Where The Butterflies Go – Heather Grace Stewart


“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”  ~Rabindranath Tagore

Butterflies have been my “sign” lately.  I have them everywhere:  On my windows, as jewelry, on shirts, as stickers, letter stationary on my journals and even clothes.  Just the other day I received a free box of kleenex from my local grocery store, and on it, YES butterflies.  When my friend was shopping for her first house a few months ago, she showed me the one they put an offer on,  and on the front door’s glass window, there were 4 butterflies etched in the glass.  I told her it was a sign she would get the house.  One butterfly for each child (there were 4 going from biggest to smallest).  She’s moving in next weekend!  Also,  My children have recently made me Mother’s day cards and gifts with butterflies on it. Show’s they know their mama.

Last week , when Heather Grace Stewart ,-a fellow Montrealer, author and poet, approached me about the release of her book Where The Butterflies Go, on Kindle, I had to say YES!!  On March 29th, Heather graciously answered a few questions for Muse In The Valley, she was my 2nd Author Of the Week, which in fact became a weekly event due to the enormous success of the interviews.    ( You can read our interview here.)

Where The Butterflies Go is now on Kindle for $2.99 with half the proceeds going to UNICEF!

However, for 3 days only:

Thursday June 21st, Friday June 22nd, Saturday June 23rd it will be free!

You can get it through Amazon.com just click here!

Natasha head reviews Where The Butterflies Go, she writes:

“The first part of the collection, aptly entitled Pain, takes the world face on. Heather’s words trigger sadness, loss and incomprehension, but, these very same words, also inspire hope. This is, in itself, a testament to the quality and strength of her craftsmanship.  The poem ‘Golden Days’, stands out strongly for me.  It’s final lines, looking back to the release of the collection from now, almost rings of prophecy…..

There are dark clouds/Across this Canadian sky

The second part of the book, simply entitled Growth is where you can really see the voice of the poet evolve. The questions that so many of us have; the where, the why of this world, tackled head on with no fear and honest pen.”

~Natasha Head, for The River Review

FREE stuff is always fun, if I had a Kindle I would be right on it!  So go, get Where The Butterflies Go while they are free of charge, and share this WONDERFUL NEWS with your friends.

Love and light


Happy Father’s Day – Daddy, a poem


To my dad and all dads who care enough to give the very best of themselves to their children.

 

 

DADDY!

Let me tell you a story,

I swear to God its true,

The first love of my life,

Was really really you!

In the early morning,

I loved to watch you shave,

And when you suited up for work,

Love hit me like a wave.

You kissed me every morning,

And hugged me every night,

Laughing at your stories,

Left me sleeping snug and tight.

Your love for things like music,

Words and silly games,

Has followed me my lifetime,

And keeps my mind aflame.

I was a little jealous.

of things that took your time.

This makes me a wee bit sad,

As I write this little rhyme.

The woman I have now become,

Today I know you see !

And because of you, my dad!

I am all that I can be!!

Happy Father’s Day dad,

I love you mucho grande!

k

kk

k

k

k

k

Today – A Short Poem


j

j“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  Dr. Seuss

Today, when  tears begin to fall, release is near..


Release is near when you feel your heart ache and it is difficult to breathe…

Breathe in the  freshness and let the  staleness expire…

Staleness expires, and opens up your soul for love, and reception..

Reception of all that is coming to you…

All that is coming to you is the greatness we all deserve…

We all deserve to be recognized, valued and cherished…

Cherish what you have right in front of you…

In front of you lies the secret of your happiness…

Your happiness is not dependant on others…

Others do not define you, choose wisely those in which you accompany..

Accompany yourself on this journey and enjoy the adventure…

Because it is in the adventure which passion lies..

Lies are not to be told on this road, but the road of truth awakens…

Awaken to you heart and what it is telling you…

Tell yourself to release those tears which bind you today..

Today is that day!

Counting my blessings one at a time ❤

Threads of Life – Interview with Jessica Kristie


“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”  ~Anaïs Nin

These past few weeks of author interviews have been so inspiring.  I have had the pleasure to meet new friends, new writers who all have a distinct muse of their own.

This week, I have to pleasure to introduce you to Jessica Kristie, author of Threads of Life, and many other books you can discover as you follow the links to her website at the end of this conversation.  You can find her amazon profile here.

Her latest e-book, Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators contains:

“Fifty-two topics followed by affirmations and writing prompts, tips and inspiring activities to engage and build confidence. Each week you will have an idea to focus on and a small task to complete that help you in your journey to overcome, and keep creating.”


The interview

If you had to write a short poem to describe yourself, what would you write? 

