The Liebster Award

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Thanks to RegardingSamuel for the recognition and questions. Be sure to check out his blog.

what was your favorite place to visit as a child?

Grandparents house, and saturday trips to town with the siblings and mom. We went for breakfast, then to the library and then for groceries and we got to spend a dollar each at “The Cent Shop”.

are you doing the thing you thought you would be doing at this age? Is anyone really doing what they thought they would be doing by this age? For better or worse, our lives would be quite boring if they went exactly as planned…but to answer the question in short…no. 

where do you see the arts going? Do you think social media is helping arts? Or hindering them? Both helping and hindering. I mean on one hand there are writers like us, who get to write conveniently and at a moments notice..via their phone, ipad, or computer. This is great, but on the other hand art has become kind of like opinion. A group think /herd like movement. There are millions of writers and poets all putting their stuff out there, but many plagiarize each other, or try to copy a trend or they put every thought out there before thinking it through, or editing it and it loses it’s clarity….kind of like just a rant that has no basis. Apart from writing, the same thing happens with photography and or anything else. There is some great work out there, but how much of it gets seen amidst the swamp of food selfies on instagram? or attention seekers on youtube? So as I said, it’s both. Lindsey Sterling became a cult sensation via youtube, and she deserves it. It’s very hard to find artists among  thousands who think they are artists though, and  as far as the writing goes, I am always grateful for any “follower” I get on here. Another great thing about it is the connections made with like minded people. Artists are probably the most reflective people in general, so it is always refreshing to know that you arent the only one that has a random idea at dangerous hours of the night and it has to be written RIGHT THEN. The down side, I think it is the instant availability, nobody has to wait for anything anymore, and the desensitization-and what I mean is people lose authenticity …well I’ve lost my thought train. Next question.. 

does literature play a large influence on your writing/daily life?
Well I don’t think I would trust someone who writes without being a reader. I mean that is like a teacher who thinks they have learned everything there is to know, and is unwilling to learn more. Painters study other artist’s work, and so I think there is no difference here. Not to mention, I know what I like to read and what connects with me, and those things come in different forms so it is not about the subject matter really, but ways of putting it out there. Stephan King even says “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” That is on a writing level, on a daily life level I dont think there is “literature” that shapes my daily life. I mean aside from the Bible, everything else that is written  has kind of just come into my life when I needed it. I know what you mean…some people quote ‘The Great Gatsby” and describe it’s relationship to daily life…I don’t think I have a fiction book that influenced me  like that. I mean…well 
If not,what does? If so, what is your favorite book? 
Well I did quote “Girl Interrupted”  from the book and movie for the first half of my twenties…I’m not sure that counts. There are a handful of books I probably will never get rid of. “Of Mice and Men”, “Girl Interrupted”, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”…ok I better stop.  

what does writing/the arts mean to you? Writing can be so many different things. It is an expression, a statement, an announcement and ultimately and most importantly it is communication. That is not the English 101 definition of writing, but that is alright. This goes back to authenticity, anyone who says they are not creative or cant write…well I always say maybe they just haven’t found their niche in those things yet. Some are creative in the kitchen…that’s not my field. I am more of throw everything you have in the pot that will merge well together and BOOM there is soup. Some people can work a crowd, that is not me either, at least at this time in my life. So to me, many things are art and anything can be translated in writing art…if I feel it anyway. I don’t like to waste words, I might use too many in an attempt to be understood, but rest assured if I have asked “how are you?” I really actually want to know, because half the time I forget those social terms that fill any silent space in our society. When I hear constant rattling that means nothing but attention, I have to shut it down. I call it “filling the air with useless words”. That is what “Art” has become..just overproduced junk filling the voids. To me art an expression of our authentic selves, or thoughts or opinions put in a way that makes people think..all today’s society wants to do is argue. You know everyone thinks they are an “Activist” because they take sides in social media arguments. If you can write something in a story, or poetry it seems to get people thinking in a different way. At least that is how it has always worked for me, and that is what I try to do. It is a practice sometimes. Another thing art is, is an honorary interpretation or love letter if you will to whatever it is that inspires you…or maybe disgust for what has angered you..I don’t know. On a spiritual level, we are created people. If God created us in His image, then we are creative individuals. The devil cannot create right? He can only recreate or distort and confuse, so we are vessels of humble and grateful creativity. Saying what we will as responsibly as we can, or we are distorting and recreating havoc and producing a bunch of junk food trying to hit a bottom line and get famous for ourselves. …take that as you will.

what’s your favorite thing about where you live? I  don’t venture very far from my immediate location…I mean I do but not unless I have to. The funny thing is, I will get my GPS and drive twelve hours to another state, more willingly then going the next town over. I’m very central to where I live. Favorite thing about where I live, is all my favorite places are in walking distance-and anything else I might need is on my way to work. Even my hairdresser is in walking distance. The thing is these were not my favorite places before I moved here, it just so happened that the best places in Birmingham I found after moving to this side (I used to stay on 280, where all the big box stores and chain restaurants are). My favorite place in Birmingham to eat…and for the last two years I have eaten there at least once a week is Taj India, if I miss a week they miss me. There is a record store that I also haunt…yes a record store, and on that part of town there are so many types of people. This is a college town of course, so the diversity of  personalities and nationalities is always an energy rush. There is also a health food store..that I used to visit more often than lately. So my favorite thing is that in this big town, there is this neat community of eccentric/hipster/artist/multicultural and older hippie generation weaved into the stuffy medical education atmosphere, and acting out the southern hospitality attitude.

what’s your favorite quote?

“If I say anything that you don’t agree with, well lets just leave at we don’t agree about it”

what’s your favorite film?

Girl Interrupted, Angelina Jolie is at her best in that film or in my opinion she is, and the soundtrack was great. The  lines in that film are memorable, I used to know most of them in my tortured 19-23 year mind… and who has not felt insane at least once..who? On another spectrum, Smoke Signals, which I only saw about two years ago and a film called “Dance Me Outside” are also incredible and in many ways underrated. I say underrated because unless someone has seen them they don’t know these films exist, and the acting and stories are some of the best out there. Most people start talking “Dances With Wolves” if you say anything about native films…I have to grit my teeth and just tell people to watch “REEL INJUN” if they never watch anything else in their lives ever. So there is another favorite film “Reel Injun“. Netflix has been a good platform, I think, for indigenous films or artist to be more known by the general population. Because it has that “suggestion” row…and it is the new coach potato past time to flip through the suggestions you know. 

do you consider yourself a feminist? I consider myself a feminist in the classical tradition. Women should have the same options as  men and be treated with respect. That does not mean (to me) that we should have more respect or be privileged or have an elitist attitude. Everything is so charged with this subject, and I do not understand it. Women are killed…killed…and treated like dogs all over the middle east and that is a fact. A fact! I think Israel is the only one at this time, that women are not subject to honor killings, or abuse or objectified sexually. But our society with our angry feminist that march in high heels and rant and rave about “reclaiming” words like “slut” and banning words like bossy ignores this. The white corporate feminist protect their own, and anything else they do in the name of feminism and women, rarely helps women it just keeps them in their places in the classes, and secures votes for political parties. I’m sorry that is the way I see it. Apart from that argument I also get tired of these discussions, every time I read an interview with a woman artist or icon, feminism and things that feminism chooses to talk about are discussed. I read a recent interview where the icon got mad because of the “baby” question.  “No one asks men if they are going to have children, why the double standard”. You know, the “my body isn’t an oven” argument. Well ..no men are not asked  when they are going to have children..because men cannot produce children from their body. They ARE asked if they “would like to have a family” or “what is next” and more often than not they will say they “would like to have a family”. I don’t know…I just think some of this stuff is petty crap. I always liked Gwen Stefani, in her interviews she always said that she didn’t think about the fact that she was a girl that fronted a band….she just fronted a band and she was a girl. I think this is one reason Gwen has kept a feminine and likable quality. She didn’t set out to “compete” with men. She just did what she did. In the realms of art, most of my favorite writers and or speakers have been men, the most influential people in my personal life have been men. I think we talk too much about our divisions and competitions…not that these things should not be recognized, lets get real there are male chauvinist in this world, I have met them and dealt with them.  We don’t talk enough about relationship, and intimacy and  what all that even means. By today’s standard of feminism -or the new Wave bs I read all the time, I, as a woman should never be happy..not really. I should always be individual, be striving for something and be out there screwing with no connection, and god forbid I be screwing someone who has his own opinions about life. I mean it’s like the tables have turned and now in all honesty they want men to act like groveling subjects. I’m not into that. I DO have an opinion, and I do want to speak my mind, and not ask permission or have to say I’m sorry. I HAVE dealt with harassment, and I HAVE been emotionally abused. However; I took responsibility for making myself a victim, I spoke my mind and got out of those situations. I wont punish every man for the rest of my life for the things men in my past might have done, and I’ve met women manipulators who could give my ex-husband a run for his money. We are missing something in this dialogue because what we are fighting over is a kind of uniform existence authority. Again, on a spiritual reality, the spirit of  God moved over the waters and created the earth, He created man from the earth and took part of man and made a woman. Everything in nature has a male and female, everything in nature. We cannot survive without each other. I’m tired of the “patriarchal white god” argument propaganda. You have this side arguing for that and this other side railing constantly against it, because of years of misinterpreted scriptures. So basically two sides are fighting over an interpretation that is distorted. Everything is about relationship, and that is all through the Bible-all of it. I am a woman, I am an independent woman yes, and I am grateful to live in a country where I can get in my car and drive to Arkansas if I want to. I can go to school and fail or quit or pass if I want to. I can talk to who I want to. If I get cat calls when I am walking around the block I can kindly say “no” or I can scream like a banshee until that asshat drives away. Some things don’t warrant a big discussion in my book…just do what you do. If I wanted  to join the military I can do that. I can do anything I want to and I’m tired of corporate feminism trying to convince me that I’m under siege on a daily basis and trying to rob me of my happiness as a person-the men aren’t doing this, it’s the women. If tomorrow we all woke up in a world before feminism, before Susan B. Anthony..or in another country where we cannot show our faces…or in another world where it is NOT against the law to rape or marry a female child and we had no say-none…or what if we were not allowed to have more than one child, or any child. What if they were taken from us, or forcefully aborted? These things happen all over the world, but we are strangely quiet about all that. We want our “right” to be angry that God made us women, which represents all that man is not and therefore all that attracts a man. We have learned to hate ourselves as women…and in white western society it is the modern feminist movement that has done that….Drop any of us in another world like that and then we might have some respect and gratitude for the life we do live here, and we might take more responsibility for the battles we choose in the name of feminism…and yes I consider myself a feminist…but be warned Gloria Steinem would not define me as one. I’m not the right kind of feminist. 

