Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life of a Poet ~ California Ink In Motion

by Sherry Blue Sky

Kids, a while back a new blogger joined Poets United, blazed across our radar and made us sit up and take notice. We're about to sit down with The Ms. LVH (as she wishes to be known) of California Ink in Motion. As she lives very close to the beach, I'm thinking either a glass of chilled white wine, or an after-dinner cup of tea, as we watch the sunset and chat about life along the California Coast.

Poets United: Ms. LVH, so great to sit down with you. I have so many questions. But first, can you tell us a bit about life in the land of California Dreaming?

The Ms. LVH

Ms. LVH: First, I want to thank you for your interest in my poetry and life. I was born and raised in a very affluent area in West Los Angeles.  After completing my formal education, I moved. I realized my bond with nature was imperative to my sanity.  Los Angeles is a wild place, as you can imagine.  I have lived in several places in California, soaking up the different mind-sets that thrive here.  After zig-zagging around the state from the deserts to the mountains to the sea,

Dad and I skiing

I moved to the Sierra’s and had a job to ski around to make sure everyone was having a good time, mostly a Public Relations job. I got sponsored and did a bit of downhill racing.  During the summers, I would bartend and water ski.  Life was fun.  I used my little cabin as a launching pad to travel throughout the world.  As the winters became more of a burden than a fantasy land (shoveling snow), I moved to the Coast of California in a small town, started a career and have lived here for two decades.  I can hear the waves and smell the salt-laden air everyday.  The temperatures are moderate, between 50-75 degrees most of the year.  It took two years after leaving Los Angeles for my heartbeat to slow to a comfortable beat.

This beach is  close to my back yard.

Poets United: Your jobs sound like so much fun. Have you ever lived a great adventure? I suspect it may have been your move to the small coastal town?? C’mon, spill it.

Ms. LVH:  Yes, winding up on the coast was a journey of itself, but many years ago I bought a one way ticket to Europe and hitched-hiked and rode the trains for months. England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Amsterdam, Belgium, practically every place west of the Iron Curtain in 1976, (yes, I was very young). The Berlin Wall was still standing. Austria was having their 1000th anniversary and was tired of all the hoopla from advertisers about our Bi-Centennial.  Some of those stories on that adventure are not fit to publish, like Monte Carlo and Amsterdam. *fondly smiling*.

Poets United: *Wistful sigh*. I live mostly vicariously, so I am totally enjoying this!

Ms. LVH:  My sister gave me her old VW bug and I started heading East in the early 80’s, which resulted in an eleven month adventure around the United States, from California to Michigan to Florida ,with a lot of detours.  Finally broke down in Van Horn, Texas, for five days, got the third valve repaired, and I was off and running again.  I did graphic art for business to earn money for gas along the way. I did a lot of traveling in my 20’s.

Poets United: Wow! Nothing but adventure! What do you do now for a day job?

Ms. LVH:   I suppose I am in a forced semi-retirement for the time being.  I have formal education in Computer Engineering , networks, web design and such. I hold a MCSE (Microsoft) certificate as well. This fed the right side of my brain.

Poets United: What led you to creating a blog? And is there a story behind the name?

Ms. LVH: I started blogging in April, 2011. When you read some of my evolving poetry you will notice the words gravity or wings.  I took a fall at work which has resulted with two shoulder issues which has a long recovery time after surgery and an upcoming surgery on my elbow and wrist in September.  Lots of time on my hands.

Photo of a Bird of Paradise in my backyard

Unable to garden, play guitar, or other pleasures where I would usually find my Zen, (going stir crazy),  I was fooling around on the computer and found  Alas, an outlet for my thoughts and gave me an avenue for the creative left side of my brain.

I used to write lyrics for my songs years ago, before taking on the role of Mom, to a wonderful Son, who took a great deal of loving time.  I would write poems even in Elementary school and give them to my friends, so rhyming came easy for me. As far as choosing a name, California Ink in Motion immediately came to mind. It pretty much describes me.

Picture of my son at the beach

Poets United:  I hope your upcoming surgery doesnt interfere with your writing too much. How would you describe your personal approach to the creative writing process?

Ms. LVH:  A thought, an event, something I heard that moved me.  I am an emotional writer.  I get this feeling deep inside, deep in my heart, and then the words just pour out.  I have been discovering different ways to express myself within the different forms of poetry. 

My spirit belongs to the Redwoods. Taken on my recent visit to Big Basin National Park, Ca.
I look like I was going to melt into that tree, so relaxed!

When I first starting posting, a very kind poet left me a post about feet and meter and that really stirred my quest for knowledge regarding all the different poetic forms foreign to me.  Since then, I have been experimenting, and  I think my poems are evolving in a positive direction, more polished.  You know him, Mike Patrick at The Poet’s Quill. As you and many know, he is a wonderful person, and watching his own path towards poetry intrigues me.

I recently learned to let a poem rest for a day or so before posting it.  I will write then edit and edit again one day and then return to it the next day or two, sometimes with a different mind-set. Even after posting I will come back to edit some more. When creating  poetry, it can look one way and then let a day pass and it will have a different look and feel because the words from the heart can be seen by the mind.

“Top of the World” view

Poets United: I love  "the words from the heart can be seen by the mind". Who would you say has been the single biggest influence on your writing?

Ms. LVH: Technically, as I mentioned before, Mike Patrick, Vivinfrance, and recently Luke Prater.  For moral support: I think you, Sherry and Poets United, for being  the first to welcome me with encouraging comments.  Jo Bryant (gave me the 7 links award), CC Champagne, Mike Patrick,(he seems to always answer my diverse emails),  Kim Nelson (gifted me her incredible book of poems), Pervagus, Jingle Poetry and the many lovely people who have thought enough about my poems to subscribe, which I hope they forgive me for not mentioning their names. And of course my family.   Recently, the friendly crowd at dVerse  has validated that I might get good at this.  The biggest influence overall for me is Music and LIFE and all that word encompasses. Forever a student!

Poets United: As are we all. What are your personal criteria for good poetry? Your own and others?

Ms. LVH: A poem that evokes a feeling, I would consider a good poem.  I like poems that are fluid and smooth and thought provoking.  If a poem has me hooked by the first stanza, it probably is a fabulous poem, yet I have found some incredible surprises at the end of a poem as well. I have been reading a lot of the classics as well as recently published poems lately. Writing lyrics as a hobby slants me towards rhyme and rhythm.  I am discovering free verse, love it,  but don’t quite have the feel for it yet.  Perhaps one day soon.

Poets United: What advice would you give someone who is just a beginner?

Ms. LVH: I am a beginner! Take a thought from your head and put it in your heart, then write. Write something that you feel.  Sit on it and let it be.  Come back to it in a day or so.

    This tree is almost a hundred years old. Some things take time.

Poets United: I love it, both the writing advice, and the wonderful grandfather tree. What issues are dear to your heart?

Ms. LVH: In no particular order:
1. Unfair practices of the law. 
2. Protection for the weak, child and elder abuse. (This is the Aquarian in me).
3. Conserving nature, not quite a “tree hugger”, but close.
4. The unusual challenges the young face today.  They face a more difficult world than I faced at their age.
5. Love and Peace. (sounding like an old hippy now, lol , or free spirit is more politically correct these days).

Poets United: Do you have a favorite poem, written by you?

Ms. LVH:    I have written two I would like to share, although there is a piece of me in every poem I wrote:  Cloud Shapes in Blue Skies , Italian Sonnet,  and To the Wood , a Sonnet.

Poets United: When you are not writing, what other interests do you pursue?

Ms. LVH:    I have two dogs that I like to play with, and keep close relations with my family and several very dear friends, who are always there for me.  I have two enchanting Sisters and a wonderful Father. But the one who holds my heart is my Son. My two dogs keep me focused on what time of the day it is..Feeding time is always fun.

My two rescue dogs, Mr.T, a Rottie (who just had his ACL repaired, $$$$, hence the hind leg extension in photo) and Ms. Tilly, a Bassett/Queensland mix.  Mr. T.and Ms. Tilly   is the poem I wrote about them. Fun little poem. Mr. T was trained by the Dog Whisperer I was told.  Ms.Tilly is nicknamed Chili dog.

Poets United: Lovely doggies! Anything else you’d like to share with us???

Ms. LVH:   I am truly amazed by the poetic community I have discovered.  People linked by poetry and ones and zeros (that is my computer binary talk), have been warm and friendly.  I became fascinated with the internet way back in the AOL days and knew it would become a way of life for many.  I have watched how the social media has exploded and thrilled I am a part of it with poetry.  Sherry, you and so many have made me feel incredibly welcomed, and for that I blow a kiss and say Thank you!

   Like many, I long for poetry to be whispered in my ear.

Poets United: Thank you so much, Ms. LVH, for giving us this peek into your very wonderful life!

See kids? What did I tell you? Interesting to the max! Isn't it true that the people behind the pens are some of the most interesting folks around? Come back to see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Oh Sherry, you've done it again! I enjoyed this thorough and revealing interview of a talented , generous-of-spirit poet-friend. This community buoys me.

  2. Yay! I so enjoy Ms. LVH's writing and energy. So infectious! I feel like just recently she breezed by me and wound around me and now is floating around me all the time. Is that weird? And now here she is, this is a lovely interview, so cool to learn more and I love the snapshots. I am coming to visit you, Ms. LVH, I want to touch those trees. And have a cup of coffee with you.

  3. I truly love your interviews Sherry! You have found yet another gem in MS. LVH. The banter back and forth was refreshing and a great escape for me this morning from a fairly rough day already. Ms. LVH. I love the Birds of Paradise photos it so reminded me of my days while living in Hawaii. It great to read about you and I look forward to visiting your blog again.

  4. Sherry,
    Thank you for a wonderful interview. I had a blast! I also feel like I have made a friend for life. You are a very special lady and a wonderful host!

    Again, Thank you and Poets United for such a warm environment.

    Thank you Robert!

  5. Great to read more about a poet I have come to think of as a friend. That Redwood poem blew me away.

  6. Great read! Very much a 'live' interview (great job, Sherry) and, of course, I love Ms LvH!!! It was great to get to know more about her (you? Well, you know what I mean!), especially since I already love the poetry! *trots off to congratulate on California Ink In Motion too*

  7. My joy has been watching Ms LVH grow in confidence and ability so quickly. Her desire and raw talent insured that she would be a poet, but she has taken a natural gift and taken it to new heights.

    Ms LVH, you earned this interview as you've earned my respect. Keep writing. Keep improving. Your peak is not yet in sight.


  8. I really enjoyed reading about Ms LVH in this engaging interview... love the pics, too.

  9. Sherry, another "yowza" (wink at you both) interview! I met Ms. L here at Poetic Asides; when I clicked on the links of her two favorite poems she'd written, I'd already commented. I am a definite fan. She is generous, comments when she reads, and is a real earth mama, like so many of us. I agree, Ms. L, that Mike Patrick is a tremendous source of support. His comments are always insightful. Finally, the discussion of the Poets United community is so true. And I've begun "sitting" on poems to go back and edit, rather than post immediately.

    Great advice from a wonderful woman, as interviewed by another wonderful woman. Aw, let's ALL go out and hug a tree! Amy

  10. Amy, you slay me. Yes, it is a Tree LoveFest, in my world. Ms. LVH, it was pure pleasure. I love Mike Patrick's encouragement: keep writing, you are traveling quickly, your star is rising, and your peak is yet to come.

  11. I enjoyed reading about you and getting to know more~ Great interview ladies; I found it encouraging and fun!

  12. Still coming back here to read some of the interviews I have missed along the way. Thanks for doing this Sherry. And thank you Ms LVH for sharing your interesting life and ideas. Keep writing!


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