Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Original Poetry By: Sonja Mabel McClure

Aurora

Cypress rainbows
ripple at midnight
streaking sky
magnetic rays
imply mirage

waving lighthouse
in fog
haunting invitation
of illusion

jade reflection
flips me upside down
questioning direction
I revel in new
dimensions.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Interview with Writer, Casey Dean


Casey Dean is a true feminist and an exceptional Poet who constantly stands up against wrong or abusive treatment of women. Honestly, it’s obvious that Casey tries to make a world a better place via education as oppose to attacking or laying blame.  Moreover, Casey is indeed a strong advocate for the acknowledgement of one’s individuality and not losing your sense of self regardless of how BONKERS you allow your life to get. Please feel free to check out Casey’s Etsy store where she currently has 3 hand bound zines for sale: Pretty Little Softness, Spicy Fruits Trio, and Relationship Status all ready for your wonderous optics.  Casey can be found @caseywritesthings on Instagram.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Interview with DIY Artist, Allison Binger


I was messaging with Allison yesterday about her letter sign making machine, that she utilizes to ensure perfect lines and edges for the DIY projects she creates. It brought back very vivid memories  regarding one finding its way in my parents’ home -- when I was a teenager. I was in awe of the clean lines required for professionally designed signs and the care in which the blades carefully sliced into self adhesive vinyl. Looking at Allison's pieces -- I'm constantly amazed by the creativity that comes pouring out of her with regards to DIY pieces. I'm impressed with original vision, to permit yourself to be open to using items for other uses -- aside from their intended purpose. I can totally appreciate that -- I remember the first time I started making my hourglasses with recycled glass wine bottles -- to just look at it -- imagine what you want -- and voila -- it's created! That is exactly how Allison's mind works if I am to imagine it through my third eye! With an open cerebellum ideas constantly come pouring out -- always churning. And the variety designed by Allison is truly wonderful. If you are interested in DIY -- definately check out Allison Binger @diyparadiseincnj on Instagram for more optic exposure! 

     

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Stories By The Sea, With Glen & Allison Binger!


I have no idea where in the world you live, all I know is what I see outside my window.

ALL I SEE IS WHITE!!!!!

Winter Solstice has not yet even made its official appearance nevertheless – it’s bloody icy.  I must admit looking out my studio window I see fluffs of snow, haphazardly displayed as the branches hand holds the frozen blobs. Static, in the absence of movement there is a granular sheen that I’m certain will look pretty at night, as it glows, with the face of the open moon. Don’t get me wrong, I abhor the extreme’s equally but at least in the summer you are not bundled up with heavy sweaters and thick socks. I guess, you wonder why I’m mentioning the cold, specifically today.
   

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Interview with Poet, Casandra


Fun loving and experimental are two words I would use to describe Casandra.  I remember one Monday night, Cas’s usual to read poetry live on @yellowpenguinnyc.  Cas had decided to use a psychedelic filter that outlined her body in multicoloured light as she read.  I must admit, it was trippy but, also trance inducing --  while the words flowed from her mouth. Her body movements encircled Cas like that of dark shadow drawing but, instead of a chalk outline, it was a sliced rainbow.  And, the poetry, Cas' words are truly magnificent and thought provoking, qualities I genuinely appreciate when I absorb the words of others.  So, get your fingers ready and send Cas some virtual finger snaps as done during her lives and follow @_ohmycas. Moreover, before I forget stay tuned to a forthcoming interview with Cas where we discuss dance and all things motion. Oh, yeah!  I totally neglected mention she is a dancer too -- I'm totally jealous! 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

I am freak! By Rania M M Watts

I'd shared
White Chocolate
Photo Credit Purdy's 
some good news
with a friend
of mine who
utilized a phrase
that I'd never
heard before
-- personal
byproduct

I'd never thought
about humans
that way nevertheless
-- we do indeed
have our own personal
byproducts

(and for those of who
you've seen Cloud Atlas
-- I am not in discussions
about recycled
cannibalism!)

but innate gifts given
to us by Gods & Goddesses

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Interview with Writer, J.R. Rogue


I am so sad to say that this is the last of the individual interviews series with The Summer of Secrets Authors: Ruin Me by Christina Hart, Hate Me by Cynthia A. Rodriguez, and Teach Me by J.R. Rogue. These girls are so infinitely kind and very humble!  I requested a plethora of questions and they all came through with flying colours -- to consistently provide in-depth honest interviews.  I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such pure and infinite talent.  I have deemed these three beauties The Three Fates - strong apart and together.  They all hold their own with regards to content, collaboration, and imagination!

