Gold Coast Writer’s Association Author of the Week!

Gold Coast Writer’s Association Author of the week

author of the week

‘Our author of the week, is Jennifer Calvert of Ink and Quill, author and poet who just released her first book, Horns and Halos.
You can find this book at Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Horns-Halos-Mrs-Jennife…/…/1975928253 or Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/746721

Her book, Horns and Halos is a collection of Jennifer’s poetry.
Poetry is fluid and interchanging based on emotion and perception. It allows both the poet and the reader to discover and interpret the words, for themselves.
Life is a lot like poetry, ever-changing, unique, flexible, forever challenging the mind, and flooding the senses.

Horns & Halo’s was written to convey this sense of self through both emotion and experience.
Horns& Halo’s connects the written word, with the real world. No bullshit, no sugar-coating, just upfront and raw…
BOLD AND STRONG

A bit about this brilliant author, Jennifer Calvert is an Australian poet/writer. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts, majors in Writing and Media. Is a mother of two beautiful young daughters, an Early Childhood Educator and is always busy creating beautiful, thought-provoking poetry.’

Such an honour to be GCWA’S author of the week. Such an inspiring and supportive community. So happy to be apart of this!

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Poetry by Amanda Eifert

” The Writings On The Wall Reveal You”

 

——
Am I real?
When you look at me,
Do you see me for me?
Do you care what you see?
I’ve only questions,
While you play your cards close.
I’m not going to cheat,
Peer at your hand because —
I’m afraid what I’ll see.
Such truths, I don’t want to gaze upon —
Unfaithfulness,
Only physicality, sexuality;
No emotion or affection,
No conversation in person,
No Voice stroking voice.
—–
Hands speak with our words,
Eyes glint and reveal,
Secrets you’d rather hide,
With sunglasses.
Staring at your hand,
Trying to beat my cards.
Poker face silent, emotionless;
All bets are off.
Time to show me your cards,
What the river dealt you —
Matters not; but for now,
Play how you like.
Fold if you’re scared,
Of falling into deep,
Of feeling emotion.
Your heart picking-up,
Thumping a beat.
——
But, perhaps, I’m a woman for fodder,
For a lonely night at home.
Perhaps, I’m not pretty enough,
Not thin enough for you.
Maybe, you know I’ll ask questions?
Questions you have trouble answering.
Maybe, you know —
I’ll turn the wanderer in your soul home,
And welcome you in my arms.
Maybe you’re not ready,
Perhaps, your only an ass.
A nice way of saying,
Other words I want to shout.
Perhaps, I’m only a date —
And one night.
Is this how you treat women?
I’m too strong for your tricks.
——-
You may forget my face,
My name, my body.
You may let me do the walk of shame,
Thinking I’m fooled by you,
The man I liked all along;
You may believe —
Finally, you wore me down.
And now I’m flattened,
Nothing left to sculpt,
Nothing left to shatter.
Smithereens, glass embedded.
You may have led me astray,
Made me consider:
I no longer think,
Some guys are good,
And some guys do care.
——
But when I chose you,
Maybe I didn’t realize,
I was choosing all wrong.
Maybe, I should’ve gazed above me —
Seen the ‘writings on the wall.’
Seen the woman in her glory,
Waiting for her own life,
On wings to rise and fly;
From your lies and tricks;
You didn’t shatter me,
I saw all the writings,
Every word on that damn wall,
I know all your horrific secrets;
And I read them all.

 

“The Darkest Faeries”

——
The wings of a faerie, a delicate lace.
Transparent and glowing with,
Each faeries myriad colour choice.
You can see their wings flash,
When the sun begins to set;
When echoes of the rainbow,
Give one the illusion of colours bold.
But it’s the faeries who are —
As beautiful as they’re deadly,
Luring children to their faerie lands.
Turning your infants to faeries,
To live many ages;
To play wicked games, faeries play.
—-
They’ve no offspring so they steal,
A babe fed; left in their crib.
Mothers are distraught,
Be not surprised; it’s what faeries do.
You’ve heard the tales and watched,
As your mother, and her mother before her.
Still you cry and sob;
Picking-up your biggest kitchen knife.
Faeries are terrible beings,
We read false truth about,
They don’t actually want to help.
They’re evil when alive too long.
——-
Faeries so tiny,
Keep their race alive.
Promptly, wave their hands;
The wisps of their garments,
Sleeves like streamers trailing long.
Chanting magic ancestors taught,
They curse your darlings with bright wings.
And turn you and you husband away,
Searching for,
Your their stolen little ones.
Though your broken-hearted mother,
You keep up your fight.
You want your children to grow,
Not become an evil faerie;
Live a Millennium to burn.
——-
Faeries lead astray those,
Who try to capture them.
You who yearn for your babes,
To get your children home.
As faeries, your darlings grow in the blink of an eye;
Become adult faeries in days,
Not knowing they were humans young,
Merely, days ago.
——
Mother’s sorely missing kids,
Are wandering the forest for —
Where ancient faeries hide.
Faeries lie to stolen babes,
Say they were unwanted,
So the faeries gave them home.
And rainbow wings to one day,
Catch the eye of yet more babes.
Lost before a parent sees,
A child stolen gone.
——
Faeries change your young,
Dawning them with gossamer wings,
Knowledge of mischief and celebration.
A faeries life is of none-stop festivity,
With little meaning;
And no knowledge do faeries posses,
But the knowledge to take;
Those you hold so dear–
It’s why you burn their wings,
In the candle lit at night;
So, they will never curse your home,
And bring you a mother’s tears,
——
Why you learned to take your knife,
And kill the old faeries weird,
To end their malicious games.
Take back your children,
Undo the magic faeries formed.
You’ll burn and stab their wings all night,
Until your children,
And your neighbour’s young,
Are finally, safe at home.
So the faeries fade away.
Die out with no offspring,
Because of you;
Your child lives.
And never will you cry again,
From a fairy interfering.
You, most feisty mother,
For your perseverance, you have won.

