Delighted to welcome the effervescent poet, author, broadcaster and blogger Annette Rochelle Aben. For the last three years Annette has been popping in and out of my blog with her inspirational comments and encouragement to explore my inner Haiku… She also slips little motivational messages into social media so that however bad your day might feel she will give you a boost.
Annette is also the very popular host of Tell Me A Story on The Magic Happens Radio station. https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/tell-me-a-story-returns/
Anyway before we get into the poetry reading and interview.. here is more about Annette’s books.
I was born writing! At least this is how it seems. I had the good fortune to be published while a sophomore in high school so continuing the journey by publishing books has been a natural course of events.
It is thrilling to offer books here that feature my love of writing poetry, combined with my love of taking pictures. Books that feature poetry and photos include Perspective, it’s all about replacing one thought with another and PhoKu.
Here is my review that I posted for PhoKu in January 2016.
The expression ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ was first used in the early 20th century in both the American press and in some advertising. It has been adapted a number of times including to ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ and both are correct.
As a writer I find that images are one of my most important prompts for short stories and within novels too. For me the skill of another writer is illustrated by the images they create with their written word. So marrying the two together is a concept that works beautifully.
This is the case with PhoKu by Annette Rochelle Aben. Most of the photographs in the book were taken in Nankin Lake in Hines Park, Westland, Michigan; a backdrop of outstanding scenery. Apart from the seasons that are captured so delightfully; I particularly enjoyed the wild birds liberally featured throughout the images. There is also an original piece of artwork in the final pages that fits in very well with the theme.
All the photographs are combined with the traditional 17 syllables of a Haiku which is an art form in itself. For someone who can be a bit wordy, I find creating a story in such a narrow format hugely challenging; Annette Rochelle Aben has this mastered.
My advice is to look at each image first for several moments before you read the Haiku and you will find that there is an enhancement to your original perspective.
Annette’s two latest releases
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY
You can find out much more about Annette by visiting her website: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/
Time to welcome Annette to the hot seat and please add your own questions in the comment section of the post. Annette will share some of her poetry throughout the interview.
Lovely to have you here Annette…
Thank you, Miss. Sally, for this opportunity to share a little bit of me with your readers, I am honored. I hope others will reach out to you, taking advantage of your generous support!
When did you begin to write poetry?
I am and have always been a poet. As long as I can remember, I have put my thoughts down in the form of rhyme. Not that poetry has to rhyme, for me, that’s how I started. So, my chosen genre for writing and publishing is POETRY!
Growing up, I didn’t necessarily read poetry all the time. Yet, one day I found Shel Silverstein!
He has written several books, but my personal favorite is Where the Sidewalk Ends. Here is the poem from that book that always makes me smile:
“if you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you are a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!”
What is the best book you have ever read and why?
The best book is that I have ever read and why, my answer is Gracie, a love story, written by comedian, George Burns. The comedy duo, Burns and Allen, made magic both in the public and in private life.
Gracie Allen left this world in 1964 and Burns went to her grave site every month until he passed in 1996. On that subject, he said, “I go to Forest Lawn Cemetery once a month to see her. And I tell her everything that’s going on. I told her I was writing this book about her. Evidently, she approves, she didn’t say anything.”
There was such poetry in their love and it is a true- life story to inspire anyone to be themselves… Right up my alley so yes, the best book I have ever read and why!
As a poet, how did you discover Haiku?
In 2015 I found the poetic style of Haiku poetry. I latched onto that style of writing for a couple of reasons but not the least of which was because it challenged me to explain myself in as few syllables as possible. Fellow blogger, Ronovan Hester was running a weekly haiku challenge and one day I decided to submit something.
The very first Haiku I wrote was in response to his prompt words, LOVE & LAST. Now, I saw those words and within three minutes I wrote, posted and was so proud of myself, I floated for days. Here is that innocent bit of poetry…
Love & Last
Love can make you smile
Cookies can make you smile too
Eat the last one, please
In less than 2 years, I have written and self-published 4 books of haiku and the 5th is about to drop (spoiler alert).
Can you tell us more about your book Choose and what is the 2-step plan?
I wrote a book titled: Choose – the 2-step plan in 2014, containing material from a workshop I created. This book can help others, because it helped me to help myself.
In this book, I address that we can CHOOSE, Love, peace, joy, positive, gratitude, health and life. For each of these topics, I offer a s-i-m-p-l-e, action step to take to bring a person closer to the desired result. I’d like to share from the LOVE chapter.
To love yourself is powerful, potent, precious and perfect.
By loving yourself, you become LOVE, you beam LOVE and you attract LOVE.
Whenever you catch your eyes in a reflective surface (for many, this will be a mirror) make complete eye contact and say: “I love you, (call yourself by name)!”
Give it a try, and one day you will find ways to see your eyes and say, I Love You to yourself.
What are the benefits of an attitude of gratitude, physically, mentally and emotionally?
Having something for which to be grateful is one of the most remarkable tools in our “medicine bag.” Finding the gratitude in our life can chase away our blues, provide a reason (or 20) to keep going and once we have our thoughts heading in the right direction, EVERYTHING ELSE can and will fall into place.
If you are having physical issues, money problems, relationship struggles, I can promise you that GRATITUDE is the place to start to remedy everything. Once you are living a life filled with gratitude, you will have a magical life.
Someone asked me why I practice gratitude all the time. After all, can’t you just BE grateful then move on to something else? My answer is simple. If you work out to get a strong, healthy body and you stop because you figure you have reached the goal, how long do you think you’ll have that strong, healthy body?
Our happiness is our responsibility. Gratitude is the quickest, easiest way to that happiness. I wish you a life-time of happiness.
And to end the interview a poetry reading from Annette.
Rough holes in wood
Tear my clothes and flesh
Slivers split my skin
And the warm blood
Causes steam to rise off my cold arm
I stick my head through the opening
Based on the promise of an interesting sight
On the other side
I realize there is nothing behind the fence
That police really do
No trespassing laws
© 1999 Annette Rochelle Aben
Connect to Annette on social media.
My thanks to Annette for sharing her thoughts and work with us today and please leave your own questions in the comment section of the post. Thanks Sally