Monday Meanderings–Television: A Blessing or a Curse?

Photo: Lorna's Voice

Photo: Lorna’s Voice

(If you’re here for Sunday Whirl, it’s the previous post).

Before I get into the topic that struck me this week, I’d like to introduce you to Lorna Lee. Lorna’s blog, Lorna’s Voice, is one of those blogs I visit for a bit of vicarious humor therapy and an occasional dose of good common sense. A sociologist of the PhD variety, a humorist, and a published author whose writing skills are indisputable, Lorna makes sure that a visit to her blog brings joy and insight to her readers.

Last week, I had the honor of being interviewed by Lorna. As a great advocate of her fellow writers, this lovely lady does all she can to make sure our newly released work receives attention. She was able to take my responses to her questions and inject them with fun…and most of you know that I’m, perhaps, way too obsessed with death and things dark. Well, in my writing, anyway.

I want to invite you to check out the interview  (Victor Isn’t Talking to Me, but Victoria Is). Follow her site for your own humor break and be sure to check out her memoir, How Was I Supposed to Know: the Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost. It’s a fun read but full of wisdom.

Photo: Lorna's Voice

Photo: Lorna’s Voice

Now just a few reflections on television:

When I read about some of you who do not have television, I feel a tinge of envy. I think of how much time can be wasted in such passive activity, how much improved communication could happen, how much fun could be had, how much work I could get done.

I was five when we got our first TV, a 12” screen in a ginormous box with three channels that went fuzzy at night-time. The first show I remember watching on it was about the release, at last, of Dr. Salk’s polio vaccine. And, of course, Howdy Dowdy.

1950-Zenith-G2957R

The reality is that my husband loves television. He loves sports, 70’s TV Land programs and sports. I already said that, didn’t I? I’ve made friends with the whole situation. We are together and when he watches, I make jewelry, or knit, or (now) write if the program is something I can tune out. Oh, there’s a few things that get my full attention: a drama like Blue Bloods, Longmire or Person of Interest, 49’er football, and TCM classic movies.

A few nights ago we watched a program that David had recorded: the 30th anniversary celebration of M*A*S*H. This was a 2 hour+ discussion with the cast members, producers and screen writers who were still alive. They were all older, just as I am. Hawkeye and B.J. looked like you would expect. Hot Lips had way too much Botox, no doubt in an attempt to live up to her persona. The conversation was peppered with snippets of shows that demonstrated the discussion topic.

30th Anniversary Show

30th Anniversary Show

At it’s conclusion, I asked David to save it. I intend to zip through it sometime (if I can figure out the remote) and take notes. There was a wealth of valuable insight and information on plot, character, and so much more that applied to us as writers.

If I’m able to pull it off (manage the remote, that is), maybe I can share my thoughts in a future post. But one thing I want to offer you to think about today is their perseverance. The first season was a dismal failure. It ran against Disney’s crowd pleaser and was about the Korean War, during the Vietnam War. When the script writers took it from pure humor and brought out the deep emotional component of loss and war, it moved from the world of Sitcom to a compelling message written with ample doses of humor. The producers and studio hung on and we all know how that ended up. The show had a message and a mission—war is an atrocious futility.

I have a little different take on TV now. When I watch drama, I will pay attention to plot and character development. I’ll look for themes in a series. I’ll note what works and what flops.

So, take what you like from this. I hope it gives you some food for thought and maybe a different take on television.

Have a good week with the pen or keyboard and don’t give up!

Oh good grief. The holiday confused me. I had this scheduled for Monday night instead of Sunday night. So here it is!

Key M*A*S*H actors

Key M*A*S*H actors

A Sun-Kissed Interview

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.

Interview: Ginny Brannan

A while back, I received my 8000th comment. As many of you know, I find it fun to interview each 1000th commenter and this time Ginny Brannan is my “victim.” I hope you will enjoy getting to know this lovely lady and talented poet as much as I have.

