Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life of a Poet - Laurie Kolp

Today, kids, we are heading down to Texas, by way of New Orleans, where we will take in a bit of the carnival. This is cool, because I've always wanted to go to Mardi Gras. We are meeting today with Laurie Kolp, of Conversations With Laurie, Conversations With a Cardinal, and Bird's Eye Gemini. Laurie is a well-known writer on the poetry circuit, and I am so anticipating  this visit with her. I have my feather costume on, and a painted face, which is a vast improvement on my usual one, hee hee. Meet you there, where the parade meets the street festival, and music is everywhere.



Poets United: So, Laurie, tell us about your part of the world. What does your life look like on any given day?

Laurie: First let me thank you, Sherry, for thinking of me. I live in southeast Texas, between Houston and Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’m sitting at my computer in the corner of our living room with a heating pad on my shoulder and a Harry Potter movie playing in the background, on this rainy spring break day.



Pete and Laurie

My husband, Pete, took vacation and the five of us are enjoying doing nothing. Usually our weeks are so hectic. Not only is Pete a manager in a business that never shuts down (shipping), but he is working on his MBA and is gone two nights a week. That leaves me to run the three kids around. My oldest, Katie, is in dance every day. Andrew takes Taekwondo and Nicholas just started this week. They’re in scouts, play basketball and have CCD on Wednesday nights. They all have summer birthdays where they will turn 13, 11 and 9. Pete and I have summer b-days, too. It’s crazy!



Poets United: Wow! Your children are beautiful. And, from the sound of it, busy. AND you write! Good for you! Don’t ever stop! 

Laurie: We now have two dogs- Jake and Snowy. The kids and I adopted Jake while Pete was in Greece one year. I was so mad I couldn’t go (it was sudden and I didn’t have a passport yet), so we decided to do something to cheer us up and surprise daddy! We already had a wonderful yellow lab named Sadie. She needed a companion. We stopped by the vet and right by the entrance was a box of orphaned puppies. 




Jake has been the best dog I’ve ever had. After Sadie had to be put to sleep because of a brain tumor, we had to find another friend for Jake. We got Snowy from the Humane Society for Pete one Christmas.  She is black with a white diamond on her chest, but the day we bought her home it snowed (which is rare here) so we focused on the white.

Poets United: Those faces are just AMAZING! I love their happy smiles so much! Do you actually live on the river we see in your banner photo? It is very beautiful!


Laurie: Isn’t it? No, I don’t live on the river, but I love the water. The picture was taken last summer when we rented a cabin with family. It was so beautiful and peaceful. We could fish off the porch or walk down to river/pool swimming area. Nicholas had his first wasp sting.

I actually prefer the beach. We live only an hour from the Boliver Peninsula and spend a lot of time there.

Bolivar Beach - from google

Poets United: Oh, how wonderful. I am a beach girl too, as you know. Where did you grow up, Laurie? Do you have a childhood memory you would like to share?

Laurie: Although I’m a native Texan, we lived in New Orleans until I was eight. What I remember most is Mardi Gras and all the parties… even at a young age, it’s a party city. We had block parties quite often. I looked forward to them so much. Here’s a haibun I wrote about it:

Mardis Gras from google

All of the neighbors on Mimosa Drive had a huge block party every year on the Fourth of July. As a young child, I looked forward to these outdoor social events. A smorgasbord of food could be found on red and white checkered card tables joined perfunctorily in the middle of the street; barbecued links, brisket, hamburgers, chips, cole slaw, potato salad, raw vegetables and fresh fruit. The dessert table was a sinful temptation for all of the women, but it was always where I stopped to fill my plate. The appetizing smells drifting through the thick, humid air always made my mouth water.

from google

My mom rolled our upright piano out into the street and provided music for everyone. As the night wore on, people gathered around and sang along. Some danced cheek-to-cheek and moved around like stiff grasshoppers. I never quite understood why the adults grew friendlier and louder, but I did know that those adult beverages I was banned from had something to do with it.

The neighborhood kids and I played hopscotch, roller-skated and jumped rope while we waited for the main event. The summer heat and nagging mosquitoes never stopped us from having a good time, even though I was always the main target.

*
Sweaty supple skin

A mosquito’s sweet dessert

Temptation buzzing

*

We spent days practicing for the talent show to be performed for the grown-ups. One neighbor’s mom was a seamstress, and she loved making elaborate costumes (with our help, of course). We had so much fun prancing around the animated parents and making them laugh. Their lawn chairs lined the curbs, and we would parade up and down the street like kids on Halloween.

google

We always stayed up way too late so we could set off fireworks. I was lying in the grass with my friends watching the colorful explosion in the sky when all of the sudden I heard screaming. In the blink of an eye, all became still and silent.

I looked up to find people hovered around an older boy I did not know. I ran over to see what all the commotion was about, but my mom stopped me before I could make it through the crowd.

“Don’t come any closer, honey,” she said.

“Why not? What happened?” I asked.

“A teenager had fireworks explode in his hand and face. He’s badly hurt. We’re going in now.”

I reluctantly followed my family inside, turning around several times to sneak a peek. I never got a close look, and I never saw that boy again. I stayed away from firecrackers for many years.

*
The Fourth of July

fireworks exploding

in his face
*

Poets United: How horrible! The poor kid! Before that happened, this was one of the best childhood memories I have ever heard.

Laurie: I lived in New Orleans one summer in my twenties. I met Harry Connick, Jr. and some other celebrities. I had so much fun... in fact too much fun. I’m still recovering from all the fun I had before marriage; not that marriage isn’t fun, but you know what I mean. I best shut my mouth right now.

Poets United: I’m so old, I think I’ve forgotten what you mean :).  Have you always written? 


Laurie as a child

Laurie: As far back as I can remember I have written, but when we moved from New Orleans to Beaumont, I really got into it. The neighborhood was so unlike what I was used to. There were no sidewalks and kids didn’t play outside, mostly because our street didn’t have a lot of kids on it; so I spent my time writing. I made illustrated poetry books for my parents and grandparents.  I remember a chapter book I wrote in a spiral about two girls living in a coastal town (I liked the beach even then) and the drama in their life which always led them to the beach for peaceful resolve.

In middle school I went to summer camp. One year I was the sports contributor for the newspaper. I wrote all about the girl ‘cowboys’ and ‘wranglers’ competing against each other. In high school, I became involved with the literary magazine and had several poems published. In college I helped several people tap into their creative side when they were stuck on writing assignments. Finally, when I was a teacher in The Woodlands, I wrote Language Arts curriculum for the district. Oh, and I wrote a monthly newsletter when Katie was involved in Girl Scouts.

Poets United: I note you had your writing somewhat interrupted by marriage and raising children, but that you came back to writing with a bang in 2008, online. Would you like to tell us a bit about that, and how the online community has impacted your writing?

Laurie: I clearly remember the day inspiration slapped me in the face and said, “Wake up, lady!” I was gazing through our front window when the perfect children’s story popped into my head. I ran for a pencil and paper and wrote it down. I piddled around with poetry for awhile, but spent most of the time writing my memoir. It was after my friend killed herself that poetry became a lifeline for me. I was able to write my way through the grief and it helped a lot.

Poets United: I’m so sorry, Laurie. That time must have been so painful.


Laurie: Then I ventured into Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides. They were having a November poem-a-day challenge. Although it was mid-November, I went back to day one and wrote for Robert Lee Brewer’s prompts. Through this blog some of us formed a writing group called the Baker’s Dozen. We had thirteen poets from all over the world- Spain, Germany, Canada and the US - supporting one another. For years we wrote a poem every day and shared it with one another. Here’s one of the poems I wrote that year.

A Turkey on Thanksgiving (Nov. 2008)

I’m so overstuffed
I don’t know what to do,
Last night they took my guts out
And filled me up with goo.

Then they buttered up and cooked me
And made me feel so hot
I got to feeling warm and crisp,
Am I really here or not?

Now I’m on a platter
Unable to move an inch
Wishing, ruing, full of wonder,
How’d I get into this pinch?

There are people all around me
Bowing heads to pray,
All they talk about
Is some Thanksgiving Day!

Poets United: I feel for the turkey:) I see you write fiction as well as poetry. What does each offer you, as a writer, and why do you love it?

Laurie: Poetry is my first love. My nonfiction has garnered much more attention than my fiction, but I’ll keep on trying to get some of my short stories published.

Poets United: I’ve learned you were a teacher, but that you are now free to pursue your writing, and your husband supports you in this. (Bravo to him!) Is there a story behind this lifestyle choice?

Laurie: It’s funny because I quit teaching right before I had Andrew with the intention of going back when he started kindergarten. Then Nicholas came along and all of a sudden I had three kids under the age of four. Once they were all in school, my brain was so fried I couldn’t have taught a thing, not to mention make it through a day. Plus I wanted to be involved with the kids.

The children when younger

Pete and I were in our 30s when we had the children. I’d already had my career with twelve solid years of teaching. The most important thing to me was and is being a mother who is available for her children (I don’t see how working moms do it... I have so much respect for them). Pete couldn’t agree more. Amazingly, we’ve survived financially although barely eking by at times. God seems to provide what we need.

Poets United: I know what you mean! I think your kids are lucky to have you two for parents. I love the photo of them when they were smaller. Who or what would you say has been the most significant influence on your writing?

Laurie: Pete has been so supportive. I had a hard time adjusting from working woman to SAHM. What would I do with my extra time? Trips to Target for mommy social hour just weren’t going to cut it. Writing for pleasure had taken a back seat in my life because I went through a lot in my twenties. Who can write down a cohesive thought when their life is unmanageable and a complete mess? So when I picked up the pencil once again, Pete was happy for me. 

The whole family is supportive and understanding when I have a deadline. My Baker’s Dozen group and a local critique group I’m in have been lifelines for me, as well as the friends I’ve met in communities such as Poets United.

Poets United: I know, doesn’t the encouragement and support of other writers make all the difference?

Laurie: Another influence and inspiration was my great-grandma, Nonna B.


Nonna B. and Laurie

I called her Nonna B, but her real name was Bess Carroll Brendel. She was an artist and writer. She painted and sold her paintings in a studio she had in San Antonio (where my parents grew up). She wrote a book that was in the Library of Congress at one point. She's a true inspiration. I also had a great-great-great grandpa, Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Maryland), who signed the Declaration of Independence.


Poets United: This is why I love doing interviews. It's like mining for gold! Do you have a special spot where you write?

Laurie: Anywhere I write is special, but my desk and computer are in a 6’ by 8’ corner sitting by a back window in our living room. It’s definitely not roomy or fancy (in fact the dogs share the rest of the space with me) but it works fine for me.

Poets United: What do you aim for, in your poetry? What do you hope the reader will take away from your words?

Laurie: I hope to evoke feelings in my readers, spark a memory or inspire them. I really like to make them think. I want to ‘WOW’ them. I love it when my readers point out new interpretations of my pieces.

Poets United: I know you enjoy many poetic forms. Do you have a favorite? Is there one form you find the easiest, or one that brings you the most satisfaction?

Laurie: It’s funny because I used to write all rhyming poetry. Now I really enjoy free verse, but I love the challenge of forms and I enjoy writing them. I used to think haiku was my favorite, but the more I study it, the harder it becomes. Here is a Titrina, for example, which won first place in the Poetic Asides poetry challenge. It will appear in the next issue of Writers Digest:

Infatuation

She came home with stars in her eyes
twirling her hair, a dreamy smile
out of touch; I stadium waved hello.
A boy from church had told her hello
on the school bus where their eyes
met a split second in time, she smiled
as she told me the story and I smiled
because love always starts with hello
a skip beat of the heart, locking eyes.
Hello teen years, I smiled then rolled my eyes.

Poets United: Oh, so sweet. I love it! Congrats on taking first place!

Laurie:  I created a poetry form for one of the Poetic Asides  challenges. Here it is:

Raveled Rhyme (Poetry form by Laurie Kolp)
Guidelines:


first word of line 1 rhymes with first word of line 2
last word of line 4 rhymes with last word of line 5
first word of line 7 rhymes with first word of line 8 
there is always a line between with no rhymes
repeat to last line
final line is same as title
no limits on lines or syllables

Love Prevails


Near death to spiritual, from
fear to absolute faith; these
phases of my life I’ve gained
a new perspective built on pain
to rise up from the sunken earth 
float freely, swim in ocean waves
emote in words my inner thoughts
appreciate each joyous day’s 
gifts no longer in a haze
but cognizant, aware that
love prevails.

Poets United: A very intriguing form, and a lovely message in your poem. I'm impressed you created a form. I have trouble just following one! What is it about poetry that keeps you writing, kiddo?

Laurie:                             It’s this never-ending hunger
That strikes me at all times-
An inner desire, a need in me
Connecting my soul, my heart
To the spiritual, natural world-
Human nature touched in verse.
Poetic observations help me
Focus on the here and now,
Slow down the spinning wheels
In my hypersensitive mind
And appreciate life reverently
For what it is today, right now.

Poets United: Well, that just says it perfectly! I see your work has appeared in several publications......would you like to tell us about them?

Laurie: It’s been one of those domino effects with me. Back in 2008 when I joined the local writer’s guild I entered my poem in a writing jar contest and it won 1st place. That gave me the nudge I needed to move forward. You see, writing was always one of those “unattainable” goals for me... kind of like being a movie star or something. I needed that push to help me see that I do have something worth pursuing. I took a “Nonfiction Boot Camp” class at Lamar University and made some connections. I had to write something for the Beaumont Enterprise as an assignment for the class.

I wrote about kid’s sports one day as I sat on the hot soccer field watching my kids practice and noting how everything got too serious as they aged. Nicholas’ group was lying on the ground like dying bugs watching each other or gazing at the clouds, maybe picking something off the ground. Andrew’s group was doing more drill-like activities, but it was not too stressful. Katie’s group was serious business, man! All the parents were yelling at their kids, fighting with one another. They were only 4, 6 and 8. The article, Too many parents, coaches drain joy from youth sports, was published, and I received a lot of good feedback from it. While taking the class I also learned about a Christmas collection that was taking submissions, so I wrote about the time Katie was in the hospital with pneumonia over Christmas. It was accepted and the book is titled Christmas Miracles. Voila- I had two clips. Most recently, I had a story in Chicken Soup for the  Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times. This was special to me because it was about a spiritual awakening I had after the death of my friend. I’ve had poems in several online publications as well print.

I’ve submitted a lot of stuff that has been rejected, too. That’s what I love about blogging- I get to do what I love without getting a punch in the gut. It keeps it fun rather than making me feel like a loser. I have toughened up, though... a lot. I will keep trying.

Poets United: Wonderful, Laurie. Yes, keep trying! You are doing well.  I can see that the death of your friend had a profound impact on you, as of course it would.  


Laurie: When I met Mary, she and I became friends instantly. We discovered that we had many things in common. I was trying to help Mary through some difficulties, so we spent a lot of time together. A sisterhood bond formed between us. Our children even played together. 


Mary wanted to read my memoir. She was the first person I ever let read it. We sat side by side in front of my computer reading the book one section at a time. She would ooh and aah over certain parts, reveling over the similarities of our past. Mary came over several days in a row just to read my book. She encouraged me to get it published, to reach for the stars. She helped me believe in myself and my abilities. And then she killed herself.

I could go on and on about the questions, the denial, the grief; but I want to skip over that and focus on how she has made an impact on my writing, even after her death. She gave me the pat on the back I needed to move forward. As a thank you to her and in memory of her spirit, that’s what I do. 

Acceptances or rejections mean nothing when compared to the impact she had on my life.



Poets United: What a moving story, Laurie.  I am glad you take the best of what she gave you and allow her to still influence you. She would be very proud of you. When you are not writing, what other interests do you pursue?

Laurie: I love to be outside. I tutor some, stay involved in the kids’ schools, and try to help others in need.

Poets United: Cool! What does your Perfect Day look like?

Laurie: Hmm... it would start with a run (which I can’t do at this point in my life), then several hours of uninterrupted writing with no pain (shoulder and neck), lunch with my agent (which I don’t have), followed by an hour-long massage (which is out of our budget), more writing, a quick trip to the beach with my kids after I pick them up from school, coming home to a clean house and dinner cooked by someone else, and family time until bed. I can dream, right?

Poets United: I LOVE this answer! These are my kind of dreams, all also unattainable, hee hee. Are you happy with where your writing has taken you since 2008?

Laurie: YES- I know I’m at the bottom of the ladder, working my way up (hopefully), but I feel it’s all in God’s hands, this gift I’ve been given; he will take me where I need to go in his time.

And NO- I have written three books (my memoir and two novels) but have done nothing with them because I’m stuck in fear. I hope to get motivated enough to polish them up and send them out.

Poets United: Dust off that memoir! I'd love to read it! What do you see yourself doing with your writing in the next five years?

Laurie: I’d like to publish a poetry book, have some of my fiction recognized and continue to follow my passion, hopefully continuing to improve.

Poets United: Anything you’d like to say to your online friends?

Laurie: I don’t know where I’d be without them. They offer so much support and encouragement. I’m a quiet person. I don’t go around town advertising my blogs, nor do I hold contests to accumulate followers or bribe them into it. Each one has come of their own accord and I am truly appreciative of every one. Oh, and I’m sorry for my brief comments... I really am a person of few words.

Poets United: Your comments are always appreciated, kiddo! Do you have some words of wisdom for beginning writers?

Laurie: "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
                             William Wordsworth

Poets United: That is beautiful! What  have you learned for sure, this lifetime?

Laurie: I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way, but probably the most important lessons I’ve learned are that I have absolutely no control over what others say or do, but I do have control over my reactions to them, and that life is a gift from God we must cherish one day at a time.

Poets United: That about says it all, Laurie. Thanks so much for this wonderful journey through your life. And for being such a faithful participant at Poets United.

Kids, one more lovely visit with a talented poet. Isn’t it true that the people behind the pen are some of the most interesting folks around? Come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



32 comments:

  1. Laurie, What a wonderful way to enjoy my morning coffee! I have admired your work from the first day we 'met':)I smiled and sighed as I read, for I/we poets can empathize so well with many of your words. Your 'perfect day' looks a lot like mine would...and your family is so beautiful!
    Thank-you for sharing and being a constant inspiration ...God bless you and your family.

    Sherry, another fabulous interview. I look forward to each and every one! You always have me smiling by the time the intro is through...well done!

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  2. Thank you, Sherry and Janet- I wanted to clarify something though (hopefully Sherry can correct)- the tritrina form poem, Infatuation, is what won 1st place on Poetic Asides... NOT my poetry form.

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  3. So sorry about that confusion, Laurie. All fixed now. Argh! Good thing I got up early!

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  4. I was here earlier, Laurie, but I was on my iPod and quite frankly, I'd still be posting the comment if I'd done it that way.

    It was wonderful to get to know more about you, and to read some of your other work. You have a rich repertoire of words and should be proud of your craft.

    Coincidentally, I just saw the new PBS series, "Finding Your Roots" the other night and it was on Harry Connick Jr. I have always been a fan and in fact, I saw him in concert with Branford Marsalis and others in Toronto in the late 1980s. He's a real character with loads of charisma and bags of talent!

    I look forward to experiencing more of your terrific work!

    ~Kat

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  5. Laurie, It is so nice to see you behind your words!~ You always inspire me and I love your view on the world! Congrats on all your work being published and yes, submit the books...don't wonder "what if"! You have a beautiful family and spirit! It is wonderful to learn more about you~ I'm sorry about your friend, I think she would be proud of you~ (((hugs)))

    Sherry did an amazing job unearthing the facets of you! Well Done ladies :D

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  6. Great show, Laurie! I loved reading your interview. I like the more recent, confessional tone of your poetry as I feel I get a better insight into who you are. This interview was a great shortcut.

    GET THAT MEMOIR OUT SOON! Is that clear enough?

    You're a super talent, and I'm so happy for your success. Thanks to Sherry for a great interview,

    your pal and reader,
    Buddah Moskowitz

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  7. Two of my favourite people in the blogosphere... and I am proud to say that I too had once interviewed Laurie. But anyone who has read that would know from reading this one how inadequate the earlier one was.Thanks Sherry for being such a brilliant interviewer and prizing so many lovely details out of Laurie.Sherry is like one of those guardian angels or godmothers that we young ones have and Laurie represents those that we seek to learn and emulate.two lovely people and one great interview.congrats to both.

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  8. Thanks for this lovely long blog .I read every word.It was so interesting .I love reading poetry and to read about a poet is a joy

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  9. Again, so nice to get to know a little bit more about the person behind the words.
    Lovely interview Sherry, you sure do have a way of getting 'into' it all and bringing out the answers.
    A very interesting and full life you have Laurie. Bless you for always putting family first, so many don't. Your writings are richer for it all too.
    Lovely read and great pictures of you and family.

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  10. Sherry~
    Thank you for helping us better know the wonderful Laurie Kolp.

    Laurie~
    I was able to escape my own limiting fear when I realized this: Fear is the opposite of love. Not hatred. Fear. And I am a loving creature, so I learned to release the fear and embrace the love, my bravery, my talents. You can do it!!!

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  11. I first "met" Laurie over at Poetic Asides too, before Poets United existed. I got to know here much better after we both became active on PU and other sites.

    Laurie, I enjoy your poetry and your diversity of topics and approaches. Though you share some of your daily life within your poetry, it was nice to learn a bit more in Sherry's interview. Your dogs are lucky dogs to have been adopted into such a nice family. Don't be shy about getting your books published. When if not now?

    Sherry, nice work once again!

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  12. Laurie is def good peeps and a great poet as well...and def enjoyed getting to know her a bit more through this interview...and he will take you where you need to be...hope right now you are healing up...and then you can knock those books out...smiles.

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  13. My dear poetic friends~ Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!

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  14. YEAH, LAURIE! I love this interview. It was also cool to see some work you haven't already shared with the Baker's Dozen...I've never read that haibun before and it is awesome.

    Congrats on being interviewed. You are a great writer and deserve the attention.

    Oh, and..whadda ya waitin' for? Send out those novels, girl. The worst that can happen is that someone say no thanks. Then you just move on to the next publisher and the next until you find the right "fit".

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  15. Lovely interview Laurie! Yes, get your books published. I would be one of the first in line for a copy! Keep on writing my friend.

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  16. Yes! Yes! Yes! Delightful interview as fresh and genuine as your writing. And now I too must echo Buddah and others... Would be lovely to see your languishing books dusted off and sent off into the world to be shared with a wider circle than those who already are standing on a chair applauding on one foot! Wonderful interview Laurie and of course a deep bow to Sherry who seems to get to the essence of 'her' interviewees :)

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  17. Laurie and Sherry, another delightful interview. Laurie, for one of few words, you have shared openly with us. Thank you.

    Richard

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  18. Oh it warms the cockles of me old heart to come in and see so many lovely comments. I'm so happy everyone enjoyed the interview. Laurie, you are well-loved on the poetry circuit! I so enjoyed our visit. Please put me on the list of those waiting for your memoir. In fact, I wish EVERYONE would write a memoir. We could read THOSE instead of the interviews. Hee hee. Abin, I love being considered a godmother or guardian angel. And I scoped out your interview before writing mine, you gave me lots of great clues!

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. Now I want to know... when can we interview you?

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  19. Oh, Laurie! This was such a treasure. I love what you've gleaned from life about control and the Gift. Your family, dogs too, are all so beautiful and full of life!

    I love the form you made up and the winning tritina! You really are an amazing and inspiring writer, Laurie.

    Thank you for being SO authentic. :)

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  20. Having had the privilege of meeting you in person, this was like sitting at a Riverwalk cafe for a chat. Lovely interview! :)

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  21. An excellent interview, I am getting to know you now Laurie

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  22. a FABulous interview ladies! thank you Sherry! and thank you for sharing, Laurie!

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  23. Love the interview. Love the lady!

    But, how many mosquito haikus make their way into ... well, make their way ANYwhere? LOL!

    Thanks for making my morning coffee all the better, ladies!

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  24. A terrific interview! Well done Sherry and Laurie. It was nice to get to "know" you Laurie.

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  25. Wonderful interview Sherry ~ Laurie, you are so talented. Thanks for sharing your words and pictures ~

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  26. Such a treat this interview Laurie - and timely for me as well. My daughter and her husband just flew to San Antonio (she's a financial advisor and qualified for a conference at a pretty swishy ranch there ...) but her big coup (imo) is, she won tickets in the draw for the final 4 in New Orleans (her husband went through university on basketball scholarships and has been a coach as well so this was an extra-special birthday gift) ... anyhow, they are touring your fair state, then driving to the Big Easy ... so cool
    Sorry to go off on a tangent ... just seemed to big a coincidence not to mention ... but, am thrilled that Sherry did her usual wonderful interviewing job and I got to know you a little better and I, like others,am hoping to read your memoir!

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    1. That's way cool Sharon! I know they'll have a great time.

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  27. Laurie and Sherry,

    A most wonderful interview and a chance to 'get to know you.'
    I have always admired your poetry and writing.
    You are very thoughtful with visiting my Blogs and commenting, which has always been appreciated.
    Congratulations Laurie,
    Best Wishes,
    Eileen

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  28. Laurie, what a great interview and now I have a glimpse of your life and from where you came, your poetry resonates even stronger with me. I loved the poem you wrote about your Fourth of July experience. It reminded me of my own childhood and that universality is seen in all of your poetry. How exciting to be related to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence!! I have never lived in Texas, but where you live sounds like a lot of fun! Definitely, you should get that memoir out of storage and send it out! Getting past the initial fear is difficult, but remember you want everyone to see your words. I think you have such a lyrical style you will be surprised how many will want to read it. Just dust it off and send it.:)

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  29. Great interview! Laurie, what an interesting life behind your wonderful poetry! I can relate to a lot of the craziness (and joy) of family life with kids and pets. Love your poetry too, and encourage you to (nudge, nudge) to do something with your other writing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested in reading it! Sherry thanks for bringing this to us. Great job as always!

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