Inspirational Poetry of Connie Arnold

Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace

Interview by Julie Arduini, The Surrendered Scribe

When I hear from author Connie Arnold, I sit up and take notice. She has the gift to not just write, but paint with her words. I canít think of a lot of people who can do that.

Connie has a new book out and it was my pleasure to review it. In addition, Connie was kind enough to allow me to pick her brain so we could all get to know her better.

First, let me tell you about A Symphony of Seasons. Connie breaks the book into Songs of Each Season, Winter, Spring, Summer,  and Fall. Iím not able to share a sample, but I donít need to. A Symphony of Seasons is so reasonably priced, you can purchase it and agree with me.

  • Connie really paints words. Iím someone that has trouble picturing things unless it is right before me. Iím not an abstract thinker. This is what makes her work so special, because in few words, she gives a panoramic, sweeping view of her subject. Her landscapes make me want to go where it is she is ďpainting.Ē She makes it look easy, but it isnít. If you enjoy nature, praise, Godís beauty and the seasons, you are in for a real treat.
  • She covers the seasons. As I went through her poems, every moment I could think for each season is included. The book is comprehensive, incorporating every sight and sound that I could imagine about each season. Thereís not an event or a part of the senses that isnít includedĖand itís all done with mastery and beauty.

A Symphony of Seasons is another inspired, vivid work by Connie Arnold. Iíd love for you to read my interview with her, and then click on the link to learn more about her and how to purchase her latest release.

What came firstóvisual worship or writing, or, are they one in the same?

 I think definitely visual worship. It seems to me that is what brings the inspiration that flows into the writing, creating a word picture of the visual and expressing worship in a manner that can be shared by the reader.

What was the writing process for A Symphony of Seasons like?

It was a matter of having all senses open, being totally aware of my surroundings at all times, wherever I went. Whatever the season, beauty was waiting to be found, and creation sang its song of life and praise to the Lord everywhere I looked. It involved seeing and listening with the heart, not just the physical senses. Thoughts were jotted down as they were inspired, and then once each poem was begun, it usually flowed fairly easily.

What is your favorite season?

Spring and fall both appeal to me with the beauty they contain, one with new life beginning and the other as things are dying. I love spring flowers and also the colorful leaves of fall. The hope and renewal of spring make me choose it as my favorite.

What do you hope the reader receives through A Symphony of Seasons?

A greater sense of Godís presence in every aspect of creation at all times is one thing I hope readers receive. In addition, I hope the music of the verses speaks to their hearts, bringing joy and a heightened awareness of the beauty of life and Godís love.

Do you do any writing other than poetry?

Yes, I have been writing for children for the last few years, since I became a grandmother. My first childrenís book was published two years ago, and I have three more accepted yet to be published.

Thank you, Connie, for your time!

Talking With Connie Arnold - Interview by Joyce Anthony

I want to thank Connie Arnold for taking the time to stop by and visit with us. I have come to know Connie and she is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Her poetry is a true reflection of the love and kindness that shine from deep within her. In case you missed yesterday's post, please scroll down after this post for purchasing information on Abiding Hope & Love. And don't forget to leave a comment on either that post or this one for an autographed copy of the book. That said, sit back and enjoy the interview.

Interview questions Ė Joyce Anthony

1. Could you please tell our readers a bit about who Connie Arnold the person is?
Starting with a tough one, are you? I can easily tell you about my writing, but Iím a rather shy, quiet person. I care very much about other people, try to be encouraging and helpful, and generally am optimistic and cheerful.

2. Your poetry is so uplifting; do you ever find yourself in a mood that prevents you from writing?
I only write when there is inspiration. Sometimes it just comes to me, and thatís when the writing is easiest. Other times I have to actively seek inspiration and much prayer is needed. If I canít write something that will be meaningful, uplifting and helpful to those reading it, I put it away and come back later to try again.

3. Have you considered venturing into other areas of writing, Connie, or is poetry where you feel your greatest message resides?
Poetry is definitely the gift Iíve been given and what I feel God uses to touch peopleís hearts. I also write for children. I have three young grandsons, and I enjoy writing for them and other small children.

4. Would you be willing to share with us one of your most favorite poems (one that you have written that is)?
The poem that Iíve heard from so many people that it has touched their hearts and souls is ďA Still, Small VoiceĒ:

Thereís a quiet spot in the depths of my being
where God in silence dwells,
The holy, infinite presence of God
where awareness slowly wells,
Away from the noisy outer world,
enclosed where itís calm and still,
Breathing in deep tranquility
as mind and spirit fill.
Itís a silence that speaks without words,
and doesnít sound to the ear,
But listening to it with my heart
can calm every doubt and fear.
The unconditional love I feel
makes each anxiety cease,
As the overwhelming essence of God
fills my soul with the sweetest peace.

5. Why do you write?
It is the easiest way for me to communicate what I want to share. There are thoughts and feelings welling up in me that need to be expressed and writing is a wonderful outlet. When Iím inspired with something, it seems to flow out into words on paper while I would probably stutter and stammer trying to express it aloud!