Friday, 8 November 2019

Interview with Writer, Cynthia A. Rodriguez


I must admit, I’m not only drawn to strong and innovative writers but; also, those who have faced adversity and have come out stronger on the other side.  I’ve been sitting here for the last half hour with my cursor taunting me -- as I am trying to hard to find the right words as to how I feel about this interview. I’m honestly in awe of Cynthia A. Rodriguez, the level of patience and compassion that oozes out of her is truly remarkable.  I can’t imagine the things she has seen as a Combat Veteran, but the way she composes her characters – with such depth of human soul -- is truly beautiful! For more information on Cynthia check out her Instagram @thecynrodriguez and of course the Link Tree too!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Follow Up Interview with Writer, Christina Hart



Last week; Thursday, Friday & Saturday featured my 3-Way interview with: Christina Hart, Cynthia A. Rodriguez, and J.R. Rogue. This weekend, I'll be showcasing their individual interviews.  As I've already interviewed Christina, I asked if she had time to a quick follow up. I always find Christina's answers to be fascinating and consistently entertaining.  Christina is the type of scribe that acknowledges the darkness and works through the pain. Her pieces always echo the voice of one who has experienced a lot of adversity - someone who is truly genuine and never fake with their craft.  Christina is a true artisanal writer!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

PC Pete and the brood of clones, By Kayhan


Capital T trauma surrounds many, that invisible dark indigo blue-black cloud that constantly hangs slightly over your head -- as the beads of thought bubbles, escalated crescendo to painful residual thoughts.  It’s not a pleasant emotion to experience at all. Over the last couple of days, there has been an ongoing dialogue with regards to proper treatment of individuals.  I had prepared an article on abuse, bullies, harassment and plagiarism.  But, I’ve realised those individuals who go out of their way to bully others regardless, if it is via an online platform or in real life they should not be tolerated.  So instead what I’ve decided to do as this is my blog and I literally can do ANYTHING I want here.  I wanted to share with you a sweet dialogue that’s a little electronic based.  However, the emotions of these characters are very real and quite relatable.  I read it years ago and it’s still seared in my mind as though, I had discovered it yesterday.  This piece is called PC Pete and the brood of clones written by my very techy friend Kayhan, who is genuinely OBSESSED with technology and making the world a better place with it. For more information on Kayhan check out his site! 

Press Release. The Metamorphosis of CCIQ Press! By Sonja Mabel McClure

For Immediate Release
  CEMENT.COVERED.INK.QUILLS
HAS TRANSFORMED
INTO CCIQ PRESS

~November 2019~

CCIQ is pleased to announce that numerous and grandiose changes are currently in progress.  The remarkable and well-established blog has constantly and consistently provided the community with creative, innovative, and quality content for over 5 years.

Recently, a new feature has been implemented to the site that allows readers and supporters the opportunity to help fund the organization. “If your optics have enjoyed perusing our riveting interviews, have giggled, been moved, or furrowed an eyebrow at the amazing poetry and articles and have appreciated the reviews, please support CCIQ…,” said Rania M. M. Watts, CCIQ founder and curator. For more details on how to contribute, see the donations page

Monday, 4 November 2019

Interview with Singer, Songwriter, and Entrepreneur Meghann Wright

“Meghann’s music exhibits not only strong musicality but also lyrics that profoundly hit my personal angels/demons. The best way for me to describe it I suppose, is for my readers to contemplate the delicate demeanour of a ballerina. Completely and utterly consumed with poise on the exterior with an immense brave face yet on the inside there may perhaps be issues that riddle the soul with tremendous pain. If you could picture a delicate pair of light-pink tipped-ballet shoes adorned with silver metallic spikes; permitting a moment that allows for soft, gentle, demure characteristics while exhibiting traits that render one fearless.” This is exactly what I said about Meghann Wright 5 years ago and to be frank that review of her work was spot on!

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Interview with Writer, J.R. Rogue


Now for my final 3-way interview from the talented writers that brought us: The Summer of Secrets Part 1-3. J.R. Rogue, wrote the final book of the series -- Teach Me. 

You know there is something to be said about popularity and humility.  I’ve never met someone with so many followers who is truly so down to earth and infinitely kind.  When I read the work of J.R. Rogue I become swept away with posted poetry excerpts.  Micro and authentically profound.  You’ll find that J.R. as her co-writers Christina & Cynthia house a true gift for expression and how they choose to utilize their phrases – each one unique in their own right. 

My new nick name for these three very talented ladies is The Three Fates! Each house a different style -- yet it's so apparent in all three of these interviews that yes, there is a strong business rapport  but, also true kinship -- to authentically lift your sisters in moments of insecurity or doubt -- no matter what. That thought truly has been in tears.  That's a very profound level of agape. 

For more information on J.R. please give her a follow on Instagram at @j.r.rogue and check out J.R.’s website here!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Interview with Writer, Cynthia A. Rodriguez


My first introduction to the writing of Cynthia A. Rodriguez came from a Facebook post I saw regarding Cynthia and J.R. visiting Christina.  And oh boy was I ever delighted by my discovery.  Christina really has flawless taste with regards to suggesting writers. And, fun loving Cynthia does not disappoint. To be honest when I feel riddled with sorrow – I tend to go through Cynthia’s Instagram and scroll (not in a psychotic stalker kind of way!)   The smiles that adorn her face are truly infectious and profound scribing to boot.  Cynthia is responsible for thoughtful storytelling via her novels and honestly from the looks of it – I don’t think she is ever going to stop!  Which in this little writer’s opinion, is completely awesome.  

Cynthia was responsible for writing The Summer of Secrets Series, Part II, Hate Me, a novella that certainly houses a melange of intrigue and concealed subterfuge amidst creating a sensual air.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Interview with Writer, Christina Hart

Poetry has ALWAYS been my wheelhouse, so when I see writers scribing both Poetry & Novels, I tend to get jealous, as they are two extremely unique writing competencies that genuinely promote diversity. Now, to see three writers doing that together – working on the same story while creating three different characters and point of views doesn’t only require a significant amount of talent – which these girls have in droves. But also, proper planning and coordinating between your co-scribes – really boggles my mind!!!

Nevertheless, this trio of ladies totally accomplished their goal.  Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be posting my 3-way interviews with: Christina Hart, Cynthia A. Rodriguez, and J.R. Rogue. Together these three talented ladies have written The Secrets of Summer Trilogy Parts 1- 3, which include in chronological order: Ruin Me by Christina Hart, Hate Me by Cynthia A. Rodriguez and final part of this collection Teach Me by J.R. Rogue.    

Advance Order MCS Synchronicity By DJ Watts

Mark Twain once said: "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” It’s a pretty remarkable thing when you contemplate the beginning of knowing why you were put somewhere or destined to achieve a specific goal.  I clearly remember the day my husband,DJ Watts founder of WAX Golf had begun his research to seek out the perfect golf swing.  The evolution of MCS is remarkable!  The level of research and study of many a Golf Professionals throughout the history of the game, of golf.  And, not only that, something you are not always given -- the answer to which is why? And, how.  Which is exactly why MCS continues to deliver. I won’t get into the total logistics as DJ has written the perfect article as to why MCS Synchronicity will be truly revolutionary.   

The Pumpkin’s Lament By: Josh Dale

On All Hallow's Eve, I relish the concept of posting things that could potentially cause nightmares! And The Pumpkin's Lament by Josh Dale is truly perfect for fueling the inertia to put you in a very creatively haunted mood. Perhaps like thinking about lobotomies from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or maybe a psychotic writer chasing you from The Shining or my personal favourite cooked tongue from Warlock! Happy Halloween! 

Monday, 28 October 2019

i am not a succubus, i am cerberus!

the underworld is a truly dangerous place
which houses, not only the most despicable souls
but those who are so broken. they no longer
have an idea as to why they are trapped
to begin with. everything ends up so turned
around and upside down – a three dimensional
labyrinth that spans tree branch direction – 
dr seuss honestly would have a field day 
in attempt to authentically decipher all 

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Jennifer's Flight of Fantasy!


As a little girl, I believed in Fantasy, you know the element that allows your mind to wander on a beautiful piece of literature of art.  The depth into that world has been believing in true magick and I have genuinely found it in the work of Jennifer Grisham! The imagination on this woman is truly one to behold, as she brings her pieces to life via my minds eye. I see everything so clearly, the writing is so tangible you can almost touch it, with all the lucid expression that leaves you wanting for more. 

Please find enclosed two very delicious poems by Jen, the first is entitled Persephone and the second Bambina!  Happy reading! Jen's forthcoming book Equinox Ascending will be available for purchase both on Amazon and in her soon to be posted store on CCIQ Press, Jennifer's Poison Apple where signed copies of both books will be available.


Saturday, 26 October 2019

Interview with Poet, Adam Shove


One time, when I was in Grade 9 Vocal Jazz class, my teacher who shall not be named -- who incidentally was worse than Voldemort! I honestly had never met a man with such little compassion for comprehension and appreciation of proper pronunciation of someone’s name.  He called me: Ranier, Rene, Renya, and many more abominations.  One day, I corrected him, his response was “whatever?!” – which in my humble opinion permanently makes him a douche bag.  Now, that being said, when Adam Shove’s (pronounced chauv) name had been constantly butchered during some live readings -- by those who did not take the care of learning the pronunciation – I genuinely took offence.  When you mispronounce a name, you are basically disrespecting the authentic essence of a human being.  Adam by nature is a minimalist, one of the true individuals I know who does not take words for granted.   If you have no idea who Adam is, I suggest you educate yourself… @thepoetshove on Instagram will take you to his depth riddled pieces. 

cciqpress.com

Dearest Bookworms,

I'm scribing this email through blurred eyes,  they are not tears of sorrow but -- joy.  I did not think that I was going to receive the level of support that I have when I first created CCIQ.  My  name has undergone a number of evolutions, from: hourglassartisan.com, raniawatts.com, cementcoveredquills.blogpot.com, cementcoveredinkquills.blogspot.com to our final home of cciqpress.com.  An official press release will be coming out shortly but, in the meantime our name on Instagram has changed from cement.covered.ink.quills to the sleek cciqpress.  That's right all you beautiful live readers and Instagram followers no longer have to type in a long name riddled with periods in between! As well, we've also posted a donation option for any of you who feel inspired to toss in a couple of bucks.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Interview with Singer/Songwriter ILONA


Years ago, when I changed my website platform, I thought all the content moved with me… I was so wrong; I’d lost one of the of the loveliest interviews I’d ever done.  Thankfully, I reached out to ILONA, hoping she had the original content as my email account had been deleted with my blog.  I was in tears when I received ILONA’s message yesterday -- advising me that she had recovered EVERYTHING! I am truly grateful.  Here is the original interview that I did with ILONA back in October 2015, which was posted on raniawatts.com before everything was coated in cement and ink! 

Thank you so much ILONA for furnishing me with such GORGEOUS pictures.  Photo credit: Ellie Tomassi, Sally Carpenter, Trudi Knight. 

I just sent ILONA my new follow up questions....

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The Decluttering By Artemis McNeil



Well it’s that time again:
Fall decluttering season!
(First cousin to Spring cleaning)

Aaah!

With hands on hips I look around assessing how to prioritize
this foreboding task.

I contemplate the strategy of organizing drawers, emptying cabinets, revamping closets, and straightening up of shelves with a spirit vacillating between the “rolling up of sleeve with unfettered zeal” and “hailing a cab for the airport to catch the next flight to Miami trepidation”.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Interview with Poet, Kelly Pitt


My dear friend Jennifer Grisham aka @alchemical.poetica -- who incidentally has a forthcoming poetry collection dedicated to my interviewee Kelly Pitt, entitled Equinox Ascending due out on All Hallows’ Eve,  had taken a trip this summer from: The Big Apple to The Home Of The Blues. 

That’s the first time I had seen Kelly and thought – this one is a total spitfire!!  Kelly has wild amber red hair that totally reminded me of one of my favourite Disney Princesses, Merida.  I noticed how it flowed in the wind, her jovial massive welcoming smile in the pictures -- that had been taken during that visit.  I have a very odd gift; at times I let my imagination flow and see the most whimsical things in others that normal boring humans tend to miss. Merida, totally came to mind; she is willing to fight for causes she believes in – Kelly is the same way. I had no idea, until I read her honest poetry, how I would genuinely react to her work.  One word could be talented -- yes. But most of all the pure expression that oozes out of Kelly regardless of subject – she is genuinely BRAVE – especially with sensitive subject matter.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

ENOUGH! By Liz Lugo


Guest Writer, Liz Lugo is a bilingual poet originally from Puerto Rico. She’s a microbiologist, editor, and short stories writer, and founder of the Smaeralit collection.  Currently, she’s in her thesis for her master’s degree in Professional Screenwriting.  Liz is trilingual in English, Spanish, Italian, and is learning ASL.  

She has an extreme fascination for comics/graphic novels.  She loves to write Horror, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Psychological Thriller, and Post-apocalyptic stories; as well as Drama, and promoting real and liberal stories that have an impact on today’s society.  She also enjoys comedy, documentaries, westerns, foreign films. 

Liz’s committed to the following causes: sexual harassment/abuse, rape, animal cruelty, human rights, verbal abuse, mental health, among others. When she’s not writing or analyzing films or TV shows, she’s up to a new adventure or just hearing music, dancing, cooking, or exercising. Liz's Instagram is @swllugo ! 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Interview with Poet, Jennifer A. Grisham


First and foremost, I’m in LOVE with the word magique and variations of it -- more unique in spelling than magic.  So, when I receive a completed interview by Jennifer A. Grisham where she uses the spelling magick – the smile on my face genuinely does bend from ear to ear -- like that of Brandon Lee’s face in The Crow.  The use of words and origins are very important to me.  As a writer, more specifically poet our veins do not flow with plasma but, rather: letters, and punctuation symbols.  Jennifer’s writing comes from the millennia of crevices that comprise her profound essence.  Her writing is lucid and imagery consistently lush.  Jennifer’s forthcoming book Equinox Ascending will be available on All Hallows' Eve – which in my opinion could either be paired nicely with a bottle of Malbec or in my case a basket riddled with every single kind of candy available.  

