Saturday, 11 August 2018

Review, Poems, Hildur Höglind

Those who follow my blog are aware that I’ve been writing Poetry for nearly 32 years now.  I believe in another life I was Poetry. When Hildur Höglind approached me about writing a review for her new EP I could not say no – regardless of busy how life was.  First off because I love Hildur’s voice, she commands such an elegance & poise via her tones and the second reason is that it’s heavily steeped Poetry from other Poets/Writers including herself.  Hildur is the one who is responsible for all the music arrangements and ideal interpretation of each song. 

First off, that is a pretty gutsy thing to do – take another’s lyrics/poem and manipulate it to your will. Your personal voice attached to the lyrics of another, affords a profound symbiotic relationship between the original lyrics/poem and the voice that brings to it. Let me introduce you to the individual songs that make Poems: On Monsieur’s Departure by Queen Elizabeth I, second we have Do Not Go Gentle by Dylan Thomas, third is Spiders by Hildur, fourth is Alone (From Childhoods Hour) by Edgar Allan Poe & lastly The Fault In Our Stars also by Hildur.  

This EP takes us on a journey, I would recommend listening to this song if you have something to think about that is weighing heavy on you.  It’s immensely soothing and will leave your mind to wander amidst all the notes and vocals.  I quite enjoyed all the songs on the EP but if I am to be honest, Do Not Go Gentle, The Fault in The Stars & Spiders are my three favourites.  For one, I love Dylan Thomas and Hildur’s interpretation of this song left me feeling breathless.  Especially when Hildur sings “do not go gentle into that dark night…. Rage, rage, against of the dying of the light.” It’s sung with such conviction and passion. I’ve heard both conviction & passion in Hildur’s voice before but this time it was different –it was a desperate plea for someone to literally “rage, rage, against the dying of the light…” I could feel the power not only behind her vocal control but also the sultry sound that graced this beautiful musical composition.  It’s almost as if she is speaking and signing at the same time, you would have to listen to it to know what I mean.  The way the notes linger, and her pauses are nothing short of brilliance.

Now The Fault In Our Stars, I saw the movie sometime last year and cried like a baby.  The way that it ended through everyone that I know into an endless loop of sorrow.  Hildur captured the innocence of youth throughout her song The Fault In Our Stars.  There’s nothing that I can say about this song to me it is close to perfection.  The themes throughout the movie is clearly exhibited through the lyrics never mind the youthful and playful lyrics ensconced with wonderful notes to house a brilliant epic piece.   The Ah’s are sung with such an eerie precision.  This song will definitely haunt you especially if you’ve watched the movie or in some cases read the book.  It really allows one to contemplate the true meaning of life.  We are after all only on this earth for a short period of time.  And, regardless of age, ailment, disorder or disease we can learn to love and show compassion to one another.  I think this specific section of the song says it all.

The Fault In Our Stars

Maybe this is not the fault of a God?
And maybe Karma’s innocent too?
Maybe we’re all just locked behind bars?
Or could it be the fault’s in the stars?
Maybe it’s the fault in our stars

I stagger through hallways, but don’t know where to
I never understood the universe
Her nails are painted perfect in dark navy blue
The nine was a ten says the nurse
but that only makes it all worse

Bad things will always happen, it depends what you decide to do with the time you have left on this planet.  Quite the thought-provoking lyrics indeed.  That’s what really hooks me about this song.  It’s humanity and ability to find relatability from one human to another. 

My final favourite Spiders this song honestly reminds me of a moment where life was simpler, and I had time to play pranks on my spouse.  We used to have a plastic spider one day my husband asked me to check the water tap in the bathroom he thought that it was still running so I got up to check and there was a plastic furry leg that looked very real in the dark.  I absolutely screamed and then laughed he had tucked the tarantula inside of the sink… don’t worry I got my revenge the next day he found it on his pillow.  That is the point of this song to be surrounded by monsters’ simple spiders and never be aware of it.  Those closed dark places in your mind that play word games with you.  This song does the same it brings forth an inner awareness of those things that are around us that we never see or even take for granted. 


There are spiders on the walls, love
I can see them, clear as day
There are tigers on the floor, love
Can’t you make them go away?

There are horrors going on
Under my bed
I’ve got monsters in my head

Can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you hear them?
Don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you fear them?

There’s a killer on the run, love
I have seen it on the news
He’s coming with a gun, love
I could swear it, but not prove

There are horrors going on
Under my bed
I’ve got monsters in my head

Can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you hear them?
Don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you fear them?


There are horrors going on
Under my bed
There are horrors going on
inside my head
There are monsters like I said

Can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you hear them?
Don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you fear them?

