Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Joint Author Interview 22April David Ellis & Cendrine Marrouat

April 22, 2021
mandyevebarnett


Today I welcome a joint interview with Daivd and Cendrine, authors who collaborate to publish a variety of books and a magazine. Welcome to you both.

David Ellis

1.     What drew you to poetry?

I grew up trying to write spoof lyrics for a lot of different songs, inspiration would come out of all sorts of places. When it turned out that my lyrical structures became too big and unwieldy for songs themselves to contain, I started turning to writing poetry because I was drawn into the musicality of playing with words and phrases. I was fascinated by how you could treat words as if they were musical instruments. I began reading lots of poetry written by my peers and in doing so, I gained the ability to write on an emotional level that connected with many different people. This is what forged my love of poetry, being able to communicate with like-minded souls and give them hope, inspiration, passion, courage and kindness in their lives.

2.     You embrace a variety of topics in your poetry. Can you explain your process in choosing a theme?

Theme for me is pretty easy, in that I am most interested in writing things that are inspirational, romantic, funny or all three combined! I’ve always thought that when it comes to choosing a theme or topic, it should be something that you are passionate about. You should actively try to combine multiple elements to give you enough drive and material to visualize a project. For example, you may choose to write about snow but that on its own is not very inspiring. However, if you were to then combine other elements of an emotional nature (a first romance in the snow, playing in the snow as a child/with your own children, etc) then this will give you the means to flesh out your piece. From then on, you can continue to add whatever details you need to give enough colour to your piece of writing to interest others into reading it.

3.     How does writing flash fiction differ from poetry for your writing process?

With Flash Fiction I am usually thinking of a specific scene taking place in my mind. Whilst this can also be true for poetry, stories tend to unfold themselves when I have some characters chatting to each other. Usually my flash fiction pieces consist of dialogue between quirky characters and action unfolding. I would say that a poem can embrace many different angles but a piece of story writing is focused, concise, every word needs to count when it comes to describing the scene/event. With a poem, you can be more vague when it comes to the overall meaning of the lines and still have a deep message that can be conveyed. Whereas with a piece of story writing, it is important to convey to the reader where they are and what is happening (even if the twists, turns and outcomes are a mystery), so that they can quietly imagine being there themselves enjoying the experience.

4.     Who are your writer heroes?

I have tons in different genres! My favourite genre is Fantasy, so I will say that my top two literary heroes are Terry Practchett and Neil Gaiman. Stephen King for horror. For poetry, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson & Maya Angelou are also but a very small selection. I could literally spend all day and night naming people in the literary, TV and film world who constantly inspire me on a daily basis!

5.     How did you come up with the title –  “TooFullToWrite – I’ve started so I’ll finish”?

The short answer is that I always thought about the notion how writers and artists start things but struggle to finish them. Maybe they lose their creativity or drive, or some other shiny thing comes along to distract them. My philosophy was born out of wanting to finish things that I start because I am not a fan of loose ends and it is satisfying to complete things (no matter how long they take!) for our own peace of mind.

I actually wrote a humorous origin story about the namesake of my website, so if your readers are interested they can read it here:-

https://toofulltowrite.com/2013/02/12/daily-prompt-all-about-me-the-mostly-true-origin-story-of-toofulltowrite/

6.     You have created workbooks for authors. Can you tell us about them and why you created them?

Cendrine & I created our workbooks series at Auroras & Blossoms because we wanted to inspire artists to create more material, to become more professional and to thrive at what they do best. We focus on a variety of different topics, including writing prompts, inspirational tips/techniques, new poetry and writing forms, social media etiquette, social media marketing, marketing your artwork better and many more. We want to keep expanding and evolving what we offer to be on the cutting edge of what inspires artists to show up and produce the best material of their lives! 🙂

For more information, check out the link here:- https://abpoetryjournal.com/journals-workbooks/

7.     How, why and when did you formulate the partnership with Cendrine Marrouat?

Cendrine goes into deeper detail in her interview segment below. We crossed paths years ago when I was interviewing fellow authors and artists. We have an excellent creative partnership that we have built a strong platform on. We complement each other with our skills sets and are both a creative force to be reckoned with. She is an excellent business partner and extremely talented too!

8.     You have a wide range of skills, including podcaster, lyricist, humorist – do you feel these are all components of your writer life? How do each of these disciplines aid your writing?

