For NaPoWriMo Day 23 the prompt is: Today, is to “write a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud.”
Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing Lee Ann from the blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too. As LeeAnn’s blog focus is more on helping animals through her blog, the focus of this interview will be slightly different than past interviews.
1. LeeAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Blog?
I have always been a quiet, deep-thinking, and observational person.Through deep-thinking and my tendency to observe, I noticed a lot of aspects about animals. Watching them, and paying attention to them, I fell in love with them.
As I am a quiet person, I feel I tend to get lost in the crowd much of the time. I noticed a similar thing often occurred with animals;they were getting lost in the crowd too when people didn’t pay attention and take care of them. Intrinsically, I felt their worth, their needs, and I noticed the way some of them were not treated nicely. My passion for helping animals was born.
2. When Did You Begin Blogging ? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You?
I had taken classes for Web Design in 2013 and one of the assignments was to create a blog. My blog was my current blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too and I wrote on it occasionally over the next few years. However, in August 2016 I started blogging regularly. I have had different experiences with writing throughout my life.
Back in elementary school I first fell in love with poetry and writing (and my poetry teacher J). Since then, I have written several poems over the years, but only for my family and friends for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and other special events. Currently, some of my responsibilities at work include writing newsletters and social media posts.
Blogging means everything to me because of what I write about. I adore animals and feel passionate about helping them. I have been trying to figure out my entire life how to utilize my love for animals. When the assignment came up in my course to create a blog, my teacher told me she thought I should continue with my ‘helping animal’ themed blog.
I guess you could say a light bulb went off in my head. It took me a few years to apply myself, consistently blogging. But I think I had troubles because I was burnt out from being on a computer all day between work and school. I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.
” I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.” – LeeAnn
3. Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer To Write?
Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there harming animals and not enough laws to protect the animals. This is where my inspiration and motivation comes from. I want to make a difference and ensure fewer animals are harmed. I also feel a lot of people are unaware of how much animal abuse exists and how few laws there are to protect animals (pets).I am hoping to bring light to these issues on my blog.
I am more alert and ‘fresh’ in the late morning after I have some coffee; however, because I have a full-time job, a lot of my writing and blog posts are done in the evening after work.
4. Do You Have Any Current Pet-Related Writing Projects or Hopeful Ones? Are You Planning on Publishing Anything Related to Animals?
My blog is my current and ongoing project. I am only six months into regular blogging, so I am still new at blogging. I am working hard at ‘getting my writing out there’ on animal issues. My hope is to grow my traffic, not for my sake, but for the sake of animals and to make a difference.
So far, I’ve not published anything other than blog posts. I have considered writing a children’s book on empathy towards animals someday. I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc.) I may also turn some of my blog posts into a book someday.
” I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc).” – LeeAnn
5. What Is Your Writing Process Like When Focusing on Animals?
As I mentioned, there is so much animal abuse going on, so there is not a lack of topics to write about. If I see a story on the web about an animal that was abused, I start thinking and the writing process for a post begins.
For example, after going to the Renaissance Festival I noticed an elephant chained to a contraption which only allowed him to move around in a circle giving people rides. I started thinking and when I was home, I wrote about this event and how awful it was for the poor elephant to be so confined and probably abused.
6. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Bloggers or on Advice on How People Can Help Animals in Need?
I am not a ‘professional’ writer, but as another blogger said: “If you’re writing on a blog, you are a writer.” Writing and blogging are skills I and other writers improve on with time. I am still learning and growing as I learn more about blogging, particularly for my significant cause. As well on my blog’s About Page I wrote this about how people can aid animals:
“Supporting animal organizations is . . . one way I help animals . . . I write about a wide variety of topics and types of animals, and I usually share links so you can check out the organization/topic being discussed.
There are many ways we can all help animals. Donating items to shelters, writing letters, signing petitions, volunteering time at an animal organization, sharing my posts to spread the word, and much more.” – LeeAnn
7. Do You Have Anything Else You’d Like To Share With Readers on Helping Animals, Yourself, or Blogging?
I am attempting to give my blog real purpose (a means to an end) that my writing and blogging actually result in animals at risk or already being harmed, not being hurt anymore. I also want people to know I do have a large variety of posts on my blog.
Some of the posts I write include Pet Tales, Vegetarian Recipes, Pet Care Tips, and Serious Topics such as Animal Abuse Issues. I also use pictures from other bloggers and Facebook Page followers. I post them in my posts called ‘Tuesday Tales.’
8. Do You Have Any Favorite Bloggers You Follow?
I enjoy different kinds of blogs, but I think my favorite blogs are when someone writes about their pet(s). I think it’s fun to see all those adorable pet photos and learn about various animals and their personalities. Oddly enough, I do not necessarily like to follow blogs that are about ‘animal activism.’ I applaud them but I find these blogs usually too graphic for me to handle.
