremely popular with all the boys and made all the girls jealous of her. She had a busy social life, and a new boy every couple of weeks. When Scott asked her out, Jolene was overjoyed. Their first date was the only time I’d ever seen her primp and beautify herself so much to go on a date….
Growth is a strange thing to watch from a distance; to see your bestfriends when you were young, become ‘adult’adults.
To see the drinking binges slow to every now and then; to not order drinks with dinner because we’re trying to be healthy.
To see your friends not stuck anymore in someplace that was holding them back; to see them educate themselves for work and travel for training.
To see them couple up; to see couples years together break it off; to see some couples get married to people who actually complement them.
To see your friends have babies, one or two or three; to sit at a table where Mommy topics are debated; and staying healthy, eating fresh, organic, vegetables and meat is the score.
To have friends in high school and in university who have passed away; to wonder where they went. To hope that they went to heaven because you know no one is invincible to death.
To have friends who suffer diseases : cancer, MS, and mental illness; depression is a common thing and so is anxiety, yet our awareness that we could have any disease at our age is covered by our blinders.
To have had a job or two in actual grown-up jobs that pay salaries that pay the bills; that you can shop for your own food; take care of a pet; to save and move into a house.
I watch you all growing and I’m proud that you’re grown. I just hope you keep growing and never ‘act’ old. Even though your responsible to your partner now.
I watch from the distance and you don’t see it because I’m slower then you; but I am growing too.
I have to grow in a different way to find balance in my world. I need to grow in spirit and imagine what is possible. I pray to grow just as you do someday.
Mmmmm…. massage day, one of my favorite days. I have a spa on Jasper Ave I go to called the Beauty Lounge they are a fabulous, reputable, and a relaxing place to get a massage at. Not to mention, they have had some great deals on Living Social and Groupon where a girl on a budget can get a massage for an unbelievable price. The atmosphere is decadent, black and white decor, with lounge chairs, mirrors, black beaded chandeliers, and black and white vases. The vibe is a little different than other spas, less muted and more funky. I like it there. The massage was great as usual, although I always do forget that therapeutic massages hurt a bit; but you feel so much better as the masseuse works out the knots in your body. So I completely recommend The Beauty Lounge for a great 1 hour massage.
Moreover, I happened to notice an eye-catching brochure on one of their glass side tables as I was waiting for my appointment to begin. The brochure was for something called the Universal Contour Wrap. You can visit these websites: www.universalcontourwrap.com and www.bodybeautifulcanada.com if you want more information. But basically, this special wrap of clay, minerals, and bandages, guarantees you at least a 6 inch loss in body inches in just 2 hours; however, some women’s testimonial’s on the back of the brochure’s said they lost as much as 11 to 18.5 inches. The universal contour wrap website recommends you go for 3 treatments for best results but you can go for just one if you want. Additionally, they guarantee that this 6 inch loss in body size will last for 30 days or you get a free body wrap. So this is not a permanent solution, but if you are looking to decrease your dress size by a size or two for your wedding, or vacation, or some special occasion it seemed like a worthwhile option. The only thing to consider is the price, the website said it cost about $200 for one body wrap and up to $600 for a set of three. I do not know how much this would cost at The Beauty Lounge as their website www.edmontonsalons.com did not quote an actual price. But I would totally consider getting this procedure if I was getting married or going on a big trip somewhere. Although, exercise I think is still your best option if you can manage the work. I am not sure exactly what all these clay and minerals do to your body other than “detoxify” it so if there are an implicit dangers in this procedure I have no idea. Maybe getting the Universal Contour Wrap would be a good option in conjunction with exercise, to smooth everything out, or lose that last stubborn bit of fat. What do you think? Would you ever considering getting a beauty procedure such as this at this price? Do you think it’s safe? Please comment below or on Facebook.