I have never wanted to tie my creativity down to just one single thing. As I learn how to do one creative discipline, I become interested in others by way of association and because of my passion in existing disciplines, this enthusiasm carries over to new things that I try out in the artistic world. I do not feel like they are actually defined by a writer’s life, although to be fair, a writer’s life has led me to all of them and so much more. It’s very true what they say about how being a writer means that you can literally be anything you want to be in life! Being involved in many different artistic outlets gives you a much broader palette to paint from. It is not for everyone, since some people prefer to focus on one thing and get really good at it. I have to focus on many things in my life, otherwise I will get bored doing the same thing over and over – variety is the spice of life!

9.     Does living in England enhance your writing – if so how?

This is an interesting question. I definitely have a British sense of humour and it comes out in my jokes, quips, puns and writing style because that is an integral part of who I am. I feel like it gives me a unique perspective on the world, one that is endearing, comical and entertaining to read. I embrace these aspects of my own personal character in that I have manners, am well behaved and professional (plus a bit old fashioned) but at the same time I do have an extroverted side, like to be playful and let my hair down regularly as well!

10.  Please share your social media sites.

Website: https://toofulltowrite.com

Blog: https://toofulltowrite.com/blog

Books: https://toofulltowrite.com/my-books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TooFullToWrite

Instagram: https://instagram.com/TooFullToWrite

11.  What would you like to say to your readers?

I want to thank every single one of you for your support and interest in what I do. I hope to inspire you, make you laugh or move you deeply in some kind of profound way that connects with you on an emotional level. We live in tough times right now and I would encourage you to spread as much kindness, help and support that you can. Work hard and bear with your struggles, there will always be better things on the horizon, if you weather the storms.

Cendrine Marrouat

1.     How long have you been writing?

Like many people, I wrote sappy stuff when I was a teenager. However, I only got serious about writing in 2005. So, I’m just counting the last 16 years. 😉

2.     What drew you to combining poetry and photography as artistic expression?

Because both art forms work extremely well together.

Most of us are scared of poetry. In school, we are taught to analyze every word and line of the poems we read to uncover some kind of arcane meaning. The adults we then become cannot pick up a poetry book without over-thinking about the way we should respond to it.

As a former teacher to adults, I know that a majority of people prefer visual cues to written ones. Pairing imagery and poems helps redirect the focus towards enjoyment.

The images I use to complement my poems (all mine) have triggered very positive reactions from people. They realize that poetry can also be very relaxing and fun to read!  

3.     You are the co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms – how did this partnership begin?

A few years ago, I was looking for interview opportunities to promote a new book. I found David Ellis and we instantly connected. I was impressed with his professionalism and personability.

After the interview, we decided to stay in touch. At the beginning of 2019, one of our chats led to sharing our frustrations about the process of submitting work to magazines and journals. We did not like how many of them factored in “who you know” and your number of publishing credits into their acceptance process.

So, on a whim, I suggested we start working on something that would run counter to that status quo. We decided that we would do things differently and give a chance to everyone. And our focus would be on something we did not see enough: positivity, inspiration and family-friendliness.

Within a few days, we had laid the foundations of Auroras & Blossoms. It took us a few months to set everything up properly, and we launched officially in October 2019.

4.     What are the benefits of a collaboration with another artist?

In this day and age of fierce competition for visibility, partnerships are pretty much the only chance for artists to be successful.

Collaborations give you the opportunity to tap into other artists’ platforms, build relationships with like-minded folks, and pool resources together to achieve greater things than you ever could on your own.

The key to a great partnership is to find someone who is on the same wavelength as you and shares your values. David and I get along really well because we are both very hard-working, committed to our craft, and professional. We respect each other’s time. Finally, we understand what it takes to build solid projects.

5.     Where do you prefer to write and why?

I always write in my office, with very occasional sessions in my backyard. My office is my private space, nobody bothers me there. So I can fully concentrate.

6.     Can you tell us about why you created Reminigram, Sixku, Flashku and the PoArtMo Collective?

I wanted to challenge myself and increase my creativity. 

The reminigram is a type of digital image that seeks to capture scenes that could have existed in the past. It’s my way to pay homage to early photography (daguerreotypes, tintypes, collodion processes, etc.).

To see some of my reminigrams, visit https://www.cendrinemedia.com/Portfolio-Series/Reminigrams.

Based on the Haiku, my favorite poetry form, the Sixku is a six-word poem inspired by a photograph. It’s a fun poetry form that any person will enjoy reading and writing.

