Happy Monday! Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I am happy to share with you September’s second interview: the fascinating, beautiful, and gifted poet,Tosha Michelle from the blog — Everything I Never Told You: Lucidly In Shadows, Poetry From A Hand That Writes Misty.
My name is Tosha Michelle and I hail from the land of grits and sweet tea. I’m a poet and author of two books — Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle and Self Help toSelf Harm. The first is a chapbook and contains some of my earlier poems. The latter is my silly take on the self help genre. I’ve written things since I was a child but I didn’t take up blogging until about five-years-ago.I’m also an abolitionist and Academia addict. I’m the Radio Host of -Chit Chat Chicks Live and La Literati. I’m a book worm and perpetual nerd and dreamer.
2. What Does Writing and Poetry Mean to You Personally?
Poetry — reading it, writing it — is one of my greatest forms of pleasure. There’s so much life and emotion which can be found in poetic verse. I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to write when my senses are heightened and I’m in tune with myinternal angst or joy.
“I write poetry to release my own demons, to make sense of my feelings, and for the sheer pleasure of self-expression. My poetry, usually, stems from strong emotions either good emotions or emotions which feel bad. I find it easier to writ when my senses are heightened . . .” – Tosha Michelle
3. Why Do You Write and Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write?
I’m a woman-child in a state of grace, struggling to find my voice and place in this world through introspection, self-reflection, and most importantly by social activism and advocacy. I firmly believe in these words: “Be the change you want to see.” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.
4. Are There Personal Causes Behind Your Writing and Values In Life?
Love combined with action can and will make an impact on the world. It takes heart and guts to take on the seemly insurmountable, and we must. We must take a stand against injustices such as human trafficking, child abuse, and poverty.
Can one person change the world?Absolutely! Picture a world without Martin Luther King, without Gandhi, without Mother Teresa, and the countless other men and women who fought injustices in their culture, challenged the unchallengeable, and helped change society for the better.
Changing the world, making a difference where you can, and taking a stand, these are issues I often write about. Writing is a fantastic way to make a difference in the world.
” ‘Be the change you want to see.'” It is only through love, tolerance, humility and the understanding of our own fragility that we can begin to find our humanity and, in turn, extend that humanity to others. I hope this comes through in my writing.” – Tosha Michelle
5. Do You Find There Is a Time Of Day You Most Enjoy Writing? Have You Published Any Writing? What Is Your Most Current Writing Projects?
Mornings are the best time to write, there’s something inspiring about the promise of anew day. As I stated earlier, I wrote Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle and the book, Self Help To Harm. As for projects, I’m working on putting together a collection of my more recent poems. I also have a project with a fellow poet. We are working on a book together.
Confessions of A Warm Southern Belle: A Poet’s Collection of Love, Loss, and Renewal
4. What Is Your Writing Process Like? How Did You Publish Your Books? I self-published on Amazon, the process was fairly easy. The hard part is marketingyourself and your writing. I’m not sure if I would take the self-publishing route again. I tend to write obsessively and in spurts. I need a quiet place to create, with no music, TV, or other distractions.
5. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading Genres? Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
I love poetry and I am a huge fiction fan. I also read a lot of non-fiction as well. I’m a history buff and adore anything related to history and the past. Writing is such a personal thing and I can only speak to what helps me. Writing every day is something I practice. I also read a great deal. I do think writing and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk. My Southern roots are showing 🙂
I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.
” . . .[Writing] and reading go together like biscuits and gravy or cornbread and milk . . . I think you need to just be yourself. There’s something lovely about being authentic and real in writing and in life.” – Tosha Michelle.
6. Can You Please Share A Few Links From Your Blog With Your Favorite Or Most Loved Pieces?
Thank you Tosha Michelle, for answering my interview questions. I enjoyed reading your answers and the books you have written both seem as if they’ll be great reads. I know the poetry will be awesome, but I think you perspective on dating, love etc. would be an interesting read as well. I hope everyone will check them out on Amazon. Also, love that you are an advocate for change for the terrible things happening in our world.
Would you like to share about yourself, your writing, and your writing process? Please reach-out to my through my Contact Page and I will send you some interview questions. I would love to feature you on my bi-weekly interview series, whatever kind of writing you adore. Thanks for reading 🙂
“F’ing loser back off, leave me alone.” Melonie shouted at Will.
“I want to take you on a date and after . . .”
“You don’t get it! Over and over I’ve been through this with you. If when we first met, you wanted to date me and see where things go it would have been one thing. But now I know your motives, you would expect me to sleep with you after our initial date because you wined and dined me.”
“Come on you’ll like it Melonie. A lot of girls enjoy sleeping with me. You’ll like it too. I have skills…” Will said slyly.
Melonie huffed, letting out a breathe of pent up air. “I don’t want to hear about all the girls you’ve slept with you man whore. I told you, I’m not interested in dating you because you only want me for sex. Not to mention, I’m really not into relationships right now with you, so you can’t win. I don’t like you that way Will.”
“You’re such a loser. You’re missing out. Maybe you should go back to your ex.”
“Call me what you want. I’m into guys I’ve developed a relationship with, who have made an effort to get to know me. I don’t do one night stands such as some chicks. I don’t do casual sex whenever you feel like it.”
“I’m in a good place in life and I want you to leave me alone. Stop bothering me, go find one of those chicks that love to sleep with you. My ex is out of the picture, I don’t want him back because I won’t sleep with you.” Melonie said expressively.
“I don’t get you,” Will said rubbing his chin.
“I’ve told you this over and over. Can I spell it out IM NOT INTERESTED in being with you at all.”
“Um, your obviously worked up right now. I’m going to let you calm down. Sleep with me, you’ll like it. I’ll be good to you. Think about it.”
Melonie sighed rubbing her temples. “Will, don’t contact me anymore. Stay away.”
“No worries, we’ll work it out some other time Mel.”
“Will . . .”
The word came to Melonie then, silkabo. A word her Filipino friend said meant an emotionaloutburst. Melonie was frustrated and realized she had been shouting at Will, but she truly felt the situation warranted her outburst.
What was the Filipino phrase for not seeing the ‘writings on the wall?’ Will couldn’t see the truth about him and Melonie if it smacked him in the face; he was oblivious.
There was a day that upon your shoulders you took me ofF
I had to stand and be the fighteR
You left with me skills, never left without giving me a plethorA
Of sage like wisdom, grace, so I never did LaG
Compared to many I was strong, the life had I
And all this I gained at the hand of your help, faithfulness above alL
Yet, I learned to trust and trust came stuttered way of breathE
Despite all this I learned to be strong one must remain FRAGILE