Victoria, Excited to learn that I was your 8,000th commenter. Wow! Congratulations on achieving such a milestone! I just want to say that I am honored to have you interview me and share my answers with your readers. Quite humbled, thank you so much!

Ginny, you live in New England, a region that is home (or has been) to a number of talented and successful writers. What is it about a sense of “place” that generates so much creativity? How does it affect your writing?

New England, home to Emerson, Thoreau, Webster, Hawthorne, Dickenson, Plath, Wharton, Twain, to name a few either born in or settled here. My favorite poet, Robert Frost, was actually born in California, but settled in New England in his teens, and we “claim” him as our own. And Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born and lived in Springfield, MA, close to where I live now.

I can’t speak of what inspired them, but I think have some sense of it—we have the extremes of the four seasons to draw from. Our terrain encompasses woodlands, farmland, mountains, seashore and everything in between. We have a real sense of history and historic pride here–dating back to the pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth and the Revolutionary War. Though there are some larger cities, N.E. is still mostly small towns, and much life here is still rural country living. This small town/country life gives us strong sense of community, close ties with our families and neighbors. And how it affects my writing? I find that I am most satisfied with the results of what I write when I draw from what I know—nature and seasons, experiences, history, family and all that touches my life in some small way.

On your blog you mention that you come to writing later in life. What was it that kept you busy in your “younger” years?

I say “later” because I see many writers in their early 20s and 30s who are so talented, and here I am in my 50s basically just starting out. I’ve had poetry and creative writing classes in both high school and college, but kept busy for many years juggling my life between my family and work. I envy parents who can eke out “me” time. I was involved in PTO, Scouts, Youth Group, Band Parents. Much of my “me” time was spent volunteering!! My son is now grown, and my life changed dramatically 2-1/2 years ago with loss of my job of 18 years. With job-hunting, applying, interviewing, and all the resulting pressure and stress, I fell into quite a rut. My dearest friend and foster brother, also a writer, encouraged me to write. It helped to carry me through a tough time. (And gratefully I have found another job that I love!)

How have your earlier years influenced the topics you choose to write about?

My very early years were a bit rocky with the loss of very close loved ones, but I always had people around who cared. I think it taught me empathy and to always try to find the positive in any situation, and I hope that it helps to bring an honest, sympathetic, and ‘genuine’ quality to my writing I do tend to write in the “present,” and have only touched on my early youth in very few pieces.

I notice you have a variety of interests: poetry, of course, but also photography, music, gardening and more. I think many of us are like that and find it hard to find time to spend on all of them. Do you have any tricks for juggling your time that might help us? What comes first in your life?

First in my life are always husband and son of course, then family and friends. Writing would be next. I don’t call it a “hobby” as writing is something I must make time for, sometimes obsessively so, where hobbies may wait for my time. My hobbies include photography and scrapbooking– basically journaling one’s life through pictures. I carry my small digital camera everywhere, just in case! Music–well, I don’t actually play, I listen—and I can do that while doing almost anything else. Gardening in New England is seasonal: plant in the spring and water and weed in the summer, and if all goes well, reap the rewards. Tricks for juggling time? Sorry, not the one to ask for that one. While I’m doing one thing, something else is usually suffering for want of attention!

Where do you turn for inspiration? Which poetry communities are you a part of, and how do they help you?

I have been a member of the Facial Expression Poetry Circle headed up by the talents of Luke Prater since shortly after I began writing two years ago. Am honored to be among so many amazing poets and writers in a community that will honestly critique your work, make suggestions, and help hone a rough piece into what it can and should be.

I have shared on One Stop Poetry, d’Verse Poets Pub, Magpie Tales, BlueBell Books Short Story Slam, Thursday Poet’s Rally, Jingle Poetry, Gooseberry Garden, and G-Man’s “Flash 55.” There are many terrific writers I’ve gotten to know over time, and I have several favorites that I always look for, as their writing inspires and ‘speaks’ to me. (You, of course, are one of them!)

Let’s play the desert island game. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have one book, one movie, one CD and one writer (of whatever genre) to keep you company, what would your choices be?