For more info: https://creativeramblings.com/sixku/.

The Flashku is my latest creation; it borrows from the Sixku, Haiku, and Kindku, another poetry form David and I created (along with the Pareiku). I came up with the idea because I love flash fiction but suck at writing descriptions. The goal of a flashku is to write a whole story in 50-100 words inspired by an image, using 7 words taken from another piece. I like to call that poetic prose! 

For more info: https://creativeramblings.com/flashku/.

The PoArtMo Collective was one of my long-time dreams. I wanted to bring a group of artists together to create and release inspirational, positive and uplifting art and artistic projects; the goal being to show that good art goes beyond technical aspects to tell memorable stories.

When it launched in 2019, the collective was called FPoint Collective and focused exclusively on photography. But co-founder Isabel Nolasco and I quickly realized that we needed to be more inclusive. Isabel left us last year to focus on other things and there are now three of us. We have recently released our second project, a book titled Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography.

For more information, visit https://abpoetryjournal.com/poartmo-collective/.

Our book: https://abpoetryjournal.com/seizing-bygone-light/.

7.     What is your writing process like?

Quite strange. I always have to start with a title, otherwise, I’ll be stuck. I’m a very slow writer. And I have zero routine.

8.     How have your life experiences affected your work?

Like other artists, I share my life experiences through my writing and photography. That’s why my art is a constant state of flux.

9.     What would you like to share with readers?

Just enjoy poetry on your own terms. Don’t over-analyze. Just embrace the words and let them unleash their meanings over time.

10.  Can you share your social media and blog links?

Website: https://www.cendrinemedia.com

Blog: https://creativeramblings.com

Books: https://creativeramblings.com/books

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cendrinephotography

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cendrineartist

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cendrinemarrouat

Auroras & Blossoms

Website: https://abpoetryjournal.com

Latest submission calls: https://abpoetryjournal.com/submit/

Books: https://abpoetryjournal.com/store

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlossomsPoetry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abpoetryjournal

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkAh-EnwcJbd865SEXJQsEw

Bios:-

French-born Canadian Cendrine Marrouat lives in Winnipeg. She is a photographer, poet, multi-genre author, and the co-founder of several artistic projects. She is also the creator of the Sixku, the Reminigram, and the Flashku.

Cendrine started her career in 2003. She has worked in many fields, including education (language instruction), social media coaching and training, content creation and curation, translation, photography, poetry, theatre, art criticism, blogging, and journalism.

David Ellis lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK. He is an award-winning poet, author of poetry, humourous fiction and music lyrics.

David’s debut poetry collection (Life, Sex & Death) won an International Award in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 2016 for Inspirational Poetry Books.

David is extremely fond of tea, classic and contemporary poetry, cats, and dogs but not snakes. Indiana Jones is his spirit animal.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…

November 29, 2017
mandyevebarnett


 

writing-hub

Writing:

My only update is I broke the 25K mark on my new #YA novella – new total 25,684.

There will be a major disruption to my writing this week as I move home. This move has been a long time coming but finally I will have a small house to call my own in the place I have come to love since immigrating from England. In a perfect world I would have loved to have built a tiny house – an obsession of mine, however my new home is a smaller house with everything on the first floor (no more basement laundry – hurray) and a in-law basement suite for guests. It is close to my library, amenities and an easier commute to work.

For the last few weeks I have lain awake at night virtually moving furniture and pictures and visualizing what my new space will look like. The de-cluttering has been cathartic and a lot has made its way to the thrift store. Why do we hoard stuff? It’s not until we have to move it all that we realize it has sat on a shelf or been hidden in a cupboard forever. I admit I have been ruthless and feel lighter for it.

This is a new era for me and I am looking forward to it.

moving-home

How did you cope with moving and how did it effect your writing?

This article was quite interesting. I could not move that often though!

https://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/domain/author-sonya-hartnett-knows-a-thing-or-two-about-moving-house/

Books:  There has been some rather steamy paragraphs in this sequel, surprising but welcome as it propels the main characters forward in their relationship.

Pawn of the Phoenix

Writing Tips:

When freelancing communication is key between you and your client. Be open about any potential or known delays that might extend the project timeline. If your client is fully aware you can come to an agreement and adjust the deadline. Do not hide – be open – an informed client is a happy client.