6. Poetry often needs to come "on its own". Do you have a regular routine to help get the inspiration flowing? If so, what is it?
Sometimes the poetry does come ďon its ownĒ as you say, and I will write anytime that happens. Other than that, as funny as it may sound, eating a banana gets my inspiration flowing! No, really itís not the banana, but my routine is to go to the dining room table when I first get up in the morning with my Bible and a devotional book, pray, then read while I eat a banana. I also have a pencil and pad of paper handy and at least start on a poem during that time when the inspiration gets flowing.

7. Do you believe writing poetry such as yours can be taught or does it have to come from within?
The different forms of poetry can be taught and some of the basics, but the meaning has to come from within. Something has to inspire you enough to write with a passion that touches others for poetry to be effective.

8. Do you ever do poetry readings?
Yes, Iíve done readings for church groups, senior groups and retirement communities and plan to do more.

9. What author has influenced you the most, both personally and professionally?
Thatís a good question! There have been quite a few authors who have influenced me in different ways personally. Professionally it would have to be someone who influenced my poetry writing, since thatís what has been published. I would say Helen Steiner Rice had an early influence on me long before I started writing poetry because my mother loved her poems so much and always had her books around. She wrote in a similar encouraging and uplifting, lyrical style that I usually do.

10. Is there anything you would like to share with us today about you, your writing or anything else?
Iíd like to thank you, Joyce, for letting me share about my writing and books, and to invite those visiting to come by my website, to learn more about Abiding Hope and Love and read some poems. Each week I post a new poem on an Inspirational Poetry Blog and love to hear from readers!

Interview by Amber Stults

Amber: I read on your site that you began writing poetry as text for choir music.  Do you remember having an ďah ha!Ē moment where you thought to yourself, ďIím writing poetry!Ē?

Connie: No particular ďah ha!Ē moment comes to mind as such, but looking back itís obvious that the text of many of the songs I wrote could stand alone as poems. Usually the words would come to me first, and I would compose music that fit with the words. When I first drew a blank on attempting to come up with a melody to fit what I wanted to say, that might have been the turning point where I was writing poetry and occasionally would compose music for a certain poem that seemed to sing to me.

Amber: Do you write in the same place such as an office or coffee shop?

Connie: Not all the time. One place I write most often is at the dining room table. Thatís where I get my best start on poems often, when Iím eating. I guess food fuels my brain to be more receptive to inspiration and think more creatively!

Amber: You have two published books of poetry.  How do you decide which poems to include or leave out?

Connie: The first book, Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, includes my earliest poems and other more recent ones that fit with the theme. The second book, Abiding Hope and Love, has various poems on different themes, that when putting together I realized could be grouped into six categories of Hope, Love, Children, Music, the Bible, and Nature, with hope and love being the dominant themes throughout.

Amber: How do you feel your style has changed or developed?

Connie: My style has developed to include more different forms of poetry. There is more variety in the second book than in the first one.

Amber: Do particular themes keep appearing in your poetry?

Connie: Yes, in earlier poems the themes were of beauty, joy and peace which changed to an emphasis on hope and love for the second book.  Since then I have two more collections in the works, one with themes of grace and comfort, and the other poems of seasons with an emphasis on music. Beauty and joy are probably the most commonly recurring themes in all the poems.

Amber: Are you doing anything special to celebrate April as National Poetry Month?

Connie: This two week blog book tour was planned to be a part of National Poetry Month. It also comes at a great time before Motherís Day in May, which is a popular time for giving beautiful poetry gift books!

Question and Answer with CONNIE ARNOLD

Today, we're getting to know CONNIE ARNOLD, Christian devotions, poetry, and children's lit author. She's an inspiration to many and here's why...

1) How did you get started as an author?
The first writing I did (other than in school) was the text for music that I composed. I did that for many years before writing poetry without music. Once I shared some and received a great deal of positive feedback from others, I was on my way!

2) What is the most inspirational part of your writing career?
The close connection I feel with God when I'm writing is to me the most inspirational. If I try to write something without first praying and being open to inspiration, it will never touch people's hearts and souls like things that I'm inspired to write. When the writing is inspired, the words seem to pulse and flow from within.

3) What is the most important part of the writing process, in your opinion?
In my experience, the most important thing is the silence, prayer and meditation before I begin to write.

4) No
w, let's talk about your book. What makes your book special?
Those reading Abiding Hope and Love have told me that the poems give them hope, comfort and peace, and are uplifting and encouraging. Life can be extremely hard at times. We all have our challenges to face. One of my challenges is living with lupus, which causes many problems in my life, such as the daily fatigue and pain. Looking for the beauty and positive things in life make living a joy in spite of the difficulties, and this is what the poems offer to others.

5) Give readers three benefits of reading your book.
---The reader can bask in the light of God's love.

---It helps to lift the spirits when someone is going through a rough time in life.

---Joy can be experienced through reading the poems about hope, love, children, music, the Bible and nature.

For more information about Connie, her poetry and/or upcoming books, please use the contact information before.

Interviewed by Lacresha Hayes, The Book Views