A great question. All my poems encapsulate pieces of me. We are all filled with so much emotion and strength. Although my poetry is often first person, it is not always a complete reflection of me. It is a reflection of my surroundings and those I have in my life. I would hate to write a poem specifically and completely about me. My guess is, it would contain the words: driven, supportive, caring, and would say I had a lot of love to give.

How did poetry find you, or how did you find poetry? 

Poetry chose me at the young age of ten. I was introduced to it in school and through books like Seuss and Silverstein. There was an instant joy, and through that grew my own desire and voice to write.

What do you love to do when you are not writing? 

I love to be outside and enjoying friends and family. I also love to sing and at one point did theater. I have a creative spirit and look forward to trying new forms of expression.

Where does your creativity come from? 

Originally, I misconstrued my creativity to be a confined space or fleeting muse. I later learned that inspiration can be brought to life and even called upon when needed through my own personal needs. I have discovered inspiration in the strangest things from the tone of someone’s voice to a common kitchen utensil. It is how you choose to look at the things around you. Inspiration is everywhere and you have to decide what that looks like to you.

What book struck you as a child and why? 

I actually read The Hobbit quite young and that book really stood out to me with its visuals and deep characters. That was not the type of book I would normally cling to, but I loved it and read it several times during my junior high and high school years.

What is the last book you absolutely couldn’t put down? 

I do a lot of reading for my current line of work and have got an early read of Prismatic by Sarah Elle Emm. Her book actually comes out this week and is a YA Fantasy. I have not read many YA books and was not sure what to expect. This is the first book in the series and I tell you, I can’t wait till the next one. I am so excited about this series and hope everyone checks it out.

Name a woman who inspired you to be who you are today? 

Maya Angelou is a proud and powerful woman who has been successful in inspiring others, including me, to be strong and keep our creative spirit alive. I have a great love and respect for all she does, not only as a poet but as a woman and human being.

Can you tell us about your book Threads of Life?   

This was an emotional journey for me. I was inspired to write this book after some people in my life confessed to some abusive relationships. My poetry is often a bit dark and I felt so moved by stories of not just physically but emotionally abusive and toxic relationships that so many people I know have found themselves in. The search for love and acceptance is a long road. Dealing with our past and fighting for a better future doesn’t happen overnight, and each of our processes is different.

Threads of Life goes through a series of these types of difficult relationships and the feelings that go along with them. There is a darkness expressed, but also a search for hope and self-acceptance.

I read the poem Onward, The whole poem struck me!  I love the line 

“I feel drained within this sinkhole of madness. But if looking into the tattered reflection that screams back at me won’t halt me in my ridiculous tracks, nothing will”  

The whole piece is very deep and dark, yet I feel a sense of hope.  Can you talk a little about  this poem? 

Onward was the beginning piece because it was that almost rock-bottom feeling. It deals with the issues of being alone, confused, and stuck on the wrong path, knowingly, but still moving forward. We have all been there. That feeling of being trapped is maddening and it is so easy to look past the escape routes when encased in fear and self-doubt.

What are you working on now?   

I am excitedly working on my first novel. I hope to have the first draft done soon and it all completed by the end of this year, with a mid-year 2013 release.

Now for some fun questions! 

Would you say you are a chocolate or vanilla girl? 

Milk-Chocolate all the way. But vanilla is often very refreshing and I wouldn’t turn down someone offering. [Symbol]

What is the weirdest thing you carry in your purse? 

Checking . . . I found an old Easter candy egg and some sweet tarts. Lovely. I would say that is an un-intentional carrying, but carrying none the less.

What is your “theme song” the one you live your life by?

Oh my, I have yet to deem any tune my theme song. Music does play a heavy roll in my life and a tremendous source of inspiration. Let me work on that one and get back to you [Symbol]

Do you love to write free hand, with a pen or pencil, or on a computer?  What are your writing rituals? 

I use all options and do spend a lot of time with a pad of paper and a pen. I LOVE pencils and when I can keep one around and sharpened, I prefer to use that over a pen. I also write on my computer but do seem to write free hand first for my poetry then transfer over later. Writing outside is my favorite but it happens less than I would like.

Do you have anything you wish to share with aspiring writers? 

This business can be hard, thankless and unforgiving but when you write for you and no one else, you can maintain your joy through the difficult moments. Find your voice, read, support others and be strong. There is a place for you that is perfect in this industry. Find your niche and stay inspired.

How can we buy your books?

Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators is available only in eBook, but the others are available in print and eBook at all major retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.   Threads of Life is also available on Amazon.com

Jessica Kristie is the author of several poetry books, and the co-creator for the ArtPlatform book Inspiration Speaks Volume 1 which is now available in print and eBook through all major retailers, and benefits ColaLife.org. She is also the founder of the Woodland, CA, poetry series, Inspiring Words—Poetry in Woodland.

