Friday, June 11, 2010

The Rhythm of Life, Music and Poetry with Mary Muhammad

Please welcome guest number eleven on the Virtual Book Tour. My special visitor today is author and poetess Mary Muhammad who has written books of poetry and two children's books.

Poetry and children’s books are an interesting combination. I’ve asked Mary to tell us in her own words where her inspiration comes from, and what her aims and goals are in sharing her emotions and messages with readers.



Mary on Poetry
My love for poetry stems from two areas in my life—jazz music and recitation. Music, just like life, is poetry in a rhythmic form. When you are a lover of words, and someone recites to you words that capture rhythm, you automatically form your own rhythm, your own song so to speak, and this is how poetry became my love of expression. I'm inspired by children and life in general when it comes to poetry. Everything has its own rhythm and song; this opens a whole world to me when it comes to writing. The process is awkward for me, I guess, because the majority of my writing has to have a title in order to be; it's not easy for me to just write without a face to what I'm writing, and the title is a face for me. As my writing matured, my biggest influences came from a totally different era than today. It came from the early writers who seem to draw on the real issues of life, the deep intimacies of the early century. I was fascinated with this form of expression, the dialogue and many fashions of it. I just love reading it. Jazz is my second love of expression because of the diversity. I enjoy the instruments and how each of them voices their own sound while being just as important as the next in a piece. Yet without each one, the whole sound changes in a particular song. Jazz has melody, it's the real music expression for me, it's like body language without a lot of hoop and holler.

Mary on Writing for Children
My love for children comes from my upbringing. I came from a very large family and children were everywhere you turned. With six sisters and four brothers came many nieces and nephews, many of whom I baby sat, so my love of children has always been there. When I first started to hear and read of children being abused, I just couldn't fathom the reasoning; it just didn't make sense to me. I mean here you have an innocent being, and you have this happen to them! Every parent has the right to protect their children and should be an advocate for their protection. When seeing and hearing all this negative activity with small and older children, I couldn't sit still, I hoped with God blessing me to write, I could be an advocate for the children. I hoped I could be the voice they hold quiet, and bring awareness to this awful act. I pray more parents and family members will become more active on children’s behalf and learn of the seven steps to help protect the children. They need to know how serious and life changing this issue is for the children. They need to love them enough to stop and pay attention to changing behavior, because it changes their lives forever. They see life and people totally different than most. I don't know for sure if my message is working, but I pray it will save a child's life, at least one each day. If I can do that by making this as open as I can, my heart is happy, a child is happy, a child is safe. People don't have to take my word for it; they can go straight to the mouth of the predator committing the acts. They can hear it from them by visiting my website and going to the media room, where they are speaking about this, where they themselves warn the parents about what, how, when, where and why they do these things. How much more warning and proof do parents need to help protect the children? It's because of this activity Hugs and Kisses was written.

Mary’s Motto; "The love we say we have for another becomes a fallacy the moment judgment enters in."

Please visit Mary's blog post and jazz and poetry connections for more details and book purchase details.
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