Book would be Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy; movie “Moonstruck” It’s like watching my Italian family, never gets old!! CD—I like a large variety of music and the same for writers– I like so many genres, would be hard pressed to choose a ‘favorite.’

You write in a variety of poetic forms. Do you have a favorite(s)? Can you share a poem with us that you’ve written in that form.

Though I’ve written both structured and Free Verse poetry, I like the structured formats a bit more as I tend to be ‘wordy,’ and structure reigns me in. My favorite structured styles are Octain, for its simplicity and complexity at the same time: 8 lines, 8 syllables per line, and an internal rhyme; Quatern for the repetitive refrain line that moves down a line in each stanza; and the Rondeau, which has a more classic feel (think “In Flanders Fields”). Sharing one of my favorites below:

A Walk in the Woods (Rondeau)

Come walk with me on wooded trail
where nature’s beauty does prevail.
A single step and we begin;
serenity abides within
the crisp clean air we now inhale.

We walk beside abandoned rail,
can hear the ghost train whistles wail–
then path leads back to woods again…
Come walk with me.

We live our lives in urban jail,
away from quiet wooded dale.
To stay entrapped would be a sin
when nature beckons with her grin,
and lifts this gray and smog filled veil–
Come walk with me.

© Copyright Ginny Brannan October 2010

Ginny, thanks so much for giving a a glimpse into your life, your inspiration and your poetry. It’s been a delight to get to know you better…I suspect anyone who reads this will agree!

A Chat with Michelle Wallace, Writer

A while back I introduced my idea of interviewing every 1000th person who posted a comment on my blog. Several weeks ago, a lovely writer from South Africa, Michelle Wallace, fit the bill with her comment…the 6000th! Michelle is a musician and writer of prose that has a poetic ring to it. I hope you will enjoy my interview with her and pay a visit to her blog at: http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

Michelle Wallace--Musician, Writer

Michelle, your “About” page that tells us what we want to know of the writer in you seems a bit ambiguous. Would you be willing to add a few personal details to help us understand “Michelle, the Writer” and her work?
As a reader, I’ve always loved the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. I imagined that, as a writer, that would be the genre that I would stick to. So most of my response to writing challenges/prompts is written from that angle. As a writer I have short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Short and medium termed goals are participating in shorter writing challenges to keep the “mental writing muscles” in shape. Examples of this would be the weekly drabble challenge that I write and the Bluebell Short Story Slam prompt. At some stage, I would love to enter some of my work into a competition , but I need to check out the various competition sites out there and the costs involved.

My long term goal is to complete a novel. This might take me 2 years, 5 years or 10 years…who knows…but it is in the pipe line.

You co-hosted an “Edutainment” program recently. Would you explain to the readers exactly what that is and what your role involved.
The edutainment programme is a combination of educational + entertainment, a relaxed and fun way in which to educate children. It’s actually a kiddies show, aimed at kids between 4 and 12 years old, where the basic form is story-telling. This time the story was Jonah and the Whale (based on the biblical story but adapted to suit children from any religious affiliation)

Because the little ones have a short attention span various activities are added to the show to make it interesting and hold their attention. The activities are interwoven into the script and include paper crafting , colouring-in with crayons, singing and dancing. And certain lessons are highlighted throughout the show using these various activities. Each child received a programme in the form of a colouring book with pictures of Jonah trying to run away and the whale swallowing him etc. We allowed them to choose 1 picture to colour in. Then we asked all the kids to raise their books in the air for all to see. My co-host and I also completed all the activities with the kids. Then we used our colouring-in attempts to teach certain lessons. For example, I pointed out that my co-host didn’t colour in too well (He used strange colours and did it untidily) But it didn’t matter because God loves us all no matter which colours we used. God designed us and he coloured us in using a variety of colours.