9. Please Share With Us Some of Your Animal Related Blog Posts:
The post below was written when a young follower of mine contacted me to let me know she was inspired by my blog. She wrote a poem called “Animals Are Feeling beings Too” which she published on her blog.
I have been blogging (well…serious blogging) for a few months now. I have played around with my blog, changing & adding things like the “Tuesday Tales” where I share animal stories and “Sunday Pause (Paws)” where I encourage everyone to kick back & relax. On my “Vegetarian Challenge” page I try to add recipes every now & then. There hasn’t been an actual challenge yet, but maybe in the future. Also, I have been adding my favorite cruelty-free products to the “Links” page, adding some pictures of my cat, Cino and “Pet Care Tips.”
I will continue to add to these pages and keep a variety on my blog. But one thing that will not change is where my heart is, and that is helping the fight against animal cruelty.
This means some of my posts will not be so uplifting or fun. If I were to only do “happy” posts I wouldn’t be spreading the word about animal cruelty and therefore I wouldn’t be helping animals.
Something I saw on Facebook (or somewhere) not so long ago was this sentence, “The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people who dedicate their lives to hurting them.” Sadly, a true statement!
There are a lot of people who tell me they can’t stand to read or see anything about animal abuse because it bothers them too much. It bothers me A LOT too, but I can not turn my back on them. I want to encourage others not to either.
I recently have received a few great compliments from fellow bloggers about my blog. This makes me feel so warm & fuzzy. I also received a message from a young follower, named Leona, that said me and my blog inspire her, and that she wrote a poem and named it “Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.” I was overjoyed by this! It makes me think maybe I AM making an impact out there for the good of animals!
Thanks to LeeAnn for the lovely interview and sharing her passion for taking care of and helping animals at home and ones who are in need. Best of luck to her in her blog and spreading the word about animal empathy and the proper way to treat your pets and animals in general. Here is a Link To LeeAnn’s blog one last time: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.
If you would like to share your blogging or writing in my biweekly interview series, please reach out to me through mycontact page on my blog. I will see you in two weeks!
Leonard was absorbed by the red hues of the wide Arizona desert. It was hot outside in the late spring, the cascading layers of rock enthralling and the green shrubs and cacti complementing the red cliffs. Here Leonard could be alone with his thoughts, far from the problems of his life.
No one was chasing him in the desert. No one was telling him he wasn’t allowed to set fire to buildings. No one was insisting Leonard couldn’t punch a guy in the face and start fighting because Leonard didn’t like how the guy was looking at him, or that the guy had a hot girlfriend which Leonard did not. In the desert, no one knew how much money he’d stashed away in offshore accounts from the company where he’d been an accountant with a falsified identity, these past two-years.
Out here in the desert, there was serenity and quiet. Leonard would in an hour, catch a private plane and reclaim his offshore funds. But he wasn’t counting on the rattle snake who bit his leg when he stood up and stepped on the snake accidentally.
The snake’s poisonus venom made Leonard numb in minutes. Quickly he was fading into obscurity and death; the bright red Arizona desert claiming him for all his wrongs. How curious a snake would kill a snake.
“Trees are necessary for our very existence on this earth, they produce the air we breathe. We build houses with them and create many products that we use everyday with them. What personal role do trees have in your life? Do you have a favorite tree in your yard or one that you walk or drive by frequently? Free write for ten minutes exploring the world of trees.”
The park is peaceful silent, as mid-day sun strays,
Walking through foliage, even footsteps —
Can be heard, where branches carve a ceiling cave.
Though the sky is cheerful blue, branches yet,
Make the trails paved, a hollowed place away —
Screaming city lights, and loud conversation met,
With the quiet, the tranquil breath, gifted by trees,
No sadness here, a happy place held dear.
The drifting leaves, paying tole, to dancing wind,
Blowing the rebirth of trees and their seeds far.
Slow lazy walk, furry dog smelling scents, grins.
Curious thing, to see a dog smile, laughing bark.
Nature cradles us, magic trees rekindled.
Hidden we are in treasured lands, our star —
Bright light always near, to show us the path to roam.
Nature’s dreamy pause, returns with us to home.
——- ” A Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octives. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:
1. one octive poem. abababcc 2. two octive poem. abababcc, dededeff
3. three octive poem. abababcc, dededeff, ghghghii.”
Sally and Georgia were at the local museum. The museum had an exhibit on colour psychology that both girls found fascinating.
They paused at a large diamond-like structure made of hard plastic magenta. “What’s this?” Both girls said.
“It looks as if it could be a pensive from Harry Potter,” Georgia said. “The sides of the diamond could open up and you could dip your head in.”
Sally rolled her eyes, “I don’t think that has anything to do with colour psychology. I read that Magenta is made of both red and violet. It has the ‘passion, power, and energy of red [but is] restrained by [violet’s] introspection and quiet energy.’ ”
“Interesting,” Georgie said reading the same plaque. ” Magenta is a colour concerned with ‘change and transformation. [It releases] old emotional patterns [which] prevent personal and spiritual development. [Magenta] aids [people] moving forward.'”
“Do you honestly think that’s true?” Sally asked.
“Well it is true people are drawn to certain colours for specific reasons. Sometimes it’s preference, other times colours help fulfill an emotional need for peace or something more colourful and bold,” Georgia remarked.
A preteen boy passed by the women gazing at the diamond. “Why the hell is there a pink diamond here? Who cares about colours anyways,” he said to his Mom who gave him a reproving look.
The women peered at the boy. “It’s Magenta,” Sally said. “Not pink, pink has no purple or blue in it; it’s a tint.”
Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is finding inspiration through a photograph. Lol. A familiar writing past time via flash fiction.
The woods are still. The stillness makes me not want to enter them. I’ve been lost out here for days, walking through brush and fields of grass and flowers. But now the forest bids me welcome with its unnatural quietness.
It isn’t right a forest shouldn’t be so silent. “Hello?” I whisper and then scream again loudly, “Is anyone out there?” My words echo and the forest muffles the sound of my words until my screams are the same as my quiet ‘Hello.’ It’s been a week since I’ve been wandering alone.
My friend Danny was a pilot and he knew what he was doing when he flew; he had been a pilot since he was sixteen. But we crashed in the countryside and Danny died instantly. Escaping the plane, I ran for cover grabbing what supplies I could manage, before the plane exploded into fire and smoke.
I thought the burning plane would be a smoke signal and someone would see it and come searching for Danny and I. He had touched base with someone right before the plane crashed on his radio. Someone had to be wandering why Danny’s plane disappeared a week ago.
Infront of me the forest beckons, and to be truthful, I need to find food to eat. I don’t think I can last another day on rationed granola bars, peanuts, and chewing gum. Thankfully, I was able to put a package of water bottles from the plane into my backpack, before the plane exploded. I had been carrying the heavy load of bottled water for days, each day having two bottles. The water was heavy at first but getting lighter for me to carry as time passed.
I stare at the entrance to this silent forest and I can hear my feet crunching and crackling the dead leaves and pine needles on the forest floor.I keep hiking through the woods, hoping to find some nuts or edible berries. But I’m not lucky enough to find any food sources, not even small animals. I was feareful of coming upon a mountain lion or a grizzly bear. But I would have heard a large predator in the silence of this forest.
Darkness came, and I lay out on a tarp in a sleeping bag, but the night was cold despite the fact it was summer. I slept little, as I had everynight since the plane crash. Danny’s slack dead face haunting my dreams. “Danny,” I said screeching his name and waking up under a starlit sky before falling back into a restless sleep. I’m bruised and scraped all over from the crash. The ground feels painful to sleep on.
The morning sun is brilliant. The sky a painting of rich pink and orange hues fading into a bright blue sky with cotton clouds. I can glimpse the dark forest ending. I wonder where I will end up next? My food is long gone and I have had to switch to drinking only one bottle of water a day. I feel dizzy and my head aches from a lack of food. Only the promise that this disturbing silence in the forest will end soon, makes me continue walking.
Finally, I come to a clearing and looking up at a clear blue sky, I thank God the forest part of the journey has ended. Ahead of me lay fields of a plant I vaguely recognize. Workers are busy in the field picking the plants. I can smell the acrid yet tantalizing scent of marajauna in the air from someone smoking it. I day dream of brownies with marajauna baked inside.
The workers stare at me curiously as I walk towards a magnificent old southern mansion, past the marajauna fields in the distance. I must have appeared frightening to the workers. I haven’t showered or changed my clothes for two-weeks. There has been no river to clean up in and no clean clothes to change into. The workers did their best to ignore my presence, but I’m not sure why they did.
I approached the mansion frustrated. But the front door swung open upon my arrival. A man greeted me cheerfully. I could tell he was staff. “Where am I?” I asked my voice raspy from not having used it for so long.
“Mr. Eric Dale’s house. He runs the fields and the workers, using marajauna for medicinal purposes and hemp products,” I’m assured. The staff member introduces himself, as Gregory, Mr Dales PA. I try to listen to Gregory’s words but having had nothing to eat for the better part of a week is catching up to me. I feel faint and sick, my head spinning.
I manage to rasp, “My friend crashed his plane here. I walked through fields and forest and now I’m here. I need something to eat. I need sleep and a bath. I need to get home. My friend Danny is dead.”
Breaking into tears, I feel miserable and finally able to grieve for Danny if only for a few moments. Collapsing on the floor I hear a deep male voice ask, “Is she okay? She’s been out in the wild two-weeks. They’re people searching for her in helicopters. They found the plane crash.”
Through a haze of fog and desperate hunger clawing at my gut, I hear Gregory calling for help from other staff. I can fight to survive no more. Fading into blackness, into dreams, I see Danny smiling, animated, and joking right before the plane crashed.