“What are you reading?”

“Are you still writing?”

Hello Authenticitee Speaks Family!

I am incredibly grateful to those of you who reach out to check on me, when my blog goes mute. Yes; I’m still a reader with a voracious appetite and a consistent writer.

As I’ve said before, sharing in this space is inherently different than any of my other platforms. It’s more intimate and incredibly close to my heart. I’m constantly amazed that new followers are still joining me in this space almost everyday!! Thank you for being here. I’m humbled by your presence.

“What are you reading?”

I’ve been reading the book Dying To Be Free – A Healing Guide For Families After A Suicide by Beverly Cobain (cousin of Nirvana’s late lead singer Kurt Cobain) and Jean Larch.

It’s an extremely heartfelt and at times a graphic portrayal (trigger warning*methods) of those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.

I definitely without hesitation recommend this book for those who have personally lost a loved one to suicide or to others like myself called to raise awareness.

“Are you still writing?”

Absolutely!

I definitely don’t post as much and consistently delete and archive my Instagram posts as usual because I bore very easily. It’s my personal preference to prune what I post quite frequently actually. Here’s a few recent pieces:

Love. I still believe.

Thanks for stopping by today and showing love, reading, sending messages and covering me in prayer!

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance.

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As my Writer Crush Series comes to a close this 30th of September 2018, I take a moment to pause and reflect on the priceless moments experienced during this journey.

I have been so overwhelmed by the love and support of the Instagram Writing Community and fellow WordPress bloggers; that creating a platform where writers can meet other writers through this series just felt natural.

Engaging with countless poets, writers, artists, authors, photographers, entrepreneurs and fellow creatives has been an integral part of my life for almost 4 years. My words have literally traveled across continents and kissed the earth of places my feet have yet to trod. It’s been an unexpected blessing and honor to work with some of the best talent in the world.

My final featured poet in this series is an absolutely breathtaking writer.

I genuinely believe that her gift of writing is divine. Her words have encapsulated some of the most precious and richest moments life has to offer. And in addition to her complete understanding of the complexities embedded in the heart of poets, she is full of love.

Her love is further empowered by her desire to see the manifestation of love’s healing properties in the lives of others.

Meet Sana A. Rashid…

My name is Sana Akhtar Rashid and I am a 26 year old female British Pakistani. I am a primary school teacher, teaching children (who are 10-11 years old) a range of subjects. My career as a teacher has allowed me to progress quickly and for a few years I have been an English Leader at my school too. This job is wonderful and includes; ensuring a range of reading books are available in classes, English lessons are engaging, and eventually children feel they have the skills to continue their interest in writing professionally when they move to secondary school, college, University etcetera.

In addition to my career as a teacher, I have a love for writing, which is demonstrated in my professional life- but also my personal life too. The art of writing for me progressed in July 2015 when I began my Instagram page ‘@sana.a.rashid’. The purpose behind the account was really simple- I simply wanted to express my thoughts on a range of things. My best friend at the time encouraged me to present my thoughts through this platform; as I was filling most conversations with my deep thoughts and (after a great deal of hesitation) I finally plucked up the courage and went for it. Over time, my writing style became more distinctive and my interest in poetry grew. Writing multiple times in the day, and reading encouraging comments after I posted my material, was crucial in continuing my writing journey. Therefore, after 3 years of writing on my Instagram account, I continue to post my poetry online to this present day.

My poetry content and style varies,and I believe it is constantly shifting because my emotions change. For me, poetry requires feeling and it is a perfect way of channeling the words of the heart. When I write, I don’t think too much about the length of the poem, or the rhyme, or the stanzas, I let the mind and heart sync so that the feeling, whether it be happiness, sadness, guilt, excitement, sorrow etc is relayed onto a blank page. It is feeling the poem should convey, so I avoid the technicalities of the poems’ structure and let the feelings take precedence.

I have noticed that my poems relate to love, empowerment, feminism, dreams, belonging and personal identity too. The latter is as a result of my ethnicity as a Pakistani. Growing up in England, I was not Pakistani enough when I visited Pakistan and I wasn’t English enough when going about my day- to- day life in England. There were occasions when racist incidents occurred over the years, aimed at my parents, which made me question ‘belonging’ and who I was. I realise there will always be some (what I hope are) in minority groups who will always demean others based on their colour, race, religion, but what is important is that positivity remains with the belief that hate towards others because of skin will cease to exist… One day in the near future. This moves me on to hope. Sometimes my poetry sounds dreamy, my writing refers to things that may not be, but it would be wonderful if it could be.