Freelance Project key points:

  1. Agree on the project price before work begins.
  2. Set realistic deadlines – do not promise what is not achievable.
  3. Establish exactly what your client requires of you and the project outline.
  4. Anticipate push back – do not demean a client’s ideas, discuss them and find common ground.
  5. Ensure you have frequent communication with your client.
  6. Be ready to hand off work in a timely manner.
  7. Be willing to teach a client on how freelancing works and your particular skill set in regards to the project.

What freelance rules do you abide to?

 

Colossal Structures…

November 29, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Colossal – definition: extraordinary great in size, extent, or degree; gigantic; huge

As some of you may know, I studied Greek and Roman mythology. This word brought to mind one of the lost wonders of the world. One I learnt about back in the day.

RhodesThe word colossal comes from the Latin – colossus , which in turn comes from the ancient Greek word kolossos, which meant large statue. In particular it referred to firstly the colossus of Rhodes. This statue was gigantic and stood at the entrance to the port of Rhodes. And also the  The Colossus Neronis in Rome, which stood beside the Coliseum as a tribute to the emperor, Nero.

The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. He was unsuccessful in besieging Rhodes in 305 BC. It was an impressive 30 meters (98.4 ft) high, which made it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. The statue stood until its destruction by an earthquake in 226 BC.  

colossusnero1

Another large statue was the Colossus Neronis in Rome. This bronze statue was 30 meters high and represented the Emperor Nero. It stood in the vestibule of his Domus Aurea, an imerial villa complex spanning a large area from the north side of the Palatine Hill, across the Velian ridge and to the Esquiline Hill.  Nero’s successors modified the statue into a representation of the sun god Sol Invictus. It is last mentioned in the 4th century AD. The statue was eventually moved to a spot outside the Flavian Amphitheatre, which (according to one of the more popular theories) became known, by its proximity to the Colossus, as the Colosseum.

Which colossal structure has your vote in the modern world?

Related articles

We May be Puny at the Moment…

April 20, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Puny – definition: slight or inferior in power, size, or importance : weak

writers-block

As writers we all have our literary heroes. These people  inspire but also intimidate us. Why? Because we feel puny compared to their expertise, their skill at the craft of writing and in the most part, their famous status. However, are they really that ‘remote’ that they would not offer advice to a novice?

Take for example, Stephen King (OK, I realize he is not everyone’s favorite but he is one of mine!) He shared a great deal in his book ‘On Writing‘ – a book I highly recommend by the way. As we all know writing a book is not the easiest task so for Mr. King to take the time to write this, I feel, is worth its weight in gold.

51rf7WvkJcL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU15_

http://www.amazon.ca/On-Writing-Stephen-King/dp/0743455967

Of course his book is not the only source of writing style, crafting or tutorial tips – just search an internet site for books and a long list appears. The trick is finding one that closely mimics your style or level of expertise as well as how it ‘teaches’ you.

Stephen surprised high school students with a lecture – see here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2012/10/22/nb-stephen-king-sussex-students.html

stephen-king

I endeavor to share my knowledge and experience as much as possible because I want other writers to succeed in whatever form they perceive that to be. I’m not famous and probably never will be but that isn’t the point – sharing knowledge in this writing community gives me pleasure. I hope that we can all learn something from each other and if the fate’s allow have a modicum of success. This could be having our novel published in some way or reading our work to an audience or having a short run for our family. No matter what form it takes we are sharing our words and they will live forever.

Picture Wall

A letter I received directly from Stephen King holds pride of place on my wall. It is my constant reminder that I need to continue to learn and continue to share.

An Award…

September 29, 2012
mandyevebarnett


I have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Lynn Thompson Books – Thank you for the award, I love connecting and spreading the ‘words’. Now for the pay it forward part…and sharing random facts about myself as well as nominating bloggers I think are awesome…

1. I love the changing seasons – each has a gift to give
2. I love the fellowship of my writers circle
3. I’m a sensation junkie – so fast motor bikes, fair rides and flight take offs.
4. Given the choice of a scorching day or a cool one I’ll always choose the cool one.
5. I was a real tom boy as a child.
6. I’m convinced I lived in Italy in a past life – the country feels like home.
7. The moon tonight was extra large, full and beautiful – I took photos.
Now for my pay it forward :
Sky – http://schuylerthorpe.wordpress.com/
Melissa – http://miskadoodlewrites.wordpress.com/
Tina – http://trshaw.wordpress.com/
Lori – http://loribenton.blogspot.ca/
Kristen – http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/
You will find these blog’s to be fun and enlightening. Have fun paying your award forward.
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