In the story Jonah also tried to run away from God. We asked the kids questions such as: can you run away from God? Why not? We did songs and a dance based on obedience to God and to parents, respect for people who are different because we are all God’s creation etc. God designed us, he coloured us in  just like you coloured your pictures in and chose your own colours. (My post http://writer-in-transit.co.za/wrap/ has more info.)

In an article about that program, you are described in these words: “Michelle Wallace a music educator / entertainer / piano tutor / musical performer.” How does your music career affect your writing?
Music is a great source of inspiration. I think most bloggers/writers/poets would agree with me on this one ! I actually have a wide taste in music from soul, pop, classical, opera, crossover, rock, hip-hop, jazz, latino music all the way from the 60’s to present day music. Different styles/genres of music evoke different moods which influences one’s writing in different ways. I do think that classical music is an excellent source of inspiration, though.

I notice you participate in writing challenges. Which are your favorites? Where else do you turn for inspiration?
I love the drabble which was my first attempt at fiction writing just under 11 months ago. It involves writing a piece in about 100 words on a given prompt. If you check the side-bar of my blog I have dedicated a sub-category to the drabbles. I’m proud to say that I haven’t missed a single one since I started writing fiction. I also enjoy the Bluebell SSS.

My new-found source of inspiration is the hand-written letter programme that I have decided to participate in. It involves exchanging hand-written letters with a “pen-pal”. This is something I thoroughly enjoyed during my teen years. The pen-pal includes writing challenges in the letter, which have to be completed before the recipient reads the actual letter. I discovered this through another blogger friend who attended a writing workshop based on unleashing creativity through the art of the hand-written letter. This is still a fairly new venture but it seems promising. I suppose it depends on whether you are the type of writer who prefers to write by hand. I have 2 different posts on this programme: http://writer-in-transit.co.za/hand-written/ and http://writer-in-transit.co.za/letter-1/

You have a preference for prose, both short fiction and non-fiction. Have you ever tried poetry? Why or why not? Do you read poetry?

I have attempted one poetry piece on my blog–the first Bluebell Short Story Slam prompt. I haven’t written any other poems on my blog.

I looove poetry !! I read Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Frost etc. and modern poets as well. And I love reading the poetry written by the talented Bluebell participants ! I think that because I’m concentrating on fiction, I’ve neglected the poetry aspect of creative writing. It’s not a conscious decision–I certainly didn’t plan it that way; it just evolved.

You write to us from Africa .Has the international flavor of our blogging communities changed your views in any way?
I’ve learned a lot from the international blogging communities and I’m still learning every day. For example, I’m still in the dark with regards to the Kindle. And e-books? But I think that is because I’m from a different era (I’m a 60’s baby) and having a partially-technologically-challenged brain doesn’t help LOL ! I only learned about twitter recently and I’m still in the dark about Facebook. I learned to post my first YouTube clip within the past month. Now that should tell you.

When you’re not writing or blogging or making music, how do you spend your time?
My entire life revolves around music! I teach music and train the school choir on a part-time basis at a local primary school for 2 days. On the weekends my husband and I sing in our band where we perform at local restaurants/venues. We also play at different functions such as weddings, anniversaries, parties, corporate functions, conferences etc.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Michelle Wallace and/or your blog, Writer-in-Transit?

I’d like to extend the invitation to any bloggers/writers who might be interested in the letter-writing experiment, to check it out and mail me at my e-mail address which is on my blog and we can take it from there .

Writer-in-transit is about the writing journey. To me, the journey never ends and it is the most important thing. As bloggers/poets/writers we are all part of this amazing writing adventure as we support and influence one another. The destination is simply a bonus!

Thank you, Michelle, for helping us get to know you and your work a little better.

Tea With Helena–An Interview

As I was approaching the 5000th comment on my blog, I decided I wanted to do something new and special to celebrate. I always enjoy learning more about fellow poet-bloggers and so I decided that I would interview the person whose comment helped me achieve this benchmark…and every 1000th comment’s blogger thereafter. Helena of Memory Box Creations, is the first person to be featured. I hope you enjoy visiting with her as much as I have.

