It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure ~ Joseph Campbell
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Luke 12:34
Photography, an interest and passion for me since I earned my first camera by selling Girl Scout cookies, remains a focus to this day. From childhood to the present, I am seldom without a camera nearby. I’ve captured some memorable photographic images with my camera. I’m inspired by the landscape and nature at any time of day, in any season. But, in my imagination, there are even more distinct and vivid photos I collected from the stories I read through my lifetime romance with literature. Each story is a…
EC, It is wonderful to have you here today as our Guest Author.
(e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and
lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry
since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High
School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old,
Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded
Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other
authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been
named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped
many authors in their writing journey. I
am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.
LET THE TRUTH BE
fire shut up in my bones,
on my tongue
falling from my mouth,
it enter my throat like singing
into my bones like oil.
me bathe in its humility
cover myself in its wisdom.
Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:
loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
originally from Chicago, IL
been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
believes eggs makes everything better
addicted to reading and new notebooks
favorite desert is ice cream
I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes,
Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Scribd and The Medu Bookstore at Greenbriar Mall in
I was invited to participate in this challenge by blogger Lynda Lambert. Here’s how it works. Think of your ten favorite books and write them down. Then invite three other bloggers to create their own lists of ten favorite book titles and invite three other bloggers and so forth. You can read her guidelines here.
Below is my list of ten books. I must admit this was tricky. At first, I could only think of five books, but then titles kept coming. They’re not in any particular order. I just wrote them down as they popped into my head.
1. The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
3. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
4. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
5. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
6. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
I really like the idea of blended genre – a collage – a different way of
presenting the passage of time – not in a linear way and not solely by use of
only one genre.
I am so interested in the work of creative people
who are working across genre and across disciplines like you do.
I am very interested in how you approach literature.Who influences you ? What
kind of writing are you particularly drawn to ?
Mike_ Interesting questions.
I don’t relate to the Post Modernist label. The poets I follow most closely are
Emily Skaja, Kara Candito, Matt Hart, and Caryl Pagel.
I have done poetry
readings in The Quad Cities.
Erin Bertram was my instructor in Literary College. She has some interesting multi-genre pieces posted on her website. (more information is here: https://erinmbertram.com/)
My favorite novelists are Ethan Canin, Haruki Murakami, and
Ironically, my Bachelor’s Degree is in Sociology, with
coursework in Psychology and Social Work. I worked at crisis hotlines during my
college years. After college I worked in the areas of employment training and
child welfare. I’ve worked a wide variety of jobs in my life.
Currently, I work as a construction flag man and this job
takes me to many different places. It also provides me with solitary time after
my work day when I can do my writing. I
see and experience many different places and landscapes.
I feel that I’ve developed some kind of philosophy through
my writing. I wrote my first short story for a Creative Writing course at Iowa
Emotionally, I’m touched by the music of Paul McCartney, and
of the Beatles. I’m absolutely thrilled by his new single, “I Don’t
Know,” and listening to music is often part of my ritual before I write.
Q_ I wanted to present
your Guest Author feature in a different format today.
For this reason, if you look below, I am posting the Amazon review for
your latest book,
Breakfast at the
Good Hope Home. I think it gives our readers a good overview of your latest book.
Breakfast at the Good
By Mike Bayles
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: 918studio press (January 31,
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
Lynda_ The book’s cover art is so interesting and a work of art in itself.
I am fascinated by this cover because the art work takes us into another world
before we ever open the book. As a visual artist, I am so sensitive to the art
that a book has. The cover is the first
thing a potential reader is faced with – and I think it is of utmost
importance. You get an A for your book cover!
Mike_ The life of a young man changes in many ways
after his father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is placed in a
nursing home’s care. As the disease progresses, he loses the father as well as
the family he had known. He must also help his mother, who has not accepted the
disease’s consequences. The son tries to find meaning in his visits with his
father after his father becomes unresponsive, and he finds a spiritual
connection. He clings to stories his father told and learns to value his
heritage. He learns to let go when he visits his father alone for the last time
and is drawn back to his mother by the grief they share. In the end, he finds a
sense of relief from a final conversation.
Mike_ I love the coverage the book has received.
In particular, The Cedar Rapids Gazette featured comments on my writing,
and a review of Breakfast at the Good Hope Home. It has received nice reviews
from various places.
I feel that my life is one of loss and rediscovery. Both of
my parents have died, and I’ve lost some people who I loved. I feel that
childhood times spent in Minnesota stirred a love of nature in me. Now I’m
deeply influenced by traveling through Iowa, Wisconsin, and other Midwest
states, for my job as a flagger for construction and utility companies. I have
compiled a collection of poems, based on places I’ve seen during my travels for
work, I also include places in an around Davenport, and places in Minnesota. I
feel that some interesting themes emerge from this collection. I’m also working
on a new short story.
Q_ What’s coming up now for your writing life, Mke?
Mike_ A project for release later, is
another literary collage, where the main character has a mental breakdown after
graduating from college. I’ve known some people who experienced difficulties in
Lynda_ I found a nice article – interview –
of you on-line.
I was surprised when I read one of my stories from 2013.
A version of the story is published in my latest book, “Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems,” DLD Books, 2017. I began to think more about it.
The topic of this essay is an explication of a work of art.
It is the “Story Behind the Story,” of that art work.
All Art Comes From Our Core Beliefs and Our World View.
( Note; this art work is “Girl on a Bench Sees Visions of Butterflies,” a mixed-media fiber wall work.
This art work is in the InSights18 exhibition sponsored annually by the American Printing House for the Blind. I will attend the opening reception and the awards banquet in Louisville, KY, in October. This year will mark the 5th time I have been juried into this international exhibition, and my 5th time to have my work win an award.)
I say this because it is important for us to be able to articulate where our ideas, influences, and themes begin when we are writing. Everything we believe, is evident in our piece of writing. If the reader knows how to do a deep reading and is observant, that reader can know about the author intimately. The writing comes from not only our thoughts, but from our spirit and from our own experiences.
We have a core belief, that is uniquely our own. We have a distinctive world view that we each embrace. Everything we do and think about comes from our core and our chosen world view. Everything we write reflects who we are – at our core. We have an inner life which becomes visible to our readers, if they are observant and wise. Who we are speaks clearly in our writing.
When we are aware of this, we can identify an authors core beliefs and world view as we begin to read a piece of the writing.
This is a fascinating aspect of our writing, isn’t it!
In my classrooms at the college, students learned how to do deep readings and how to identify the author’s World View. If they don’t learn how to do this, they will never be able to fully understand the writing.
Often we are not even aware of those unseen and powerful impulses. When we do begin to recognize them and can begin to articulate them, we untap an ocean of possibilities and opportunities in our writing life.
When I read my own blog post from 2013 this morning, I was aware that I am a visual artist and that everything I write emerges from my inborn sensibility and a way of viewing the world and everything I encounter. No matter what theme I am writing about, it is, always viewed through core beliefs and a keenly aware world view.
Have you looked back at something you wrote some years ago?
How did it make you feel when you read that piece?
Do you see the theme of the work as it fits into your World View?
Do you see how you have grown or changed in your concepts and writing since that time?
In mid-2017, I had my first short story accepted for publication, and almost immediately hit a suffocating stretch of writer’s block. I was saved by a vegan photographer.
If you’re blinking your eyes in bewilderment, you’re experiencing much the same thing I did.
That summer, the viciousness of our national politics nearly did me in. The inferno that was the health care standoff affected my family personally, and my emotional health plummeted. And the tap from which my creative energy flowed seemed to run completely dry. I decided to ban myself from Facebook and Twitter for a stretch, and instead turned to Instagram, which I could curate to only show me things that made me feel happy and peaceful—travel photos, animals, and the like. I followed Goats of Anarchy, which led me to other animal sanctuaries such as Rancho Relaxo and Twist of Fate Farm…
Often enough, when I say someone I’m a writer, people just look at me funny. Well, that’s when they are polite… otherwise, they’ll just say something to the tune of “Everyone is a writer nowadays.”, and, if I might ass, when someone says something like that, please, don’t argue, it’s pointless.