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Only those who Dare to fail greatly, can ever Achieve greatly ~R. Kennedy
This WednesdayWisdom, I have the privilege nay the extreme glory to introduce you to an unbelievable author that I've met along my journey. You should see this lady on twitter, I call her the Gratitude Queen as she never fails to ensure her engaging followers are promptly thanked for their participation in her tweets. She's blatantly honest, hilariously witty, intellectually snappy & confoundingly amazing.
Kathe Messina is the debut author of a heart-rending memoir, She’ll Awaken. She is an ESL teacher, a recent university graduate and an inductee in two international honor societies, but has also worked in the hospitality industry, made a career out of motherhood and homeschooling, and was a care-giver to her bed-ridden mother. She wrote She’ll Awaken amid a chaotic family life and getting her degree. She has always loved writing, but kept it to the whimsical and only among friends. Following a life-changing experience, she realized that others could benefit from her story and that it might be the only way to move on. A memoir was born.
Her goals are fairly simple – to practice kindness, to pursue peace, and to write beautiful words. She has learned that there are words for everything, and that when well-chosen, they can help and even heal.
1. What is your all-time favorite book?
Catcher in the Rye – I love everything about this book and its themes. I only wish Salinger’s estate wasn’t hoarding the Holden character. I would LOVE to write a sequel, but not enough to get sued for it!!
2. According to you, which quote best describes you as a person?
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” ~ John Lennon
3. What is your favourite English word, and why?
“ubiquitous” – present, appearing, or found everywhere
This word feeds my devotion to my kids. Of course I can’t be everything to them or ‘fix’ everything for them either, but I’ll die trying.
4. What is your favorite word in your home language, and what does it mean?
English is my native tongue but German had a limited presence in the home. I’m partial to “liebchen” – one of a few names Dad had for me.
5. Being a blogger/author, what is the most difficult part about writing for you?
#1. Time. As in all things, there is never enough to do what we want or need.
#2. In writing my debut memoir, the most difficult thing was having to throw myself on the proverbial pyre to tell what needed to be told, to bare myself, and to do justice to the deep reflection. I constantly asked myself, ‘How much is too much?’
#3. In other writing, such as my (sleepy) blog, or on Twitter or Facebook, I don’t like it that I have to be careful about what I say on matters of opinion. Why? As my blog has more than once featured (http://wp.me/p5aByk-34) (http://wp.me/p5aByk-5d) there are people out there who don’t give a flying fu-la-la-la-la about whether they’ve offended ME!
6. What inspires you to write the most?
#1. I see myself as a teacher. #2. Pain.
No one likes it, but pain is what makes us who we are. The struggle against it refines us and, hopefully, reveals better versions of ourselves than the empty shells we might otherwise be if everything were easy. If we have learned anything from our struggles, we ought to share it with others. This is why I write.
7. What is your favourite song?
Tough to choose just one, but here goes … from 1977, Sentimental Lady ~ Bob Welch
8. What image/experience/memory do you instantly think of when hearing your favourite song?
I’m a child of the 70s so that song takes me back to summers back home, hanging out by the local pool with friends. I was born a sun junkie!
9. In how many languages can you write?
Unless ‘dufus’ is a language, just English.
10. If you had to MAKE UP/INVENT one word, what would it be? And what would that word mean?
Done it! If anyone else claims to have invented this one, I am unaware.
“Confuckulated”…yup…it ain’t pretty but it is perfect for when stuff is totally jacked up!
11. Make a sentence containing the following words: Three, Birds, Sauce, Hug, and Gay (as in happy)
A hug to the ear, and the sauce of life is the three-fold delight of birds singing - tuneful, winsome, and gay.
12. Assign your own meaning to the following made-up words:
Bugalhet – n. of or pertaining to annoyance from auditory input (e.g. His droning oratory was bugalhet to her ears)
Wiftigious – adj. something pleasant in an olfactory way (e.g. As he moved in to kiss her neck, he was caught by the wiftigious symphony of her hair and her perfume)
Doraning – v. the practice of vetting callers to one’s home through use of a peep-hole in the door (e.g. Her paranoia was evident in the incessant doraning every time her door-bell rang)
13. What word rhymes best with Sugar?
I’m going to say “her” in a poetic use …
‘C’mon, Baby, give Daddy some sugar’
His words were cast to deliberately hook her.
