Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Interview with inspirational writer and poet Shira Garnett

Shira, members of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook see your name because you’re so faithful about nurturing their faith and writing. Thank you. And thanks for giving us a chance to find out more about you and your writing life.

I know you have a website with uplifting blog posts and writings, but what other projects are you working on now?

At present, my writings consist of inspirationals, poems, and an autobiography of my life experiences.

When did you first suspect you wanted to write?

When I was in the kindergarten, I would sit on the floor and listen as the teacher would read books for our “Reading Time.” During that period of my life, I was experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and abuse. My mind would drift into the stories being read. This was a coping mechanism for me.

Once I knew I was able to forget about my present situation by becoming one of the characters in the story, I vowed to speak out and encourage others. Writing affords me this opportunity. My writings give readers the ability to step into concepts of resolution, challenge, healing, and hope.

Did anything encourage your writing?

Growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s gave me the wonderful privilege of a wholesome era. Authors such as Judy Blume, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the Holy Spirit, of course, have been the inspiration that set the tone of my passion for writing.

Shows that focused on characters who were writers in the script has been an encouragement as well. Richard Earl Thomas (John Boy) from the “Walton’s,” George Robert Newhart from the “Newhart Show,” Lauri Ingalls Wilder from “Little House on the Prairie” – each has been a major influence to me. Also, I must mention the “Hallmark” television station.

The media certainly does influence us! And, I thank God for the influence we can have on others through social networks. Where will we be apt to find you on the Internet?

I’m currently spread throughout the major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Tumblr, and Pinterest. My aim is to reach as many people and writing professionals as possible. Social Networks have afforded me to do so at the level I’m presently at in my writing career.

Do you see your writing as a gift or calling?

Gifting for me is something that’s cultivated by one’s motivation to fulfill Gods divine purpose, because I do believe God has graced me with gifts of compassion and fearlessness. Yes, writing is a gift granted me.

As for being called to write, my heart’s desire is to be obedient to God’s commission for believers to spread the message of love, hope, grace, and forgiveness of sins unto the world. This is a call for those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, so I embrace the commission of the call.

What do you hope to accomplish in your writing?

Many people suffer in silence. Speakers, Writers, Ministers, and people from all walks of life often mask real life issues. Because of this, I attempt to bring a serene and encouraging word, desiring to share a boost of simple reality to brighten one’s day.

Those who follow my readings are not always Christians or, for that matter, believers in God. With this knowledge in mind, I prayerfully ask God to give me seeds of wisdom to plant words that express His Undying Love for humanity and for someone else to water what has been planted. In this way God gets the increase. For believers, they’re able to appreciate the sincere milk, and for those who are not, I pray the Holy Spirit does what I can’t.

Amen! Thank you, Shira. Before we close, what would you like to say to other communicators for Christ?

This simple one-liner has carried me through ups, downs, and uncertainties, “Success starts with a great idea, a passion for what you believe in, and a desire to carry it out.”

If writing is what you do, do it! Everything else will fall into place, and remember to always stay encouraged.

Yes! And, may the Lord help us to receive God’s ongoing encouragement to us in Jesus’ Name.

© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, moderator of the Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook, writes books in all genres for Christian, educational, and indie publishers.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Interview with Christian poet and writer Marla Shaw O’Neill

Marla, as one of the administrators for our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook, your encouraging words have helped many members, who will be glad to hear about your writing life. Tell us about your published work.

Sing Sarah Sing is a story of a ten-year-old girl of mixed race, who is raised by her granny in Cedar Bluff, AL, in 1956. Sarah has an amazing musical ability and beautiful voice, which take her to Nashville, TN, where God uses her to touch many lives. There is a kidnapping, a murder, a battle with angels and demons, a love story, and a glorious ending.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Being a Christian I have to say that my Father God, Jesus my Savior and the precious Holy Spirit inspire me. There is a passion I can’t explain that flows from deep within my heart, a knowing that God loves me more than I can comprehend, and from that love stems a relationship that compares to no other. There is a place in God I’ve come to where I feel most people stare in wonder at me sometimes, but He’s so real, I can’t help myself. I’m caught up to the third heaven with Him where He reveals mysteries I’m learning others might not have, but it’s for everyone who will surrender totally to Him.

Who or what encouraged you to write?

I don’t know who encouraged me, but I had a desire to write. Then I found out a few years ago that George Bernard Shaw was a distant relative, so maybe it’s in my genes.

At first my passion was reading, then I’d write songs and poems. I was extremely shy around other people as a child, and well into adulthood, I found comfort in stories. In 1998, I wrote my first book on how real heaven is, and I finished but never published it.

What experiences have helped to prepare you?

This has been a challenge for me because I only have a twelfth grade education with a few college credits. It’s frustrating sometimes because I feel as though I don’t have the skills it takes to write the way I want, so I read books on writing.

Do you see your writing as a gift or calling?

I see it as both. God gave me the gift and called me to use it for His glory and purpose. That is one reason I take it seriously. I don’t want to disappoint the Lord.

Does the Bible influence your work as a writer?

Oh yes, I reference scriptures a lot. God’s word is alive; it quickens, convicts, and sets people free. It is the inspired word of God. Jesus said when He went away He’d send us another comforter and to wait for the imparting of Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48-50.) He is our teacher and comforter.