Shadorma: “Women War Not Alone”

—–
Such times as,
The ones she lives through.
She conforms,
Yet wants more.
Sees hurt, it perpetuates;
Never healing whole.
—-
Self-harm and —
Hate common, if she–
Keeps hurting;
Harms others–
Hate with false judgement, it wins.
Woman, think thoughtfully.
—–
End the pain,
Close the doors so she,
Locks terror,
Out in cold.
An unforgiving night, reminds —
Her, fight gently.
—–

Keep working;
I know her battle,
It’s as old,
As the earth.
Men and women must fight for,
Prosperity.
—–
If only,
For a moment’s time,
Pax, and rest.
She is wise,
For seeing tomorrow’s pain;
Unburdens those lame.
——-
Light in the,
Darkness, shines, provides —
Glimmer of,
Hope, assured —
Fighting, with her words and sword;
Hoping for happiness.
——
Good prevails.
Light’s glow permanent.
Good’s older.
She drinks wine;
Thinking of mornings, sunrise —
Reminds her she’s loved.
—–
Leaves on tree,
Dusting her path yet,
Leaves mark the —
Passing of,
Seasons; each one she shines light,
Earth keeps turning while —
—–
She worries,
Weeping in bad times,
She doesn’t
Forget what,
Was fought for at heavy cost,
She lives; others fought —
——
For her now.
Because in their time,
They had few —
Rights at all.
Doing wife’s duty despite,
Desire for freedom — rights.
——
She looks for,
Light in the tunnel,
At the end–
Of the war.
She fights not alone; she holds —
Strength in her faith bold.
——
For her God,
Never gives up, for —
Women so —
Precious; God–
Created Man and her equals.
Partners; she’s not less.
——-
Complement,
She smiles because she —
Knows inner —
Completeness.
Remembers God’s son best knows,
Inequality.

Biography:

Amanda is a writer, blogger, and student in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She has a BA in English Literature, a certificate in Residential Design, and is pursuing an online MFA at UBC in May 2017. She loves being creative and imaginative in her writing. She enjoys drawing and acrylic painting, dogs, hanging with her friends and family, Netflix, scrapbooking, and yoga. Amanda blogs at: www.mandibelle16.wordpress.com.

Poem’s by Lele Harris

Beauty of The Lost Mind

by Lele Harris

LELE

Is it the face among which I appear?

Is it the craft of clothing that I wear?

Is it the image of another soul whom I loved?

Is it the texture of my skin that I pursue?

Is it the spoken words which rattles my mouth?

Is it the pride of guilt who caused me pain?

Is it the song of my voice which leads another heart?

What is it within the beauty of my lost mind?

Changes Of Nature ; Seasons Of Change

By Lele Harris

clock

The sun shines.
The moon glows.
Peace is a great feeling when the wind blows.
The grass is green.
The flowers bloom.
The chirp of the birds makes your soul gloom.

Nature is there.
Nature is here.
The seasons of change when times are near.
The mind rests.
It’s time to think clear.
The silence of people talking will have you in a cheer.
Let your light shine through troubles.
Let your light shine through sorrows.
It’s all a gift when you see a smile.
The next time you pray rejoice for a while.
The heart is full of happiness.
The soul meek in joy.
Spring is here.
The changes of nature will now glow.

Positive People, Positive Life, Positive Vibes

The more I take a look around I either see a face with a smile or a face upside down.

Where is the happiness among those you choose to hang with, unless they are not the ones to play with?

What happened to the times you laughed, talked, & smiled? Was there not enough room for others to share your proud?

This may not be the only time you worked hard & thought of being a failure. You can not forget God lifts us up when our work is always heavier.

Try to remember that Joy always come in the morning. Is it not so of you having faith or are you in mourning?

Take my shoulder for you to lean on. We all need someone to help & keep us lifted up, just someone you can depend on.

Smile your day is already here. For God loves you more & more & you definitely won’t have to shed another tear.

Positive people, positive life, & positive vibes is what you need. No more of sad frowns & keep in mind God hears your every need.

Hello.
It is very nice to have the opportunity to have three of my poems of my choice published. I am from Mississippi. Each poem represents motivation and a time in which I was going through my toughest life situations and only God could bring me out of. I hope I get the chance to inspire others and make a difference in this world. May God continue to bless each and every one of you.
And remember to always Stay Blessed & Stay Encouraged.

Lele

 

Guest Writer On Ink & Quill: Adam Dixon

Todays guest writer on Ink & Quill, is Adam Dixon. Adam is the very talented and creative fiction writer at Adam Dixon Fiction. I was thrilled when Adam offered to write a short story, especially for this feature; LIVE A LITTLE.