Can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you see, can’t you hear them?
Don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you feel, don’t you fear them?

There are horrors going on
Under my bed
There are horrors going on
inside my head
There are monsters like I said



All in all, I would recommend this EP to anyone who appreciates a true artistic body of work.  For more information on Hildur you can follow her on Twitter @hildurhoglind or check out her website  you should allow this singer/songwriters body of work into your heart you will not regret it.  I know I am forever richer having been exposed her music.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018


how many snippets 
do you pick up
during your day?
are there moments
of compelled adoration
or times when you feel
vulnerable and open
your heart to a true friend
one whom you can share
your true intentions
with and they would never
dare judge you for the little
moments of self doubt
that accompany your mind
constantly encourage
you to allow these
lighting fast thoughts
that take over your optics
in the fashion of a swift  
paced picture book
where motion and art
collide to create
unique fragile glass
shards of reality
fragmented throughout
the ages never knowing
or second guessing
who you are and what
you are truly meant
to do!!!!

Monday, 11 June 2018

Poetry Olympics

The Poetry Olympics honours the same values as the Athletic Olympics which include: Excellence, Friendship & Respect. This is a non-profit event that has been created to not get ourselves a little bit out of our writing comfort zones. Over the month August, we’ll be exploring various forms of poetry. Each one unique in its own style and meter showcasing the level of flexibility that exists in our poetic world. Everyone may only post one poem daily on the Instagram feed based on the style that is offered –  and I’ve decided to furnish all of you with the list of Poetic styles to ensure you are well equipped for the Poetry Olympics. 

Please do not post cliché aphorisms, fan fiction, uncouth erotica, or any racial/religious/gender/nationality slurs unless you identify with such.  

My reference for this list is Writer’s Digest – check them out – tremendous resources for writers. Just hover and click to learn about a myriad of new styles.

August 17, 2018 -- Haiku. Popular Japanese form.
August 19, 2018 -- Kimo Israeli Haiku
August 24, 2018 -- Ode. Praise poetry!

Friday, 8 June 2018

R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain!

This morning while I was flipping through my poems, deciding which one I was going to post my husband said to me “Ran, Anthony Bourdain is dead, he committed suicide!” I could not believe it -- my optics automatically started to overflow with tears. Even now, as I type its through a glossed over and wet mess. (Thank goodness I gave up wearing daily makeup – otherwise I’d look like a racoon right now.) I remember Anthony Bourdain from his first show on Food Network called A Cooks Tour.  I totally fell in love with it because, it was unlike anything that I’d ever seen.  He was opinionated and never afraid to share what thoughts were on his mind throughout the tapping of his shows – even if there was a backlash.  That takes a certain amount of guts to just not care and speak your mind – especially if its against something that is wrong. 

The news clearly stated without waffling around the subject that Anthony had killed himself.  Right there my heart completely broke.  I’m not unfamiliar with suicide, it is a horrible way to spend the last couple of hours of your life.  A life that may not be perfect, riddled with broken hearts but also with a certain amount of joy.  I don’t really know what to say at this point except… If you are feeling suicidal reach out to emergency services or call 911 in the US or Canada. Regardless what you’ve gone through in your life suicide is not the answer – yes, there are days when life sucks but for every day that is horrible there is another that will get you through it with extreme love and appreciation for things even the bad things that happen to you.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018


i’m unequivocally aware
that my obsession for the human
condition really is not one that is normal
i mean to constantly be in tears
over worlds that hardly exist
but in the mind of one
who is willing to suspend reality
from their lives when optics
are glued to exceptional
story lines – where adoration
collides even in the most
of ridiculous circumstances
i am the type of person
to rewind an act of humanity
over in my mind until
i’ve memorised every single
boring detail down to the tear
falling a quarter down a cool cheek

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Poetry Olympics

Dearest Bookworms --

I wanted to tell you a little about the first EVER Poetry Olympics that will take place in the month of August. Where various forms of poems will be explored. Each one unique in its own style and meter showcasing the level of flexibility that exist in our poetic realm. 

Don't worry there will be examples available should you be unfamiliar with a specific Style.

I'd like to ask those of you who are Indie writers to participate by not only writing poetry for the event but contributing an ebook as a prize for the event. Thanks for your support. DM me for details thanks... This is a non-profit event. 

Rania <3 

Monday, 28 May 2018

“life is brutal, so throw some fucking glitter at it.”

who are you?
who are you really?

bile riddled human
evil intentions
and broken bonds
brutal isn't it?
that level of ugly
comes at a price
a calloused human
desperate for desire

who are you?
who are you really?

ensconces passion
a heart braver than any warrior
passed through hallowed
earth! dig! dig. dig.
with your soul
what is the best version
or you? how do you weigh
and measure truth,
half truths or utter
falsehoods along with each
precious deed presented

fairy cores entice
humanity with a specific
gift that was raw

what the truest version
of me is a little devilishly crimson,
slightly morose black
but frightened mostly

each one of us




can you imagine



residual complexity
regards moments
worth a flight notation
don't you think?

who are you?
who are you really?

title quote by bekky beukes... poem by rania m m watts 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Review, Instapoet

Last year around this time I was interviewed by Josh Dale of Thirty West Publishing House for the first time ever in my life I was asked; “How familiar are you with the terms “glancer/glancership”, “boo”, “she-poem/poet”, and “balling”? “  I had no idea what half of those things meant at all until I started to follow Thom Young on Instagram he was/is a frequent flyer when it comes to utilising these words.   Things started to make sense, most of the time when I read satire it totally goes over my head, I mean there are levels of sarcasm that feel so true it is not even funny especially when they are coming from an honest place. 

The novel Instapoet written by Thom Young & Matt Blythe is nothing short of shear genius.  I don’t know if anyone is paying attention but there has been a renaissance growing with regards to the world of poetry. This book shows how quickly one can gain popularity posting inane and simple things on Instagram as opposed to poems requiring both thought and accountability to create with more than the size of your phones face will permit.
There are characters that gave me laugh – I remember one night I stayed up late to finish a college paper on the effectiveness as to how to help the local community centre.  It was quite difficult and annoying, but I finished it – there is a part where this other female character totally unrelated – she used sex as a tool to get her pseudo boyfriend to write the paper for her.  Academic fraud is quite a serious thing I can’t even imagine being expelled for cheating like that the dishonour alone is one that can instill fright even in the bravest soul. So basically, she almost got caught but there was a fiasco that ensured she received entry into another school. I don’t want to give too much of it away so read the book to find out what happened to her!

My favourite character hands down in Max the way he methodically listed and plotted throughout the book to receive an outcome of shear popularity in itself is quite comical.  I remember reading one scene where Max was so angry, no, now to think about it angry is not the right word more like royally incensed. The line read “Max retrieved his favourite pen which he nicknamed ‘Revenge’.” I mean come on -- that line says it all – can you imagine making someone so frustrated and upset that they create a vendetta about you where are starting to name tools of their trade.  I find this funny as I name my tools as well – there is power not only in the writing, but the selected tool utilised as well.  I’ve heard revenge is a dish best served cold and Max’s dissonance is not one to be taken for granted especially since it plotted so carefully. 

As you can tell from my words I genuinely enjoyed reading Instapoet it was one of the funniest things I’ve laid my optics upon.  It is quite obvious that Young & Blythe took their time carefully constructing the characters believability I mean yes, it is satire but it’s honest satire that shows that those poets who stay true to their craft require the same amount of acknowledgement or even more than those who simply string three words together and call it poetry.  Thom Young completely proved that theory via his Instagram account. 

I do hope that you pick up your copy of Instapoet and leave it a review on Amazon it is worth the read and your two, not two, three cents.  There is so much to take away from this novel and I genuinely want you to enjoy it as much as I did.   

Friday, 16 February 2018

Interview, Poet, Counsellor, Gwenivere Weiss

Nearly 8 years ago this month we went from home living to adjusting to life in a four-bedroom apartment.  Well, to be fair, now, it’s three bed room and one artsy studio space organised and decorated by yours truly. I love my small space it leaves me feeling ensconced in nothing but artwork and poetry.  Now, I’m wondering how it would feel to live in a bus which has undergone a transmutation to become a home where one being can live all year round. I find that type of living to be practical. My next interview is with Poetess & Counsellor Gwenivere Weiss.  I relish how Gwen lives so organically in her own little space. I asked her a few questions about life on her bus….

Please follow Gwen via social media on Instagram – if you would like a consultation the information is right here on her website.

RMMW: I remember one year for Christmas, I wanted a pen so badly, something fancy that I could use to write with that would create great poetry… Wow!  I was totally the dreamer in my formative years as I am now… What is your first writing memory?

GW: I have been writing for as long as I could!  I remember writing a fiction story in first grade about a dog, where we drew pictures and made a book out of it.  I remember it made my mom and my teacher both cry because they were so moved.  I don’t remember the content but understood that I was making an impact and was very encouraged to keep writing.
RMMW: It’s so funny how so many of us started writing out stories about animals, I totally love it… Who are you reading now?

