As an aspiring author, it’s always good to hear stories of other people’s success. They inspire us to not procrastinate, and reassure us that there is a light at the end of that proverbial tunnel.
This week we hear from poet Patricia Dorsey, a southern woman with an intense love for where she lives, Mississippi.
Location and one thing you love about living there: I live in Tupelo, Mississippi, which is located in the beautiful Mississippi "Hills". Tupelo is also the birthplace of Elvis Presley. I must say that this region has the most beautiful landscape, wildlife and scenery .The warm hospitality of the people and the unbelievable southern food, along with great weather (mild winters) , makes it one of the most amazing places to live.
Author of: Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and My Magnolia Memories and Musing
Books available: Online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and can also be requested from any of your local bookstores.
Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a proud Mississippi Girl...a True G.R.I. T (Girl Raised In the South) I am a 1982 graduate of Tupeo High School. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University. I lived for over 18 yrs in Memphis ,TN working in the mental health field and returned home in 2007. My first book of poetry wes published in 2008. I am 48 yrs old and loving every minute of the Fabulous Forties!!! I love thriftshop shopping and call myself a Diva on a Dime. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sprority, Inc. I am married to my wonderful best friend, James Dorsey. We just celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary this past September. We have one son, Henry, who is thirteen. I certainly cannot forget the other beloved member of our family, our Miniature Schnauzer, Happy. I am an avid reader and passionate writer.
Tell us about Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and My Magnolia Memories and Musing: I call both of my books, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia - A life in Poems and my latest, My Magnolia Memories and Musing - In Poems, a "celebration of the south and things southern". Through my poems, I try to give a positive, up close and personal glimpse into the southern way of life.
What sparked your passion for poetry? I have always loved poetry. My father used to recite poetry to me from a very young age. I vividly remember him reciting poetry to me as he would be shaving, getting ready for work and on the weekends when we spent a lot of time together.
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way? The two books that made a huge impact on me growing up were I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody. They were two books that I deeply related to. I was amazed to see "my world" described so vividly within the pages.
What was the seed of inspiration for your books? With both of my books , the inspiration for me has come from the beauty of the place that I call home. The people, country living, beautiful childhood memories and the wonders of everyday life spark somthing deep inside of me.
Is there a message in your poems that you want readers to grasp? I really want readers to understand that there is more to Mississippi than all of the negatives so usually talked about and portrayed. There is MUCH to love about Mississippi and the southern way of life.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career? Poetry has often been referred to as the "step-chid" in the book industry. People always told me that it is a very "hard-sell". It can be very difficult to get people to review poetry and to promote it.
What has been your best moment as a writer? I would have to say that one of the highlights has been being contacted by a representative of the President asking if my book could be considered for use as an official gift from the President if it were to be chosen for a specific occasion. Ultimately, it was not chosen at that time. But it was such an honor for it have even been considered. Hopefully, it/they will be reconsidered in the future. You never know!
Who is your poet idol? Maya Angelou. She is absolutely amazing! I was so excited to finally get a chance to see and hear her in person at a benefit event in Memphis this past summer. The experience of "sitting at her feet" was much more than I could ever have imagined.
What is your personal cure for procrastination? I try to follow the advice that I always give to others: Just Do It Get on It!
What does your workspace look like? I actually don't have a certain place or time to write. I mostly write when the inspiration or "muse" strikes me. Though it goes against most practical advice to/from writers, I rarely just sit down with intentions to write a poem. My very first poem came to me in my sleep. I woke up and scribbled it down. The rest, as they say, is history. It might be hard to believe, but I would say about 80-90% of all of the poems that are in both of my books came to me as I was riding in my car. I usually tried to scribble them down the best way that I could.
Do you write anything else besides poetry? I do write some everyday thoughts on my blog
www.patricianeelydorsey.blogspot.com and I do some freelance writing for a couple of magazines. But, other than that, it's all poetry.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I am a homemaker, wife and mother. That is a 24/7 full -time job.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school? I think that the best thing that I learned or anyone could learn is how to think...not WHAT to think ...but HOW to think. Especially in college, I learned how to really process information and how to use it properly...
What advice would you give to other poets? Find your own unique voice. Listen to it. Don't be discouraged by what others might think you should write or how they you should write. Write from your heart. You can't go wrong if you do that.
Well friends, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and this is the very last author interview I have in my collection to share with you. So to all of my lovely Wednesday Writers, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks for sharing your wonderful stories with me and You May Say I'm a Dreamer readers. To my readers, thanks for stopping by each week and for all of your friendly and positive comments.
So what's next, you may ask? Well, I have a bunch of exciting things coming up in the new year, and, as 2013 is set to be one of the most exciting, crazy and adventurous years of my life so far, You May Say I'm a Dreamer is going to see a lot of change and excitement, so stay tuned!