Please follow the links and show your support to a talented new writer.

adam d
NAME: Adam Dixon

COUNTRY: England, United Kingdom

AGE: 24
Please tell us a little about yourself:

I was born in Carshalton in 1992 and gave grown into a scrawny, bespectacled nerd with a passion for history, literature and all things fantastical. I studied English and History at the University of Sussex and I currently live in Woodingdean, Brighton. It is my ambition to become an author as I have dreamed of writing stories for a living since I was a child. I write short stories in my spare time and I publish them on my blog Adam Dixon Fiction

When did you first start writing?

I first started writing when I was very young, probably around ten years old. Previously, I had had aspirations of becoming an artist, but I quickly came to realise that I preferred the creation of images through words and imagination rather than by brushes and paint.

What does writing mean to you? Why do you write?

Writing provides me with a creative outlet which makes me incredibly happy, and even more so when people respond to my work.

‘The sight of my ink-stained fingers and pages of scribbled words in front of me never fails to satisfy me.’

 

Do you write poetry, short stories and/or novels?

I currently write short stories because I am enjoying the discipline it requires. I am also working on a sci-fi novel which is very much in its early stages, but it is still very exciting! I’d like to try my hand at poetry in the future, but I find the idea extremely daunting, especially since I have discovered such talented poets on WordPress!

Where do you find your writing motivation and inspiration?

I am constantly reading, (a trait inherited from my mum), and it fosters in me a desire to write my own stories as well as providing a vast source of inspiration to draw from. I also find inspiration from conversations, television programs and real-life events. Anything that can spark an idea in my mind and get the creative ball rolling.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on a couple of short stories for my blog. One is a crime thriller and the other is a supernatural fantasy. As previously mentioned, I am also working on a sci-fi novel. I am also a student with the Writer’s Bureau and am currently enrolled in its Creative Writing Course.

Writers/poets who inspire and influence your own writing?

I am a massive Stephen King fan and his work has inspired the darker side of my writing on several occasions. My favourite books to read are fantasy, and the works of David Gemmell, Robert Jordan, Christopher Paolini, J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien, to name but a few, constantly inspire me.

Have you any published works, or do you plan on publishing in the future?

Unfortunately I don’t have any works published yet, but I hope to in the future.

Tell us about your writing process:

In the last year I’ve become a convert to the idea that “writers just write”, and by that I mean that if I want to write something then I have to sit down and write it. I find a slot in my day where I can devote my energy to writing and I put words on to paper. I’ve found that this helps me work through any stagnant ideas I might be having difficulty with and that the spectre of “writer’s block” doesn’t really frighten me anymore.

In terms of my surroundings, I have realised that I can pretty much write anywhere as long as I actually get started. Complete silence unnerves me, so I like to have at least a little bit of background noise, be it the chatter of a café or some instrumental music on Youtube.

Do you have a specific writing style/genre?

I used to think that all I could write was fantasy stories, but since I started my blog I have realised that I can try my hand at a few other genres as well, with some degree of success. In terms of style, I seem to gravitate towards character-driven stories with a twist at the end, more often than not a dark one.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

‘Keep writing; it is the best way to stay motivated and maintain your creative energy.’

 

Please share your favourite piece/s with us and a brief description of the inspiration behind it:

I’m attaching a short story called ‘Live a Little’ to this email.
I asked Jen during our correspondence whether or not she would like me to write something brand new for this guest post, and she said that she would. The inspiration for this story came to me when I was getting into my Dad’s car we both automatically reached for our seat-belts. A mocking voice in the back of my head suggested that I “live a little” and remain unbuckled in my seat. I didn’t like the sound of this voice and I had no idea where it had come from, but I noted it down in my phone along with what would later end up serving as the final line to this story. I filed the idea away for a few months and decided to complete it for this guest post.

Live a Little

By Adam Dixon

I can still remember the night that I died; it’s seared into my mind like a cattle brand, white-hot and permanent. I can still hear the sound of my own laughter in my ears coupled with the cheers and encouragement of my friends. I can still feel the bitter wind tearing at my hair and clothes as I waved my arms above my head. I can still see the painted lines on the tarmac racing past in a blur of white. I’d never felt so alive, and I’d never been so reckless. It was all their fault.

The party had been a riot. A mutual friend had just joined us in the ranks of the over-25s and we four were still buzzing from it. Jen hadn’t wanted to leave, but Bradley had insisted. He never would back down once he’d got an idea into his head, and Jen never would resist him for long. I’d have happily gone home, myself. If only I’d said something, then maybe all this wouldn’t of happened. But I didn’t, and sometime after midnight myself, Jen and her older brother, Steve, all piled into Bradley’s car and set off down the motorway. We were laughing and joking, singing loudly and badly to whatever was on the radio and passing a bottle of vodka around. The familiar burn in my throat and the rush of alcohol to my head was as exhilarating as ever, and I soon got in the mood to find another party.

But it was then that I noticed how drunk Bradley was. He was blinking rapidly behind the wheel, grinning like an idiot and slurring his words whenever he spoke. He hadn’t seemed that bad before, but then again we hadn’t really been watching him. I’d told Jen to keep an eye on him, damn it! At one point Steve said something which made him laugh and he sent us careening across two lanes! The motorway was deserted, of course, but still…

After a while I asked Bradley to slow down. He wasn’t listening because Jen had her hand on his crotch and was whispering something to him as she caressed him through his jeans. Steve was being a nuisance; he seemed to think that because I was drunk I would be doing the same. I can still feel him nuzzling my neck as one hand clumsily pawed my breasts and the other slid up my skirt…I can still hear the ‘crack!’ as I slapped him, too. Christ, that was satisfying, and it succeeded in finally getting Bradey and Jen’s attention.
“Oi, what the hell are you playin’ at back there?” Bradley thundered, glaring at me via the rear-view mirror. Steve was stunned, rubbing his cheek and staring at the back of Jen’s seat.

“Oh, Lisa’s just bein’ a spoilsport, babe!” Jen mocked, rolling her decorated eyes and flicking her perfect hair. “Looks like she doesn’t wanna have some fun with Steve. Can’t blame her, really, he is an ugly bastard!”
“Oi!” Steve protested, still rubbing his cheek. He wasn’t that ugly, but drunk or not I didn’t appreciate him being so forward.
“C’mon, Lees!” Bradley said, annoyed. I hated it when he called me that! “What’s wrong with old Steve-O, anyway? C’mon, live a little, for fuck’s sake!”
“Shut up, Bradley,” I spat, but secretly I felt bad for hitting Steve. That was the effect that Bradley had on people: he was too bloody good at making you feel like the bad guy.

The next few minutes consisted of Bradley and Jen laughing about how uncool I was and how much of a stick-in-the-mud I could be. I angrily disagreed with them, of course, but it really got under my skin. Steve didn’t say much, he just carried on sitting there looking like a kicked puppy. Maybe it was the drink, but I was suddenly determined to prove them wrong.

“I’m not boring, I can do anything you twats can!” I said after downing another mouthful of liquid fire.
“That so?” Bradley asked, still laughing. “I don’t believe you, Lees. Look, you’ve still got your bleedin’ seat-belt on for a start! Why can’t you live a little?”
“Fine!” I had practically ripped my seat-belt off at that remark. I immediately felt it was a bad idea, but I ignored the thought. Big mistake.
“Oooh, look at the balls on you, babe!” Jen had twisted round in her seat to flash a big, stupid grin at me. I felt like we were back in the school playground. “Betcha won’t do anything else though! Betcha wouldn’t lean out of the window while we’re movin’, would you? Nah, course not, you’re too much of a wimp!”
“Just watch me, bitch!” I said and moved towards my window. I remember clearly the struggle I had unwinding the stupid thing, and the memory comes to me in slow motion.

It’s torture to recall it, to remember how I gripped the cold roof of the car with one arm as I leaned my torso out into the night. I even lifted my leg and rested my thigh on the thin glass so that I was more out of the car than inside. The wind buffeted me and tore a gasp from my lungs as I steadied myself. I remember squealing like a giddy child as I raised first one arm, then both into the air as my soul rejoiced at my freedom.

“You see me now, you arseholes!” I screeched at them, laughing deliriously. “I can fucking do anything!” They were laughing too and even Steve was cheering. It was fantastic. It was fatal. Leaning out of a car travelling at ninety miles per hour driven by an intoxicated monkey in a shirt has consequences. Nobody saw how close to the edge of the railings Bradley had gotten until it was far, far too late.
Now I’m trapped in a lonely existence on this barren stretch of asphalt, doomed to watch speeding cars and fester with impotent rage.
Live a little, they had said….
They all wear their seat-belts now.

Guest Poet On Ink & Quill: Al Lane

I’d like to welcome my next guest on Ink and Quill, Al Lane, from Al The Author, a writer of poetry and songs, for both children and adults. As Al says in his interview, he like most writers, is searching for his voice. It seems his children have helped him find his niche and passion, which I can really relate to.

al

NAME: Alistair Lane. Al to my friends. We’re all friends here, right?

COUNTRY: England

AGE: 38

 

Please tell us a little about yourself:

I am a writer, of stories, of poems, of songs, of whimsical ditties and heartbreaking ballads. Of haiku and rhymes, for children and adults, on Star Wars and superheroes and zombies and love and clouds and puddles and cake. Of words that will lift and inspire… and (sometimes) words that don’t quite work. That clunk and crash.

‘But without the permission to make mistakes, we can never really free ourselves from our shackles. Stick with me while I’m finding my voice.’

 

When did you first start writing?

I like to think I’ve always had something of a way with written words (certainly more so than my verbal ability!), but the inciting incident was the birth of my eldest son six years ago. We started reading to him from an early age, as many parents do, and the rhythm of those rhyming picture books (especially Julia Donaldson) got into my system. It infected me from top to toe.

Reading to my son was an amazing way to bond, and something that he really responded to (his reading ability now is incredible)… who wouldn’t want to be able to generate that reaction from their own words? So, I started trying to write rhyming picture books, and developed from there into children’s poetry, short stories, and poems for adults too.
This has helped me to “find my voice”, but also it helps to keep things interesting, to constantly challenge myself to write in different styles, for different audiences. I have just started a screenwriting course for this exact reason.

What does poetry mean to you?

‘Poetry is the distilled expression of a moment. It encompasses the history of the universe, and the flapping of a butterfly’s wings. It is the universal and the personal, the bludgeon and the rapier, the heartbreak and the rapture.’

 

It is a way for me to communicate the more interesting (I hope) ideas that pass through my head, and give them a form that (I hope) merits attention.

I’m also a big believer in keeping poetry accessible. I’m an intelligent person. I don’t need to demonstrate this by using obscure, fancy words, and don’t react favourably to other poets who write this way. (Anything that distances the poet from the audience bemuses me, for one.) I’m all for layers of meaning, and finding the perfect word, but there’s a reason that many people profess not to like poetry, and such intellectual snobbishness perpetuates this.

I believe that one of my strengths is the ability to keep things simple, while also conveying wider themes. Although I’m serious about my craft, I don’t take myself, or my poetry, too seriously. Profound messages can be put across behind a veneer of fun. For proof of this, check out how often Dr Seuss’ quotes are used for writers’ motivation!

What might inspire you to write a poem? How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form or an image?

I take part in a number of poetry/ haiku challenges – I enjoy taking the prompt words and bending them to my own shape. I will play with the words in my head, looking for an interesting angle to take, trying to avoid the obvious where possible. Often, especially with haiku challenges, I write a whole stream of unrelated haiku, using the words in different ways, some comic, some serious, some direct, others more layered. I enjoy the mental workout this gives me.

For unprompted work, the ideas can come from anywhere – lines from TV shows, films, print media, books, something I hear on the bus, fun turns of phrase that my boys come out with… I make a note of the idea on my phone, and work it over in my mind, seeing if it develops. Some don’t. I have numerous ideas recorded on my phone that will never go anywhere. But if something sparks, or I get an idea for a refrain… then I will develop it into something more substantial. I literally had one line pop into my head while I was in the shower last night – “these words, alone, to woo” – and have written a poem around that theme, with that as a recurring end line.

All of my ideas revolve around words, and ideas. I am not a visual thinker (even for picture book texts that I’ve written, I have no strong ideas of what the characters look like). I love language and playing with words, and follow them down alleys and cul-de-sacs to see what might become of them.

Which writers/poets inspire and influence your own writing?

My favourite authors are Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams. They are both huge influences, in terms of style and sense of humour.
In terms of poets, I have binged on children’s poetry in the last couple of years. Allan Ahlberg and Julia Donaldson are probably my top picks there. I do get frustrated by the number of instantly forgettable, single joke poems that persist in the world of children’s poetry publishing. We can do better for our children. Joseph Coelho is a notable recent exception to this trend.

I have a range of poetry books and pamphlets that I dip into – I read different poets every day, for different reasons, studying their turns of phrase, or the way they use rhythm, or rhyme. In the reading pile, I currently have: Roger McGough, Shel Silverstein (big fan), Roald Dahl, Jim Carroll, Billy Collins, Spike Milligan, Ogden Nash, Michael Rosen, TS Eliot, WH Auden, John Hegley, Emily Dickinson, Philip Larkin…

The poet who has had the biggest influence recently is definitely Billy Collins. I binge-purchased half a dozen of his books. I’ll never finish them, because every time I read one of his poems, it inspires me to write one of my own, riffing off a phrase that he has used, or an idea that he’s created in me.

I should also give a nod here to two musicians, whose lyrics have a very poetic quality, in differing ways: David Bowie, and Nick Cave. The combination of music and poetry, in such hands, is intoxicating.

Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?

I don’t think so: it’s such a personal, malleable thing anyway. My appreciation of poetry, good poetry, though – that’s a different matter. The more I read, the more I appreciate.

Tell us about your writing process: Pen and paper, computer, notes?

Everything starts on my smartphone. I commute to work on the bus, and use that time (plus any snatched moment around the clock) to draft and edit poems and story ideas, texting them to myself with each revision. I don’t like typing them up on the laptop – there’s something about seeing the words on a computer screen that’s too final, when the text may not actually be ready yet.

I sometimes make notes with pen and paper, but that tends to be at the brain-storming phase, taking a word and expanding out the possibilities contained within it, until I find something that fires my imagination.

When my phone needed repair last year, I didn’t write a single poem in the week I went without it. My process, as well as managing my life, is totally dependent on it!

Please share your favourite piece/s with us and a brief description of the inspiration behind it:

This is my favourite recent poem: Al The Author: Ten Tired Parents I met the author of the children’s rhyming picture book Ten Little Pirates at a writer’s conference last year, and gushed to him (at the bar!) about how much my youngest son loved his book… We became Facebook friends, and I made a joke at the time about writing another one in that series for grown-ups. As happens often, I didn’t do anything with that idea. And then, recently we were invited by friends to come and spend the weekend with them while they were on holiday with their young children… I wrote this on the way home, with all of those previous elements coming together at once. Some of it may be autobiographical!
I sometimes adopt personas for poems, or write about ideas or positions that I don’t agree with, or haven’t experienced. Not this one. This one is very personal, and self-explanatory – a haiku on first meeting your newborn baby –

Haiku: ‘Tight and Warm’

baby

Newborn fingers grip
Warm, soft skin seeking comfort
From here, I am hooked
This limerick is in a similar vein –

Limerick: Birth

child

On the wonderful day of your birth
I was the happiest person on Earth
Now you teach me each day
In your own special way
How much this life truly is worth

 

Feature Guest On Ink & Quill: Author Alexis Rose

Today’s feature guest on Ink and Quill, is Alexis Rose from Untangled. An inspirational author/writer and poet, sharing herself openly with her readers. Please follow her links to read more about her moving journey of healing.

NAME: Alexis Rose

COUNTRY: United States

Please tell us a little about yourself:

I began my healing journey in 2009. Sparked by a family tragedy, I began to piece together, for the first time, a personal history of abuse and trauma. Supported by my spirituality and writing, as well as family and friends, I have profoundly grown and changed over the past seven years.

While learning to live with the effects of my trauma, and working with the deficits caused from post-traumatic stress disorder, I co-authored three inspirational books.

My newest book, Untangled, is my memoir and speaks to the courage, resilience and triumph over my unimaginable hardship. I continue my process of healing and becoming whole to this day, trusting the long and winding path of recovery. I am also an active blogger.

When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 2010. At first I used it just as part of my therapy, a journaling exercise. Then one day one of my friends asked me what it was like to have PTSD. What did it feel like? I looked the same, but she expressed she didn’t understand what it felt like on the inside. I took that question very seriously, went home and wrote my first poem about what it feels like to have PTSD.

I had such an amazing reaction, that I began to share it with others. I was asked to collaborate on two books with artists. One was a photographer, the other a painter. I wrote poetry to accompany their art work. We went to a printer, made them into little books and they began selling. Not only selling, but people were purchasing 8 at a time to give as gifts.

Also, at that time I collaborated with a friend on how to journal using specific writing prompts. I had no idea I had a gift to write or the ability to touch people with my words. I was shocked and still to this day, I feel extremely humbled.

A friend took me aside one day and said,

“Out of the darkness, came this gift of light.”

 

What does writing mean to you? Why do you write?

I would write even when I thought I had nothing to write about. At first, I strictly used it as just one of my healing tools. I would write and send what I wrote off to my therapist. I started to notice that I was able to write down what I couldn’t say aloud. At first, I thought it provided distance from having to use my voice, but then I found it actually gave me a voice. When I thought I couldn’t speak a truth, I found if I read it out loud to my therapist, that I WAS speaking the truth. My truth!

“Writing gave me the courage I needed to address the pain I was feeling.”

 

Do you write poetry, short stories and/or novels?
I write poetry and non-fiction. My latest work is my memoir. I have another book bubbling up inside of me. I’m just not quite sure of the subject matter. I love the collaboration process, so maybe I’ll find someone to do another book of poems coupled with art work.

As She Dances The Steps Of Innocence

 

Where do you find your writing motivation and inspiration?
I am compelled to write. Even if I think I have nothing to say, I will sit at my laptop and free write. I’m motivated and inspired by the art of writing and using my ability to put down on paper what is in my mind. I realize that as some feel the need to paint, draw, sculpt, I have a need to write.

What are your current projects?
My memoir was published six months ago, so I am busy marketing that. I love to speak to groups, no matter the size about what it’s like to live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m determined to make this an open conversation. It’s an invisible illness that effects so many people and their families and its very misunderstood. I also speak to groups about using writing as a healing tool. I’m just so energized by all of this. I could talk about it and write about it all day. Definitely gives me a purpose.

Writers/poets who inspire and influence your own writing?
I am very inspired by Rumi. I love poets, they have a beautiful way of expression.
I read a lot of books on mindfulness. I love historical fiction. I don’t think I have one author who really influences me.
I’m a person who will sit down with a book and escape into their world. I simply love good books.
I think the people who have influenced my writing have been some very talented writing teachers I’ve had over the past few years. I have gone to workshops and taken some on-line classes to learn the craft of putting a book together. Those lessons have been invaluable to me.
Also, I have found I have been very inspired by the bloggers I’ve found through my WordPress experience. I’m fairly new to the blogging world. In fact, I never even read a blog post anywhere, until I wrote my first one in October. What a gem of a writing community I found.

Have you any published works, or do you plan on publishing in the future?
My book Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph by Alexis Rose is available on Amazon in both book and Kindle forms.

What process did you go through to get your book published?
When I decided to publish Untangled I was terrified. The other books I collaborated on were available through Amazon, we had them published and sold them ourselves. I knew that I absolutely wanted Untangled to be out in the world. I had done a lot of research on going with a publishing company vs self-publishing. For my goals and purposes I knew that self-publishing was the right decision.
I used create-space as my self-publishing platform. I was nervous about asking people to be my beta readers and then going through the painful editing process. But I tried to keep my mind open, as long as the people working with me understood that it was imperative that my book was told using “my voice.” There were some arguments with my editor a few times and a lot of compromising, but I understood the bigger goal, and had to learn to check my ego at the door.

“I felt compelled to publish my book. I knew that this was my truth, and that by letting my story go out in the world for others to read, no one could ever take that truth away from me again.”

I just really wanted to share my story. I wanted to share what it looks like to live through unimaginable circumstances for 20 plus years, with continued threats to stay silent and still be determined to be live not just survive.

Do you have a specific writing style/genre?
I find I write with feeling. I try to go to the place of, this is how it feels when something happens. Good, bad or neutral. I can weave a story and use visuals but I like to bring people to a place of, relating to the tightness in your chest, or the wave of emotion we feel in our stomach when we see something beautiful. I think the biggest feedback I have gotten from all readers, is even though they haven’t been through trauma they have felt those things too. In short, I try to write in the style of the human experience.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you want to write, then write. Just do it. Don’t worry about if anyone will ever read what you write. Just write. That is the first step that all writers must take. Stay true to your own voice.

Please share your favourite piece/s with us and a brief description of the inspiration behind it?

This is my latest piece. I was feeling the pain of the truth of my life, and the hope that I know it will get better.

The Hero Of Your Own Story

you-are-the-hero

Image borrowed from Google Images

My body is streaked with sweat and dirt from my desperate search to find safe shelter.

I’m barefoot, in a grimy torn t-shirt and shorts; my hands and feet caked with dirt.

My hair is filthy and matted. My mouth is dry; I can smell and taste the gritty dust that hangs in the air.