I have always wanted to be a teacher, and this dream has been achieved. Another dream of mine was to write a poetry book. This is another dream which is drawing near completion. I am in the final stages of re-drafting and editing my book. I want to release something that I am proud of and which represents me. However, I am my greatest critic, which is why the editing change is taking alot longer than I had anticipated. Soon, I will be contacting a few publishers and then the process of book publishing will begin.

The only active social media platform I use is Instagram. I am hoping my poetry book will be out in 2019.

e speaks…

You are absolutely fascinating Sana. How has being a teacher impacted your style of writing?

Sana speaks…

Since I was young, especially a bilingual teenager, I struggled with grammar. As a result of that, I wasn’t exactly presented with opportunities to build on my skills, and develop my understanding of grammar. It is only when I decided to become a teacher that I developed a love for writing. I had to read books, which would engage the children I taught, and eventually (through teaching), I was able to teach the art of the English language. Regularly, for the last 5 years of my career, I had to write passages, either in the form of short stories, diary entries, poems as example texts to support the learning of my students. Through regular writing in lessons, and reading, I have continued to consistently write in my own time, and trial different styles of writing too.

e speaks…

How have you found your voice in the midst of life’s most difficult challenges?

Sana speaks…

I think as individuals we tend to put aside things that sometimes hurt us. We tend to pretend it never happened, or that it doesn’t affect us, when in actual fact it affects us more than we realise. Running away from certain feelings and emotions, could be considered as a way of ‘dealing’ with the problem. However, I believe it is important to address it.

I have not always felt like I had a voice, or even a voice that mattered. I have felt an inferior, and therefore overcoming this mindset has taken years. Writing has allowed me to channel thoughts freely, because when a person reads words, they read for meaning. The reader never sees a colour, race, religion in front of them, but words. Poetry provided me with an outlet to address my feelings, my experiences, and my hopes for the future. Eventually, my poetry highlighted how I had a yearning for equality.  Equality, regardless of colour. Equality, regardless of gender. Equality, across the width and breath between each fold of humanity.

e speaks…

What would you say to writers who struggle with being consistent in both writing and sharing their writing?

Sana speaks…

I would say reading is really helpful. Over time, you will realise the style of writing you like, and you will start experimenting with such a style yourself. When it comes to writing, there is no right or wrong thing–you write what you feel. You write a message you want to convey. There are stories, poems, lessons, bursting in every single one of us, and I completely believe that anyone can become a writer if they believed in themselves.

In regards to sharing writing, there are a few things I have recognised over time. It is good to share your writing on a social media platform daily, or every few days a week, as it allows new readers to reach your content. This also acts as a reminder to write too, because after all–with no written material, you can’t share writing exactly, right? Over time, your readers can share what they liked or interpreted from your writing, and eventually when it comes to publishing then you already have a ‘fan’ base.

Sharing content carries risks too. When material is shared online, there is a risk of plagiarism. Moreover, poems might be shared, but not credited to you. Sometimes readers may find inspiration from your writing, and write a poem very similar to your own, and change the odd word. These are a few drawbacks of sharing content that I have noted, as I have personally experienced them.

I think the most important thing to remember is that writing is an art. There are times you will want to share your work, other times when you will want to withhold your writing. Social media doesn’t always value art, and artists therefore followings, and likes shouldn’t detract from your love for writing. Always write for you. Write from your heart. More importantly, believe in your writing.

e speaks…

You mentioned how your best friend encouraged you to join Instagram and how encouraging comments played a role in inspiring you. How important would say community is and what are your thoughts on the Instagram Writing Community as a whole?

Sana speaks…

Encouragement is so crucial. If a person is reminded everyday of how they can succeed then this fills them with determination to achieve. The Instagram writing community has been very supportive for me, and I can’t stress how much I appreciate published writers, and poets who read my work regularly. Seeing their love, and their understanding of my content, as well as the message that underlies it, makes me smile.

e speaks…

When I learned you were writing a book I couldn’t stop smiling I was so happy! As writers, our words are our legacy. Sana, what do you want your legacy to be?

Sana speaks…

I want Pakistani women to feel that they can do whatever they want to. Cultural expectations sometimes limit women, and therefore careers can’t always be perused, which is a huge shame.

I would like my work to add to the rising growth of female BAME writers. There is an under representation of female writers from this community, and as a British Pakistani, I think it is because there haven’t been enough opportunities presented to these women. It is important that books are written from a range of perspectives, from a range of cultures and backgrounds – otherwise books become limited and restricted in a sense, and don’t offer a portal to so many other worlds, which are still going unheard today. These voices, these words, these stories are so important to be heard.

e speaks…

My heart is so full. It is brimming with joy and a deep well of gratitude to Sana and every single writer that has blessed this series. To every person who has read, shared and taken the time to support myself and those featured in this space, THANK YOU FOREVER.

