Several weeks ago, Ayala, who blogs at A Sun Kissed Life, wrote the 9000th comment on my site, so in celebration, I would like to continue the practice of interviewing each 1000th commenter and am delighted that this time, it’s this talented young poet.
Photo: Ayala, A Sun-Kissed Life
1. Among your interests, you list travel. How have your experiences in world-wide travels influenced your writing life?
As a child I was fortunate to travel with my parents. I continue to travel as an adult. I love traveling, it absolutely influenced my writing. Each place holds the promise of new experiences, people, sights, smells, food, and art. It moves me and inspires me to write.
2. Your “About” states I believe in living each day the best way possible.” Can you describe how your “perfect” day would unfold?
A perfect day for me is when my two sons, my husband and I are together. We can be home enjoying conversation, cooking, watching television, or just hanging out. Another perfect scenario is when we all go fishing. We go to North Palm Beach, with a cooler of food, bait, our rods and we spend all day outdoors. Sometimes we stop at Peanut Island for lunch and a dip in turquoise waters. It used to be a deserted island when we first went there in the nineties. Now the city built it up with various facilities docking and camping grounds. It’s quite beautiful.
3. If I understand your Facebook page correctly, you’ve resided both in Florida and Tel Aviv. How do the places you call home influence your poetry?
I was born in Israel. I have been residing in Florida for the last 37 years. There are things that I remember about my early childhood in Israel. I treasure those memories. I believe that any place that you live influences who you are, your writing, and how you see the world.
4. Aside from your blog, where do you share your poetry? Have you published, or do you plan to publish your work? Do you write other genres besides poetry?
Aside from my blog I have not published my work. When I was in my twenties my dad urged me to publish a collection of poems that I wrote. I paid the publisher but my book was never published due to the publisher getting sick and the company closing down. I had no desire to publish my work afterwards.
I wrote a novel in my twenties and short stories, but my true passion is poetry.
5. Who or what is the greatest inspiration behind your poetry?
My dad was my first fan. Always supporting me and reading my works. He was an inspiration. A child that survived the ghetto. He witnessed horrors, no child should see. He became a self-made man. He left Europe when he was a newlywed and immigrated to Israel. He spoke several languages and became a success. Even when he was a laborer in a factory, he fought for equal rights of his fellow workers. He was admired by others. He was involved in social issues and was extremely generous. He was involved in politics and later became an impresario, writer, jeweler, art dealer. Some of his work was published in a Romanian newspaper in Israel. He was a poet but he also wrote plays. Listening to him read poetry to my mom early on inspired me. My mom would tell me that I took after my dad. He passed away in 2008 and writing has been a salvation to me.
6. When do you write? How do you work writing and blogging into your busy life as mother and entrepreneur?
I’ve been writing since I am eight years old. Being a mother and an entrepreneur I find myself juggling most of my days. I write notes when I feel inspired and I have notebooks with half poems written, things that inspire me at the moment. Later when I find time, I return to my notes, try to recreate the moment and write.
7. Is there anything else that you would like us to know about you, your work, your family or your sweet dog, Daisy?
I would like my readers know that I was a single parent for the first nine years of my older son’s life. Being a single parent, I feel, is a privilege. My son and I are extremely close, because it was always him and I. I think it made me stronger and a better parent. I’ve also raised children as a partner with my husband. This has given me two entirely different perspectives on raising children.
Another thing I want them to know is why I started writing a blog. I began as a way to deal with the loss of my parents. I was in a lot of pain and it was therapeutic. At the time I felt strange exposing myself on the internet. I was reading blogs and writing. It opened me to a new world. I had seen the movie Julie and Julia in which a blogger recreates recipes of Julia Child while documenting her experience on a blog. I found the idea charming. Later I bought the book, The Happiness Project, and read Ms. Gretchen Rubin’s blog. One day I read an interview with a young mom and author named Aidan Donnelley Rowley. She wrote about her girls and the loss of her father. Those feelings resonated with me. She was one of the first people to leave me encouraging comments. Through her blog I found other blogs that I read. I was moved by Belinda Munoz who writes, The Halfway Point. Belinda has extended her friendship to me. I treasure it and admire her as an activist and a humanitarian. The blogging community has shown me love and support. It allowed me to trust this place and share my deep feelings. Mr. Brian Miller gave me a lot of support in the beginning of my journey as well. He is a generous spirit in our poetry community. I am humbled by all the great talent and creativity including yours Victoria. Thank you for this interview. I have always appreciated your kindness toward me.
And thank you, Ayala, for taking time from your full life to be a part of our poetry communities and for sharing a bit of yourself through this interview. I hope everyone who reads this will take a moment and check out your blog, A Sun-Kissed Life…especially those of you who have not “met” Ayala.