Dreaming in Darkness is Jessica’s first volume of poetry; the winner of the 2011 Sharp Writ Award and nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Jessica’s second book, Threads of Life, is available through Winter Goose Publishing along with her eBook offering to writers, Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators.

Jessica has been published in several online and print magazines such as Zouch, Muse, A Writer’s Point of View and TwitArt Magazine.  You can find all of Jessica’s appearances under her Press Page at JessicaKristie.com.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jessica Kristie discovered her passion for writing as a child. Her inspiration comes in many forms, often inspired by just a word or quickly fleeting emotion. Through years of writing she has been able to capitalize on her experiences, whether they are painful or joyous. She hopes to draw you close to her world through shared emotion while inspiring you to forgive, remember, and heal.

Follow Jessica:

Twitter: @jesskristie

 

I want to thank Jessica for taking the time to answer my questions for Muse In The Valley.  I wish her success in everything she takes on.. and keep on writing my friend.  Please come back anytime!

 

Kim 

Nothing Left To Lose – Natasha Head


I would like you all to welcome Natasha Head, author, poet and artist!  Natasha lives in Nova-Scotia, East Coast Canada, a Province I have always wanted to visit because I have heard only wonderful things about its beauty and charm.  Paraphrasing her profile on Winter Goose Publishing , poetry is a longtime form of expression for her, and Natasha was able to publish a collection of these in her NEW book Nothing Left to Lose.   I love the way Natasha shares herself in her poetry, raw, emotional and so authentic.  The latter being a huge attraction for me.

Speaking with Natasha this week, I could feel her enthusiasm and excitement about her work.  I could feel, through the vibes of cyberspace, her love for life.  She exudes beauty and charm.  You will see these qualities in her in the answers to her questions.

So with no further ado:

,,,

The Interview

If you were to write 1 sentence to describe yourself, what would it be?

I am a self-proclaimed freak on a leash.

What brought you on the poets’ path?

I have been writing poetry since I was a little girl.  When I was a teen and would have to baby-sit my little sister, I would punish her and her friends with a poetry reading if she broke the rules. I’ve been very passionate about poetry for a very long time.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Life is inspiration.   I think many of my poems are more personal than journal entries if you want to know what’s up in my bubble. I cry, bleed, fight and love with my pen.   

Tell us about your Newest Poetry Collection:  Nothing Left to Lose. What is your favorite Poem? 

Nothing Left to Lose is a collection that chronicles a difficult period in my life. If I had to pick ONE poem as a favorite, it would have to be “Think About It”.  It’s longer than most I write, and came to life on my blog as a dVersePoets OpenLinkNight offering.  It’s my thought process now, after having endured this difficult period, and states pretty clearly where I am right now.

So tell me…whose life have you been living?

Could we take a moment…perhaps strip away
the dogma that has been taught to you?
Force fed on spoons and forks

that have never once left your mouth.
Who are you I ask, and without thought
like a perfectly timed reaction

you toss me a name. If it is unique
to who you are, then yes, perhaps
you are truly special. I prefer to see it

as the first attack. Who named you?…

You can read the entire “raw” poem on my blog,  or the edited and prettier version in my book.

What was your favorite childhood story?

Gulliver’s Travels was a favorite, along with Hansel & Gretel,  once I learned to read I was unstoppable! The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland…so many fantastic tales that still bring a smile to my face.

What book are you reading now?

I just received Emmett Wheatfall’s “He’s Sees Things” and this has been providing my most recent poetry fix. It’s an amazing collection.  On the reader it’s Stephen King all the way.  Working my way through The Regulators AGAIN.  

What do you do when not immersed in writing?

I immerse myself in music! I LOVE to sing and lose myself in a good song.  Those rare moments when I get the house to myself, I blast the tunes and rock out with my dog and cat as audience.

Who designed the cover of your book, why the chair?

Wintergoose provided the art work for the cover.  I fell in love the moment I saw it. The chair? Well…that’s all I had left 🙂 The chair is a focal point so you can appreciate the space and the state of the nothingness that surrounds it.

What would we find in your fridge right now?

OMG…Really? Lots of salad dressing, bottled water and a case of Diet Pepsi (do I have to describe the leftovers? They’re looking a little fuzzy!)

Note to Natasha:  I have a case of Diet Pepsi in my fridge too!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?

That’s a tough one…would love to live in the mind of Salvador Dali, to be able to create with the wild abandon and lack of fear that I get from his work.  There are so many voices in my head when I write, telling me what should or shouldn’t be, creating excuses for not really being true to my vision.