GW: I am reading Irvin Yalom’s Love’s Executioner, which is riveting and hilarious.  I am a Psychology graduate student, and he is one of my heroes from the existential psychology lineage.  I’m also reading a lot of Clinical papers for classes, and always opening Neruda, Or Oliver, or scanning my Instagram for new poets I don’t know yet or ones that I've been inspired by before.  I’m about to start Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. 

RMMW: I used to enjoy clinical reports as well, they at times can be quite fascinating, I should make a note to myself to look up the work of Irvin Yalom – the title sounds very compelling… Tell us a little bit as to why you started a monthly poem offering?

GW: I wanted to share with my friends and family what I was up to, and from there it just grew as others showed interest and is now something I will send to anyone!

RMMW: It’s a pretty cool concept, I subscribe to it as well, love receiving your poems. As a counsellor how do you decompress at the end of the day?

Photo Credit -- Jasmine Amara Beaghler
GW: Showers are one of my go-tos.  It just rinses the day off emotionally, psychically, physically.  Can’t get much better than that.  I will also just lay down with my eyes closed and let my brain do some filing/throwing away the files I don’t need, like the color of the baristas shirt from this morning.

RMMW: Counselling can be quite stressful – how do you clear any negative energy that may enter your aura as you are tending to someone else’s spiritual needs?

GW: I find that if I am grounded and clear I don’t really absorb others energy.  I can just let anything go, and not hold on to other’s stuff.  I work a lot to ground and clear before a session, so I can be as present as I can with my client.  There is this idea that I need to clean my own mirror to be a good reflection for the client.  So, it takes a lot of self care, and self work to be in this line of work.  But I love it.  I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

When I do feel stuck or unclear I have different energy clearings I perform on myself.  I sometimes do Chakra work, bringing up earth energy into each chakra, then pulling down spirit, or light energy from above and through my chakra system.  I find this is both clearing and grounding.  Sometimes I just need to scream or dance or cry.  I follow my intuition on what is needed.  I also connect with my ancestors and ask for guidance and support in letting go of whatever is ready to be let go of.

RMMW: You are right, it takes a lot of self care to maintain such a job… Tell us a bit about your book Moon Studies and what the reader can expect when they read it?

GW: It is deeply vulnerable, as well as magical.  It is written from the lens of a white, 20 something, West Coast American woman, who is a queer witch finding her place in the world as an adult.  It is a coffee table poetry book, with 40 poems and beautiful photographs taken by the brilliant Jasmine Amara Beaghler, who is from Bishop, CA.  It is a retrospect on relationship, sensuality, death, magic and love in the years of my 20’s.  I would say as a poetry book, it doesn’t follow all the rules, but it is beautiful and well thought out.  I don’t really believe in following all the rules in creativity, just the ones that make your craft beautiful, moving and approachable.  The poems are all real, approachable and deeply connected and reverent towards the magic and the mundane of the world. 
Photo Credit -- Jasmine Amara Beaghler

RMMW: Oooh, sounds lovely… I’m curious about this bus of yours, do you find simpler living happier living?

GW: Simple living is only simpler in certain ways.  When it comes to the systems of our home (water, wood stove, electrical, propane) it is more complex than living in an apartment rental.  We chop wood, start fires for warmth, often the pipes are frozen, we have to refill the propane, and when our neighbor and us pop the breaker each week for using the minimal electrical we go outside in the snow to turn it back on. So, in theory it’s simpler, but in practice it is more work.  But the place is ours, and we take it wherever we go, so it gives us permission to do as we wish.  We will never be without a home.  It is happier sometimes (like when it’s warm out), and sometimes more difficult, but leads to more satisfaction and alignment with my values of life. 

RMMW: Wow!  That does take a lot of work, but, it sounds equally fulfilling to be engrossed in this lifestyle… What inspired you to say – ok, I’m going to take this bus and turn it into a home?  (I think you might like MICROTOPIA if you’ve not see it yet – it’s totally brilliant and speaks of living smaller but a fuller and larger life – takes balls to do what you did.)

GW: Well, I’d wanted to live in a bus since I was ten years old.  It was just a matter of time before I did it.  When I was about 25 I started seriously looking for the bus I would buy to convert and made a decision I would see it through.  I wanted to learn to build with my hands, live in a small space that was all my own, have the freedom to bring my home anywhere I wanted, and to do it in a way that felt sustainable and in alignment with my ideals for life.  I was tired of renting from strangers, paying their mortgages, not feeling ownership over where I lived, and wasting money.  I also have a longer-term dream of owning a community property where folks can come and live or stay in these smaller dwellings.  The bus will be the first one on that property.  It was both a short term and long-term investment for my future. 
Photo Credit -- Jasmine Amara Beaghler

RMMW: That is certainly ambitious and quite lovely… Do you have any artists rituals before starting a new piece?