Friday, 11 October 2019

TONY MOORE'S BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!


About 5 years ago, I thought I was going to simply facilitate a fascinating interview with a Singer/Songwriter who’d literally inspired me through my formative years -- not make a lifelong friend, which I genuinely did and am so eternally grateful for!!

On October 6, 2014, I posted my first interview with Singer/Songwriter, Mentor, Teacher...Tony Moore.   I’ve never in my life met someone with so many simultaneous jobs ensconced with JOY.  That is the one word I can use to describe Tony Moore, even when things are stacked against him – he always reacts in a positive manner.  I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s genuinely quite inspirational.  It’s taught me to be more patient with my life as well as proactive.  Now, you may ask, why am I telling you all of this today?  Because on this day in 1958 Tony Moore was born, this is my way of honouring Tony's birthday.  I wanted to do a big blown out BONANZA where I merge all three of his interviews – including a recent one on the origin story of Tony Moore’s Musical Emporium.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Interview with Psychiatric Social Worker & Poet, Tohm Bakelas

When I was a child there were two things I wanted to pursue: writing poetry and helping others.  As a Poet my world was open to boundless expression – nothing was held back.  You are left to your own devices to simply: bleed, cry or sweat on the perfectly poised parchment, desiring the use of anything to make a mark – to scribe volumes worth of work.   Now, as a Social Service Worker, I had to be guarded and extremely professional – there was a ton of protocol.  What to document, what not to document – how to contend with stressful clients who are suffering on so many levels. It was probably one of the most difficult jobs I’d ever had.  My clients all had HIV/AIDS their stories were painful to listen to and I would come home many a time and simply cry.  So many, died!  It completely broke my heart.  It takes a special kind of person to explicitly care for others in a humane fashion.  Tohm Bakelas, is a practicing Psychiatric Social Worker who not only scribes thought-provoking Poetry but, is also passionate regarding his daily job.  As someone who had once worked in the field, it genuinely is a tough one when you are exposed to day-after-day-after-day of dealing with someone’s unbalanced mental state.  It simultaneously takes a lot of patience and mercy.  For more information on Tohm, check out and follow his Instagram @flexyourhead.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

How to Gain Inspiration During the Spooky Season By Jennifer A. Grisham


  When there are endings, there are always new beginnings creeping just around the corner.  As a writer, I am most inspired by the autumn season.  The world is at its most colorful, the leaves are rich with hue, and the air is just the right amount of chill to make me feel immensely passionate. 

Monday, 30 September 2019

Help Keep Local and Small Businesses Alive By: Sonja Mabel McClure

How sad is it when you go out and about in your local city, scanning the area as it undergoes new development changes and while you assess the shopping district, you become disheartened that your favorite little consignment shop is gone and closed down. The even more discouraging realization is that this is happening frequently to small businesses everywhere. 
The quaint boutique located in my neighborhood was filled with a wide assortment of locally made crafts, decorations, and brightly colored refurnished furniture. I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to sell some of my own handmade items in the shop at one time. Such a shame to witness that it was no longer there. 
In today’s marketplace, it is a struggle for many small merchants to make a profit and stay afloat. We must engage in various actions to help sustain the future of local and independent businesses.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Interview with Poet, Luke Young


A couple of years ago, I had decided to take on a year long poetry challenge based on the work of twelve artists.  One of those creatives was Rebecca Belmore who is NOT only and Interdisciplinary Anishinaabekwe Artist but, also a strong advocate for First Nation Rights and awareness movement.  I mention this because when I read the work of Luke Young, I’m reminded of the work Rebecca does to spread awareness of issues that affect our First Nations.  Which include: the tragic rape and murder of indigenous women, lack of running water & electricity in most reservations, appreciation of locally grown food and living with nature symbiotically not with the intent to abuse the land and resources.  These are indeed very real issues that sincerely require a lot of attention, my heart genuinely bleeds! For more information on Luke, check him out on Instagram @ragealien.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Interview With Poet, Elise Emersyn


There are two qualities that I so genuinely appreciate in another human being; a warrior spirit, survivors’ endurance and riddled with raw honest talent.  Ok, make it three idiosyncratic characteristics. I just feel that writing is such a personal release – especially when writing about difficult subjects.  I genuinely believe that specks of our soul detach from us -- as we release immense pain or joy. The gift there is to be able to take that pain and manifest something that be appreciated – and the release of poetry. As it oozes from us as we desire to do nothing but express our most inner emotions into woven tales. Emotive work is truly housed within the Poetry of Elise Emersyn. The quality of Elise’s work is quite distinctive as she immerses herself inside of her own stylized being.  When I read her work, I can authentically feel the myriad of emotions conveyed throughout, Drowning Back To Life.