Remember to visit Sana A. Rashid on Instagram by clicking here and thank me later!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Sana A. Rashid and the photographers who took the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m a huge fan. There. I said it. And if you’ve not yet met her, you’ll understand why. Presenting to some and introducing to others, our Instagram Writing Community Resident Anomaly: Printed CED.

Printed CED speaks…

It’s so funny I feel like talking about myself is one my talents and one of my downfalls. I spent a lot of time just thinking about what to say about myself, how to summarize and I honestly didn’t think of anything grand. I feel like personally and professionally I’ve always struggled with the boundary of being honest, open, vulnerable and being overexposed. When I first started my Instagram page I was completely anonymous, no pictures, video, I didn’t even reveal my sex or allow those I knew to follow me. In the thin veil of mystery I felt protected, free to express my thoughts without a pre conceived notion. I certainly would not have done something like this. But I do feel that part of sharing is allowing yourself to be slightly exposed. I feel that’s where you develop true connections, so here we are.

I won’t reveal my name but many call me CED “seed”. I started writing when I was eight, it really helped me to cope growing up in troubled circumstances. I was raised in the Northwest, some of my favorite memories are writing surrounded by nature, escaping the noise and embracing my feelings. I felt safest in pen hidden away in a stack of pages… again that boundary. I was always the shy, awkward kid growing up, probably because I walked around with a journal and ate lunch in the library. Haha. But once I really started embracing who I am I was able to come out of my shell(mostly). I started sharing my work as a teenager and I was successful with it but honestly I just thought of it completely different back then. Now I see how much it’s given me and I appreciate it more. I always felt I failed to communicate and with writing I finally felt I could make myself clear and that is an incredible feeling. What was even more rewarding was finding an outlet that not only I could freely express myself but I could connect with other people that could relate to my experiences. Now that’s art.

e speaks…

I too can relate to finding that balance; often referring to myself as an extrovert with very strong introvert tendencies.

Printed CED speaks…

Glad you can relate. I definitely would never refer to myself as an extrovert but everyday I try to become more and more extroverted. I try to push myself to step out of my comfort zone.

e speaks…

It was great to connect a face with your poetic prowess. But what wooed you to anonymity and released you to step out of the shadows?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Honestly, a lot of it was insecurity. I also wanted a safe place where I could express myself unguardedly without any predisposition. I suppose I became more comfortable with the idea of letting people closer to me. I found it easier to connect with others being a little bit more visible not to say I don’t still guard many things. I still don’t talk about my personal life such as my name or personal details but I do feel I found a better balance. Not to say there hasn’t been many successful Anonymous writers this is just something that was a natural progression for me.

e speaks…

One of the thing I’ve admired most about your writing is your ability to say so much in so few words. It’s as though you have in depth internal dialogue and methodically give the reader glimpses. It’s a gift in my opinion.

Printed CED speaks…

That is incredibly sweet and I’m humbled by your compliment, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described quite that way but I definitely have an internal dialogue but I’m not sure I would call it methodical. I really don’t have a writing process I just write what I’m feeling in the moment especially when I’m overwhelmed by that feeling. I’m a highly emotional person and I’m very introverted for me sharing my writing is a way to get out of my head.

e speaks…

The idea of your eating lunch in the library at so young an age speaks volumes about your charm. No food allowed yet eating there is a renegade move, yet at you were surrounded by millions of words speaking though silenced by the safety of pages. It speaks of strength to me.

Printed CED speaks…

Ha. You make it sound so beautiful but I definitely was no Renegade I was bullied a lot and I used it as an escape. I will say I never realized that those moments of feeling so weak would later make me feel strong.

e speaks…

You exude strength. When do you feel strongest?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you, I’ll admit I don’t always feel strong. For me strength is practice, it’s the repetition of behaviors and choices. I will say over the last few years I’ve liberated myself in many ways and that has lended to my strength, just simply accepting myself and my experiences the good and the bad makes me feel stronger. Hmm as far as when I feel strongest that’s definitely when I’m writing, alone, facing my emotions and myself boldly. I feel like over the years my writing has taught me so many things about myself and allowed to better my relationship with myself. What’s been amazing is being able to share my writing and having others connect to those feelings as well. That’s the gift I think. 🙂

e speaks…

I love that you started to share your singing on Instagram! It felt like a treat! Your eyes tell a story long before you speak. Which format seems to help you express yourself best? The written word, spoken word or songs and why?