GW: Often I feel a piece coming through for a day or so.  I open to it and ask my muses to support me in communicating it well.  Then I just wait, and when the inspiration strikes I write it down as fast as I can.
RMMW: Oh me too.. lately my muse has been playing hide and seek with me… We all must deal with our inner critics; how do you contend with yours?

GW: I like to think of my inner critic as a younger, more insecure version of myself.  When she comes up in my head, I like to give her space to be insecure, and assure her it’s okay.  A sort of self-parenting and self love.  I try to soothe her and let her know it’s okay to feel insecure.
RMMW: Awe, nice that you can self soothe – that is good advice… Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you get out of it?

GW: I think sometimes I’ve been scared I will get creatively blocked.  But I see creativity as more of a river, sometimes its rushing, sometimes it’s slow or seemingly still, sometimes it’s a nice steady flow.  If I’m not creating new content, or finding time to edit newer content, I know that there is probably something else taking my creative energy, and have to decide on my priorities.  If I am in a slower writing phase and I am wanting a more gushing river, I will make a date with myself to an antique shop or somewhere with vintage furniture, or take a drive somewhere beautiful.  This seems to get the juices flowing.  Or sometimes I will invite my muses in to support me write about a particular topic or feeling.  The river inevitably starts to flow.  Even when the river seems still, there is movement going on below the surface.  

RMMW: Awe, being creatively blocked can be quite painful I’ve heard.  I’ve never experienced a block but can imagine it to be harmful to one’s psyche especially if they want to gush emotion and work. If you had a superpower what would it be?

Photo Credit -- Jasmine Amara Beaghler
GW: I would like to be able to understand my boyfriend better.  That would feel like the most useful super power to me. Haha, no joke.  

RMMW: I totally love that answer.  There are things at times that takes time to understand with regards to the individuals in our lives. Thanks for the fabulous interview Gwen, I really appreciate it. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Interview, Writer, Poet & Jewellery Designer, Rémy Rytepo aka Michale Poppler

Rémy Rytepo aka Michale Poppler is not only an exceptional story teller but also jewellery designer.  At this point in the interview, I normally write a little bit of a blurb as to how it is that I came to fall in love, with some of not only the poems but ring pieces in Rémy’s collection.  But, Rémy, wrote for me a beautiful introduction that not only explains love of writing but also art and design… Follow on Instagram for more beautiful works.... 

RR: “I have always been fascinated with telling stories; drawing pictures, places and moments in people's mind. Telling Stories have still held a unique position in my heart, as a very young person, I started writing verses, for my passion for creating lyrics for music. Writing always has been my gateway to other places, when other things or moments in my life have not been kind, as it serves as a tool to continually recognize what is good around and value it.  It has provided an essential device for me to rediscover myself and the world.   In this World, we must learn to recognize beauty, even from the worse moments of our life.

As an art, Jewelry surged out of necessity, with the struggles in many industries, as an Artists, I need it to figure out a way in which I could make things that did not work very well for me in my career endeavors, into something new.  I am a soul believer in the ability to craft new dreams when after so long, we are failing in our previews goals. There is a time in our life when we had to kill one idea to born out better one; such is the tale of the fallen hero that rises and in the end success.

I have always been interested in jewelry making as an art form for its direct connection, and self-uniqueness to every person, as every jewelry piece is so intimate to a particular person, similar to a verse of poetry. 

Being so fascinated with storytelling, because of many years of drawing as a child, I design characters for my little tells, their clothing, their faces and their every aspect. These factors let to me to become a Character designer for Video Game, Animation, and the movie industry, even if I have to move on from those endeavors, creating figurines for my stories, give me so much pleasure.

As a designer I think some people lose themselves in an idealized picture of what they want; sometimes a shape wish to be something, and we must let it.  However, a piece must flow, just as our human bodies flow in juxtaposition-completing each form in it.  Having special moments, I think is the most challenging part of any design, so the eyes of the viewer can focus on a particular area.”

RMMW: Beautifully said Remy, thank you… Now, where can your rings be purchased?

RR: I am planning to make a central website soon for my brand; however, I am selling them face to face, or in marketing sites like postmark.

RMMW:Woooohoooo a central website showcasing your work would be incredible. Do you ever keep any of your rings or do you sell all of them?


RMMW:Yes, I can see how they can easily become an intimate pieces… I’d imagine jewelry setting can be difficult – are you self-taught or did you take a course?

RR: I am currently Self-teaching myself, so I am doing it slowly, taking my time, at my own pace.  The smaller the setting, the more difficult.
As an artist, I love any experimental medium I can get my hands on, sometimes the material can determine how hard the setting is going to be; however, for now,  Gold and silver are my preferred ones. 