I sit down on a curb at the side of the road, and I know it’s over.

I’m unbelievably weary, all my energy spent in the act of sitting down.

I’m devastated…emotionally, mentally, and physically, and the worst of my wounds are invisible.

My eyes fill up, but no tears fall. I can only sit amid the rubble, trying to trust the safety of the gray, silent sky.

But I made it up the many, unforgiving mountain climbs.

I’m on the other side looking at the carnage, no way to fully wrap my mind over my truth yet, but I know

that I’m resilient, I’m courageous, I fought through.

And the words of Joseph Campbell resonate within me. I’m the hero of my story.

 

 

 

Guest Poet On Ink & Quill: Laura. A. Lord

laura a

It is with great pleasure, I introduce you to Ink and Quill’s feature guest, Laura. A. Lord. Laura is a very talented poet and I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about her. Her poetry is incredible, edgy and original. Please, follow the link to check out more of her wonderful writing.

NAME: Laura A. Lord
COUNTRY: United States
AGE: 30

Please tell us a little about yourself:
I’m 30 years old and live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with my husband and three children. I have been writing since I was a teenager, but didn’t start publishing my work until my mid-twenties. I have published six collections of poetry and vignettes and one children’s book.

‘Poetry is by far my favorite form to write and what I spend most of my time on.’

 

In fact, my newest collection set to be released this summer, I Am, in entirely poetry. I’m also an editor for Birth Without Fear and The Reverie Journal (the latter of which is a poetry magazine). You can find out more about my work on my blog,  Laura A Lord

When did you first start writing?
I started writing poetry as a teenager…Really bad, emo poetry. In fact, I have a huge binder full of the poems I wrote back then. I keep it effectively hidden in the hopes that no one will ever be subjected to the horrors inside there.

What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry is memories’ music. I am rarely ever able to write about something that is currently happening in my life, but after some time has gone by I am able to reflect on those memories.

‘I think that is what is most important to me about poetry – the ability to be able to freeze those feelings, emotions, and images in something like a poem.’

 

What might inspire you to write a poem? How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form or an image?
I tend to choose a theme. I think of a specific time in my life or emotion and try to work from that. I also enjoy wordle prompts. I have had great success with those and it is always fun to be challenged to use words you might not have ever chosen yourself.

Which writers/poets inspire and influence your own writing?
Sylvia Plath and Raymond Carver are two of my absolute favorites. I could, and have, read and reread their works again and again for inspiration.

Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?
Certainly. I used to think that poetry had to rhyme and that it needed a dark undertone. I am thankful to keep those hidden in the binder and to have learned to evolve my writing. I rarely rhyme these days, but I think the dark undertone lingers.

Tell us about your writing process: Pen and paper, computer, notes?
I have terrible carpal tunnel, so pen and paper is almost always out for me. I do keep a notebook in my bag and in my car, just in case, but I tend to use the notebook on my phone to jot down ideas. I write everything exclusively on my desktop, though.

Please share your favourite piece/s with us and a brief description of the inspiration behind it:
These three poems are from my upcoming book, I Am. The collection focuses on a woman’s view of herself at different points in her life. “Not for Keeps,” for instance, revolves around how I saw myself after learning of my (now ex) boyfriend’s infidelity, while “Brood Mare” stems from the drastic changes I saw in my body after the birth of my last son. “Skeleton Dance” formed a sort-of promise for me, in my effort to be as honest as possible throughout the book, and how it felt to open up so much about my own self-image.

laura

Not for Keeps

I’ve been nursing this blow up
like you’ve nursed that watery beer.
I wanted it big
and loud
and bright –
an explosion of color
in the harsh tones of a Las Vegas wedding.

I wanted my pain to hurt your eyes,
make you blink back a few tears.
I look better a bit hazy.
My angry face is heavily lined –
a child’s drawing,
all thick crayon swipes
and blurred edges.

I wanted my rage to be palpable –
a pulpy glob of orange juice in your mouth
after brushing your teeth.
I wanted you to roll me around on your tongue for a moment.
I wanted you to spit me out.

I’m no good for the long haul.
I’m not for keeps.

I break up like a wave crash,
a grenade with extra shrapnel on the side.
I can make a soap opera look like reality TV.

So come here, baby.
Let me lurk there at the back of your throat,
a taste you can’t get rid of.
I’m the kind of memory that gets closed up in some shoe box
under the bed.
I want to dine on the dust mites there and
listen to all the moments you whisper into her hair.
I want my claws so deep in your back
you still feel them when you’re fucking her.
I want my name engraved in your throat,
your voice box to massage every syllable as it slides
between your gritted teeth,
riding the wake your hips have made.
I want her to hate the plague marks I’ve left behind in you.

I’m such a needy little thing.

Brood Mare

I am a brood mare
with empty feed sack tits.
I’ve lost all sensitivity and
I’m emotionally bloated.

I’m an angry red slash –
The Joker’s mouth,
right above lips that have
stretched open so wide to speak
that they have split themselves sideways.
I’ve been stitched up,
stitched tight, and
I’m still loose.

I’m a pair of crow’s eyes at the corner
of a red-faced, wailing baby’s eyes.

I am lanolin-caked nipples –
I’m just trying to make the pain bearable.

I’m, “My God, I want you,” and
“Don’t touch me. I’m fat.”

