Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spotlight On Susannah

Many of you may recognise this calling card symbol, used by the lovely Susannah when she visits your blog! I have long been an admirer of her work, and have now been able to get to know her a little better, as she kindly consented to let me interview her. On behalf of all Toads, I thank you, Susannah! Here goes...

You have many blogs , all of which are interesting and show great depth of feeling. Which came first and which is closest to your heart, if you had to choose just one?

The blog that came first was Joy Frequencies (though long before that I had a website that was home to all of my interests at the time.) - Closely followed by my poetry blog Out of My Ocean. But which is closest to my heart? That's a difficult one to answer and varies as to which is most active and getting my attention at any one time. It's like asking which of my cats is my favourite! ;-)
I suppose if I had to answer, it would be a choice between the ones that seem to document the landscape of my life, The Streaming Now and My Name is Zing. Though my blog where I post my responses to poetry prompts - Panopticulated - is probably most active.

It must be hard for you juggle such a busy life. Do you have set times for writing, or do you wait for the muse to strike?

Well at present I am taking part in nanowrimo so I am writing every day, but usually for poetry I wait for the muse to strike.

Yes, I read these words of yours about NaNoRiMo with interest;-

"Blank pages and unwilling fingers.
Words waiting to be written, queuing to be first out of my pen.
But sentences need a structure to inhabit, a stage they can dance upon.
So, while the story temporarily eludes me, there is nothing I can do but wait."
- my name is zing

But when the waiting is over, I can see how this painting expresses your energetic spirit exactly, and I'd like to know what kinds of things trigger the poet in you?

The way I feel. If you read any of my unprompted poetry I think you will find that they all stem from an emotion. In fact that is why I started writing poetry - to get a look at what I was feeling. Emotions are such amorphous things that capturing them in words helps me to understand them. I find nature to be totally awe inspiring too, it moves me and has such a palpable energy.

It's easy to see you have a great sense of artistic design. Where do you think that springs from, and how does it relate to what you write?

I think that creativity is an energy that can be tapped into. If you can access the flow I believe you can direct in down any channel you choose. I love design and really enjoy creating the headers for my blogs.
I tend to notice beauty. It's what stands out for me wherever I go, or in whatever I am doing. It's important to me, and it pleases me. I think photography helps with that, for I see pictures everywhere,
and it relates to what I write, because to see the beauty in something, brings an appreciation for it, and makes it easier to capture that beauty in words. It can work in a strange way! For instance, if I am writing a blog post and the wording is just what I want to say, but it finishes awkwardly on a line, I will change a word or add a word, so that my eye is pleased with it. :-)

And you certainly have a discerning eye, and manage to capture some marvellous shots with your camera - I particularly liked this one. It shows how quick you are to see beauty, even in unlikely places.

I know you have an interest in astrology - it was one of the first things that caught my attention- and I wonder how much it affects your view of yourself and others in relation to poetry and writing in general?

Astrology was a tool that helped me to understand myself - and so be better able to live with all my quirks and foibles. It helped me to understand others too. I believe it is a map of the psyche, a blueprint of the personality and can help vastly in self knowledge and management.

I don't actively pursue anything to do with astrology these days but it has become part of my tool bag. It's a symbolic language that helps me to understand the energies inherent in things and people,
though I don't often update my astrology blog - The Lion and The Lightning Bolt - these days. But occasionally, when I look at a poem I've written or a photo I've taken, I see the astrological symbolism in it, and I will post it there. Actually I say on my blog that its purpose is to explore astrology with my poems, images and observations.

And would you recommend multiple blogs as a way to go, rather than having one blog which is a kaleidoscope of many facets?

I think if I were starting again from scratch now, I would probably only have had one blog....maybe? ;-) but because of the way I came to blogging the separate blogs seemed the solution to a problem I had had.
You see long before blogging was the thing to do, I had a website that covered all the things I was involved in. It had poetry, astrology, paintings, digital images, things I made, writing about my thoughts on things, and even music! So, to get a readership and to be able to post a link to my site on other places, web directories etc. I had to choose a category. Hmmm, what category would it be under?!
It was then that I started to believe that it would be much easier if each subject matter was separate. Not everyone who was likely to visit would be interested in ALL of those things, and unless they knew you, wouldn't visit and trawl through looking for what DID interest them.

So as soon as I discovered blogging I split it up, my thoughts and views went onto Joy Frequencies, my poetry onto Out of My Ocean, and my Astrology onto its own site. I also used to have an online image gallery for my painting and digital art too. So that is how it started! :-)
Then I found I wanted to just post general day to day things so The Streaming Now was started, and then I wanted to keep my prompt writing separate....another blog. etc. etc. You get the idea. :-)

Even now, all my blogs have distinct followers and visitors, their own community if you will. And there are not many people who regularly visit more than one of my blogs. So I have 'my gang' on each of them, and I like it that way. :-) Sorry to have rambled. . . lol

Anyway, I have some writing to do (50,000 before the end of the month and I am struggling!) So I had better get my laptop out!

We wish you the best of luck with it Susannah, and thank you for standing in the spotlight!


Susannah said...

Thanks so much Jinksy, for making this such a pleasant experience and producing a really lovely interview out of my ramblings. :-)x

By the way, if anyone wants to know why I use the 'heart' and the story behind it. I wrote something about it here - about my calling card -

Mary Ann Potter said...

I enjoyed reading this, Susannah! Thank you for sharing all this with us. It's always special when you can see a little more into the writer's heart! Have a blessed day!

Laurie Kolp said...

Kudos to Jinksy and Susannah for a wonderful interview!

Unknown said...

Having read much of Susannah's online work, I enjoyed learning a few more details about the person from whom the wisdom flows. Thank you, Jinksy and Susannah, for the generosity of spirit shared here.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This was a fascinating look into the artistic life of Susannah! Thank you both so much for bringing us this interview.

Jinksy said...

I'm glad we made a good team, Susannah! Thanks for being such a helpful interviewee for such a novice interviewer. ♥

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree, the right interviewer, asking the right questions, makes a big difference in the outcome of this somewhat stylized "conversation". I think Jinksy and Susannah really meshed.
Thanks, Jinksy, and thank you particularly, Susannah, for taking the time to be interviewed. It can't be easy during NaNoWriMo.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Susannah said...

Thanks very much everyone. It was fun. :-)

Anonymous said...

wow, susannah, i very much understand a poet with many and varied interests, but i don't think i could manage such a huge number of blogs! great stuff, and admiration for the work you put in every day. best of luck on NaNo!

Carrie Van Horn said...

Susannah you are such a wonderfully talented artist in word and in frame. Great interview Jinksy!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, somehow I missed this - must have been a very busy week. A lovely surprise to find it now. Susannah is one of the first poets I followed when I first joined Poets United. What a fascinating interview.