Thank you Phyllis for being a part of Echoic Magazine March Issue!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born in 1953 in Manchester, NH and was blessed with a loving Mom and Dad and 2 wonderful sisters. I have been happily married for 44 years to my husband, Rich. We have 3 sons, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, and 7 grandchildren. The desire to write a personal memoir for my family, especially my grandchildren, was the reason for writing my 1st book "From My Heart to Yours: A Legacy of Love". I wanted to share my family's story and our love and also share God's story and His love, too. It was originally published in May 2011. My 2nd book "My Season of Writing" was also written with my grandchildren in mind. It is a collection of Bible Bedtime Stories, Poems, Prayers, and Songs. It was written during a recent season of my life. My grandchildren enjoy reading before going to bed so have enjoyed reading the stories and poems from each book.
Why is poetry important?
I feel that poetry is important as a creative way to share and express what is on our hearts with one another. I originally started writing nursery rhyme poems for my grandchildren based on stories from the Bible as a way to share my faith with them. It was a challenge for me to write in rhyming prose but also very rewarding. I also wrote poems about my love for God and for my family. And I enjoyed writing some inspiring poems about the hope we have in God and also a few humorous poems about my life as well.
How does a poem begin for you, with an idea, a form, or an image?
A poem begins for me with an idea. It is usually during one of my quiet times with the Lord in the morning when I pray and meditate on His Word. It is then that I will have a strong desire to share whatever is on my heart with others.
Where is your favorite place to write and why?
My favorite place to write is sitting in my recliner in the living room with either pen and paper or my laptop computer. And my favorite time to write is during my quiet time with the Lord in the morning. The reason is because that is usually the time when the Lord places an idea about something on my heart to share with others. For example, my 2nd book "My Season of Writing" was written during my morning quiet time with the Lord. That is when I got the strong desire to write some bible bedtime stories and prayers as nursery rhymes and poems for my grandchildren to read at bedtime. It was a way for me to share my faith with them. After many months of writing, I decided to have the collection of poems published so I could share it not only with my grandchildren but with everyone else.
What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?
To be honest, I feel much more comfortable expressing myself with my written voice rather than my speaking voice. I am basically an introvert - I've always been a little shy - so I don't really like to speak in front of a lot of people. I remember in high school, many years ago, that I dreaded having to give an oral book report in front of my class. But I did enjoy writing the essay for the book report. So, to answer your question, I would have to say that my speaking voice is a little weak but my written voice is very strong.
What are your thoughts about social media and poetry? Do you think it helps the poet or hinders the poet?
I think that social media is a wonderful way to share poetry. It has helped me to be able to share my poetry with other people. I have shared my poems on my personal Facebook page and also the Facebook page for my book "My Season of Writing". It is a great tool that is available and that I use to share what is on my heart with a large audience. I also enjoy reading poetry from other people either on Facebook or on various blogs and online magazines.
What is the best advice you have for other poets?
I would simply encourage other poets by saying that, if you have a strong desire to share something that is on your heart, then you should do it. Just start by writing whatever you feel compelled to share, from your heart.
What do you see in the future for poets? Do you believe that poetry will regain its strength over time?
I would like to see more books of poetry available for children to read throughout their school years. I think that would help them to appreciate it and enjoy reading it from a young age. I also think that being able to share poetry on social media helps to enlarge the audience for it and I think that people will start to appreciate it more and more.
Who is your favorite poet? And why?
My favorite poet is Maya Angelou. Everything that she wrote - whether books, poetry, essays, or a memoir - she wrote from her heart. Her poetry, especially, touches my heart and affects me in a profound way. Each poem expresses her incredible wisdom and strength of character. I think that many people, including myself, have a new appreciation of poetry because of her.
THE CHANGING SEASONS OF OUR LIVES
The Bible states there is a season for each time of our life,
There is a time to be born and there is a time to die;
There is a time to plant and there is a time to harvest,
They are the rhythms and patterns of our life from our first cry.
The very first season is mirrored in nature as that of Springtime,
When, as a seed in our mother's womb, God did watch and look;
He embroidered and formed us in the secret depths of the earth,
Crafting and writing all the pages and chapters of our life in His book.
Spring is a time of new beginnings when seeds start to grow,
In our life this first season is about 20 years long;
When we also develop from just a small tiny seed,
To that of someone mature, in full bloom and strong.
In Spring there are signs of the rapid growth of new life,
Everywhere you look there is so much beauty and splendor;
In our young lives we have God's wonderful world to discover,
As children and then adolescents our eyes are filled with wonder.
Summer is the next season of our life's adventure,
Again this season is about 20 years in length;
Where we work and toil each day of our life,
Under the blazing sun we labor with all of our strength.
Some have careers in the world as they climb the ladder of success,
Others work at home in caring for a spouse and a growing family;
A time of busyness and demands no matter which path we choose,
Also a time to trust and share God's love, which is our greatest legacy.
Autumn is the next season on this path of our life,
It is a time when we start to reap what we have sown;
For the good seed that has been planted and watered,
The abundant fruits and harvest is the result of what has grown.
This time of our life from 40 to 60 is ever changing,
Physically we realize that we are not as strong as before;
Many of us now need reading glasses to help our eyes focus,
We also don't have as much energy and endurance for each chore.
Wintertime is the last season on our life's long journey,
It can vary in length from 20 to 40 years when life takes it's toll;
When we finally have more time now that we are retired,
To spend time with the Lord and then take time for a leisurely stroll.
No longer so busy with our work and the busy pace of life,
We now have time to look back on the pages of our own story;
Thankful to God for all the many blessings each day of our life,
Living one day at a time with God's grace and for His glory.
Looking ahead, as Christians, we know we have a bright future,
Even though our bodies are weak, our spirits are strong;
We are encouraged with the blessed hope of Heaven,
Where God has been preparing a place for us our whole life long.
When our time on this earth finally comes to an end,
Then life without end will begin with the One we have adored;
We will finally see Him face to face and will also hear Him say,
"Welcome My good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord".
My Review: 4 STARS
Phyllis’s talent in which shows her love for poetry and for God displays very heavy in her work throughout the book. I can see how her grandkids would enjoy reading her book before bedtime, special occasions or just because. It is written more for the youthful age of Bible Stories. I enjoyed some poems but for me this book would been better for someone who is a wanting more religious value than what I was expecting from this book. Her work displays great talent and I would recommend this book to someone who has a stronger Christian faith.