Printed CED speaks…

Thank you! Sharing my singing on Instagram has definitely been fun. I’ve always wanted to do it but I never thought I was a strong singer and honestly I still don’t but it’s fun and it’s a really satisfying way to share my work. I think music is a beautiful way to connect with others and it allowed me to connect with a whole different set of people making my reach a bit more dynamic. I love all of them! Written word spoken word and songs I couldn’t possibly pick… next I want to start exploring more visual forms of expression such a short videos with an emphasis on cinematography.

e speaks…

Congratulations on your debut book Little Obsessions and Delusions! What are a couple of your favorite pieces and why?

Printed CED Speaks…

Thank you so much, I’m excited to eventually release a full book and I’m very proud of what I’ve already released. Little Obsessions and Delusions means a lot to me. It’s hard to pick favorites but Heed and Submit are both very emotional pieces for me, sometimes my voice still shakes when I read the words because I feel so attached to them. I really found myself, good and bad at that time in my life (when I wrote them) and it’s something I’ll always be appreciative of.

e Speaks…

What would you tell the younger writer in you to do differently, if anything?

Printed CED Speaks…

I would tell the younger me to believe in myself, have faith In others and except what comes to me. 

e speaks…

An exclusive I tell you! CED thank you sooo much for sharing your truth in this space!! Be sure to get your copy of “Little Obsessions and Delusions” on Amazon everyone! I got mine!

Click here to read more of Printed CED’s work on Instagram!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Printed CED. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blessed day Queen…”

Jomo aka @Morprophet is an integral part of our Instagram Writing Community. A gifted writer and long time supporter of @AuthenticiteeSpeaks, he was the first man to call me ‘Queen’ online.

I couldn’t figure out why it sounded honest when he addressed me as such. Like hearing a hit song over and over again, the terms “King” and “Queen” are favored until the hype fizzles. Overused and oftentimes perfunctory they lose their luster and feel disingenuous. But when Jay aka Jomo spoke, greeting every woman the same way, it sounded different because he was different. It wasn’t until much later that God would give me revelation about his voice.

God revealed Jomo’s strength came from having survived many a storm; some, a result of his own choices. God gave me a peace that he was a gentleman. A kind man with pure motives. A man that God could trust. A man who had earned the moniker: King.

Jomo speaks…

My name is Jomo Moore also know to many as Morprophet through my gift of writing on instagram @Morprophet and to a close few as Murph. I was born and raised in the beautiful country of Trinidad and Tobago which the smaller island Tobago is my place of birth.

I came to America shortly after completing my studies at the high school level at the age of sixteen. Which was one of my best decisions because I’m now the head of a beautiful family. Which consists of my wife, son and two daughters. I’m a certified truck driver trainer and window tinter by trade but I also try to spread my wings in other areas as real estate to name one in which I’m a landlord. I love writing, gaming and the ocean – not just the shoreline but the deep; whether I’m swimming, in a little boat or a cruise ship I feel at home. My choice of music or should I say my favorite genres are Calypso, Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Rap and old R&B.

e speaks…

Wow thank you so much for being here! I am definitely a HUGE fan of your range as a writer!

Tell me more about your style of writing.

Jomo speaks…

My style of writing. I know of no other way to describe it other than passionate because when I write I put my soul into every word. I know that seems to be what most say but I truly do and so much that I said it all in these two lines in my poem titled Naked “ When you read if you can’t feel me in what I write. I plead with you to be blind to these words that I write”.

e speaks…

What are two of your favorite pieces that you’ve written and why?

Jomo speaks…

Two of my favorite pieces. Queen I’m not sure I could honestly choose one over the other to fall under the title of favorite because I put my all into each piece but I can give you two pieces and my reasons for writing them.

One is called How Did I Get Here? and the other is I Am Morprophet. How Did I Get Here was written as a poem. Which turned into a six piece series. I first wrote which is now the second insert of the series as a lone piece. After completing it as I have done many times before I read it to a friend for his critique. When I was done reading he said nothing. I waited for a bit then said, “say something already!” He replied, “I was waiting for you to finish. What happened before and after? It’s not finished. I know you can do better than this.” So I went on and wrote the other five parts that turned a poem into a short story.

Now the next piece I Am Morprophet was triggered or should I say was in response to a comment on another piece I wrote titled Hush Money. When I read the comment and realized whom it was from I was disappointed not because they disagreed with what I said. That’s their right but because they suddenly became a lie to me. Showing me that their garments were not a representation of who I thought they were but nothing more than a fashion statement.

e speaks…

Who/What influences you most as a writer? What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned as a writer?