if you had the influence to tell your younger self and young women today anything,what would it be? Stop worrying about what other people are thinking, most of  the time they are not thinking anything …and if they are they are sometimes worrying about the same things you are. You wont get these years again and if you waste it you will regret it. Stop looking at your microscopic zits and imaginary fat, if you can do that no one else is going to notice those things either. What you project is what you will get, even if you are not getting it now. These years will pass..breathe. 

if you could sit down with anyone for tea/coffee who would it be? 

Miranda Lambert, I think we would hit it off, and maybe I could get perspective on hook lines. I’m not good with catchy hooks you know, but she does it in such a down to earth way. 

John Trudell, a poet/ spoken word artist that I have much respect for and probably the reason I started taking my thoughts to poems seriously. Anyone that has not heard his stuff should, I think there are some playlist on spotify and once again…netflix. Fascinating person, I think that would be a very engaged meeting of the minds. And if we said anything each other didn’t agree with, well we could just leave it at that. 

 

what’s next? I’m working towards getting my bachelors. For whatever reason, I have wanted to finish it. It is in psychology, not because I want to practice psychology but because I like the subject matter. I have a math phobia though, I mean the struggle is real and is probably my only academic weakness. I think this might stall my progress for a while. Other than that…I  have some coffee and cigarettes and a lot stuff on my mind so ..there is always something next.

 

My Questions:

 

When did you first start writing?

What writers or authors have influenced you?
What writing style do you have?
If more than one, do you have more than one blog?
Are you a reader?
Favorite book?
Do you have messages you are passionate about?
Do you see your art as something that grows you as a person?
I’m more introverted, and that is where my art comes from-how about you?
Writing can be draining, how do you refuel?
If you could meet only one influence who would it be?

my nominees are:

Greyeagle News

allieowenscrockett

eyewillnotcry1973

American Elephants

The Irreducible Primary

 

 
Here are the rules

– Thank your nominator and post a link to his/her blog.

– Display the award on your blog.

– Answer the 11 questions provided by the nominator.

– Nominate 5-11 blogs which have less than 1000 followers, and let them know they’ve been nominated.

– Make up and post 11 or more questions for your nominees to answer.

– Post these rules on your blog.

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