Interview with Blogger Michael Grogan: A Writer With A Superb Sense of Humor #amwriting #interviews #bloggers


Welcome to another Writer/Blogger Interview with Micahel Grogan of Morpethroad: Random, Meaningful, Words. Please check out his wonderful blog. As a writer, Michael is versatile and has a wicked sense of humor. I’ve blogged with him a number of years. You can also find him on the site: Mind Loves Misery’s Menagerie where he hosts a writing prompt or two each week.


Michael Grogen
Credit: Michael Grogen – Morpethroad

1. Michael, Please Tell Us About Yourself? What is it Like Where You Live? 


I live in a beautiful part of the world. The Hunter Valley is a rich and diverse region with farming and coal mining being the predominant industries. I also live on the edge of a floodplain, and behind my house is a rich farming area where once-market crops such as potatoes, cabbage, and watermelons. But nowadays, it’s used for feed crops and the raising of some beef cattle.

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I worked for 39-years as a teacher of Drama and English, and during that time wrote a lot of pieces to help my students. In particular, in the 1990’s with the introduction of drama into the school curriculum, I wrote material for my students, and at one time, produced a book of performance pieces.

As a teacher, I liked to provide my students with opportunities to perform. I wrote four musicals, the first one was basic and I’d like to think my musicals improved from there.


2. When Did You Begin Blogging and Writing Outside of Teaching? What Has Blogging Taught You? 


By the time I retired I had started to blog. Initially, blogging was a place to release my writing. While blogging I discovered the opportunity to write and write in a more ordered way. I learned to address prompts on a daily basis to explore my creativity. The creative side of writing is what I love.

I don’t write for profit or anything like that. I’m not all interested in publishing, but I enjoy exploring the writing process. I’ve become engrossed in the process of ‘story.’ I produce the best effort I can. Then, I put it on my blog and link it to the prompt (or another blog), if necessary, and I move on to the next exercise (prompt).

So, I guess I’d say I write predominantly for me. If others enjoy what I write, then great. The other lesson I have learned from blogging is that your audience fluctuates. You might have 500 followers, but only 10 might on any regular basis read and comment on your work.


I don’t write for profit or anything like that. I’m not all interested in publishing, but I enjoy exploring the writing process. I’ve become engrossed in the process of ‘story.’ I produce the best effort I can. Then, I put it on my blog . . .” Michael Grogan


3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging, and Why? 


My blogging began in about 2012. At the time there was an Australian blog site and I posted my work there. The only issue for me was that I was the only one there. An occasional reader might come by, but I was looking for a wider audience and that brought me to WordPress.

WordPress provided access many wonderful writers and a whole new world of writing opportunities. I was so blown away by other people’s comments on my work, and I thought it was so rare that anyone would like what I was writing, that I used to cut and save the comments. I don’t anymore.


3. What Do You Enjoy Writing About On Your Blog? 


Initially, I used my blog as a place to post work exploring sexuality. Summer and Tommy were two characters I invented to do that. After a time, I ‘got over’ that phase of my life and moved onto other writing.

If you read my blog you’ll find I write a lot of character-based material. I enjoy ‘character’ and so characters such as Miss Marble, Cyril Rum, and Wayne and Greg, have allowed me the license to explore and develop these characters and others.

To me, ‘character’ gives substance. My characters are never perfect — they have flaws, but they also have a sense of humor. That sense of humor allows me to comment on society, to explore satire, and for my characters to develop. I don’t pretend to make them politically correct.

For example, I know my Wayne and Greg stories about the angels from Heaven and Hell do ruffle a few feathers, but I think writing can and should do that. It should make us think about what we are on about. I think people take themselves far too seriously at times. Sometimes its good to stand back and have a good laugh at our behaviors and beliefs.


“If you read my blog you’ll find I write a lot of character-based material. I enjoy ‘character’ and so characters such as Miss Marble, Cyril Rum, and Wayne and Greg, have allowed me the license to explore and develop these characters and others.” – Michael Grogan


Matias Jengel Michael Grogen
Credit: Matias Jengle via Unsplash

4. What Else Does Blogging Mean To You? Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation for Blogging? 


Well, blogging to me is about exploring ideas in the form of a story. Also, when I started blogging a good friend said to me, that ‘my blog was mine, and that what I wrote was what I thought.’ He said ‘I shouldn’t get caught up in what other people might think.’ So in a nutshell, what blogging means to me is to be able to express myself, and be pleased with what I write.

