For the longest time, poetry had been a lost love in my life. As a teen, I wrote a lot and even during college. Then for some reason, I kind of lost touch with it. Last year, while working on this blog, I was interacting with various lovely people although a true highlight among them was Karen Ohren. Through her encouragement and some other wonderful people I was reminded of my love of poetry and that it is a big part of my life.
She herself is a wonderful writer and often sprinkles her lovely words through Twitter, which fascinates me because it goes to show that good reads can definitely be found anywhere. She has offered me wonderful support and the least I could do was pay it forward and let people come into contact with a lovely writer with a deep well of words which can inspire.
1. Hi Karen, so nice to be able to take some time to chat and share you with other people. How is all and what can you tell us about your experience with Twitter?
Twitter has been an amazing experience for me. I've connected with so many lovely people and made some great friendships, that in itself is pretty incredible. Twitter is an absolute melting pot of creativity and I've had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with many talented artists, poets, writers and musicians.
I've written most of my life and on the whole it's a very isolated business, so to be able to share words and ideas with other poets and writers has been wonderful. It's given me so much confidence and the encouragement of yourself and others has done much to give me the courage to share my thoughts and words with a wider audience.
2. How do you tackle the challenge of writing in 140 character installments?
The 140 characters was a bit daunting at first... how do you express everything you want to say in so few words? It's a challenge, but now I find it a great exercise in self-discipline. While fairly restricting, it's amazing how thoughts and ideas can be conveyed within these limitations. It forces you to be concise, to explore the power of words and the musicality of simplicity. I'm a great believer in the spontaneous flow of words and usually let a poem evolve and then give it a tweak at the end to tighten it up.
3. How has Twitter impacted your life?
The impact of Twitter has been huge. I wrote alone with little feedback outside of my family. Now with your support and that of the countless truly gifted and creative poets here, I've found my voice, my confidence and with it the courage to pursue my own creative journey.
4. You really do have some lovely work; I heard you recently contributed to a collection. How was that experience and where can people find this book?
Thank you! I was very fortunate to be approached by Frayd Tag Publishing after they read one of my poems. It was selected to be included in a compilation called The Wood Knots, which is available from Amazon. This was a huge turning point for me as it dispelled the nagging spectre of self-doubt that had been holding me back. Suddenly a world of possibilities has opened up before me.
5. Will you be publishing anything on your own?
This is something I'm working on at the moment. I've completed the first draft of a children's book, three children's stories in verse and I'm in the early stages of a book for young adults. Juggling the day job and family life (something I know you're very familiar with) isn't easy, but undaunted I'm taking a leaf out of your book and hanging onto my sense of humour, while forging ahead with determination!
6. You are asked to curate a gallery of dreams, what five pieces of any medium would be the main attractions, what would be their names and what makes them so special?
I love this question! Imagination goes into overdrive...
The Elysian poems... a collection of poems so lyrical and touching that when read, the reader is transported to the most perfect, poignant moment of their life. In that moment, they reconnect with what is truly important to them.
The Portrait Of Truth... a painting that takes on the character of the viewer and exposes them to the true aspects of their innermost heart and soul.
The Infinite Tale... a book without an ending. The story evolves with the touch of each reader, as a little of their soul is absorbed with each page turned.
The Song Of The Sea... a haunting symphony of loss and longing, transporting each listener to the lost aspects of their own souls, giving them the inner peace and harmony they have been searching for.
The Book Of Estrada... the final piece and the jewel of my collection... the next book in the Human Cycle, simply because I'm desperate to read it!!
7. There is an obstacle course where at the end Jared Leto awaits at a dinner table with warm Nutella and berries, what are the five obstacles you have to overcome? Lol.
This is so mean! Exposing my Jared fixation to the world! Here goes!
First obstacle would be getting current restraining order over turned... (oops not supposed to talk about that!).
Second obstacle would be the piranha lake, particularly tricky as I can't swim. Fortunately I doggy paddle like a pro and piranhas are allergic to vegans!
Third obstacle would be the Wall of Doom. An 8 foot wall to be scaled, not very high you might be thinking, but when you're vertically challenged...
Fourth obstacle finding something suitably alluring to wear (it's a girl thing) and no ... before you say it a layer of Nutella doesn't count as clothing!
The fifth and greatest obstacle of all... being able to run fast enough to catch Jared as he flees my advances... that guy can run like a Greyhound! Lol.
8. You are part of a rock band, what is the band called, what do you play and what does it sound like?
Another great question especially for someone as music obsessed as I am! The band would be called The Raven Hearts (hat tipped to Mr. Poe). We would be a fusion of metal, rock and punk. Our songs would have dark undertones and strong lyrics, with immense drum and guitar solos. Backing up my killer vocals would be Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Jared Leto.... Keep on my good side and I'll get you a back stage pass!!
9. What do you want to do as a writer during 2015?
I really want to forge ahead, 2014 has been an awakening of confidence and finding my inner voice.... 2015 here I come!
10. Where can people find more things Karen?
Another task for 2015, fly beyond the Twitterverse... I'm a work in progress!
So there you have it folks. Be sure to visit Karen on her tweet feed and get more samples of a great writer who also happens to be a good friend with a terrific sense of humor. Who knows, I might even share my back stage passes with you to see a gig from the Raven Hearts.