Interview With Tosha Michelle


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. 

Please take a look at her blog here: Everything I Never Told You


Tosha Michelle

1. Tell Us About Yourself Tosha? 

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 to Self 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 my internal 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


Tosha Michelle 2
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 a new 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

By Tosha Michelle

Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle Tosha
http://www.amazon.com

You Can Purchase Tosha’s Poetry Book Here on Amazon.


Self Help to Self Harm: The Dubious Guide To Life, Love, and Relationships

By Tosha Michelle

Self Help Tosha
http://www.amazon.com

Purchase Tosha’s Self Help to Self Harm Book here on Amazon.


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 marketing yourself 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?

“And Everything”

He makes my heart leap

But i’m so very careful of the rocks

In the distance I see the lush

greenness of the vineyard.

The roots true. The vines ripe

Do I have faith in the landscape?

It still looks abstract from here.

I walk on with my shoes of hope

wearing clear blue skies and a

thawed out soul.

Still I worry about a change in

the weather, falling into a ravine

My spirit like a sacred dare

challenges me to forget my fears,

to journey on deeper into what

could become less or more.

His voice in the distance

permeates my darker self until

all I see is sunlight.

Who can say what dust will bring?

Wine or a cloud spun our of

misguided fate?.

For now the light glimmers

How freeing it is branching

it’s way out into the unknowns.

July 29, 2016 -Tosha Michelle


Here Are Two Additional Poetry Pieces From Tosha’s Blog:


Tosha Word Quote
Tosha Michelle (Unknown)

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 🙂


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Writing 101 – Reflection – “Mirrors”


Your eyes are a reflection of your soul it is said; but if you’ve seen pitch black-brown eyes, you know they can be the kindest gentle eyes.

People used to be afraid of their reflection — much like our pets. The authorities thought using mirrors was vanity as the Puritans had no mirrors.  But I can think of many instances having a mirror would be handy.

It was thought that your left hand was evil, especially if you were left handed. Because the right hand mirrors the left, the left was to be watched.

People used to look at themselves in surfaces that shone and reflected a person’s image back. Glass has not been around so long so we used metals that when shiney gave a reflection.

When mirrors came about, they were put in every place you could think of. On the table, the wall, and on the ceiling. Where can you escape your reflection when it is always mirrored.

And when you do sit down and think, for some self – reflection, does your self reflect your heart or soul? Are you living the life you want to?

And with “selfies” and mirrored surfaces at every place we go. Does our appearance always measure up? Did we leave lipstick on our teeth? Or cut our face during shaving?

I think there’s a bit too much reflective surfaces if I may say so myself. I think we are a bit vain as we look at ourselves in every mirrored surface we can. Perhaps, if we reflected more on the inside our bodies would reflect something greater — something kind.

—–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Absolut Apeach – with Song and Dance


I don’t know what the future holds, it’s vapour and ash in the palm of my hand. I try to tell myself, time will tell, but my thoughts are a muse that inspires; the present feels like I’m singing an epicedium, a word that has meaning to mourn;

It’s so challenging to be sitting here and waiting for the funeral to end; hello, Adele, can you hear me crank up something with a beat and dancing feet will swarm. I am looking for that lamp that always guides my feet, to take me out of depressing hymns and into the feelings of the warm breath of dawn, and life, and being a part of something outside myself and my musings. 

Sing a cheerful song, grab a partner and make a connection, a reflection in the looking glass; the print of today’s paper is bigger, but so was last night’s complications, corrections, don’t be so dull or forlorn. I am waiting for such answers, a teacher marking tests, never finding the perfect words, until one student finally understands the form. And with all of this frantic writing, we need translation we need more words, slang, and hyperbolation is the night’s score;

A rhythm finally knocking, some tapping, the sound of a thousand voices humming, to the typing of a sentence, say the right words, let learning explode. Implosions are the stars delight, it implies a meaning that can be found, in the exestential crisis explained by all this science; faith is not only one word.

And you might go hopping quietly down the rabbit hole, but drink the tea and eat the cakes, now your bonkers it’s too late; in all the madness, and hats that we wear in life, to let the mouse out of the tea pot and bring peace to so much, guiless sneaks evil, in the form of mockery, and jesting — it’s just a joke that a cat can only understand.

If we pick up some beats, will slumber cease, can I find some elaboration? One time, on hellos, and goodbyes. I’m not coming back, the grass is greener here. Don’t you know that’s not always just some saying, to keep people from being escapists and running to the otherside.

Ground at our boots, lets let the melody unfold in loops, candy canes on parade, no Christmas yet; there’s snow to make us tremble, the semblance of the night is roughly raging and you can’t just go inside you need to stay and improvise; it’s a party for the roaring of the singing voices, and those that dance suggested.

I implore you listen and read into the gestures made awkwardly by the person talking; can you think for yourself, see the truth in motions, not emotion, that could be fake; no liars here, they can disappear. They are oblivious to these simple truths we hold so dear, keep the bell ringing for tonight we gain a truth; instead of lies, it’s a surprise, now appear. Bow low before the crowd you’ve enchanted with a voice so clear.