Hello and welcome, everyone! My name is Deliah Lawrence and I'm an author, blogger, and workshop facilitator. This blog is a place where I write about my musings, my interests, my writing journey, my love of books, movies, and all things creative. So stick around, I’m sure there’ll be something you could get into!
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Interview with Diane Wilbon Parks, author of The Wisdom of Blue Apples
Author’s Bio: Diane Wilbon Parks published her second and most
recent collection of poems, The Wisdom of Blue Apples, and is one of six PG County Poets
whose poems have been highlighted in Bowie and Oxon Hill, Maryland Libraries,
Metro Building 3, and College Park Community Center for Dr. Sues’ Book
Festival. Diane is also a visual artist and is currently exhibiting her art in
Metro Building 3 in Hyattsville, and will be exhibiting her art in Oxon Hill
Library, March 2018.Diane has been a
featured poet in Washington DC, VA, and MD. Diane read at a Cultural Academy
For Excellence event with gifted musicians and award-winning poets. Diane also celebrated
reading and recording for Grace Cavalieri’s "The Poet and The Poem” at the
Library of Congress; holds a degree in Information Systems Management and is an
U. S. Air Force Veteran.
DL: What’s the
inspiration for writing your book?
DWP: Everything inspires me to write. As a poet, I hear
the world’s heart beat and have to write in cadence with it. There is a lesson
waiting on the other side of decisions, experiences, laughter, pain, etc., my
most recent book speaks to the wisdom found in the lessons of all life
I am awakened by what is
happening in the world socially, politically, spiritually; I am intrigued by
squirrels gathering acorns, the flow of rivers and the rocks that sparkle underneath
them, the melting glaciers, birds building nests from borrowed things, and new
and old relationships. I am influenced by the stories that we continue to write
from the pages of our lives – hence, the writing of the book, The Wisdom of Blue Apples.
DL:Is there any particular author or book that
influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
DWP:I would have to say that there were many authors who I’ve enjoyed
reading as I was growing up, but I don’t think that there were any direct
I still enjoy reading poems
from my favorite poets:Gwendolyn Brooks,
Franz Wright, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, and Sonia Sanchez.
Each of them found his/her voice in his/her poetry which certainly has been a
great influence in having your unique style and distinctive voice.
DL:How long did it take
to write your book?
DWP:The Wisdom of Blue Apples took about two years.
Since, I write poetry daily, it was a matter of selecting a variety of poems that
deposited a bit of wisdom, a bit of hope, some guidance, laughter,
introspection and pain. I wanted the reader to experience life, its lessons and
see wisdom and dedication in art of writing, while reading my book.
DL:Do you write with an
outline, or just let it flow organically?
DWP:Everything flows organically in my writing, I
find truth there. At times, I realize that there is pain from truth, but there
is also freedom that lives beyond your truth. I enjoy the surprises of letting
my poems write me.
DL:Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme
song for this book?
DWP:I cannot write with music. Actually, it has to be completely silent
in order for me to write. There are so many whimsical things floating around in
my head, I have to be in an isolated space, completely silent and alone when I
write. So, there is no music or theme song for my book.
DL:What are the keys to
success in marketing your book(s)?
DWP:I think that you have to be willing to introduce your book
everywhere you go. I’ve had successful book launches, was invited to book club
meetings to be the featured author, created my own book tour, continuing to
accept invites on being a featured Poet, and sharing updates on Facebook.
DL:What advice would you
give to aspiring writers?
DWP:To understand your writing style and be true to it. You will be
influenced by others, but your writing will have its own signature that will
pave roads and highways only meant for you to walk or drive.
To journal daily and read.
Whatever your genre is - research best writers in that category and learn from
them. Let those before you teach you the way. But make sure you stay true to
what your message is.
DL:How about sharing an excerpt from The Wisdom of Blue
18, 2018 marked 10 wonderful years with my writers’ critique group members (L.
Trovillion, M. Paris and S. Yanguas) aka “The Talented Scribes.” We celebrated by having dinner at a nice
restaurant and reminisced about how we started and how far we have grown as
we write in different genres of fiction (e.g. romantic suspense, young adult, chick
lit) and non-fiction, we have garnered collective strength through our love of
writing. We support and cheer each other on throughout the highs and lows of
our writing while still having fun. So,
when I recently taught the workshop “Why Joining a Writing Group Makes You a
Star!” at the Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend in Oxon Hill, MD (September
14 – 15, 2018), I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. Here
are the 7 reasons I shared with the audience why joining a writing group makes
you a star: 1.Motivation a.As
writers we tend to want to stay in our comfort zone until we get motivated to
see that magic happe…
Bio: Brenda Bunting is a socially
conscious Poet, Author, Spoken Word Artist and Workshop Facilitator. She was
the featured poet on Sojourn with Words with Poet Laureate Sistah Joy in
February 2020 on PGCTV local cable channel 76. She was the 2019 winner of the
UUCS Jazz Poetry Slam in Sterling, VA and was most recently published in, “The
Daily Abuse” Collection 2018.
A former Poet in Progress through the DC
Commission on the Arts and the Humanities she is also a life member of the
Kentucky State Poetry Society (KSPS). Brenda is a volunteer speaker for RAINN
and University of Kentucky alumna with her B.A. in English. Brenda advocates
for the therapeutic use of writing poetry for mental and emotional wellness and
healing from traumatic events. Her book, "Poems of Love and Violence In
between Life and Death 2nd Edition" is available for purchase
What are some of your reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic?BB:Well, 2020
a year of perfect vision began…
Poet’s Bio: Henry Westray, Jr. can be called the quintessential Renaissance man,
having had successful careers in a variety of areas in this country and abroad. Although he loves to write poetry and short
stories; his background includes work as an Educator, Program Administrator, Television
Host, Family Therapist, Workshop Facilitator, and has been a judge for several Miss
America Pageants.He has a B.A. Degree from
Morgan State University and a Masters Degree from Bryn Mawr College.He also completed an internship with the Harvard
School of Public Health’s Youth Violence Prevention Program.Before retiring in 2012, he served as the Director
of Youth Suicide Prevention for the State of Maryland, Chairing the Governor’s First
Commission on Suicide Prevention.
He conducts workshops and has written articles in areas such as Youth Suicide
and Violence Prevention, Race and Cultural Competence, Sexual Minority Issues, and
was commissioned by the Harvard Field Notes Journal to write the articl…