If you had to give yourself a “theme song” what would it be and why?

I am partial to Korn’s “Freak on a Leash” (see 1st question!) but honestly, I have a different song for every circumstance. Bleed it Out by Linkin Park is a favorite go to tune.

What advice would you give new poets, young and old?

Never stop! The world is desperate for your words…even if it doesn’t know it yet.  Poetry is an amazing reflection of our times and you never know when you will find yourself being a mascot! The internet is ALIVE with poetry.  I really thought I was alone in my love until I stumbled upon Twitter.  Get online, share your words, and contribute to this fantastic movement.  The world is waking up, and the arts and their importance are regaining ground…if you bleed words like I do, then you have to join the army!

Do you have other work you want to share?  What are your projects now?

I was honored to be included in the premier edition of “Inspiration Speaks” compiled by the wonderful Jessica Kristie and ArtPlatform which Wintergoose released earlier this year, and I have a new compilation of poetry and art coming up.  I’m also a recurring host and resident tweeter for dVersePoets, a fantastic community of fellow word weavers launched by Brian Miller & Claudia Schoenfeld.  This is a great place for those just starting to share their words to start out, they are amazing folk! I’m also part of a great team of folks over at The River Journal. (And still working a crazy day job to boot!)

Where can we find you?

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/TashtooParlour

Twitter  https://twitter.com/#!/Tashtoo

Website http://tashtoo.com

How can we purchase your book?

Books are available online through Amazon.com  and Barnes & Noble, or you can order signed copies direct from me via email tashahead@gmail.com

Thanks!!!

Thank you so much Natasha, I cannot wait to read more of your poetry.  Good luck with your book Nothing Left to Loose, and please let us know, here at Muse In the Valley, when you publish again, or just drop by to say hello!

Earthday – Wishing by Ellen Wheeler Wilcox


In honor of EARTHDAY, I am sharing a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox which I found in one of my mom’s old prayer books.  I fell in love with this poem over 25 years ago, and never did any research on the author.  So here is an excerpt from WIKI.

“Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919) was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was ” Solitude“, which contains the lines: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”. Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death….”  continue here.

Wishing

 Do you wish the world were better?

Let me tell you what to do.

Set a watch upon your actions,

Keep them always strait and true.

Rid your mind of selfish motives,

Let your thought be clean and high.

You can make a little Eden

Of the sphere you occupy.

 

Do you wish the world were wiser?

Well, suppose you make a start,

By accumulating wisdom

In the scrap book of your heart.

 

Do not waste one page on folly;

Live to learn, and learn to live.

If you want to give men knowledge,

You must get it ere you give.

 

Do you wish the world were happy?

Then remember day by day.

Just to scatter seeds of kindness.

As you pass along the way.

For the pleasure of the many,

May be ofttimes traced to one,

As the hand that plants the acorn

Shelters armies from the sun.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox From: Poems of Power, 1901

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

Wendell Berry

Lets take care of our earth!  Happy Earth Day!

Guaranteed Success – FemCentral Writing Prompt


I often take part in Jennifer L. Shelton’s writing prompts.  Once a month FemCentral gives us a topic to write about which brings up many thought-provoking ideas, and helps us dig deep into our subconscious lighting up things hidden deep inside and putting them out into the Universe.

Jennifer, often writes about, “what we resist persists” and I agree.  I have discovered, while writing these prompts, I  often discover deep hidden secrets, or bring up things from my inner self, that I would never thought to write about.  Once out there, I either release and forgive these emotions and images, OR I begin to create and build on what I wrote.

This week, Jennifer posted a poem I wrote for this month’s prompt, and I am so pleased with it I want to share it here on my blog.  This particular poem is one I want to build on in my life, and begin experiencing the things my heart has always desired.

.

If I Could Prevail

 

If I could not fail,

I would set sail,

Across the ocean floor.

I would ride on a shark,

In the areas so dark,

and frantically start to explore.

If success was guaranteed,

I would plant a huge seed,

In the desert so arid and dry,

Then I would call on the rains,

To sprinkle my grains,

And plants would grow to the sky.

If I could not flounder;

I would become the founder;

of the biggest art school on this earth,

I would gather supplies,

Piled high to the skies,

and everyone’s art would give birth!

If prevailing was sure,

I would search for the cure

For every disease known “man” (and woman)

I would gather my findings,

and cut through the grindings,

As healing everyone is the plan.

If I could not fail,

I wouldn’t end this tale,

I would continue in order to inspire.

I would keep living this life,

and ending the strife

and set everyone’s muse on fire!

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