I’m a hormonal, demolition derby car,
with no roll cage.
There’s no height requirement for this ride.
I’ve got an ass for days and nights,
sunsets and rises, and
rises,
like high rise to tuck in,
hold back,
control top.
I’m a peep-toe shoe
with thigh high stockings,
in a terry-cloth bathrobe.

I’m fuck-me-in-the-dark beautiful and
a saunter while I walk through the produce aisle.

I have nursed this image
until the well ran dry and
the keloids rose like mountain ranges
through a bush so neglected
it’s become a fanatic feminist icon,
but you’re still banging my crown against the headboard.
So I’m either that kind of desirable
or I’ve got a concussion.

Either way, I was never meant to be a princess.
I was meant to be a brood mare
with empty feed sack tits.

Skeleton Dance

I am ready to spill my skeletons,
open the door to the proverbial closet
and watch them perform an irreverent
skitter-dance across our bedroom carpet.
They will two-step in the moonlight
shining in jagged strips through the
wire screen against our window pane.
They will sing a false swan song
with lipless mouths and bones that
rattle as change in your pockets.
They will twist up on one another,
like a bow around a present,
and I’m giving you this gift,
because it is no longer possible
to keep them in my head.
I am dragging them out from under
the piles of old neglected things
that hinder our ability to speak freely
and humiliate what is left of our love.
I am giving you faceless truths
and praying that the melody of our past
is enough to string us back together.

 

Would you like a free copy of Laura’s book, Rumble Strip?

Sign up to her mailing list here

 

 

Guest Poet On Ink & Quill: Antony Ros

It is with great pleasure, I would like to introduce my next feature guest, Poet Antony Ros, from Perso In Poesia. I have been following Antony’s work for some time now, and his words blow me away. He writes with … Continue reading

Guest Writers On Ink & Quill

guestsA huge thank you, to everyone who emailed me, in regards to the guest writer and poet feature on Ink & Quill. I have many wonderful writers waiting to feature. 

Due to the overwhelming response, I will be featuring bi-weekly guests over the next six weeks. A writer and poet feature guest. Monday’s and Thursday’s. After this, I will do a regular guest writer/poet feature every month.

I look forward to sharing these talented writers with you over the coming weeks. 

Jen xxx 

First Guest Writer on Ink and Quill: K. Morris

k.MORRIS

It is with great excitement, I would like to introduce my first feature guest on Ink and Quill. Author, writer and poet Kevin Morris from New Author Online. It is honour to feature Kevin. Please follow the links to read more of Kevin’s work.

NAME:
Kevin Morris
COUNTRY:
United Kingdom
AGE:
47

Please tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Liverpool on 6 January 1969, a year best known for my birth and a relatively minor event known as the moon landing! Having attended school in Liverpool, I went on to read history and politics at University. Having obtained my BA, I went on to gain a MA in political theory.
I moved to London in 1994 and live near Crystal Palace, where my home overlooks a large garden and an historic park.

When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 2012.

 

“I write to express myself. One must scratch an itch, otherwise it will drive you insane!”

 

Where do you find your writing motivation and inspiration?
I draw inspiration from nature and my inner self. The singing of birds, the wind on my face and the scent of newly fallen leaves all inspire me to write, as do my observations of current affairs.

What are your current projects?
I am currently working on the publication of a print edition of my book, “Lost In The Labyrinth Of My Mind”. “Lost” constitutes my latest collection of poetry and is currently available in ebook format.

poetry ebook

Writers/poets who inspire and influence your own writing?
I am inspired by many poets including the 19th century English poet Ernest Christopher Dowson, A E Housman and Emily Dickinson, to name but a few.

Have you any published works, or do you plan on publishing in the future?
I have published the following works:

“Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry And Prose”,

“The First Time”,

“The Suspect And Other Tales”,

“An Act Of Mercy”,

“Sting In The Tail”,

“Samantha”,

“Lost In The Labyrinth Of My Mind”,

“Street Walker,”

“The Girl Who Wasn’t There And Other Poems”.

For information regarding my books please visit my blog’s “About” page.

What process did you go through to get your book published?
I self published my books using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) facility, which is available to anyone wishing to publish their work.

Tell us about your writing process:
I prefer writing in the morning when I’m firing on all cylinders. I do, however also write during the afternoon and, on occasions in the evening. I find it difficult to write with background noise and prefer total silence (other than the singing of birds which gives me great pleasure).
Being registered blind, I use screen reading software called Jaws, which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a standard Windows computer.

Do you have a specific writing style/genre?
I have written several collections of short stories and one long short story entitled “Samantha”. My preferred genre is poetry and my time is now spent composing poems rather than short stories or flash fiction.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t get discouraged, and believe in yourself.

Please share your favourite piece/s with us and a brief description of the inspiration behind it:
During the Christmas break (December 2015), I visited my mum and her partner in Liverpool. While there I went for a walk with my guide dog, Trigger. The evening was closing in and leaves blew around my feet. The blowing of the leaves reminded me of the fragility of life which lead to the composition of my poem,

Leaves Blown At Night

Leaves blown at night.
Delight
Sorrow.
This moment we borrow
And think of a tomorrow
That may never come.
We run
Perchance have fun
Then, ‘Tis done”
My poem, “Shall I Compare Thee” came to me while out walking with my dog and I wrote it down on returning home:
“Shall I compare thee to a prickly pear?
Thou art more fair
Than the wild rose
That in thorny profusion grows.
There the bee goes
Then stings my nose”. .