Interview with Writer, Poet, Blogger Michelle Navajas #interview #nonfiction #poetry


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.

You can visit her blog: Michnavs – Poetry in Motion.


Michnavs 1
Credit: Mich Navajas

1.Mich, Please Tell Us About Yourself? 


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 


Marco Ceschi Unsplash
Credit: Marco Ceschi Unsplash

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


Michelle Navajas Having Coffee
Credit: Mich Navajas – Having Coffee

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’m currently 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


Mike Tinnion Unsplash writing
Credit: Mike Tinnion via Unsplash

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? 


Summer Rain

March 29, 2017

By Michnavs

*****

Michelle Navajas Rain
Credit: Michnavs – Michelle Navajas

*****

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.

*****

P.S.

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. 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

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Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Graduation Mishap


Thank you to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.


Ghost Girl
http://www.pixebay.com

Michelle and Nadine had rented a limo with their respective dates, for their graduation reception.

“Here,” Michelle’s Mom said ” champagne for you to enjoy with your friends on the ride around town. We’ll see you at your graduation reception.”

“Thanks Mom,” Michelle hugged her Mom tight.

“Don’t drink too much now.”


 

Brian and Marcus watched their dates inhale the champagne.

“I’m pretty sure you’ve each had half the bottle,” Brain said to Michelle grinning.

Marcus laughed his arm around Nadine, ” Yeah, Nadine’s had the other half.”

Both girls squeezed out of the sun roof , dancing and singing to the loud dance music the limo driver played.

“We’re going to hit the bottom of the bridge Michelle, we have to get down.” Nadine said suddenly.

“I’m stuck Michelle come on move, so I can go back inside.”

Michelle wiggled and Nadine was back inside the limo. She yanked at Michelle, desperately trying to pull her in.

When she heard Michelle hit the bridge Nadine screamed.


Michelle awoke feeling pleasantly weightless.

With surprise, she spotted a ghostly hand reaching out to her from a window. Michelle reached out and instantly, her body felt painful and broken.

“I don’t know how, but you’re alive,” a paramedic said to Michelle.

Michelle heard her mother crying. “We’ve been waiting what feels like forever, to hear those words.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Unexpected Guests


Prompt: You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

——-

“Oh, hello.” I jump back surprised. There is a chubby woman with wavy brown hair and blue glasses sitting on the couch. “Not to be rude, but how did you get in the house, no one else is home?” 

“The dog let us in” says the women. Us, I suddenly notice the black-haired man beside her. He has light blue eyes and olive skin, a dazzling combination. The women’s eyes are greenish brown and they narrow at me slightly as I look at her boyfriend. He smiles and nods at me not at all perturbed I find him attractive and not perturbed his girlfriend is jealous.

“The dog’s dead” I say smartly. “She has been dead a year and a half. So, how did you get into the house? Who are you guys even?”

“Oh, I’m Michelle and this is my partner Marcus. We’ve been together three years,” she adds as Marcus looks me up and down. 

Michelle leans into Marcus and kisses his cheek softly. She twirls his hair at the back of his head and Marcus leans his head away from her. He pats Michelle’s arm and tries to remove her hands.

” Eat your cake, dear” he orders Michelle. Marcus looks at me and smiles widely his gaze resting on my chest. I don’t have much of a chest, this pervert must be desperate.

Then I notice, they’re both eating cake. Huge pieces of soft chocolate cake and chocolate icing with chocolates on top. My favourite cake from my twenty-seventh Birthday. I haven’t been able to find this kind of cake since I finished the last slice in July three years ago. 

“Your eating my family’s cake,” I cried “My favourite cake. Where did you find it?” 

“Oh this cake?” Michelle purs taking a bite and licking her lips trying to make herself look sexy to Marcus. ” The cake was in the fridge. We didn’t think you’d mind if we ate two pieces.”

Michelle looked at Marcus and encouraged him to eat his cake. They whispered something between them. Marcus was saying something about being able to eat his cake when he likes. I ahemed.

” You need to leave, both of you. You’re not invited here. And it was rude of you to assume you could eat my family’s cake. I don’t mind sharing but you could have atleast asked. Not to mention, that crap about the dog letting you in…” My face is a bit red and I’m tired. I want this couple to leave and soon.

But Marcus brings on the charm:”I’m so sorry Miss?” I ignore him. ” We’ve been travelling along time in the car and Michelle needed to use the washroom. We shouldn’t have touched the cake but we were so hungry from a long day driving. I wouldn’t have done it if I knew you lived here.” Marcus pauses and looks at me blue eyes staring me down. I gag.

” How did you get in really, did I leave the back door open?” 

Marcus looks away from me a second then smiles. ” Well I have a few skills, um picking locks. Your lock was easy to pick and the trees in the front yard hid me as I tried to get the door open. Like I said, if I knew you lived here I would have chosen a different house. You are so pretty when you pout.”

Michelle stares daggers at Marcus and then me. “What about me Marcus? Don’t I turn you on. Haven’t I been your girl for three years and put up with all your garbage.”

” Of course you are pretty Michelle. You know I think you’re beautiful in the girl-next-door kind of way.” 

Michelle frowned and Marcus patted her leg trying to appear affectionate. He put his arm around Michelle briefly,and kissed her cheek as she had done to him earlier.

“Look enough” I say firmly, “I don’t know you and you’re in my home. I’m trying to be nice but your making it hard. Leave or I will call the police. But eat your cake; don’t waste it. It’s my favourite kind.” 

Marcus grins at me and winks. Michelle is looking at the wall an indignant expression on her face. 

“You used to say I was hot” she accused Marcus. “You said how lucky you were to have me and that I was a gorgeouse girl. Now you can’t take your eyes off the tramp who lives here and she doesn’t even like you.” Marcus sighed and started to eat his cake slowly.

” I’d eat faster Lady,” I say to Michelle. She gives me the filthiest look and shovels in the cake murmuring about how good it is and how my figure type shouldn’t have chocolate cake. She remarks how I’d probably end up fatter then her if I don’t watch my figure. 

” A minute on the lips forever on the hips” she goads me.

” Are you serious, your cake is done now get your ass out of thr house,” I say.

Michelle looks at Marcus who is carefully eating his chocolate cake.”This is really good,” he tells me, ” Sit down and have some cake with me. You will enjoy it so much, as much as you will enjoy my company.” Marcus licks the chocolate off his teeth and smiles at me that certain way again. I thought he was handsome at first but now I’m thinking he’s creepy.”Don’t listen to Michelle, you are stunning.Your body is lush. Michelle is upset because she is pudgy. She put on a little weight lately raiding people’s desserts…”

I didn’t know what to say. Michelle looked like she was going to explode. I was about to tell her what Marcus said was not true and tell her she had a good figure. But I looked at her as she stood and saw the rolls on her stomach and her wide hips. I wasn’t a small women by any means but Michelle was large everywhere but her pretty face. Even still, why would she stay with such a jerk?

And why would a good looking man choose to be with Michelle? Maybe three years ago she wasn’t fat at all. Maybe Marcus’ criticism of her made her want to over eat so much so she gained a lot of weight. I felt torn between feeling sorry for Michelle, being grossed out by Marcus, and wanting them both to go bug someone else. 

” I can’t help putting on a little weight Marcus” Michelle murmurs, “I have a thyroid problem and we have to go back to my doctor so I can figure out what to do about it so I won’t be fat anymore. We are never home long enough for me to make a follow-up appointment to my doctor to find out if I need surgery or to get a prescription for my thyroid. We are always going some place you have to go and I never have the energy to go to a gym because I’m worn out from driving.Let’s go Marcus, she doesn’t love you like I do. She doesn’t want you. She won’t take care of you as I do. Let’s go home so I can be skinny for you again.”

Marcus finishes his cake while Michelle triesto soothe him. He doesn’t listen to Michelle. I looked to see the rest of the cake on the coffee table. Half of it was gone. I sighed and looked at Michelle.