Jomo speaks…

My greatest influence as a writer is life and some of my greatest lessons as a writer are to never force write or force a piece because if you do it will never be as great as it should’ve been. Always be truthful regardless if it’s your truth or someone else’s because there is someone that needs to come face to face with their truth whether good or bad.

e speaks…

Are you still working on your book? Tell me more about it!

Jomo speaks…

Yes I am slowly. It’s going to consist of short stories and poems. Few pieces that I’ve posted will be included but the majority will be of pieces I have in my vault and the rest which more than a few are still in my soul just waiting to be inked.

e speaks…

And it will be worth the wait I am sure! Thank you so much for being here Jomo! Be sure to support Jomo by visiting his Instagram page!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Jomo Moore. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I study the writers I choose to feature. It’s important to me to marinate in the pauses between their words. Words are powerful and those who are not afraid to stretch them beyond their original intent fascinate me. Kindra Austin is not afraid and she fascinates me.

Previously unfamiliar with Kindra’s work, I couldn’t have been more thrilled when she was recommended by one of my favorite poets; Devereaux Frazier! I had the honor of interviewing Devereaux a few months ago; so I knew I was in for a treat. Wise beyond his years he has a mature palate and sure enough the strength of Kindra’s gift “had me at hello”.

Kindra speaks…

Kindra M. Austin is an indie author from Chesaning, Michigan, USA. Her debut novel, “Magpie in August” was published in April, 2017, and her book of poems and prose, “Constant Muses” followed in December. Other publications include several poems featured on SpillWords, and an essay advocating for LGBTQ rights, printed in the Mansfield Pride magazine. She is currently working on a second collection of poetry and prose, and a novella (“For You, Rowena”) to be released at the end of August.

Austin has been writing for over twenty years. In 2008, she began blogging under different pseudonyms while briefly moonlighting as a writer/editor/internet radio personality. She’s the founder of Poems & Paragraphs, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective (Sudden Denouement Publishing), including Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Later this month, she will launch a blogsite as a companion to her infant imprint, called One for Sorrow. Austin’s goal is to one day own and operate her own micro-press.

e speaks…

Tell me a bit more about “Magpie in August”. I’m interested not only in the backdrop and title choice but also the journey that led you to taking the leap from writer to indie author!

Kindra speaks…

Magpie in August is the narrative of Magpie Carey, a young woman on a soul searching journey. Her little sister Renny (Wren) died at the age of ten—she drowned in Lake Huron on her birthday. Every August, Magpie and her mother travel to Tawas, Michigan, to spend the anniversary of Renny’s death at the lake. Magpie despises the lake, and blames herself for Renny’s death. At its core, this novel is about forgiveness, and accepting the truth.

The concept for Magpie was piloted by my relationship with my mother. In 2012, she moved back home to Michigan from Texas, where she’d lived for twelve years. Her return was an adjustment for me, as I had to relearn how to function with an alcoholic mother living within close proximity to me. I began writing about my feelings towards her, and memories of my childhood. It seemed natural to turn these writings into a memoir, however, I began asking myself questions, and playing with ideas: What would someone else have done in my stead? What if my mother had made different decisions? How many others out there have lived lives similar to mine? It took a couple of years for the story of Magpie and her family to take real shape, and I didn’t sit down seriously to write it until mid-2014. I self-published in April, 2017.

e speaks…

As a poet, which of your earlier pieces resonates most with you and how would you say your voice has changed, if at all?

Kindra speaks…

Eternally October

In his dreams, she dances

In and out of shadow and luminescence.

Her liquescent movements are reminiscent

Of a languid flame that once danced for the rose candle,

Which now sits cold, useless—

Dead since late October.

He breathes deeply scents of

Sandalwood and rose, the essence of her hair.

He tastes the redolence of gin and tonic,

And the tang of menthol ciggies cleaving to her tongue—

Senses living, ever

Lasting in October.

He hears her breath, rhythmic

Against a backdrop of fall rain. Soft sputters

Splatter gently upon the cold windowpane—

The melody of October unjust, justified.

Song of amour, ever

Low, ever fleeting…

He awakes in the night.

She is there in the black, low-slung and callous—

Phantom in the guise of a satellite,

Casting her hateful white light through the thin window shade,

Ever mocking, ever

Static in October.