I’d like to invite all of you to follow Elise on Instagram @eliseemersynpoetry and take a look at her site https://eliseemersynpoetry.com ..

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

LEGENDS, By: Artemis Skye McNeil

This series focuses on heroes that live around us, next to us, even in our own homes. I won’t call them “regular people” because they are not. They carry something special and unique about them -- an internal light and energy that makes others eventually understand that they’re in the presence of a mind and heart worth tapping into. These “Legends” aren’t famous in the traditional sense, although they could be. Many of them choose not to be.  

Their “fame” is earned by the great impression they leave after leaving a room, a conversation, or even life. Legends are created out of deep respect and awe for another human.  I thought I’d start with a legend very close to my heart; my own father. I could write a book on my father’s life  and maybe one day I will. But for now, he kicks off my series on “Legends”. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Follow Up Interview With Writer, Alicia Cook


A couple of months ago, I read an article about how writing saved the life of Alicia Cook.  I can totally relate to that as writing, more specifically writing poetry has genuinely rescued me from certain death many a time.  To be able to express yourself fully, and drain your spirit of the angst and pain that has endured over snapshots of painful circumstances -- from the days of old is beyond cathartic.  When I read Alicia’s poetry, I’m surrounded by words that render me -- into a puddle of human goo. Especially Alicia’s pieces where the subject matter is either; mental health awareness or fighting the stigma attached to addiction and the possibilities of overcoming addiction.  Alicia truly NEVER minces her words – what she feels she writes and makes no excuses – as obviously she should not.  Alicia’s poetry genuinely stands on its own and authentically tends to house an honest tone.  Below, you’ll find my follow-up interview with Alicia – she altruistically is a conqueror and should be read – please follow @thealiciacook on Instagram.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Suicide Prevention Month: Social Media’s Connection to Suicide, By: Jennifer A. Grisham



Photo by Georgia de Lotz
            In today’s world, it may come to no surprise that the leading cause of death for teens and young adults is suicide.  I often think about how different the world is today from the world in which my parents grew up in.  You did not need a degree from a university in order to find a good, steady job and craft a stable life. These days you need more than a college degree, you need graduate school.  The standards for education keep rising, jobs are becoming scarcer because there are so many qualified/overqualified people, and means of living is much too costly for most middle-class families to feel remotely comfortable.  The amount of pressure we receive is overwhelming and it certainly does not help our mental health.  In fact, it has an even greater negative impact than we could imagine.  Social media, which has grown exponentially in terms of necessities for humans, only adds to these pressures.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Interview with Children's Author & Poet, Linda Lokhee


This past week Children’s Author & Poet Linda Lokhee had become the architect to her own unique poetic style called the Lokhee Flip 4 – check out her Instagram @lindalokheeauthor for more details. Moreover, please study it as it will be utilized for this years Mini Poetry Olympics in February 2020.   

Now, that being said, Linda has to be one of the most imaginative Children Writer’s I’ve read.  Having children, you are picky with what they read, you want to ensure that a story will not only provide a little education but also enjoyment and The Sock Monster.  With such a vibrant and quirky main character riddled with the truest sense of the word mirth.  I’m so excited to share with all of you my interview with Linda below.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Enter Stage Left, Quill Fated Scribes

Dearest Bookworms —

CCIQ is undergoing a metamorphosis! 

I’ve invited 3 of the most competent and talented writers;  Jennifer Grisham, Sonja Mabel McClure and Artemis Skye McNeil to join me in creating an even more fascinating blog experience. Each of these ladies brings her own unique style and quality as writers who truly understand the verity of humanity and its various components. If that isn’t exciting enough, I am proud to introduce “Val’s Oubliette” an online gift shop featuring the artwork of resident artist Valisa Bernardino!  

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Interview with Poet, Jeremy M. Tolbert


Funny little side story before I get into this interview, oddly enough it’s Jeremy M. Tolbert’s interview -- I am posting today – links to my present day.  Yesterday, I was in the middle of a DM with another Poet, Myers-Briggs testing was mentioned during our conversation.  I had completely forgotten what my specific initials were, and I’ve grown as an adult so thought that it would be fun to take it over.  (Oddly enough by the time I was done and had one teenager and another preteen interested in taking the test for themselves – results were interesting to say the least.) One thing I noticed had changed I had grown from a gregarious extravert to a please just let me do my own thing introvert.  Makes you think, Jeremy is an INJF which happens to be one of the rarest personality combinations ever – quite thoughtful if you think about it.  For more of Jeremy’s story please read below, he has furnished us with a nice plump interview.  I’d like to invite all of you to follow Jeremy on Instagram at @jeremymtolbert.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Interview with Poet, Conor Malcolm Crockford


Poet/Writers have incredible gifts that they utilize to explore throughout their work and regardless of what ailment or issue they have – they just keep motoring at their own pace.  Conor Malcolm Crockford is very open about discussing being on the Autism Spectrum – I know, numerous of writers that I’ve interviewed have openly admitted to their disorders and psychosis.  It’s a powerful feeling to use that adversity to create pieces of poetry, that would leave most with jaw dropped mouths open agape --waiting for spiders or flies to simply creep in.  Scribing poetry is not just a practise to most Poets it is a truly emotional experience that links secret stories together,  only those who know the intimate details of a situation would be able to recognise -- to others it’s a powerful piece of work. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you to follow Conor on Instagram at @florescentjunk you’ll be happy you did – he is such a prolific writer published by a number of reputable presses – Happy Reading.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Interview with Poet, Shaun Smith


I must admit, one of my favourite aspects of interviewing most writers is that the majority of them do not write for the money but for the expression -- Shaun Smith is no different.  Shaun’s poetry is born out of cathartic release and expression.  When I read the title of Shaun’s first book, I wanted to simply cry --  the title alone “The Results of a Failed Abortion: A Collection of Poems” completely hooked me in. I thought of the ramifications of a failed abortion how an unwanted child would be treated -- as a mother of 3 this resulted in plenty of tears.  I can’t image the darkness a soul feels after it’s been exposed to the experiences that Shaun so openly speaks about through his pieces.  Obviously, life is not easy, it is our experience that shapes the kind of human being that we become.  To have started in the darkness, one would have to house an immensely strong soul to be able to endure the adversity.  Shaun, does not shy away from difficult subjects – I strongly believe that writers help each other through the work they create based on their experiences.  It helps to realise when you feel alone that you are truly not – that there are individuals who have been exposed to horrible situations who had to escape torment and torture. Any kind of abuse on any level is really not ok – absorb the pain etched in the writing to comprehend someone’s personal struggle and try to ensure we are consistently kind. Both of Shaun’s books “The Results of a Failed Abortion: A Collection of Poems” and “Perfection” are both available on Amazon here!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Interview with Renaissance Artist, Lea Lumi'ère

I remember one time I was watching a spotlight on Stevie Nicks, she had said she never wanted to have children -- as it would remove her from her path of being a true artist.  As much as I love Stevie Nicks, I totally respectfully disagree with her in this instance. That’s the wonderful aspect about learning to agree to disagree and various global perspectives – now the purpose for that anecdote.   Lea Lumi'ère is genuinely the perfect example of a woman who is a mother and authentically an Artist in the truest form of the word.   

Lea is not only a writer but also paints, dances and recites poetry.  She has one of the softest and delicate souls of a being I’ve ever seen.  When you read her work or look at her paintings it’s obvious that it come from a profound crevice deep in her being.  What most who don’t have children do not comprehend is that

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The Summer Of Secrets Parts One - Three! Cover Reveal!!!

For those of you who do not know I've been a supporter of Christina Hart's work for years. I've both reviewed Christina's work and interviewed her as well for CCIQ.  But, what you to not know is that Christina has been a HUGE supporter of mine too -- anytime I need books or spoken verse pieces for the Poetry Olympics Christina is always amongst the first to donate. Now, I'd like to share some exciting news that made it to my inbox this am -- Christina has teamed up with fellow writers Cynthia A. Rodriguez & J. R. Rogue for a trio of versification that will drive your senses WILD!

The complete set of three books follows this order; Part 1: Ruin Me by Christina Hart, Part 2: Hate Me by Cynthia A Rodriguez and Part 3: Teach Me by J.R. Rogue.  I've read all the summaries enclosed below that I've been so generously furnished by these beautiful lady writers and feel quite excited about reading these tantalizing books once they have been published!  What's really cool is that these ladies have been teasing cover reveal for the last little while and here is it is make sure to follow each of these ladies all their information is below! Happy Reading!

Monday, 26 August 2019

Interview with Founder of Really Serious Literature, C.C. Hannett


Last Friday evening, my disappearing chapbook entitled Candy Maze (Vol 1 & 2) was published by Really Serious Literature, only available to read on Instagram.  I was so intrigued by the idea of a disappearing chapbook I felt genuinely compelled to ask its founder C.C. Hannett for an interview for CCIQ!  The idea of a disappearing chap is so magical on so many levels, like many things in life that are short lived.  To have a piece of your work out there knowing one day it will be eventually deleted into the mist is a profound thought indeed.  So far, they have published 98 disappearing chapbooks including mine.  It’s so exciting to be part of this movement.  If you’d like to have your piece published by them DM CC at @rlysrslit – they are always looking for interesting chapbooks to publish.  Everything you need to know about how to submit and expectations are in this interview however CC is always open to dialogue – feel free to DM him directly.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Interview with Poet, Barry Hollow