For me, inspiration comes from the writing prompts I receive most days, from different blogging sites. I don’t do them all regularly. I pick and choose the prompts I like. Most prompts that I write trigger a memory or situation from my past, sometimes from what I have read or seen.

Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get a story going in my head before I write it. For me, the story has to work and if it doesn’t I stop, go away, and do something else such as mowing the lawn.

I see if when I go back to it I can make more sense of it. If not I don’t believe in twisting myself every which way to write something but, rather, it’s best to let it go and move on to the next challenge.

In many ways, writing is a puzzle. Whatever the prompt, I find it a challenge to match my ability to its demands. Like anything in life, some days you succeed some days you don’t.


5. Where Else Do You Find Writing Inspiration? What Don’t You Enjoy About Certain Writing Prompts? 


I’ve never liked prompts that involve competition. I avoid them. I don’t like the notion of feeling under threat by imposed rules. I like the freedom to write what I like to write. I once entered a Short Story competition and was so disappointed I didn’t rate a mention when I realized after reading the rules, I had broken most of them.

Also, the people and places around you provide such wonderful inspiration. You meet wonderful people in blog-land. I find I’m in daily contact with great writers, amazing people from who I draw inspiration. In particular, the people I’ve met who have been so brave in writing their memoirs. For many of them, their lives have been the subject of abuse; I find them inspirational. My life in comparison has been dull.

However, my blogging practice is significant as it affords me the chance to exercise my brain and do what I love, writing about ‘character.’On occasion, I dabble in a bit of poetry


“You meet wonderful people in blog-land. I find I’m in daily contact with great writers, amazing people from who I draw inspiration. In particular, the people I’ve met who have been so brave in writing their memoirs. For many of them, their lives have been the subject of abuse; I find them inspirational.” – Michael Grogan


Fabian Grohs Michael G
Credit: Fabain Grohs via Unsplash 

6. Do You Have Any Writing Habits, A Particular Time of Day You Enjoy Writing Most? 


I tend to find I write best in the mornings. It’s 5:00 a.m. now. Here I am tapping away answering questions. If something inspiring pops up in the evenings that I have a ready response for, then I write before my idea disappears.

I’ve discovered another dimension to writing, and that is the reader’s response. If I can write something you find entertaining, that gives you a laugh, and you say so — that’s great feedback. Comments are a source of encouragement and I try when I comment, to encourage people to write because I know it’s not always easy. We should encourage and support each others writing where we can.

There’s also the aspect of learning something new. In particular, reading other peoples responses is a learning experience. We are never too old to learn.


7. Do You Have Any Current Writing Projects? Have You Published Any Recent Writing? Can You Describe Your Writing Process? 


I don’t have any writing projects apart from the family tree document I am working on. I tend to use my blog to respond to the prompts I feel I can do. I was also recently published in the d’verse anthology, and that was a thrill to be included. But I don’t write with the intention to publish.

I usually look at a prompt I’m attracted to and let it sit for a while. Sometimes I have nothing, initially, and then at some point, an idea germinates in my mind and I go from there. The ideas might be from things I’ve read or seen, and I’m able to put my slant on them.

My first draft will be all the ideas I can think of, and then I go back and edit. In the case of word-limited prompt, I write everything and then edit by asking myself, ‘Will the piece stand up if I take this word or sentence or paragraph out?” Usually, when I remove words or sections these prompts work better.


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genre? Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Beginner Writers and Bloggers? 


I like to try my hand at all sorts of things. Fantasy is good as I often feel there are not as many strict rules or conventions to follow. I’ve tried my hand at writing horror stories, but I don’t have any compulsion to read them. As I said earlier, I do like writing character pieces the most.

Helpful advice: You need to understand why you are doing what you are doing. Do you like writing, and who might your audience be? Your blog should also be for you. You don’t have to answer to anyone; you write what you like writing about. Also, don’t be disappointed if you receive few, if any, comments when you start.

As well, flash fiction prompts are a useful way to attract followers as they often have huge numbers of blogger submitting stories. Don’t blog as a way to make money; you’ll be disappointed. I imagine few bloggers make any money from their blog. Once you start seeing other bloggers are following you, its normal for a few of them to comment. But don’t expect others to comment on a regular basis.