Helena--Memory Box Creations

When did you first start blogging, Helena? I started blogging January 2011.

What prompted you to join the blogosphere? After joining face book over a year and a half ago. I began sharing some of my poems and quotes. Through one of the games I befriended a lovely lady who offered poetry prompts. I joined in and found the feedback for my poetry to be very positive. Another woman who participated in her prompts, mentioned that she had a blog and that I should think about starting one. After much thought and a lot of encouragement, I decided to try it. My friend JL, who does the poetry prompts also started a blog at the same time.

Whenever I visit your blog, Memory Box Creations, I experience a sense of nostalgia, like stepping back in time. It’s a comforting feeling. What is the inspiration behind your blog? Thank you, Victoria. My intention was to present a welcoming ambiance. The title is a story in and of itself. I had once written about “Finding Comfort in a Memory Box” during my bereavement after losing my daughter Chantelle. Through the agonizing task of going through her personal things, I purchased a beautiful Pine Blanket Box and placed it in the middle of her room. Whenever I was strong enough, I would enter her room and place things in the box that held special meaning for me. I soon referred to it as the Memory Box. I also made a keepsake Teddy Bear from Chantelle’s high-school graduation dress. I soon was making keepsakes for other bereaved parents, so Memory Box Creations was born out of “healing” my profound grief. I imagined my blog to reflect a place of welcoming comfort that is somewhat reminiscent of a Victorian Tea Room. The inspiration comes from my dream of always wanting to have my own Tea Room…one that included the beauty of nature, my love of French country, shabby-chic decorating, and the simple pleasures where we can each find our bliss.

Aside from poetry, what else will the visitor find on your site? My hope is to include my love of such pastimes as embroidery, photography, scrapbooking, sharing recipes, home décor {nesting} and of course my favourite – Christmas decorating. However, my blog is still a work in progress. At first, I thought I would have to create individual blogs for each topic! Lol! So I do have another blog titled, Leaving A Trace, where I write my personal view on topics of interest, such as “Chasing Happiness”. After researching my family tree, I wrote about my Great, Great Grandfather, whom I discovered was a published author. I’m finding this is an ever-changing, evolving process, and I am excited to see where it may take me next.

There is a strong spiritual quality to your blog. You speak of love, forgiveness, healing, the freedom to choose. How has blogging influenced your personal and spiritual journey? I believe everyone has a story, some just have more chapters than others. Through my own healing journey, my journaling became a catharsis, a spiritual release of the emotional pain of grief. Blogging has become an extension of this by sharing and exposing my own pain – hoping that by doing so, I am able to help others along their journey. I believe our spiritual journey is never ending. What I have learned from blogging is that we are all basically on the same path of discovery – seeking truth. I’ve learned that all a person needs in life is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. We all just want to be heard and acknowledged. Blogging has been another outlet for me, whereas my angst has always been my inability to articulate the spoken word as well as my written word.

Which poetry communities do you visit? Do you have a “philosophy” relating to comments? * One Stop Poetry * Monday Memories * Monday’s Child * Write a Letter Wednesday * Theme Thursday * Dodge Writes *
(I’m still exploring – any recommendations?)  Other sites I might recommend are Jingle’s Poetry Rally and Jingle’s Poetry Potluck. Both of these sites encourage poets to exchange visits and comments. Potluck offers a prompt each Monday. Check out my blogroll for these links and for other sources of prompts.

Do you have a “philosophy” relating to comments? I’m still trying to figure out the whole protocol about commenting. Who doesn’t like comments? I do find it frustrating not being able to enjoy the immediate response like it is on facebook. I have seen some bloggers respond on their own posts. I find it hard to believe that the fellow blogger will go back to view the post (where they left their comment) to see if there was any response… especially if they leave a lot of comments. I try to go to their blog, even if it’s just to say hi! As far as a philosophy goes, the consensus is still out, except to say that I appreciate all comments on my blog.