This year for the Poetry Olympics I asked for either Spoken Verse or Song donations by independent Poets/Singer/Songwriters.  And when I received Barry Hollow’s I was tremendously excited as I relish accents from all over the world.  On his Instagram I noticed that it said he currently resides in Bristol – but when I listened to his piece, I heard this awesome Scottish accent that came right through -- clear as day. It’s quite remarkable how many of us are nowhere near where we originally started.  Which I find to be so inspirational as it teaches us that we are truly all united and citizens of the world regardless of where we are from. Barry’s poetry is always so lush riddled with vivid imagery and honesty of expression.  I relish organic Poets such as Barry as they genuinely take the time to study a form and theme before even posting anything.  For more info on Baz! Isn’t that just the coolest nickname?  Check him out on Instagram @thehollow.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Interview with Founder of EyelumWorks, Carlos Gonzalez


I’ve loved comics as long as I can remember --- the way the heavily inked thin parchment used feel to my fingertips.  Although the page was thin the ink made it feel slightly heavier – especially boxes of nothing but black. I never quite appreciated the process of drawing and the inking of work until I saw the movie Chasing Amy – it introduced me to not only the world of comics but shed some light on what it is those who draw and ink the comics do.  When I read how Carlos Gonzalez divulged that he would create comics in his earlier days and engage in every aspect to from drawing, designing to inking.  It got me started on the entire process and how much work it takes to create a handbound book from beginning to end.  It’s very rewarding but time consuming as well.  Another aspect of Carlos interview that I enjoyed was when he discusses his video venture People Things Project, where he interviews very talented human subjects.  What I took away from his little morsels of video is the very act of humanity and how much wonder there is in this world to discover within each of us there is a story.  Please follow Carlos at @eyelumworks and keep an eye out for his most recent human showcase.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Interview with Poet & Founder of Neon Sunrise Publishing, David Greshel


Having a publishing company or printing press has been a dream of mine for probably about the last ten years.  I’ve been heavily steeped in poetry, probably all the way to my plain boring brown optics. But there is something to be said about the creation process.  From simple air molecules that surround us, thoughts start to form, and we create because honestly, we do not know any better. As David Greshel from Neon Sunrise Publishing knows, there is a lot of work that goes into building a proper publishing company to host reputable writers -- looking to create a decent final artifact.  When you take the work of another writer regardless of what genre that is their most sacred work – not just any publishing house will do.  For more information on Neon Sunrise Publishing please follow David on Instagram @electricinfamy.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Medusa

In a crowd, my face keeps its silhouette:
a core desperate for an exorcism.
These other nemesis absorb a mask,
handcrafted by the artisans under the sea.

Callused beings with a body texture to match,
facades fashioned from the base of a Venetian mask
immersed into liquid leather, hung from tarnished metal
hooks to dry before horrible words were carved
with a newly forged blade, cursed to transform the beings
beneath their black cloaks into that utterance.
Believe me, the usual skulls would be a welcome relief!

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Interview with Artist, Min


One of my dear friends Medina and her partner Ryan own the newest cereal café to grace the roads of Hamilton NJ called Spoony Sweets.  It is a business built on respect but mostly love, I’m saying this because you need to comprehend the full history of why it is that I asked Min for an interview. And must start at the very beginning.  Last year or so Medina and I were speaking she told me about a piece that she was commissioning by Min for Ryan.  At that point, I had never heard of Min. I asked for her moniker and researched her work.  I honestly fell in love with what I had seen.  Some of the most delicate and complicated pieces I’d ever seen created by the hands of a magnificent artist. I was already memorised by the craftsmanship of Min’s pieces and how she would add little nuances to enhance them but, when she added poetry -- I lost it.  A beautiful art piece exquisitely built riddled with poetry.  My mind was officially blown.  If you are interested in your own commissioned piece, please follow Min on Instagram and reach out she is magnificent. @by.min.977 If you enjoyed what you read or saw check out Min's Etsy store here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Interview with Haiku Poet, Janine Giske


Over the last couple of years Premier League soccer has taken over my life -- whenever I want to watch the television -- there was always a game streaming from the U.K during ridiculously early hours.  Needless to say, I’ve learned to really appreciate the sport of soccer. Something, I know for a fact that my current interviewee would comprehend -- as I know she is OBSESSED with soccer.  Janine Giske is a Haiku scribing woman who always seeks to reveal the truth no matter how painful.  When a writer bleeds their letters and syntax on a page for better or worse, they are sharing who they are or what they desire to be. And, Janine has proven to be a prolific poet especially when she writes about those, she relishes most.  For more information on Janine please follow her on Instagram @josameys.words .