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, www.freewebs.com/conniearnold 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!