What inspires your writing? Is there any particular writing form that you prefer? Do you write anything aside from poetry. My inspiration comes from all facets of life, including personal experiences, love, animals, nature, as well as the profound emotions that accompany the loss of a child. My personal sensitivity and awareness have lent themselves to writing for as long as I can remember. During my youth I would spread a blanket beneath my special tree, accompanied with pen and paper and surrender to my writer’s imagination. Not only have I always written from the heart, but I am fortunate to have been blessed with a vivid dream life. My dreams are sometimes like a story that’s being told to me. Although I have ventured into various forms of the written word, I prefer to write when the muse of spontaneity inspires me. As previously mentioned, I also write about my views on personal topics of interest. Several of these include: “Day Dreaming”, “Enough”, “Choices”, etc. I also enjoy featuring personal quotes on the blog, accompanied by intriguing photographs or imagery that accentuates the theme of what it is that I wish to inspire or convey to the reader.

Would you share a few things that you would like us to know about “Helena?” My loving husband, Bob, and I live in a small town in southern Ontario along with Topaz, our little Sheltie fur child. I have two wonderful children – a son, Rheal, and a daughter, Chantelle, who lives on in my heart. I also have two amazing stepchildren, Lori and Brian, and altogether we have seven grandchildren.

I find my bliss in writing, embroidering, sewing, photography, scrapbooking, and, of course, now I can add blogging. My favourite sound would have to be early-morning bird songs. My favourite time of the day–I have two: sunrise, when all is still and the world is just awakening, and dusk, the magic hour–that in-between time when calm stillness is ever-present and my intuition is at its peak.

Faith…Recognition by Intuition, the Nameless that tells us there is so much more. ~ Helena White

With this blog, my intentions are to step outside of my comfort zone of living to please others, in the hopes of finding like-minded friends and writers who seek to share ideas, ponder choices, and explore inspirations. I appreciate all comments on my blog (positive or negative) as a means of encouraging an ever-evolving dialogue.

In the past, I would allow myself to become paralyzed by what others thought of me. I would literally shut down and suppress the life of my choosing, therefore, living the life that people expected of me. I realize now, making choices that others did not like or understand, will not result in my destruction nor will my world crumble and fall. Free will and free choice are gifts we have been given that allow soul growth, so that we do not remain stuck in the quagmires of the past.

As I revealed in my poem, “Old Friend”, I would spread a blanket under the favourite tree of my childhood and write with total abandonment. I experienced the contentment of expressing my true, uninhibited feelings with no concern of being corrected or judged. This total freedom of choice always centered and calmed me, allowing me to process my emotions as well as my own truth.

Every day spirit speaks…inspiration arrives presenting us with even more choices. Our bliss echoes through our choices as well as our feelings. We must remember the value in dreaming our own dreams, as we follow our heart’s true calling.

It is not up to us to control others’ thoughts or assumptions, as we try to understand them. They, too, have the freedom to make their own judgments and choices. We can choose how we react to others’ choices and interpretations through our attitudes and questions. May we grow in love, in forgiveness, and in wisdom, as we ask for the strength to make the right choices…ones that benefit the whole, while bringing the healing we seek.

I would love to include one of your poems in this interview. Do you have a favourite?

Awakening

Human spirits are uniting across our world
through a conscious connection, seeking illumination.
Much the same way a pendulum swings freely,
we move from the Eternal Horizon,
out across the ocean of life, only to return to where our soul
once began this remarkable journey.
Within this infinite Universe we are all striving for
the same things. To live, love and be accepted
for ourselves and our individuality,
to be recognized and respected, all while slowly awakening.
When we are sincere in our convictions to live
at higher consciousness; we will find an Angel
within our reach to lift us beyond our human
limitations to bridge the Celestial Sphere.

The Gift

Don’t offer gifts of silver platters
Of diamonds, jewels galore
Grant me love and strength
to find within
My own authentic pearl

Thank you, Helena, for joining us for tea! I hope everyone enjoyed visiting with you and that many will take a few moments to discover you and your work at http://memoryboxcreations.blogspot.com/