© Kindra M. Austin 2016

This poem was written after a terrific break-up, and published a few years later on Poems & Paragraphs. I believe my voice has since grown steelier, darker, and more self-aware. I now write mostly in first person, as I have shed much of my shame—I’m no longer afraid to speak my truths.

e speaks…

What a stunning piece! I applaud your confidence as you walk in your truth!

So I love your aspirations of owning and operating a micro press but can’t say it’s a term I was familiar with until now. Does entrepreneurship come natural to you or do find that as a creative the need to develop business savvy is inevitable along the way?

Kindra speaks…

The answer is both. And both are necessary to the indie author, whether their goal is to own a press/imprint, or not. It takes an entrepreneurial mind-set just to promote, market, and manage royalties/expenses.

e speaks…

Finally, what advice would you give to new writers? Especially those trying to decide if their writing is just a hobby or some thing worth exploring beyond an occasional poem here and there?

Kindra speaks…

To those writers who question whether or not their writing is more than a hobby, I pose these questions:

1. Do you feel a sense of incompleteness, stress, or any other uncomfortable emotion if you’ve gone more than a couple of days without writing?

2. Do you often find yourself thinking about writing while you’re working, or involved with other activities?

If your answer to either of these questions is no, then you are most likely a hobby writer.

My advice to writers who have big goals:

1. Write. A lot.

2. Write your own truths, and don’t bend to fads.

3. Read. A lot.

5. Open yourself to experimentation. Sometimes it takes a while to discover your voice/style.

6. Grow comfortable with editing.

7. Interact with other writers—join a writing community and build relationships.

8. If you want to see your writing in book form someday, build a platform.

9. Don’t write for accolades alone. If you do, you will lose your truth. No one likes a pretentious prick.

e speaks…

Thank you for being here Kindra!! Be sure to support Kindra by visiting the following sites:

https://poemsandparagraphs.com/

https://indieblu.net/

https://suddendenouement.com/

https://suddendenouementpublications.com/

https://bloodintoinkpressblog.wordpress.com/

https://whisperandtheroar.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kindra.m.austin1978/

https://www.instagram.com/kindra_m_austin/

https://twitter.com/@AustinKindra/

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Kindra Austin. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

He was recommended by previously featured wordsmith anomaly Ilona Gaspar. A woman I found so fascinating, I interviewed her on my former Inspiration With E radio show. So I readied myself to read the work of someone whose pen embodied great depth and I must say; David Thomas of Instagram’s Unsociable Dave, did not disappoint.

ELECTRONIC PRAYER

Realise

Your craving heart

Will crumble to dust

Along with all those things

You hold so tight inside.

Sinuous roots cling

To the fear of the past

Tendrils of assumed strength

A constraining anchor.

Sloped shoulders carry

The burden of woes

Dragging dead weight

Sandbag feet hauled

Across parched earth

Losing sight of the wonders

That you are here to witness.

Naive eyes fixated upon

Wealth, success, image.

A thrashing feeding frenzy

Of starving egos

Piranhas, hysterical

In the bloodied waters

Of digital illusions

Craving chaotic attention.

Young souls enticed

By lies of the new paradigm

Hunger for untrodden

Instant hit, quick fix

Social media circus.

Numbers, numbers, numbers

Oled halogen flat widescreen

Existence in virtuality.

Force fed subtle lies

Swallowed down

Through dilated eyes

Diving into the matrix

Deep in electronic prayer

Searching for a sense

Of enlightenment.

Knowledge

Is not

Wisdom.

He speaks…

I was born under the grey skies of the north east coast of England, longer ago than i care to admit. My family life was a bit of a mess and i grew up pretty introverted and stupidly rebellious. I have always been a bit of an outsider, misunderstood and pretty self destructive, throw in a big bunch of anxieties and good old depression and here i am, struggling to find balance and happiness in a world that is dangerously off kilter.

I’ve always been a lover of words, my mother always encouraged me to read and i have written in one form or another for most of my life but returning to poetry after an extended hiatus felt very natural, although i never imagined I’d ever show anyone.

I enjoy the aesthetic of well crafted sentences and see my writing as pictures painted with words. I write meditatively, and i rarely approach a subject, the subject approaches me, i often don’t know what I’ve written until i stop writing, of course i then spend days tweaking and editing until i feel comfortable with it. I feel it is a purging of my subconscious, allowing me to discover myself, as corny as that sounds, and it is my therapy.

e speaks…

A therapy I believe he wants to share. Needs to share. Called to share.

TODAY

Today

The sun barely awoke

In the dull off-white

Bedcovers of the sky

That fell across

Wet mud, dead grass

Yellowed and trodden.

Soft earth beneath

These weary feet

Could barely support

The tracks left

In passage

Nor the weight

Of the motionless

Heavens that bear

The solitary

White disc

A tempered eye

A memory of hope

Wandering between

Hoary stratus pillows

Without concern

For such trivialities

As simple beings

That draw life

From its waning heat.

As the shimmering falls

With countless

Deathly crystals

Spinning swirling

In the centre

Of the ashen despair

I beg of you

Hold on.

The day

Is dark enough

Without another loss

The world needs

Your warmth.

I need your

Light.

Today.

e speaks…

Do you have a topic that is most close to your heart as writer? And if so why?

He speaks…

I write a lot about depression, self doubt and anxiety, my biggest trigger has always been loss, so it tends to veer in that direction, goodbyes and solitude are prevalent themes. I was diagnosed bi-polar in my 20s but the medicine didn’t suit me so i decided to try to deal with my issues rather than hide from them. I’m in a better place now but it’s taken a long time, the lows still happen and writing through these periods helps me understand what’s going on in my head. I think that these negative states of mind need to be discussed, there are too many people who feel isolated and alone, too many people who don’t understand their feelings and think they are the only one going through it. I can’t give answers or comfort, but i can give my story, and hopefully that might help.

e speaks…

As a writer, do you feel as though reading the work of others inspires or hinders you at times?

He speaks…

To be honest, i don’t read as much as i should. When i was younger i used to read a lot of horror and fantasy novels, Stephen King touches a part of my psyche that fills me with unease, as do Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman, i like that feeling, I’d love to be able to touch upon the primal darkness that they do so well. These days i read more philosophical works, such as Osho and Alan Watts, they definitely influence my writing and my life, in a positive manner.

As far as poetry is concerned i try to avoid the clichés, they creep in more often than I’d like, but i suppose reading other peoples poetry gives me some kind of measure of where i do and don’t want to go with my writing. I can’t say that reading other people’s work has ever hindered me, i think that all experiences can be inspirational on some level, especially when we can relate to them.

e speaks…

I believe healing comes in many forms. Which of the pieces you’ve written has brought you the most comfort?

He speaks…

There are several pieces which are very dear to me, they may seem desolate and dark but they are commentaries on my state of mind at the time. However, the one that holds the most comfort for me is a piece called “Rot”. It is inspired by the period of life before i knew the terms “depression” and “anxiety”. I was very self-destructive and hid from myself behind drink and drugs in my search for escape, for happiness, for some sense of peace and balance. Of course the drugs really only exacerbated my issues, cheap, nasty chemicals that left me utterly empty inside. I had barely had enough money to eat, and i was living in a state of mental flux, they were dark times for me. Reading it back now allows me to peer over the edge of the chasm in safety, a reminder of how far i have come, and how far there is to fall before i hit rock bottom.

e speaks…

Finally, as I gift you with one of my favorite pieces written by David and continue to savor all that he has shared, I want to pause to honor his transparency. There are many who can relate to his story but will never speak of it. Some because they are quiet and others because they have been silenced. Thank you David allowing the fullness of your freedom to liberate others.

HERITAGE

Push back the world.

Spread those vast wings

That you have hidden

In the folds of your fabric

Lifetime after lifetime

And cloak the infinite sky

That draws every heart

And transfixes every dreamer

Who dares to meander

Into those hypnotic heavens.

Ebonise the raging sun

With the dark portentous grace

And thunderous voice

Of an angelic heritage

It is time to peel back

The slumbering lids

Of the lower waveforms

Awaken them from their comas.

Unplug the derelict children

From this deceitful machine

That restricts their minds

And watch them stumble

Into the bright unknown.

Enshroud this paradigm

In your golden divinity

Wrap us in your immortal reality.

You have the power within.

It is true.

It is you.

Forevermore.

e speaks…

Thank you for being here David!! Be sure to follow David on Instagram @unsociabledave for more riveting writing!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All poetry, excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of David Thomas. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“My name is Jessica Saunders, everything Libra, financial educator and author.

I’m from Toronto, Ontario, and raised by women.”

e speaks…

And that’s when my world expanded into something even more beautiful. I began to scroll through Jessica’s Instagram timeline and found myself laced throughout her pieces. She encompasses power, ingenuity and all things woman. And her words…her words stir the reader to do the same.

I think my favorite take away from Jessica’s style of writing is that she gives you permission to feel. There are some pieces that resonated with me more than others; though I wish they hadn’t. #MeToo is more than a hashtag or millennial movement. My ability to relate should only be considered a gentle nod to a fellow survivor. For I think it is an extreme disservice to claim complete identification with anyone’s unfortunate happenstance. As much as we are different we are the same. As much as we are the same we are intricately different…and there is strength in that.

More than anything; it is a fine line that must be honored.

I honor you Jessica Saunders and every Jessica Saunders that has yet to find her voice.

Recommended by an extremely supportive and seasoned poet in the Instagram Writing community, Cheryl Schilling; I couldn’t wait to learn more about Jessica!

Jessica speaks…

My book Second Chances, is a piece of me within each page. It’s a novel based on a journey of a sexual assault, vile romance, romance, heart break, need of self-love, fighting depression and anxiety. Courage of self-determination and development as a woman to grow and become a better person for oneself.

Three part series to come.

This book leads into Love Notes, which describes a real romantic relationship of complex and raw, passionate love in various areas.

e speaks…

I can really hear your heart in your description of Second Chances. What gave you the courage to write your book and see it through to completion?

Jessica speaks…

When writing my book Second Chances, I must say, I fell through the cracks of courage more than once. Truly, what helped me see it through completion was the chance to reach out to people, let them know through all various aspects of life no matter what happens, they’re not alone.

Women, like men, keep a lot to themselves and keep secrets from even their closest friends and loved ones. This book takes you from what women feel are their possible lowest ends and let’s you see through a possibility of a new life. Give others courage to stand up for themselves and face society on multiple levels.

e speaks…

Is there a brief excerpt that resonates with you and why?

Jessica speaks…

My life is on these pages but if I had to pick one excerpt it would be page 267, “My entire life all I’ve heard is, to stay pretty and remind strong. As if women like me weren’t supposed to read books and conquer mountains.”.

This piece has always been one of my favorites because I find unwavering truth behind the words women hear daily. Women, still fight for their rights to be identified as intelligent and self-sufficient without a partner. Our body image and partner is irrelevant to our capabilities and I hope women will seek their innermost desires and achieve their goals and dreams.

e speaks…

I love the idea of a three part series for the novel! Any advice for new writers on how to know when to consider a series in lieu of “saying it all in one breath”?

Jessica speaks…

If I could speak out to any writers, I would tell them I cannot give you the best advice as I am still improving and growing. There is no right or wrong way and if you have a passion or a story you believe someone should know, put it out there and don’t give up on it!

Thank you Jessica for stopping by!

You can email Jessica to learn more or read more of her stunning work by visiting her website.

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All poetry, excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Jessica Saunders. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

thief

i was aloof.

thought love and lust were the same

that passion and persistence

insured mutual affection

was paying him no mind

he was a married big brother in the Faith

but here he was in the church hallway

telling me about the perfect discoloration

of my lips in front of others

the look on his face when he realized

i had never noticed or even thought about

it challenged me

surely you knew that

he smirked

surely i should’ve known that

i thought

maybe that’s the day when everything

changed well one of many

the day a grown man taught

fully clothed 19 yr old self

that I had superpowers

minus the cape

************************************

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Featured Image: Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

When I’m into a book. It goes everywhere with me. I intentionally pace myself when arrested by strong lines and reading Sips of Poetry with KI was no different.

Ki (pronounced Kai) considers herself an introvert whose voice speaks volumes through her pen. I came across her work as a fellow writer in Instagram’s writing community. She was always very different. Her kindness and sincerity was apparent on every post and with every comment. It was as though she too, cared more about the person behind the post than product of the pen itself.

A woman who deeply loves family, she even shares creative space with her brother in Sips of Poetry with KI.

Often referencing the sweet and at times sour intricacies of romantic relationships, the book takes a turn as she shares a very personal and powerful moment with her readers:

I felt honored to hold this book. It felt like a labor of love and the first of many to come. You too can hold this in your hands and catch the heartbeat of this beautiful soul. For purchase inquiries: Visit her on Instagram @waves_of_rae or email kileo@bourbonwhiskeyandink.com.

All photos and photographic content used in this piece are the sole property of Ki Leo. No copyright infringement intended.

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you are new here, WELCOME! I could not help but notice the sudden influx of a few new faces! I would love to hear your story, a little about your blog and how you discovered Authenticitee Speaks!

I’ve thrown Blog Parties in the past and found it to be a wonderful opportunity for bloggers to meet one another. Though Authenticitee Speaks has been an awards free blog for a couple of years, I still remember my first nomination! Blog Awards are also a great way to discover great writing. So feel free to share, reblog and invite others! Don’t be shy. Thank you for stopping by!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

e