RMMW: Taking your time is smart, it will allow you to absorb all your newly found skills. Do you have any artist rituals when you create either: poetry or jewelry?

RR: Music is a direct connection with our spirituality; I always listen to music related to the mood I want to show across a particular piece, and its rhythm as it collaborates to have new ideas.

RMMW: For me too… Music fuels my writing depending on what I chose to listen to when I create… We all have an inner critic that can be quite difficult to deal with at times, how do you silence yours?

RR:Yeah, it can be tough at times, I AM my worse critic, but I had learned that If you spend too much time doing something there comes a time when you need to step back and not be so harsh on yourself because it might not be as bad as you think. The best advice someone ever gave me was to know when to step back and take a recess, then take a look with fresh eyes, and after such time apart from it, if you still find it bad them just fix it,  or make something new —and go away for two more hours.
RMMW: You are right, stepping back and away at times can be such a strong catalyst to creating wonderful work. If you had a superpower what would it be?

RR: I think if I have superpowers I like it to be  Master of Time

RMMW: Thanks for such a beautiful interview Rémy. 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Interview, Marketer & Poet, Ryan A. Knipe

The last time that I really thought about Marketing was in grade 11.  I remember this one assignment where we had to design our own box of cereal and sell it to the class. At the time my brother worked for a company where I could get my hands-on sample sheets of self adhesive vinyl from last seasons colour palette to create my box of cereal. Incidentally, I remember I would have gotten an A had I not handed it in late. We are all bi products of ourselves and that includes how we market who we are.  Being a self-published Poet means that you must learn to market yourself – which means essentially – how do I make my presentation look appealing in order to not only gain more followers but patrons as well. Which trust me I comprehend how difficult it is. That is why I thought it was important that I interview Marketer and Poet Ryan A. Knipe.  We talk about SEO, optimization and marketing jargon that even you will comprehend by the time this interview is over. I asked Ryan for this interview because I know personally if I struggle with marketing myself there are many of us that have no idea what we are doing on a marketing level. Please follow Ryan on social media via Instagram

RMMW: I just realised recently that I've been writing poetry for 30 years... How long have you been writing poetry?

R.A.K: The first time I had ever written anything was 3 years ago.  Prior to then there was never any ambition or thoughts to write.  I am not formally trained in any way.  I write for me.  I never follow any traditional writing or poetry styles.  And I don’t see the point to follow them.  “We are the dreamers of dreams”, Willy Wonka.

RMMW: Indeed, “we are the dreamers of dreams” ... I love Willy Wonka I wonder how he'd feel about social media... Which social media channels do you recommend for poets/writers? And why?

R.A.K: That is a great question.  And one I currently battle.  I started out on Instagram and my following quickly grew.  I have found with IG it was easier to reach an audience for my words.  Instagram gives many ways to reach an audience without using a single dollar.  We as writers need every advantage we can get. 

RMMW: Yes. Many poets for some reason love the IG platform. The algorithm however not so much... What do you think is the main challenge facing writers today with regards to social media?

R.A.K: I believe the biggest challenge for any writer is the exposure of our craft.  It is so important to have a reach online.  If no one sees our writing, we might as well just write our thoughts in a journal and hide it in a shoe box under our beds. 

RMMW: Exposure certainly does help... How do you feel is the best way for contemporary writers to showcase themselves best via social media?

R.A.K: Outside of the right platform a writer should focus on the writing.  I learned early on in my writing that people will engage when the writing is relatable.  Make them feel and they will follow.  With that said, I also say write for you.  When you truly touch that part of yourself and the emotion comes out in your words, everyone will feel it.  Leave the Hallmark writing to Hallmark.  Make it real.  Make it raw.

RMMW: Keeping it raw always keeps things more organic.   What catches your eye when you read a poem on social media the way it is presented or its words?

R.A.K: The words always get me.  I am a lover of words and the beautiful combinations they make.  Because I’m not technically “educated” in poetry or the history of, it gives me freedom.  What I write connects with people.  And with that it gives me a chance to see raw words without any prejudice.  I never judge an account by it's follower count.  There are so many talented writers.  Never judge a book by the cover.

RMMW: Ah you are a philogist of sorts at heart... Are you a classically trained Marketer or one who has learned through the school of hard knocks?

R.A.K: The school of hard knocks was my teacher.  I crave knowledge.  When I was a kid I always wanted to go into commercial advertising.  Little by little I moved closer and closer to my goal.  I taught myself how to use Photoshop, I got Google certified for analytics and then started designing websites to earn extra income.  At first it was just a design thing for me.  The creation and layout.  As I went deeper into the design of websites it became ever more important to understand the importance of how a person uses a website.  This grew into more self education.  I could write a book or two on this, so I’ll stop there.  Haha.  In short, I am always educating myself to make marketing better.