When I was twelve, I had a glorious infilling of the Holy Spirit. We were all around the altar praying, the musicians were playing songs, and people were dancing in the Spirit. Ladies were all around me with one praying let go and another praying hold on. Finally they moved on to someone else, and I found myself laying on the floor of the little church as a young woman knelt beside me praying softly. I prayed and said, “Lord what’s wrong with me, why can’t I have what they have.” The Holy Spirit gently whispered to me and said, “Don’t seek the gift. Seek the giver of the gift.” I understood, so I began praising Jesus and thanking Him for being my savior. All of a sudden I started praying in heavenly languages! I could hear what was going on around me, but I was caught up in a heavenly place and remember all through the night speaking in languages I didn’t know. I asked God one time, “Lord why did you give me such a glorious experience, and yet my life has had so many trials and tests.” He said, “I knew you would need the Holy Spirit in your life to help you go through all those things.”

In what ways do you hope your writing will help to unify or strengthen the church Body of Christ?

Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me,” John 12:32. There is so much turmoil in the Church today, but if I can write and show the Love of God in a real and personal way, and it touches just one soul, then my writing was not in vain. I think too many have this image of God as being a mean taskmaster, but He’s not like that at all! He loves us so much! Who else would give their own child to die for haters, murderers, prostitutes, or sick, greedy, selfish, vain, egotistical, carnal-minded people – or even nice churchgoing citizens who wouldn’t hurt a fly but don’t accept Jesus as the Son of God? Who would do that? It could only be a God who has mercy and grace for humanity and a love that seeks to save those who are utterly lost. It would have to be a God who doesn’t want to kill us, but who wants to protect us and deliver us from the one who really is the enemy of our soul. To have an anointing on my writing that will draw people to Jesus is the kind of writing I long for.

Have you found the Internet helpful in reaching others for Christ?

I have a group on Facebook called, A Call to Action. God gives us our gifts and wants us to use them for his purposes. I believe God inspired me to start that group so that He could be shared with others. We are to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19.) Habakkuk 2:1-3 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it.” And when we use our gifts and talents for God’s glory He multiplies our efforts. Some plant and some water, but God brings the increase (I Corinthians 3:6-7.) So, it’s not about the one who plants or waters; it’s all about God.

What suggestions or encouragement would you like to offer other Christian poets or writers?

Join a writers group. The Christian Poets and Writers group on Facebook has been a life-saver for me. Reading what other Christian writers write is inspiring and educational. The posts give you food for thought and trigger an abundance of topics for me to write about too.

Don’t let yourself or anyone discourage you from writing. Self-doubt, kick it out. Inadequacies? Don’t let that stop you. With many resources available, Google is a writer’s friend. When you have a passion for something, nothing can stop you. It’s always there in your thoughts and in your heart, gently and softly compelling you to do it!

Yes! Thanks, Marla, and may God continue to bless your writing life.

© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, moderator of the Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook, writes books in all genres for Christian, educational, and indie publishers.

Sing Sarah Sing, paperback, by Marla Shaw O'Neill

Friday, November 8, 2013

Interview with Christian poet, singer, songwriter Kathy J. Snow

Kathy, you’re a constant blessing to our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook and a personal help and encouragement to me, so I want other communicators for Christ to get to know you better. Please tell us a bit about your work.

In March 2013 by God’s wonderful grace, a collection of my poems and songs were published as Pebbles and Blessings – a book of healing and of faith and encouragement for souls. This book not only includes poetry written from my experiences with the Lord and my journey of faith, but includes songs I have written and recorded. I also have a Pebbles and Blessings blog and am working on a second book.

Do you consider your work a calling?

I knew I was called as a writer to encourage people when, after writing and recording several songs, I received a letter from a gentlemen in the Northwest Territories saying how my song “Saved by His Grace” had touched his life and set his feet on the path to salvation and deliverance from drug and alcohol. I praise God for these marvelous works of His grace! I am only a vessel. He is my inspiration. I still have this letter that serves as a reminder our God is real! I write to encourage so often pray, “May a heart be blessed and a soul refreshed.” That is my constant prayer as I feel the calling to uplift and cheer.

How long have you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was eight years old I have kept a journal and/ or diary. I dreamed of being a writer and publishing books of poetry. Looking back on my life I now realize I have always been a writer, but the difference now is, I am guided by the unseen hand, and I have consecrated my life and my gift as a writer to God. Without Him I am nothing.

What do you most like to read?

My daily read is my Bible – my source of comfort and my armor in this life. I also love to read Robert Frost – always have, and I enjoy a good poem where I find myself lost in the landscape of words that come to life when read.

How does the Bible fit into your work as a writer?

Scripture is the very foundation of faith and salvation, but I have never even given much thought to how the Bible fits into my work. It’s been my source of what I call “Glory Nuggets.” As my grandmother often told me, ”If you want to get to know the Author of life, then read and study His word.”

When you’re not writing, what activities do you enjoy?

I love to be recording in the studio with my husband. I am an avid quilter, too, and love to hear the hum of the sewing machine – six quilts and counting! I also love to capture God’s spectacular creation through nature, so I take my camera everywhere I go.

What advice would you like to share with other Christian poets or writers?

Always be open to God’s will. Be flexible for change! You just never know what the Lord has in store for His vessel. Always begin with prayer, and never take your writing for granted. Whether you like to write or love to write, make use of the wonderful Christian blogs and groups that are available, for you will find not only support and encouragement, but helpful tips for writing. I am blessed and thankful the Lord led me to the Christian Poets & Writers Group on Facebook. May God continue to bless us all as we endeavor to do His will and build up the body of Christ.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler