Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Life of a Poet - Heaven

Kids, this week if you are deep in winter grays, and are longing for tropical're out of luck. (Just kidding!) This week we are meeting with Heaven, who can be found at Sweet Lust, (a juxtaposition that makes me lose focus, temporarily, as I wonder if the angels are doing more than singing hymns up there!) 

Heaven lives in eastern Canada, which is very cold right now. But as we got deeper into our conversation, Heaven revealed she originally hails from tropical climes..........she must especially be missing warmth, sunshine and  palm trees these days. Almost like leaving Heaven behind, to move to the land of ice and snow! But we are happy that she did, and that we are privileged to read her poetry. Hang in there, kids, as once we get the frozen north out of the way, it will be palm trees and papayas all the way. If you'd like to get in the mood, pour some pineapple juice, and if you add a little warmer-upper to the glass, we'll be none the wiser!

Poets United: Heaven, so nice to meet you. I have always been drawn by your name. You cant find a more positive name than "Heaven"! As a fellow Canadian, I am curious what part of Canada  you live in.

Heaven: I live in a big city adjacent to Toronto City, Ontario for the last 8 years. 
Poets United: Would you like to tell us a bit about your life?

Heaven: I have a family and full time job for the last many years.  I now work as Financial Analyst for a big insurance company in Toronto City, which means I am in the office Mondays to Fridays.  I also study professionally to upgrade my skills and keep me marketable.    On the writing side, I try to write whenever I can, during lunch hour, and after dinner.  It is a challenge to keep up with all the writing prompts because I have to turn off my business frame of mind, and open my creative muse and eye. Some days I can't write because my work drains me out.  That is why I like weekends because I can have some time for my writing and reading.

[View from the CNN Tower Restaurant]

Poets United: That sounds like a very busy schedule. Good for you making time for your writing. That's important. On your site, you say Sweet Lust is your alter ego. Would you like to expand a little on that?

Heaven: First, this is my writing blog - so some posts may or may not pertain to my real life.   As Heaven, I want to try out different writing forms, both in prose and poetry.   Sometimes, I post short poems, sometimes longer ones.   I believe that being a versatile writer is a more interesting goal to aspire for, and hopefully makes my blog a more interesting site to visit.   

Second, I want to write about love and intimacy without fear and inhibitions.   I am a mature woman with romantic (young) heart, but also with a sense of humor.    I want to remember and celebrate the best times of my life in this way.   Also, the pictures I post are beautiful and I know that my readers also enjoy them too.

Poets United: Yes, we do! And you have another blog, where you post as Grace. It has a wonderful name - Everyday Amazing . Does its name reflect a philosophy of yours? I love how you wrote on your banner: Spreading good cheer, fun and love for life. 

Heaven: I like Amazing Grace as a song and as an inspiration. But I couldn't have this name so I settled for Everyday Amazing. Positive thoughts and images help me in real life which at times can be challenging. This blog always reminds me to keep an optimistic view of life, no matter how tough real life is.   Every day is a good place to start.   

Stay positive!

Poets United: I love that outlook, Heaven. I see you began writing fairly recently in late 2010 - what was it that caused you to begin?  Had you ever done any writing in school?  

Heaven: None for my school. The last time I wrote was when I was a young teen. I kept a journal of my writing and scribbled whenever I had the time.   Many years passed and my energies went into my family and career.   I never touched the pen during this time.   I became interested instead in reading books, especially spy, suspense, thriller and romance books.

My life changed 360 degrees when our family migrated to Canada.   Writing helped me cope up with these changes, both good and bad.    Also, the technology today makes it easy to write and blog your posts.  I am learning all the time and I find it exciting to dip my pen again.

[Toronto skyline]

Poets United: Where did you live before Canada, Heaven? And what led you to make the move? It takes courage to make such a big change.

Heaven: Our family migrated to Canada for a better future for our children.   It was a tough decision, as we had a comfortable life and stable careers.   Starting over in another country made me stronger and at the same time humble for beginnings and small blessings.   

I have an Asian cultural background with Spanish and American lineage. As much as possible, I incorporate my rich cultural heritage in my posts, like talking about the coral beaches, hot summer, exotic food and tropical fruits. 

Examples of what I mean about incorporating the tropical scenes are here:
"bitter sweet tamarind, red yellow papaya,
palm trees decorating brown walls
dividing, segregating rooms; we unstick

labels stitched on our foreheads, 
revelling in our bodies pulsating, still
an unbroken refrain despite oceans apart "
"dirty ice cream, sweet rice cakes, caramel custard
candied yams, fried bananas, sugar cane sticks
Dulce Gatas, mango tarts; all delighted our palate"  

Poets United: Ooooooh, how wonderfully evocative! I'm so there! What led you to choosing poetry as your means of creative expression?

Heaven: I never thought it was  poetry, until my friend noticed my form of writing.  The words just come out like that.  Also, my son began his blog on street poetry - different style of writing but very creative.  It was a total surprise to me but he gave me courage to write again.   He doesn't join writing communities though - he blogs for himself, without caring if anyone reads it or not.

Poets United: What does writing mean to you?  Do you have any goals for future writing?

Heaven: When I first started my blog, I was intrigued by the business side of blogging and writing.   But this didn't bring me anywhere, and I ended up not writing anything.   So I turned off all the ads and money making gadgets in my blog and just concentrated on writing and improving my craft.   Compared to other bloggers, I am a newbie in this field.   I like to think that someday I can have something published but this sounds like work, which doesn't appeal to me.   For the moment, I am just content to post and share my writing for the sheer pleasure of it.         

Poets United: Me too, Heaven. If there were no limitations, what would your life look like and what kind of writing would you pursue?

[Heaven and her daughter in the foreground]

Heaven: I would be on a beach sipping my mango juice with a laptop at my side. Ha..ha...It would be fun to write and blog all the time now. I enjoy the posts that I read and follow in many poetry communities around the blogger world.   Given more time, I would like to try fiction writing, as I enjoy reading books on suspense and mystery.   

Poets United: I hope you do it! It would be fun! Who would you say has been the single greatest influence on your life and, thus, on your writing? 
Heaven: There are many amazing writers out there;  I can't name a favourite because each one is unique and has his or her own story to tell.  But I am drawn to Asian poetry, especially Japanese poetry forms.  I actively write and post my haiku poems in my Everyday Amazing blog.   I participate in Haiku prompts because this kind of writing sharpens my eye for details and choice of words.   

Poets United: Have you written a poem yet that you think best defines you?

Heaven: I think my best poems are still I haven't written my best ones yet. 

Poets United: We'll watch for them, then! When you aren't writing, what other activities might we find you doing?

Heaven: Cooking and baking, and going to the beach and parks during spring and summer.   I enjoy watching movies.  And of course, I read all the time.   

Poets United: Have you ever lived a great adventure? What is the wildest thing you ever did ?

Heaven: I don't think I have lived a great adventure yet, but I do have a fun experience to share.  My corporate life is pretty quiet and staid compared to my other office mates.   But one Christmas, our department had this song and dance number which we all presented on stage to a crowd of about 200 people.   Guess who came out in the spotlight wearing mini skirt, black leggings and shoes, grinding her hips as Madonna would do in her video songs.  Yep, me as Material Girl.  I find it fun to show a different side of me.     

Poets United: Trust me, I consider that VERY brave and wild - it is my secret dream, but I was always too self-conscious to attempt it. You mention a love of travel. Do you have a Bucket List?

Heaven: I enjoyed our recent trips to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec cities.  I would like to travel to Europe to see the cities I have read about, England, Italy and France.   I told my hubby that for the next years of our lives, we should aim to visit at least one city or one country in a year.   This year we are just hopping over the US border and maybe travel to a South American resort.  


Poets United: That sounds lovely. In your area, there is a lot to be seen, as well. Toronto is a pretty Happening place! Do you have a favourite  poet whose work you admire? Did you enjoy poetry in school?

Heaven: I was not keen on poetry when I was growing up.  I didn't feel connected with any poet at all.  But now that I am more mature and have the time to reflect on my journey, I can see the beauty and imagery of writing poems.  If there is one blogger whose writing I admire, it is Brian Miller at WayStationOne.  His words speak to me, and of course, he has a generous spirit. Some day, I would love to listen to his poetry reading in person.   

Poets United: Maybe you can appear and give a reading together! Do you have a philosophy in life, a motto, a favourite quote you live your life by?

Heaven: I have a positive affirmation which I say every morning:    Every day in every way I'm getting better and better - by Emily Coue.

Poets United: Awesome affirmation,and yes, we are! Anything else you'd like to share with Poets United?

Heaven: I believe it is important to find your voice. And to say it clearly and simply. 

Poets United: Each voice so unique - thank you for sharing yours with us. Heaven, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. It is wonderful to have you in our community.

Once again, we prove that the people behind the pens are some of the most interesting folks around. Be sure to come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



  1. Thanks so much for the interview Sherry ~

    You made me so much more interesting than I am in real life ~

    And thank you for Poets United for featuring me ~

    1. It was truly my pleasure, kiddo - and I just write down what you say - you are very interesting! I loved my visit with you:)

  2. I have been intrigued by Heaven for many months. Through this interview I feel like I know her so much better. Wonderful questions and answers, ladies!

  3. Great feature!

    Been loving your poems, Heaven. Glad to know a little more about you through this interview.

  4. Great interview, both of you! I love Heaven's writing, and her blog is just lovely. Check out the Haiku Challenge, Heaven, if you haven't yet, over at Few Miles. And you make a rockin' Madonna!

  5. Great interview ~~ I enjoy reading both of "Heaven's" blogs ~~ it is always good to get to know the authors more closely! Nicely done!

  6. awww shucks...i think you are pretty amazing too...really enjoyed your interview as well...some of this i knew but its always cool to hear a bit def can write with some steam but some beauty as well...publishing is def not the measure of a poet...but i would not mind having a book of Heaven in my house...smiles.

  7. Enjoyed the visit with you Heaven. It's entirely possible this may have been my only chance. Love the blog name, "everyday amazing."

  8. Loved the interview, Heaven and Sherrie. Heaven has one of my favorite blogs to visit!! Will enjoy it even MORE now.

  9. As always Sherry, you've hit another home-run with this slightly enigmatic interview - I guess it's the poet more than the interview that's enigmatic; after the Mosk being unidentifiable and now this one also preferring to remain incognito, I'm starting to wonder about this profession ... As much as I enjoyed learning about this upbeat penner of verses, I think I enjoyed even more seeing so many cool shots of Toronto and reading about it referred to in such glowing terms (not that common of an occurrence) - it's my original home-town and I was surprised at how that touched me; I haven't lived there for almost 5 decades ...

  10. Every day in every way I'm getting better and better

    I must remember to try that one! LOL

  11. Who wouldn't enjoy visiting Heaven from time to time? :)

  12. Great interview Sherry and what a delightful multi-faceted poet!

    This made me miss Canada so much ...Quebec City is my favourite canadian city!

  13. Fabulous Question and answers. It's so nice to know things you didn't know about the writers we read who share their words and their hearts with us all.
    It was such a good read and, good luck with your writings and more exploration of your words Heaven/Grace. So nice to know a little bit more about you. :) Keep writing, you do it so well!

  14. Great job ladies! Heaven I really enjoyed getting to know you better~

  15. Thank you very much for the interview! I've only been to Heaven's blog, now I'll explore Grace's, too. I like your writing a lot, Heaven. You definitely have your own voice. Celebrating 'the best times of life' in words is one of the hardest things in writing, and you have a talent for it, and guts to use that talent. Good for you.

  16. Very interesting and fun to learn more of someone you read weekly. Thanks to you both!


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