Its also a blogging fact, the piece you write that you consider brilliant and a work of literary merit, may not receive any or many comments. Why? I don’t know. Most bloggers also have a short attention span and so blog posts over a thousand words won’t be read as much. It’s why 100-word flash fiction is so popular.

Lastly, be prepared to read other people’s blogs with the intention of learning something from them. There are many amazing writers out there.


9. Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share With Us? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs or Reasons You Follow Certain Bloggers? 


If writing doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, then you aren’t doing it right. You need to stop and evaluate what and why you are doing what you do. We all do it differently and whatever process works for you is a good guide. That people read and comment favorably is proof you are doing something right.

Favorite bloggers: I found this a good question in that it reminded me that during my blogging years, people I admired have disappeared for one reason or another. It has always been sad to read of the death of a favored blogger. Some of my favorite blogs are from people who rarely blog nowadays. Some bloggers develop a unique style and voice, and I like their approach to what they write, so I keep wanting to read more. 


“You need to understand why you are doing what you are doing. Do you like writing, and who might your audience be? Your blog should also be for you. You don’t have to answer to anyone; you write what you like writing about.” -Michael Grogan 


Nicole Honeywell Michael G
Credit: Nicole Honeywell via Unsplash

10. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links from Your Blog? 


Having written a number of posts about Miss Marble, the Witch on Grimace Street, here is a link to one that says something about her origins:

The Origins of Miss Marble, Marble Juice, and Galactic Dust

By

Micahel Grogan 

November 29, 2016.

*****

Toa Heftiba Michael G
Credit: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash – Miss Marble’s Magic Juice

*****

Last week’s Tale Weaver was a piece I wrote about Miss Marble and the aliens. In the end, I mentioned galactic dust and following some queries as to what the dust is, I have written the following, which may shed some light on where Miss Marble has come from, what Marble Juice is, and the significance of the galactic dust. Here is the link to that post: HERE!!

*****

The Klator people had been visiting the earth for many millennia sourcing jupjup berries. They came to earth every two years as part of their orbit through the universe. In the beginning, there had been several spaceships arrive. The earth had the perfect climate for the jupjup berry and they were plentiful. For the Klator the berries provided sustenance.  Their home planet was now uninhabitable and they were forced to live a nomadic life.

Their stopovers on earth were about harvesting and preserving as many berries as they could. With each visit, they became aware of climatic changes on the earth.  They looked for new locations to plant seeds in the hope that by the time they returned the berries would be in fruit.

As time wore on, the places the berries would grow diminished for a variety of reasons. The climate did change, some years were poorer than others in terms of rainfall, heat, and cold. As the human population spread they took over fertile lands previously planted with the jupjup berry. To the humans, the jupjup berry was nothing more than an inedible pest and they destroyed as much as they could.

By the time of the middle ages, with the human population spreading and growing in numbers, the habitat of the jupjup berry diminished. Farms were expanding due to the need for more produce to feed the growing population.

This was a problem for the Klator. The issue of not being able to source the berries was looming closer and closer.

When they landed they avoided all contact with the humans. They saw the humans as a dirty, disgusting race content to live in their own squalor and offering little to the Klators.

One day, they happened upon a young woman gathering herbs in the forest near where they were harvesting jupjup berries. Curious that this young lady should be gathering herbs in that particular part of the forest they watched her.

The young lady lived in a small house in a street that was long and stretched away from the main town. She had inherited the house from her mother who had passed on her practice to her daughter. They were known in those times as witches as they dealt in all sorts of potions and medicines. Most of the townsfolk feared them especially when they had cures that actually worked. Many of these women had suffered the fate of the dunking stool. In many people’s eyes, it was only a matter of time before this young lady suffered the same fate.

The Klator were curious in discovering the young lady had a keen interest in chemistry. She was keen to find out the properties of the herbs she used.

Sensing an opportunity, the Klator decided to engage with the young lady. Discovery they knew was a huge risk. There had been ugly exchanges in the past and they went out of their way to avoid any reoccurrences.

In the middle of the night, they paid the young lady a visit. Startled at first, the young lady found she had not much choice but listen to the tale the Klator told. Mention of the jupjup berry enthralled her. She knew of the berry and knew most people considered it a pest and tore it out at every opportunity. The Klator asked her to look at the berry and see if there was a way the berry’s secret ingredient might be made.

The young lady looked at the berries offered to her and said she would see what she could discover. For several weeks she toiled at her task before discovering an alcohol the berries contained.  This explained the berry’s bitter unpalatable taste.

Knowing a little about alcohol she worked to discover its chemical composition.

It wasn’t long before she discovered a sure way to produce it and in liquid form as well. She presented it to the Klator who, upon tasting it, declared it was ideal for their purposes.

They requested she make enough for the two years they would be away. With due diligence, she carried out the task producing several barrels.

The Klator asked her name were told she was called Marble.

Marble didn’t think of them again as the next two years were a time of survival for her. Times were tough, there was much sickness and the plague was ravaging the country when the Kaltor returned. Seeing them at her door heightened her already high levels of anxiety. Right at that moment, she didn’t need more pressure. The community was whispering witchcraft as she struggled to produce the medicine she hoped would cure the townsfolk.

The Klator had returned with the barrels from the previous visit empty. They asked her to fill them again and what was the name of the substance she made. She mumbled “Marble Juice” for the want of a better name and thought about the manufacture of the liquid for the Klator. It would take her a week to create enough to fill the barrels but in that time her own well-being might come under fire. The plague was not abating, the demand for her medicine was increasing. She explained all this to the Klator who were sympathetic to her cause.

They said they would give her an extra week to help her meet their needs and those of her community.

When they returned they noticed how much Marble had aged. She had not slept well, she worked long hours and the toll was showing.

With their barrels full they were grateful for what Marble did for them and so they gave her a bag of galactic dust. Their instructions were to mix a tablespoon of the dust in a pot of water and drink a half cup each day. Their message was it would give her energy.

Marble did take as they advised and found she did have more energy and could work longer. Before long Marble realized the drink she was taking each day was giving her more than energy. She noticed around her friends and family were growing older. She could not see the same deterioration occurring in herself.

Every two years the Klator returned. They brought Marble a bag of dust and collected their Marble Juice.

As time progressed Marble found people began to build houses along the road past her house. Over the years the area became known as ‘grimace.’ It was what the workers did as they walked past her house, grimaced as if fearful of giving cause to attract Marble’s attention. There were rumors she was not only a witch but a very powerful one. It was just a matter of time before Grimace Street became its official name.

The only friend Marble had in the world was her faithful hound, Sal. (Short for Salivate) She shared her half cup of life elixir with Sal each morning.

As the years went by Grimace Street grew around Marble. Neighbors came and went and Marble became known as Miss Marble.

The galactic dust she knew was invaluable. In the modern age with space exploration expanding and the search for extra-terrestrials ever increasing she knew that should any of the so-called ‘experts’ find out what she had, there would be no stopping them in getting their hands on the invaluable dust. So the arrival of the Klator was always at night, in secret and the galactic dust always locked away.

*****


A Few More of Michael’s Blog Links!!



Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to fill out the interview questions, especially, at 5:00 a.m. I apologize the Interview took so long for me to post. For those of you waiting for your interview, they’re coming! Thanks again and see you next time!


©Mandibelle16. (2018). All Rights Reserved.

Day 26- NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Tale Weavers: Poem – Wrapped Refrain (2) – “Under the Same Moon” #poetry #AtoZChallenge #NaPoWriMo #future


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write about wondering what “future archaeologists, whether human or from an alien civilization, will make of us . . . exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist.” Thanks to Michael of last week’s Tale Weavers from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie who provided a prompt about the moon. As well for A to Z Challenge for a GoodRead’s quote the letter today is the letter W. 


The Moon
Credit: Michael – MindLovesMisery’s Menagerie

” . . . All that is now / [a]ll that is gone/ [a]ll that’s to come / and everything under the sun is in tune/ but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”
Roger Waters


Gazing into the future, ‘neath a pale moon gleaming bright,

Hard to believe, people who were, saw the same moon’s shining light.

They had houses, electricity.

So many ethnicities.

It’s different now, the gene pool changed,

Those who look unique all estranged.

All look like us, all brown eyes, dark hair, and medium skin too.

I can scarce picture blond, red-haired, green eyes, or eyes so blue.


Genetic defects they called them, so now we’re all plain, the same,

It’s weird to think, they dyed their hair, all colors, none went gray.

How was it to be individual,

Not for the whole good — sacrificial.

What makes a person now is,

Incredibly different knowing this —

Society of people who fell as those before left their cities,

Frames of what once was, rusted metal, not all that pretty.


Their language full of slang, we cannot pin down lingiustics,

Cannot find words, spoken globally, their lyrics I sing.

But their music is strange, listened —

To some and our technology it fits.

Technology they had weird, but we —

Discover strange things, sound gleaned.

Words not understandable but melodies clear and bright,

 Music is forbidden, I sing in secrecy to ancient tunes light.


Some days we watch their stories, their films, when the moon is round.

My favorite days, those brilliant plays, words with lovely sound.

And we find little toys, scrapbooks, phones,

While in the distance the guns drone.

Each man, each woman a soldier,

Controlled by who knows? With no souls.

No hope as those gone far ago had, of a war ending soon,

Gazing into the future, we lived under the same moon.


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Rictameter – “The Angel” #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry  


Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

——-

Credit: Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode

——–

Here’s she,

His sweet angel,

Wearing her frothy gown,

She’s beautiful, elegant,

A wife any man could love or desire.

She’s the epitome, the standard,

What women should be like,

Humming music,

Here’s she.

——–

Her hair,

Perfectly coiffed,

Mother of six children,

Few lines on her face, she holds up.

Although, life’s pressure can be confining,

Her lips smile a gesture rehearsed.

What’s underneath in her —

Boarding school mind,

Her hair?

——

Model,

She’d wants all to —

Perceive she’s the perfect wife.

Society expects her to —

Set perfect example because —

She’s upperclass, the lead in the charade.

Acting as the moral —

Center, she must

Model

——

Portrait,

Of the great dame,

Her family, pride, joy,

Madame’s smile is slipping because,

Performing all the time is exhausting.

She wonders if she might sit with —

Port to sip, not thinking,

Herself; not a —

Portrait

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Poem: Free Verse – Thoughts of the Mockingjay #amwriting #poetry #fiction #symbolic 


Credit: Wikia

———

Mockingjay, pretty bird or elegant deadly queen? 

A woman, a creature of dystopia and mythology

If there’s one bird to be, it would be a Mockingjay

Though I know they’re imaginary,

Mockingjays are real as symbols of courage.

Birds which don’t break, they carry on;

Nature outlasting outlandish experiments,

Reinventing, Mother Earth evolving and re-working, 

What humans would call a mistake; 

Yet these Jays cannot be hidden away, they’re fierce warriors risen. 

——

As a Mockingjay, could I fly close to the sun? 

Icarus (I think) burned off his majestic wings doing such a deed, 

 I’d think a celestial queen of Mockingjays is smarter

She’s a stealthy bird whose whistle, repeats any tune heard, 

Her mimickery can be confusing to her enemy. 

A Mockingjay queen, would keep her scars hidden, 

Safe beneath feathers which float, as hope; 

Now fuzz, falling furiously as she grows, dropping downy —

Fast, no longer a chick adorned with puffiness

Now a full-blown black and white glory who sings life’s story, 

The story of pain, betrayal, and loss;

Your average adventure and most tantalising tale. 

Oh, what a Mockingjay can truly be, 

When her heads adorned by sunlight and truth,

Choosing her battles and using her melody

The Melody you’re humming to yourself. 

The sweetest songs of tears, quicksilver and liquid gold, 

Molten metal glimmering

She burns with fire in her soul, though she is no mythical Phoenix;

Yet she rises from the ashes of society and science

She repeats your tunes, the echoes throughout her wild lands. 

——

Credit: http://www.nerdist.com

—–

You’ll never catch a Mockingjay, there’s wrath in her footprints, 

Her anger caused, ignites an inner flame brilliant. 

She’ll swoop from above and end you below, 

The dignified woman, no longer laughing,

Going to battle, her war song a trill

The Mockingjay flies her wings fluid, her form grace designed. 

A legendary bird of modern times,

Survival of the fittest crossing genetics; 

Nature re-designs better than a science lab of horrors

Mockingjay is more than bird she is the huntress

The symbolic warrior of Ancient Greece and Rome – Artemis;

Bow with blazing pyrotechnics and lethal skill, pointed at her kill. 

She lives and she dreams of the day, the war is long ended, 

Where revenge and the cold stone hearted have no meaning. 

Her desire is the melody so beautiful it thrills and heals

Enraptures a soul with clearly sung words. 

She’s a warrior with golden platted lashes, winged at her pray;

A sultry seductress and and goddess flying free. 