” You shouldn’t follow him around. Marcus doesn’t love you as you love him Michelle. You should drive home now, wherever home is, and talk to a doctor about your thyroid. You probably only need to take pills because your thyroid isn’t swollen but you should get your thyroid checked-out before it becomes worse. Ditch this loser, he doesn’t appreciate you. He has been ogling me the whole time and I despise him. He put you down several times. You need to go and you need to go without Marcus.”

Michelle looked at me mesmerized for a moment. She half smiled and shook her head at me as if I was a sad woman she felt sorry for.” I know love” she said “I won’t leave the man I love. He doesn’t want you.  He’s like this with all the pretty girls, but he always comes back to me. Even if I’m fat. You want him like all the others. I won’t let you have him.”

Marcus looked at Michelle and gasped. ” I stay with you because you look after me, not because I love you. You are like a dog, you always stay by my side and do whatever I need. Doesn’t matter if it’s sex or food or whatever. I don’t think you’re attractive. I don’t know if I ever did, when you weren’t fat. That’s why I always go to other women for sex, women who who are pretty enough. I treat them well because they are like me, they are good looking and they have some pride. You have no pride, you do whatever I want, whenever,” Marcus sneered. 

He stood up and brushed the crumbs off his lap looking at me apologetically. ” We could have so much fun” he says to me. “You could show me around the city and we could have lots of sex.” Marcus is practically drueling as he talks to me.

I can see Michelle breaking a little more inside with every word he says. He doesn’t want her. 

Marcus comes and stands close to me. I am assaulted by the stench of overpowering cologne and he has chocolate smeared on his face.”Baby you have chocolate on your face,” Michelle says without thinking. Marcus looks at her with venom.

” Shut up you Bitch.” 

Then he tries to touch my face but I elbow him in the stomach and step away from him. I reach for the phone as a weapon. 

“Get out, get out, get out. And Marcus never touch me again you pervert,” I yell.

Marcus looks at Michelle if this is all her fault and turns to me embarassed. He sighs.”Shall we go, ” he asks Michelle, smiling at her again as if he hasn’t verbally abused her. 

She looks at Marcus blankley a smile passes her lips. Her face is deathly pale. She shakes her head at Marcus.” I am going. You can find your own way to wherever you are going. It is my vehicle and it has been my money we have been using. I’m cancelling your credit card when I get to the first gas station.” She asks me where that is and I tell her. She nods, a seemingly small women despite her extra weight.

” Have a good trip home” I say ” and good luck with your medical problems. I hope you find answers fast.”Michelle nods a tiny smile gracing her lips.

” I never saw how much he used me until today. I just saw how good looking he was. I saw how good he was in bed. I really loved him but he doesn’t care for me at all. He’s right I have no pride.” I shake my head but she stops me.

” Sorry for eating your favourite cake. I can see why it’s your favourite. It’s delicious.” I shake Michelle’s hand and watch her get into a black car. 

Marcus looks around confused then steps out into the street as Michelle pulls out to drive. She screams at him, telling him to get the f$&k out of the way. I laugh as he falls into the snow and Michelle drives off. Marcus looks at me like a dog begging for scraps. 

“Go. I am phoning the police this instant. You are a horrible ass and don’t want you in my family’s home ever again. The bus is six blocks up.” I hand Marcus a bus ticket I had on my pocket. I run inside and lock the doors.

Marcus stands in the middle of the icey road for a few moments regarding the bus ticket with unease. Eventually, he walks up the hill by my house and I don’t see him again.

I call the Police anyways and tell them what happened. My details about Michelle are vague. I don’t know if they ever found Marcus. Guys like him use people. He probably found some silly girl who is thinner then Michelle or I. 

When my Mom and Dad come home. I explain what happened with one Police officer chiming in often. We clean up the cake and put it in the freezer for another time. I’m not sure it’s my favourite chocolate cake anymore. My Dad calls a locksmith the next day and we receive better locks, ones you can’t pick easily.

The next time I arrive home from being out, I am happy to see the door is locked solid. I still don’t know why Michelle said the dog let her and Marcus inside the house. It was an odd thing to say. Especially considering if said dog was alive her bark would have scared them off. Or the dog would have eaten them. The second option makes me smile as I unlock the door and go inside a quiet house.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.