I’m lying in the summer grass. Above me the sky appears as if the heavens are opening. Perhaps brilliant marshmallow clouds behold some greater being, a creator with vision and design? There has to be more to humanity than our randomness in the world. I think that we all have a place, a reason, a purpose. We aren’t accidental and are made specifically to be ‘us.’
It’s a relief the hot sun is blocked by the clouds but I can see the light peeking through as if the sky has provided me an inkling of celestial luminescence. But maybe the sky is only the sky and I’m personifying my beliefs and feelings? But then, maybe faith and the existence of God is demonstrated most superbly by the the earth, nature, and tiny glimpses of gloriousness seen lying in the grass.
I love orchids, especially purple ones. For me, orchids stand for resiliency and strength. One reason for this is that orchids need little care. A cupful of water every few days, leave them in the sun by a window, and they will continue to bloom and put out new shoots. Kindly, remember not to water them more, it’s how they die and orchids are notoriously difficult to kill.
Season after season orchids put out shoots which turn into buds and burst out as soft petaled flowers. I think as orchids, humans are built to last. Though we are all moving towards our eventual death, on the way we are continuely putting out shoots and if we’re careful, growing beautiful flowers in the lives of those we touch. We are people who can grow even in harsh conditions. It doesn’t take much to fuel us, to keep us going, demonstrating our kindness to others.
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 🙂
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.