Hello and welcome, everyone! My name is Deliah Lawrence and I'm an award-winning author, blogger, and workshop facilitator. This blog is a place where I write about my musings, 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
Poet’s Bio: Poet Brenda Bunting, she/her is the author of Poems of Love and Violence In Between Life and Death (1st and 2nd editions). She is an award-winning orator whose work has appeared in numerous publications online and in print. She hosts poetry events and has been the featured poet at live events, virtually, on television, and blog radio. Brenda is a poetry workshop facilitator and spoken word artist who advocates for racial, social, and environmental justice. Brenda has a BA in English and is completing her Master of Teaching at NYU. She is a literary leader of Prince Georges County Maryland, a life member of the Kentucky State Poetry Society and certified Life Coach. Brenda is working to complete her next books of poetry. Check out her artist page on Facebook at FreeThinker Poet Deliah Lawrence: What inspired you to be a poet? Brenda Bunting: I started writing poetry when I was 12 years old, over 40 years ago. Poetry provided the creative cloak I needed to try
Author’s Bio: Diane Papalia Zappa grew up in Fort Lee, NJ, a suburb of New York City. She graduated from Vassar College in 1968 with a degree in psychology. She received her MS from West Virginia University in child development and family relations in 1970 and, in 1971, earned her PhD from WVU in life-span developmental psychology. In 1971, she joined the faculty of University of Wisconsin-Madison, attaining the rank of full Professor at the age of 30. While there, she, and co-author Sally Wendkos Olds, wrote A Child’s World (now in its 13th edition) and Human Development (in its 14th edition). In 1986, while still a professor in Madison, she met Frank Zappa’s younger brother, Bob, who was the marketing manager for one of her books. They married in 2015. She was 68 and Bob was 72. Sadly , Diane was widowed in 2018. The Married Widow , describes how their relationship endured for the more than three decades since they met and continued after his passing. It is their love story.
Author’s Bio: Cultural and commercial diplomacy are the hallmarks of Lauri Fitz-Pegado’s career in the public sector, private sector, with nonprofits and in the arts. She has worked at the Voice of America, served in the Foreign Service in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and appointed Assistant Secretary and Director General of the Foreign Commercial Service. Lauri held senior positions at Iridium and several public affairs companies. Grounded in ballet training and performance early in her life, she has returned to teaching ballet and mentoring, applying her communications and public relations skills to promoting artists, and her business and leadership experience to advising dance institutions sharing her commitment to social change, empowerment and inclusion. In Dancing in the Dash , she tells her story and the relevance to her career achievements of skills acquired through ballet training. Lauri received her M.A from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced Interna