Category Archives: Florence’s Inspirations for You

Contemporary poetry I commend to you

I have been reading poetry lately, not the Whitman, Cummings or Oliver but of contemporary poets, many of whom shared their creations first on social media before making it to traditional publication.

Who hasn’t heard of New York Times bestselling author, Rupi Kaur with Milk and Honey (2014),  her debut collection of poetry and prose collection of poems, and the recent The Sun and Her Flowers (2017).  Both books address the ebb and flow of life – triumph and loss, joy and hurt, trauma and healing – in essence tracing the universality of the human condition.

Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

Then there is the works of Lang Laev, born to Cambodian parents in a refugee camp in Thailand and raised in Sydney. She is the author of 5 collections of poems and prose, the most successful being Lullabies (2014) and Love and Misadventure (2013).  Her other collections include Memories (2015), The Universe of Us (2016) with Sea of Strangers due 9 Jan 2018.  As you may guessed from the titles of her books, Lang Laev‘s poems traced her journey in family, love and loving again. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing – her quirky sense and approach to everyday happenings.

Lang Laev, Memories

Incidentally, Lang Laev now lives in New Zealand with her partner, Michael Faudet, also a poet. I discovered Michael’s work Bitter Sweet Love (2016) separate from Lang and it was a fascinating realisation that they are partners-in-crime 🙂  Michael Faudet‘s poems and prose are confronting and verge on the sensual and erotic.  After all he does have a curated erotic Tumblr. On the personal front, Michael Faudet is a mystery in that while he is everywhere on social media, little is known of this Kiwi poet and artist. His other works include Dirty Pretty Things (2014) and Smoke and Mirrors (2017) which is on my wishlist.

Michael Faudet, Bitter Sweet Love

Michel Faber is another poet which I stumbled across in a Sydney book store, his book Undying: A Love Story (2016) that is. Award winning author of 9 other books, this is Michel Faber’s first poem collection written while accompanying his wife through her journey from diagnosis to her passing from cancer. Heart wrenching and entirely beautiful, they chronicle love and despair, anger and sorrow.

Michel Faber, Undying: A Love Story

Finally, an insightful gift Neon Soul (2017) by Alexandra Elle.  The author writes with a rebel spirit, her poems speaking of healing  and positive affirmations, instead of pain which fueled much of contemporary poems.

Alexandra Elle, Neon Soul

There you are, five poets worth checking out. especially  if you are looking for something different and/or accessible.

Enjoy!

~ FlorenceT

© 2018 LitWorldInterviews

The honesty in poetry @FTThum

My love for poetry grows… Why? The honesty to be found in each pause, the depth of emotion in each word… insight through the spoken and the unspoken.  The freedom and space for the reader to imagine a world.

Listen.

May you find your words,
– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

Florence 2

7 books to re-think Life by @FTThum

Book n coffee
My favourite things…

 

I question my life. It is what I do – not in a ‘my life sucks’ whiny way, but rather as a search for clarity and meaning, to better understand my words and deeds. And please don’t get me wrong, it is not done in an angst-filled manner either. It is reflective.

I realise I have read many books about living life… some I agreed with, others not so. All have made me pause and re-consider. These books are not ‘how-to’ books but rather books that provoke thoughts, reflection, evaluation…

I have selected 7 books from my bookshelf to share with you, in the order they were read by me to the best of my recollection 🙂 .

An aside, ever wondered why ‘7’ is so popular in Eastern and Western cultures? I have used ‘7’ because it is my favourite number. It is an auspicious number in Chinese culture symbolizing ‘togetherness’ and representing ‘yang’ or masculine energy.

Now, the books:

  1. The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck

This is a classic on confronting pain and suffering, and the significance of loving relationships.

  1. Unconditional Life by Deepak Chopra

Consolidating different disciplines from quantum physics to ancient traditions, this is an exposition of the impact of consciousness on our reality and in turn, our health and wellbeing.

  1. The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

An excerpt of the poem, The Call, from the book:

I have heard it all my life,
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
 
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
 
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that!

    4.  The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

What makes you happy? What makes you a true warrior, a champion in life? Whether you agree or not, it’s a different perspective worth considering.

  1. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Dr Gordon Livingstone

A collection of essays written by a psychiatrist, that is akin to ‘life lessons’. Definitely gets you thinking.

  1. Codes of Love by Mark Bryan

A look at the family and how it influences who we are, and how we are able to learn to re-connect with our loved ones, or gain deeper intimacy. Think your family’s normal? 😉

  1. The Good Life by Hugh Mackay

A social commentary on modern life, and in particular the Utopia complex we as a society and as individuals are buying into, by a modern philosopher. What makes a good life? A life worth living?

I hope you find little gems within the pages!

– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

Florence 2

#books #boOKs & more #BOOKS Recommendations from @FTThum

If you are in doubt as to which books (I am using plural as I presume one won’t be enough! 🙂 ) to read over the holiday season, here are some suggestions from some creative and innovative people who were presenters on the TED stage.

