Me: That wicked witch Kerry says I have to interview someone for Toads. (extensive whining edited out.) Are you game?
Susie: Sure, I'm game... :-)
Me: Cool beans. Okay, Ms. Laundry Goddess...(I love your blog's name, by the way. Divinity, domesticity, and true confessions all wrapped together. What's not to like?)...I'd like to know, what got you started with blogging, and what does it mean to you? What does it bring into your life?
Susie: I started blogging seriously the end of 2009. It was a progression from a traumatic car accident I suffered in 2006. I was struck by a girl who was texting. It caused numerous injuries and almost took my life. One injury was brain damage. I suffered microscopic tears to the frontal lobe of my brain in the area where the essence of who you are is located. I had subtle personality changes, became a bigger risk taker, and suffer from ADHD. I had always had an outgoing personality, but it was kicked into high gear. Because of the accident, I felt there were things I needed to say and must say, and so my writing journey began.
Writing has become a passion for me. I can't imagine life without it now. I am not sure if it is odd or not, but when I write I can stay focused. I don't fidget or forget what I was doing ten minutes prior. It has broadened my world by meeting other writers who I have grown to love and who are great motivators to continue to spread my wings while learning more about the art of writing.
Me: Wow, that is a rough road to go, to get to blogging, but we're glad you grabbed a pen. So, do you think of yourself primarily as a poet? I see you also have a prose blog.
Susie: I do think of myself primarily as a poet. That is my first love. A quote from one of my own poems appears at the top of my Laundry Goddess blog, "I am hearing poetry when awake... dreaming poetry when asleep... breathing poetry with each breath... I am living in a poem." For me, life is a poetic language spoken in verse.
I also have a prose blog. I started it last year, 2011, as a way to deal with losing my father and father in law a month apart. I consider writing my "pencil" therapy to come to grips with whatever is troubling me. Susie's Sentences lets me do that in whatever manner strikes me at the moment. It has also expanded into attempts at writing short stories.
Me: It says that you love butterflies. Me too! Is it the symbology, their beauty, or something else about them that appeals to you?
Susie: I love butterflies for their symbology and beauty. From my accident, I began a metamorphosis of redefining who I was. There were parts of me that had died, and I couldn't resurrect them. For example, I used to be interested in scrap booking. I had a closet full of supplies and scrap books, but when I looked at them, there was no interest. I couldn't really remember much about creating the albums or using the supplies. There are other things pre-accident that have had the same effect. Like a butterfly I have worked my way out of the cocoon of what I was/ have lost, to emerge as the new person I have become.
Me: What sorts of things inspire you to write?
Susie: Inspiration is everywhere for me. Photographs inspire me a lot. They seem to tell me what they want to say. I am a very visual person. I am also an amateur photographer. When I am looking through the lens, the subject is telling a story whether it is animal, human, insect, brick, etc.
Me: I'm going to put you on the spot a little bit. What is your favorite thing or feature at Toads?
Susie: That is a tough question. There is much I like at Toads. I really like the support of one another as writers. Whenever a prompt is presented, fellow Toads take time to not only create their own written piece, but take time to read and comment on the work of others. I feel humbled and honored to be part of a community of such talented artists.
Me: I really want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me, Susie. One last question... do you have a favorite poem of your own that you would like to share, here?
My Mind Writes with Antique Pen
My mind writes
with an antique pen.
The poets long gone
are the muses
that whisper to me.
Dear Poe turned
the light on
with his dark verses.
He captured me
with his words
to birth my desire
Miss Browning asked,
“How do I love thee?”
As she counted the ways
my heart dreamed
the stanzas of my own
Emily Bronte wrote
of tears that only ceased
when others were looking.
This gave me the courage
to speak my own tears.
Inspiration comes to me
from poets long gone.
They are my teachers
speaking their lessons
through their verses.
I pray I am a student
worthy to continue
with my pen.
©Susie Clevenger 2011
Me: Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing what you'll write in the future. And thanks for propping my dumb butt up in this interview. You made us both look good!