Mockingbird walks, she sways, feathers flocked close, 

She’s as precious as the sparrow, calling lonely for her love.

She’d scarred, her heart torn

So strong but in need of help most of all. 

Even symbols of strength such as her, 

Who mimick a fictitious tune with ease;

Need more than survival to hope for. 

She needs more than, a gilded bird cage. 

—–

Credit: Laces and Tiaras

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse – “A Congested Mind” #poetry #amwriting 


http://www.pinterest.com

——–

They call it the unknown

The future lying before you. 

No matter if you’re psychic, 

No one knows what happens. 

There are varied scenarios,

Ways it could play out, 

But truly we don’t know the future

It’s a mystery creeping forward, 

And it pulls us along on our knees.

Whether we go willingly, 

Or go kicking and screaming;

Time marches in to the beat,

Of father time’s own drum. 

****

I don’t know what’s coming, 

I know worrying won’t help. 

I think sometimes I try to give advice, 

Reassuring myself in kind. 

There are bright possibilities, 

Hoping people become, 

More kind than they are mean to each other. 

Pray people look-out for each other, 

But sometimes I think society is self-centred. 

I admit to such fault and others too,

But I’m still fearful;

When I think of a year or two ahead, 

I’m afraid what if it’s not the right plan? 

Experience deftly taught me,

Plans are dim outlines of reality. 

Mostly, life goes where it goes

And God only knows where or why. 

Leading us through dark valleys, 

Into trenches with piercing bullets flying. 

Into classrooms with screaming kids, 

A gunmen on the loose. 

He leads us through to people, 

Whose power makes one nervous. 

How even democracy isn’t safe —

A tyrant could rule all. 

Maybe the world will surprise me, 

But I fear for the little person. 

*****

My own personal fears weigh heavy, 

Though others bear pains greater. 

Of lawyers and cases, 

Of corruption and crime. 

Those crimes we deem terrible;

Those crimes brushed under the rug. 

Greed and all those other sins,

Abhorred but freely ignored. 

Though I can never say what’s worse —

My own flaws or imperfections

Or those I’m faced with. 

Stress shows through cracks, 

Egg yokes running. 

No one likes raw eggs except in cookie dough

The future is overwhelming. 

But at least they’ll still be cookie dough, 

And I don’t know why —

I’m particular and observant

Why I know it’s better to be alone

Than be truly alone with another. 

Why I wait for that spark

Why I wait for the morning dawn. 

A smile in his eyes which is genuine

Wherever he is. 

But maybe happiness is a puppy

Paws following me on the hardwood, 

Barks at random sounds. 

The glory of a puppy skidding down —

The off leash trail and wheeling;

Turning around to jump on me, 

To pick her up when she’s tired. 

*****

My bones are stiff and ridged

My dreams fall to despair

So many books and writers, 

And not anyone can compare

How to rise above the masses, 

Or fill your own niche contented. 

But perhaps one could be something

Success in small moments. 
Afraid and weighted

Need to cry, tears unshed, 

Because disease is cruel. 
Even if Heaven is the end of the tunnel,

So many words are left unsaid

The timing of it all, does it work? 

I feel alienated

Though I try hard to keep the connection

It’s all in your planning Lord;

So must I say, your will be done.

——-

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Escaping Society #flashfiction #amwriting


Thanks to the lovely and gracious Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW this last week. 

——

Credit: Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode
——
Violet read the letter her daughter had sent her in disbelief. To fathom a girl of Elizabeth’s quality of breeding would do this to her family was unimaginable

Harsh Victorian society could never know the truth of what Elizabeth had done and Violet wasn’t sure she could bear to keep in contact with her daughter.

She would focus on her other children. Violet’s sons had married well. Three of her daughters were also married suitably and having more children. Her two youngest daughters were courting wealthy gentlemen. 

Elizabeth if not cut-off from her family, could ruin them all. Violet reread part of her daughter’s letter once more in disgust: 

“Did you know Mama, there is such thing as a circus? Freaks of all kinds, but I love them because they’re genuine, not like the society you so desperately try to trap me in. Years of dance lessons have left me flexible. I pirouette far above the ground and dance in the air; I ride the elephants. 

It’s amazing travelling the world and I won’t be returning to London, except for an occasional visit of course. I’ve married one of the men who runs the circus. He is like me, gentry who has run away from a society of judgement. I love you and hope we can write, but I can’t be the woman you want me to be. . .” 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

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.