Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this Friday’s music prompt, “That’s The Way It Is” by Celine Dion. I’m doing a form of poetry called Joseph’s Star with 1, 3, 5, 7, 7, 5, 3, 1, syllable count in each star. Please see Shadow Poetry for more information.
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.
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 toSelf 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 myinternal 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
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 anew 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
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 marketingyourself 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?
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 🙂
Thanks to Wandering Soul who hosts this challenge. You are supposed to write one or two more sentences to make a three line story with the prompt sentence. I tend to get inspired and end up with an entire story, jammed into two too long sentences. So I’m linking to her blog with my story inspired by the sentence: ” The picture on the wall was crooked; a lot like the person in it.”
The picture on the wall was crooked; a lot like the person in it. I knew the photo was of my Grandpa’s brother Jerry, who had shot himself in the foot to get out of WWII. He had only been in France a week and spent most of his active duty attempting to make himself throw-up daily, so he didn’t have to fight but could remain in the infirmary. But Jerry’s Captain realized what Jerry was up to and put him back with his company to kill German soldiers.
Sadly, it wasn’t beyond Jerry’s cowardice to hide behind other soldiers in his squadron, or use them as shields. I doubt Jerry’s company minded when he showed them a German soldier had shot him in the foot; even though his squadron knew Jerry had shot himself to get out of fighting in the War. It wasn’t as if many soldiers hadn’t thought of shooting their own foot to escape War’s reality, but most of them knew their country needed them and took their duty as a soldier with pride.
Jerry’s fellow soldiers were glad to see ‘useless’ Jerry gone. He hadn’t made any friends and most men knew being Jerry’s friend meant he would desert you when you needed help; infact, life expectancy for members in Jerry’s old company went up when Jerry was sent home with a permanent limp.
Jerry told absurd and utterly fake stories about being a War hero when he returned to his family’s house in London. Jerry had even stolen a poor dead man’s medals to make it appear as if he had been recognized by England, Primeminister Churchill, and the Queen, for defending his country.
But Jerry’s family didn’t believe his stories and doubted he had sacrificed himself to earn such high honours. Jerry’s family knew his personality, the cowardliness and cunning that always lurked behind Jerry’s every action.
War was awful and terrifying, but Jerry’s father who had fought in WWI and Jerry’s permanently wounded brother Clancy, who fought in WWII, believed Jerry should be doing his duty back in France. Soldiers were being shipped to the beaches of Normandy and neither Jerry’s father or Clancy thought the slight limp that Jerry most likely gave himself, should stop a soldier from doing his duty.
Jerry eventually left home during the War, wandering the roads in different towns, lost and afraid that death would catch up with him because he had avoided it in France. In the shadow of a pale moon, a bomb flew from the sky one night, and Jerry met his end in England, near his family’s home.
Both Jerry’s father and brother Clancy, at last we’re proud of him. The bomb from a German airplane had hit Jerry and not another person or a building full of civilians. Jerry hadn’t intended on being the bombs target, but his family felt they could remember the cowardly man with a bit of pride now.
Jerry’s photo, Grandpa Clancy said, should remind us Grandchildren to be brave and not use others because we are afraid, as Uncle Jerry had done in his life. Grandpa Clancy’s Grandchildren knew what true sacrifice was when their Grandfather showed them the stump that was once his left leg.
Clancy had never bothered with a prosthetic limb. His leg stump spoke volumes to a generation who did not realize what a sacrifice so many men had made so their children and Grandchildren could be free from men such as Hitler and his Nazis.
Clancy had loved his brother. The part of Jerry who was a scheming coward, Clancy had never been able to understand. Scared or not, a man has to do what a man had to do, especially during a War. Clancy was cheered that in death, his brother Jerry may have been brave.