(Stay tuned … an epic erotic series just blew into my melon!)
14. Sum up your experience of The Blog Tag in one rhyming sentence.
N/A – not yet a member
Doing this tag for AlfonsoWords, however, was a pleasure because, well … he’s such a doll!!
15. Who is your favourite character from a book? Why him/her?
Holden Caulfield of Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is my favorite literary character. He is me in the struggle to reconcile an idealized view of how people should be, with the phony behaviour they exhibit so reflexively.
16. Have you written any books? Tell us about it/them.
My debut memoir is about to drop (I know I’ve been saying that for what seems like a long-ass time, but I just couldn’t let this chunk of my heart and soul be rushed out until it was as perfect as I could control).
This is an account of my eleven-month relationship with a broken soul, ravaged by PTSD, but who presented as professional and romantic. Our connection was so exciting, like a fairy-tale in many ways. But as in all fairy tales, evil lurks, and there’s a lesson to be learned.
17. What would be the ultimate goal for you to achieve as a writer?
Anything I have ever written has been done with the compulsion to use the most beautiful words in the most artful way to convey the most touching meaning. Unfortunately, a situation has befallen me personally in which my writing needs to turn into income in the most urgent way. Nevertheless, I cannot betray my compulsion by throwing out a bunch of drivel just to make money. My ultimate goal is to overcome the personal situation by monetizing my writing, not exploiting it. After that, were I to put down my pen for all time, I could be satisfied.
18. Can you remember the moment you fell in love with words/literature?
A precise moment, no, but I have vivid childhood recollections of Mother Goose Rhymes and other classics that my mother recited before I could read. Here’s some TMI for you all … she would recite rhymes and stories while toilet-training me to pass the time while I was sitting ‘on the potty.’ Mom loved books, and gifts included books of well-loved classics as often as toys and clothes. I remember my big brother reading to me, as well as learning to read myself in first grade. I devoured books from that time onward.
19. Do you have a good support structure while writing?
In terms of surroundings, yes. My kids are older and don’t interrupt per se, although the confluence of schedules often makes extended writing time a challenge. When I undertook writing the memoir, I confided in a very close friend who knew the story. I needed his objectivity as I relived the events of that relationship. He was my compass, and I am ever grateful.
20. Why is reading important to you?
There is nothing you can’t learn if you know how to read well. I believe this to be an axiom, and it was the driving force in homeschooling my children. One of the things of which I’m most proud is having taught my kids to read. I believe that reading is the infusion that makes us wielders of delightful words. When we open our mouths, we can build up or tear down. How can we communicate effectively, powerfully, and lovingly with our fellow man if we don’t take in the words necessary to do so? You simply can’t draw from a well having no water.
21. What is your most memorable childhood book?
I have to name two – The Five Chinese Brothers & The Three Billy Goats Gruff
These were stories I had read to me over and over.
OH! WAIT! I can’t forget my copy of Cat in the Hat. It had a huge mustard stain on the inside cover because I hid an unwanted ham sandwich in it. My brother has NEVER let me forget it!
Poems or Quotes
Poems … love the artful arrangement of words
Rock or Pop
Classic Rock, actually … and Oldies
Handwriting or Typing
Typing … I’m super-fast at it and it is easier to share than handwriting
Biography or Novel
Biography hands down! Fascinated by real people and real situations whereas I’m so often disappointed by the direction of a fiction story.
Plotter or Pantser
Pantser and proud of it! I need words to flow, and a mechanized story just doesn’t do it for me
Traditional or Self Publishing
Self !! I could NEVER relinquish control of my words to anyone.
Reading alone or for Other People
I think both contribute to maximizing the learning potential of reading. Reading alone, whether for learning or entertainment, allows us to fully engage with content. Reading FOR other people, whether that’s out loud for their benefit or reading what is popular with others or selected by others, provides a more limited opportunity to assimilate content but a greater social context in which to do so. Nevertheless, I never read something just because it’s popular.
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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres