Monday, November 19, 2018

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ ROMMY DRIKS

Sherry: We last spoke with Rommy Driks, who blogs at KESTRIL’S RHYTHMS AND GROOVE, in 2017. Rommy lives in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, two teenagers and a corgi named Kitsune. A little bird told me Rommy has a new book, published just last week, and I was most interested in sharing the excitement with you.






Sherry: It has been a while since we talked to you in 2017. Would you bring us up to date? 

Rommy: One of the biggest changes is my eldest is off to college and my youngest started high school. My husband and I are a little dazed over it all, but they are both handling their respective transitions like champs.

Sherry: Those are huge changes, for all concerned. I'm glad you are all doing well. 

The wonderful Kitsune


Rommy: And yes, I finally finished up another installment of the adventures of one of my favorite characters to write about, Yuuki. His new story, along with 6 other never before seen short stories, are part of my new short story collection, The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales.

Sherry: I love the title. Smiles. Tell us all about it!

Rommy: It’s on sale now as an e-book on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. It was conceived during NaNoWriMo last year, and I thought my eyeballs would fall out of my head during the editing process.

This collection plays on my love of faerie tales and faerie tale themes. All of the main characters are outsiders in the stories they find themselves in. And they each make decisions that reframe or change their narratives, so they can carve out a way to live that is true to who they are.

Now you can’t have fairy tales without a little magic, right? That’s where being a poet helped. There’s an enchanted quality to poems; the right combination of words can sketch images vivid enough to create worlds. When I write poetry, I feel the weight there is in certain words, and how to balance them to get the feel that I want. This feeling carries over to short story writing. In return, writing fiction helps me hone my sense of pacing and developing an idea. It’s something I’ve found useful when writing poetry.



(Cover art by Michelle Kennedy)

The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales is
available 
at the following links: Amazon  and Barnes & Noble

Sherry: It looks wonderful, Rommy. What a great cover! Where does your love of fairy tales come from? When did this fascination begin? 

Rommy: My love of reading definitely came from my dad. He always had his nose in a book. We both share a love for Greek myths and trickster tales. I branched out to the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson when I went to school, and just devoured any fantasy book I could get my hands on from there. My name was on all the sign out slots for every book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series at one point.

Sherry: Fairy tales sometimes show up in your poems, as well as your stories. And they always have a wonderful message for the grown-up reader. Let’s take a look at three of my favourites:





Glass slippers don’t fit
every size and shape of foot.
I won’t waltz bloody-toed
in silks that don’t suit me.

Let me run barefoot,
choosing silk or steel
depending on the way
my curls bounce at the moment.

Let me guide the magic
in well-woven words
and make the fairy tales fit me,
instead of the other way around. 


Sherry: What a wonderful message this is, for anyone, child or adult. No more bloody toes!

Rommy: I wrote this piece to describe the collection as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, the characters in my stories are all outsiders in some way. And as any outsider knows, there are going to be points where the larger world tries to impose what it feels your role should be. But we don’t have to accept that. We can decide what our role is, based on who we are, not on what is expected of us.



I wasn't born in silk ruffles.
Sparkles didn't spring
from my first steps.

But I learned,
even when you didn't expect me to,
especially when you didn't want me to.

I ground up your leftover gems,
and pressed the remains
to create my own rebirth stone.

It glitters from the center
of the reclaimed crown
I earned- though you tried your worst
to keep it from me.


Sherry: How I adore the idea of crafting one's own "rebirth stone".

Rommy: This one was inspired by the main character, Matilda, in my story “Just Perfect”. People don’t usually think of fierce when it comes to fairy-godmothers, but that she is. There is a streak of iron underneath the ruffles and fluttery wings.



You're what I dreamed of
before I learned some dreams come with a cost.

I've watched a tender heart
mutilate everything she was
on the assumption her love could cross any barrier.

Still, I reach for you,
until I remember a promise made
over the dissolving remains of a life.

What would it be like
to bring you into my world?
I've seen you looking, enchanted,
just as I was enchanted with a place that is not my own.

Would that look stay
when I tell you everything?
Would you accept all of it,
not expecting me to cut away the core of myself?

I've seen the way you smile,
and for a moment let myself dream
of nights spent hiding nothing,
loving hard enough to dissolve barriers instead of hearts.

But some dreams come with a cost
and I don't know if I can pay for this one.


Sherry: Sometimes the cost is too high. There are moments when one feels exactly like the narrator of those closing lines.

Rommy: This one was inspired by the main character, Lynna, of the titular story in my collection, “The Trouble with Wanting”. That story is based on the original The Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Anderson, but mine is from the point of view of the little mermaid’s sister. While she has some things in common with her ill-fated younger sister, this mermaid has gone pirate, and has a far more calculating eye towards the battles she has to face.


source


Sherry: I so resonate with each of these poems. We are raised on dreams and fairy tales, then reality awakens us and grows us up. But we need to hold onto a little of that magic, that possibility, no matter what our age is. Tell us about your love of fairy tales for grownups, Rommy.

Rommy: Well, maybe it could be I like them just because I haven’t really grown up yet. But there’s a quote by G.K. Chesterton I’m reminded of: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” 

I think the dragons only get bigger when we get older. And in today’s day and age, there are flocks of the damn things roaming around out there, in power over us. Fairy tales still can inspire us to become the heroes of our own stories, and remind us that we have lots of pages to go before we can call the tale complete.

Sherry: I so agree. It is a time for heroes and heroines, for there is a lot that needs saving.

Now that your book is published, what will you be working on next?

Rommy: I am planning to get a book of poetry out there too. I already have an idea brewing for one, and several poems written that would work with the theme I’d be using. And I definitely plan on writing more short stories, and a novel or two expanding on some of the characters in the book.

Sherry: That all sounds exciting! We will await more new books with great anticipation. What activities do you enjoy when you aren’t writing, Rommy?



Rommy: Well there are my Japanese tea ceremony lessons. Earlier this year I got my official license from the main Urasenke tea school in Kyoto for the basic forms. I need to brush up on my winter forms (the format of the tea ceremony changes with the seasons) and I’ll move on to some intermediate forms after that. I also am a belly dancer. 

Although I’m mostly laid back in my every day attire, I love the glitz of getting into a full cabaret costume and performing on stage. I enjoy rambling around Bucks County when I get the chance. We have some really lovely areas here. When I’m not doing any of those things, I’ll crochet a bit.
  
Sherry: It all sounds amazing! Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Rommy: Thank you all so much for the great feedback you give and the conversations you’ve shared regarding poems and the art of poetry writing. I’ve learned so much from the thoughtful constructive criticism I’ve received over the years, and I am truly grateful for it, both as a poet and as a writer.

Sherry: Thank you, Rommy, for this wonderful update, and congratulations on your new book. May it find many, many eager readers.

It is always exciting when a writer has a new book out. Yay! Do come back to see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!

28 comments:

  1. Hey Sherry! Hello Rommy! What a fun read! I particularly loved this, Rommy. "Fairy tales still can inspire us to become the heroes of our own stories, and remind us that we have lots of pages to go before we can call the tale complete." This is a very good thing. Happy that you give a voice to background characters--even just giving a voice to silent characters is great. There were a couple of dreams I let pass when I should have afforded the price--but most often if I can't afford it emotionally or spiritually, Money makes no difference. Good stuff. I'll look for your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is very wise to take emotional and spiritual costs into account when deciding which dreams to chase down. There's nothing to stop us from modifying old dreams or coming up with new ones that fit us better though. Thank you so much for commenting.

      Delete
  2. Love what you have done... I think I had read all your poems before, but I liked it when the came together with your fairy tale themes... I grew up with fairy tales too, and i so love the idea of twisting the perspective around and maybe make them fit a modern world a little better...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bjorn. I had a great time fiddling with the perspectives whether it came to re-envisioning an old favorite (Like "The Little Mermaid" in "The Trouble with Wanting") or coming up with a distinctly modern faery world of my own creation ("Kindred Steel"). Part of the magic in the old stories is finding how a few of the old themes still feel relevant.

      Delete
  3. How lovely to read about Rommy and her new book! I already tried to order it from Amazon in the UK but I couldn’t find it. I’ll definitely try again as I am completely enchanted by anything faerie. I love the photos of Rommy and Kitsune, and ‘Not Quite A Faerie Tale’ is one of my favourite poems by her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woot! I am so happy you like that piece. Try searching under Cortez-Driks on Amazon UK. It should pull the book up for you. Thank you for your support. :)

      Delete
  4. I am so enjoying this conversation. My Grandma raised me on fairy tales.......all the classic ones, told to me with much vocalizations, lol. The Big Bad Wolf figured largly in her repertoire, ("Grandma, what big TEETH you have!"), so it is rather amazing I wound up living with a wolf for fourteen years, and discovering how sweet and loving they are, when I grew up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my favorite things to do when my kids were little was to read to them, hamming it up and adding as many vocalizations as possible. It's funny how sometime fairy tale themes end up woven into our adult lives - though not in a way our youthful selves might have expected.

      Delete
  5. Thanks, once again, for making this happen, Sherry - and for all the work you do to sustain our Community of Poets. Loved the post and poems. And congratulations on the book, Rommy. That is fantastic news!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry definitely deserves a lot of kudos for curating this nurturing corner of the internet. Thanks for the well wishes Wendy.

      Delete
  6. Absolutely fascinating! From Rebirth stone to dragons to belly dancing, Rommy- everything you've shared is so interesting. Always love to read your work, good luck with your new book! Thanks Sherry for this lovely fairy-tale piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Thotpurge. I do have a crazy amount of of interests to keep me busy. I think the next hobby I ought to take up is napping. :D

      Delete
  7. Oh, the new book sounds so exciting! And the poems you share here are all wonderful. And my goodness, what a busy and obviously delightful life you lead, Rommy, both as a writer and otherwise. This post was a joy to read, altogether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I am glad to have piqued your interest. Thanks Rosemary.

      Delete
  8. Rommy, I love seeing poetry dancing with fiction, and reading a bit about how you make it happen is just wonderful. Like Susan mentioned above, I think that letting us see what happens to the side characters after the protagonists have their ever-after is just fantastic.

    Sherry, thanks so much for taking the time to spread the yumminess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poetry and fiction do make nice dance partners, don't they? I had a lot of fun asking myself "what if?" when I came up with the story ideas, and then writing down all the answers I came up with.

      Delete
  9. I enjoyed every minute, Magaly. Thanks for reading! And for encouraging Rommy to enter the blogosphere - now we all get to enjoy reading her work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, yep it was her fault I started blogging, and she is most certainly one of the biggest reasons I attempted writing a book in the first place.

      Delete
  10. I am excited about your new book Rommy and many congrats....I love the process you used to write it drawing on the magic of poetry! Thanks for sharing this with us Sherry and Rommy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am thrilled you enjoyed this peek into my process. Thank you so much for your support.

      Delete
  11. O Wow! This is a jolly good read! Thanks Rommy and Sherry! Congrats on your new book Rommy! How exciting it is! Love all the poems shared here, specially "The Trouble With wanting".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sumana, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and the poems presented.

      Delete
  12. What a delightul article this is Sherry and Rommy. How good it is to read about your wide range of literary activities, particularly the publication of "The trouble with wanting and not quite faerie tales" and the Japanese tea ceremony lessons. I was most impressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm just someone who likes to keep busy a lot. Thank goodness for my tea ceremony lessons. They help me appreciate the ability to slow things down and just be.

      Delete
  13. I so much enjoyed reading this post. Rommy's poetry is so exquisite. I love the messages and the lovely words she chooses to express them. I admire Rommy's energy and talent and the diversity of her interests.
    Thank you Sherry for this great interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw! Thank you for the kind words Myrna. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

      Delete
  14. I commented the other day? I came to check and it is not here? I have been having trouble lately. I loved this post Sherry and Rommy, and I loved Rommy's poems. I hope this one will stick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Success! It stuck this time. :D Thank you for the well wishes and your persistence. :D

      Delete

This community is not meant to be used in a negative manner. We ask that you be respectful of all the people on this site as each individual poet is entitled to their own opinion, style, and path to creativity.