RMMW: I find school of hard knocks to be a very realistic teacher, considering you have to work harder then those who  are classically trained as everything you learn is on your own.. Tell us about SEO and its relationship with social media.

R.A.K: Search engine optimization is absolutely vital for long term online success.  Social media plays an integral role.  Search engines like Google use SEO to show users the best possible results after they enter a search term.  As a writer posts on social media, on blogs and websites, Google looks at this for relevancy to a users search.  The more engagement you have on social media, the greater your opportunity to show in a users search.  For anyone reading this, that does not mean if you post a hundred times a day it will increase your chances.  Google still has a very complex algorithm to decipher relevance and give users the best possible experience.  And it is always changing.  There are other important factors within SEO like keywords, keyword phrases and long tail search terms that can be included with social media posts to help boost opportunities as well.

RMMW: So, SEO helps with the longevity of our on line imprint... What kind of marketing tools do you use to showcase your clients in the best light?

R.A.K: Email and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two essentials with online marketing.  Neither is free by any means but both will give you tremendous exposure.

RMMW: I’ve heard email lists are a genuine asset to have... How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?

R.A.K: Hands down the best way to deal with negative comments is to respond to them.  People online are somewhat forgiving and know not every business is perfect.  By responding to the negative comments you accomplish two things.  You show you pay attention to your brand and have the opportunity to rectify with the commenter which can turn into a win.

RMMW: Yes, that is smart,  responding right away would help with any forthcoming issues... How do you check and stay on top of the latest updates, innovations, and new platforms in social media?

R.A.K: I am part of many groups within the marketing world.  Like Google and LinkedIn.  Each offer forums and trainings I can attend throughout the year at no cost.

RMMW: Its good to keep updated... We all have an inner critic – how do you contend with yours?

R.A.K: I literally kick my own ass.  And at the same time, I am a huge risk taker.  So, at times I will throw the inner critic out the door and say screw it all.  Fuck it.  Not sure if anyone else does this too.  I might be crazy.

RMMW: I don't think you are crazy but practical and honest. Do you ever get creatively blocked? If yes, how do you get yourself out of it?

R.A.K: It happens for sure.  Music is always my go to.  I’m a music junkie.  Most times I like to listen to Indie music for the best writing muse.  Other times the woman in my life will bring about words even I have never used before.  This changes everything.

RMMW: Awe having a muse is always nice... If you had a super power what would it be?

R.A.K: It would be the ability to read minds.  I am very intrigued by the mind.  When the mind is open anything is possible.  And think about the fun one could have.  I would be a billionaire.  A plethora of information available at any given moment.  I’d be like the internet without WIFI.  Haha

RMMW: Well, That's it folks! Ryan, thank you so much for the informative chat! 

Friday, 26 January 2018

Interview, Jewellery Designer, Iris Saar Isaacs

As a child, the first thing that you are taught how do to when you start to hold a pencil, is to draw consistent circles in preparation to write letters.  However, Iris Saar Isaacs has taken her pieces that may look like squiggles on ordinary paper and metamorphized them to become a part of her jewellery collection.  One random day, maybe a Tuesday or Wednesday I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and found this post from The Jealous Curator that I simply adored.  So much so that I nearly swallowed my tongue.  The work that caused me to be so stunned was Iris’ pieces. I could not believe that a jewellery designer could create such: full, luscious, clean lined images that look you like scribbles.  To call her work beyond elegant is not even enough.  This woman has created wearable art that literally looks like a flat object but in fact has multi dimensions and depth.   I’m in constant awe of Iris… Every single time she posts something new I think to myself – how does she always do it?

I’d like to invite all of you to follow Iris via social media and Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.

RMMW: I remember stringing beads to create necklaces when I was younger, what is your first jewellery designing memory?

ISI: I have always dabbled in making bits and pieces. Ever since I can remember, I used to pull apart old scraps and reconstruct them in new ways (using glues, pliers and simple ways to attach the little bits together) to make jewellery.

RMMW: That is so funny that you should mention pulling things apart, I used to always cannibalize my necklaces to create newer ones… how did you start making and selling jewellery for a living?

ISI: I studied jewellery, sculpture and graphic design over the years. My absolute favourite was making sculpture, but very early on I realised that I cannot make a living from selling sculpture, so jewellery was a way to combine my sculpture and graphic skills while earning a living.

RMMW: I love sculpture, never created one but can imagine the tactile feeling below my finger tips – must have been an exhilarating experience to create something from a block of material… What’s your favourite piece of jewellery that you’ve made before and why?

ISI: One of my favourites is a chunky link necklace I made many years ago with silver and glass (using recycles glass bottles) … I love working with glass and used if often in my sculptures.

RMMW: The only experience I have working with glass is to create mini stained glass windows… What is the inspiration behind your beautiful pieces that look like squiggles on a paper?

ISI: They are my on-going scribbles that initially start on paper (I draw those all the time), every now and again a certain drawing will spark my interest and if I feel that it could be developed further, I then re-draw it on the computer and start manipulating the line thickness and composition until it feels right. Once it is balanced, I then decide if it is suitable for a necklace, earrings or a brooch.

I cut the shapes out of paper and continue to play with the scale and placement of lines. When I feel that it is balanced, I then transfer it to metal. This is the real test – seeing if it hangs right, balanced and in the right scale to the body. 

RMMW: WOW!  Paper is so delicate… It must be fun though, really affords you a chance to genuinely experiment… I have to admit, my FAVOURITE piece of jewellery is a sundial ring… Do you ever design rings as well?

ISI: Years ago, I used to make minimal jewellery with traditional materials such as gold, silver, pearls and stones. I made many rings including wedding and engagement rings. However, once I started inSync design, I decided to design and make pieces that are size free, as I stock in my work in more than 70 galleries and museum stores around the world and I cannot keep up making all the pieces in variation of colours and sizes. It gets too confusing, so keeping it size free makes it somewhat easier.

RMMW: Yes, now, that you mention it I can see the inflexibility that is housed by having to constantly create different sizes and styles… What is your favourite jewellery-making tool? And why?

ISI: My old and trusted hammer and parallel pliers. I have had them for over 20 years and still love working with them; they fit perfectly into my hand.

RMMW: I love that your favourite tool is a hammer – mine is my wire cutters… What medium do you enjoy designing most?

ISI: Sculpture. They are not restricted by size, wearability constraints or weight. They are only limited by my imagination.

RMMW: Your love of sculpture reminds me of Camille Claudel and her exquisite pieces… Where do you go or what do you look at to feel inspired?

ISI: Inspiration is all-around… I enjoy working with three-dimensional forms, I work intuitively. I tend to make minimal asymmetrical forms that are inspired by architecture and nature.

I also love to travel, and I am lucky enough to travel quite a bit while exhibiting inSync’s work internationally. I find new countries, cultures, architecture and art always brings new ideas and dimensions into my work.

RMMW: Amazing how we can simply be  inspired throughout our daily lives … What has been the single most important jewelry-making skill you’ve learned and why?

ISI: Pay attention to details! It is not really a jewellery skill as such, but it is certainly a very important skill to have when making small items such as jewellery, because every detail is evident and paramount to the overall piece.

RMMW: As ever, the devil is in the details…. I can totally appreciate that as a Poet… Any new collection coming out for 2018 that we should be on the look out for?

ISI: Absolutely! Each year I add a few new designs to the existing Line and X2 Collections. This year in no different… I am currently working on new earrings, necklaces and brooches for both collections. I love the process of exploration and design.

RMMW: Oooh, can’t wait to see your new designs… Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?

ISI: Not really… I collect ideas and sketches all the time, but once a year I dedicate a block of time to bring them all together and design a new collection, which I then continue to make throughout the year.

RMMW: I wonder if your collected ideas are in a notebook or little scraps of paper… I use both… We all must contend with our inner critics; how do you deal with yours?

ISI: I, like many others, often have the imposter syndrome, where I doubt and question myself, but I just keep at it and know that in the end it comes together somehow…
There is lovely quote I really identify with:

Creative Process

1. This Is Awesome 
2. This Is Tricky
3. This Is Shit 
4. I am Shit
5. This Might Be Ok
6. This Is Awesome 
RMMW: Awe, that really is a lovely quote and yes, you are right.  Life has taught me that things do end up coming together with patience and effort… now, that being said … If you had a super power what would it be?

ISI: Can I have several??

Healing- I could not only get rid of minor injuries like cuts and bruises, but also help ease the pain of people suffering from serious illnesses. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and AIDs would all be history.

Time Travel - wouldn't it be amazing to time travel? Imagine visiting your future self.

Telepathy - how cool would it be to communicate by reading each other’s minds? You could carry on secret conversations in public and no one would ever know.

Flying - imagine Peter Pan... no traffic jams, where you could travel anywhere on a whim and see the world from a bird’s eye view.

RMMW:  Yes of course you can have several!  Thank you so very much Iris for the lovely chat… I really appreciate it…