I have only read 5 of the many on that list, I’d better get cracking… If you wish, listen to the TED Talks of these talented people.  They seem interesting and might just inspire… I for one plan to catch up on my viewing… thus speaketh the nerd 🙂

 

OR you can browse these Lists for ‘recommendations’:

If you are into poetry or plain curious, the anthology for the 2013 Montreal International Poetry Prize Longlist is available for free download. So enjoy!

Then again, I find I spend far too much time browsing Lists, sigh!  Of course, there is the road less travelled 😉 .

Follow your heart, your intuition and have a wonderful reading experience!

 

Florence 2

 

 

@FTThum

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Living NaNoWriMo and the writer’s life

Surviving Living NaNoWriMo

 

Writing

 

I am thrilled and excited, vicariously, that is, by NaNoWriMo. Time does not permit my participation and thus prompted my thinking of time and what the participants of NaNoRiMo will be going through, which led to this post.

This is what I figure, this is a month of creating, not just the novel you are writing, but habits which will inform your writing life. So why not start as if you intend to continue.

 1        Fuel up

Let’s begin with an obvious and necessary element. Remember to eat and eat healthy. I know from personal experience, the excitement of jumping into a project first thing in the morning and before I know it, it’s way past lunch time, starving, grumpy (yep, that’s me) and less than productive.

So, take time to eat – it provides fuel to the creative mind of yours.

 

2          Rest

Have enough sleep. Not catnap (though if you need to, go for it) but solid sleep by which I mean sleep when your body requires it in uninterrupted blocks of at least 4 hours.

Optimal sleep patterns improves consolidation and organization of information. When we sleep, our amazing brain works to ‘cement’ the links and correlation of bits of information, which means for us writers, after a good night’s sleep, the way ahead becomes clearer, and it increases our capacity to re-interpret information to reach novel, non-obvious conclusions. And that my friends, is creativity.

Sleep helps us to handle stress better. Seems most appropriate for NaNoWriMo, does it not ?  🙂

 

3          Breathe

When you hit the metaphoric brick wall, or even when ideas and/or sentences are not forming as you please/wish, when you feel that frustration forming…stop. You probably know being agitated is not conducive to writing. Hitting your head against the wall can only give you a sore head… so do something else to get around that brick wall.

Stop and breathe.

I practice mindfulness. It is not so much meditation but rather a habit. It is a simple exercise but to master it requires practice.

Begin with this:- stay where you are, notice you are breathing, and focus your attention to it. Lengthen each breath … and feel the breath as you inhale and exhale.  Yes, the plot is still bugging you, the characters don’t seem right… well, let those thoughts go by and pay no attention to them, but instead on your breath for 5-10 minutes. Once you feel calm and centred, you are ready to resume.

 

4           Move

When you feel you are running out of steam, and you will no doubt during this period, move. Get up and stretch your legs. And while you are at it, don’t be a ‘walking worry’ or ‘stomping stress’. Alright, I stomp around when I am stressed, so I catch myself and re-set my system, often. Anyway, when away from the writing, go admire the flowers in your garden, frolic with the cats, cook a delicious meal savouring the aromas…do them mindfully that is, with attention. Don’t be distracted by the writing you’ve put aside intentionally.

I do mindful espresso making and drinking…there is something meditative about it. Perhaps I should clarify, I use a manual espresso machine and I love the manual process… it engages my 5 senses. Bliss! Not sure about the movement part except I do walk around my home with the cup of espresso, surveying my domain :-).

Any movement, large or small, re-energises.

 

5          Socialise

For this month while it may seem counter-intuitive given you have to write 50,000 words, it is probably more important that you take time to engage with your community.

Connect with your fellow writers, within or away from NaNoWriMo. By all means talk about what you are doing, discuss your frustration or your ideas… Writers have always had communities. When we hang around each other, we get inspired, we feel a sense of solidarity and identity…it is in communities that ideas are generated and shaped.

Creativity takes shape in a social context, focused socialisation sparks creativity.

So, remember to spend time with your writing friends.

 

LIVE this month of NaNoWriMo as a writer would, don’t just survive :-).

Enjoy, revel and flourish!

 

Wishing you well
– Florence

 

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Get INSPIRED by Authors who Know.

 

Stuck for ideas? Words not flowing? Need a break? Or some good old inspiration?

What better inspiration than a series of talks about the process of writing and what it means to write.

Here is the link to a TED playlist of 10 talks from authors like Isabel Allende and Melissa Gilbert, speaking about

  • creativity, passion, and the process of writing,
  • the power of language and narrative in writing,
  • the importance of contemplation and reflection to a writer’s life,
  • the bane of every writer’s life (at one point or another) – fear and doubt, and how to channel them,
  • the inextricable link between art and living, and the creative life.

Hope you find them inspirational, or at the least, entertaining.

Enjoy!

– Florence

 

 

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