1.WomanNShadows, Could you describe the meaning of your profile name? And why you chose it?
i chose the name womanNshadows many years ago, when i first made my presence known online. everyone has a screen name. this one is mine. i have not had what could be called an easy life. it has been one where i felt i lived on the periphery of everything and everyone. it seemed fitting to call myself where i have sort of lived.
2. You mention a “Dragon” in many of your poems. For those who do not understand who that represents, can you please explain who that is? And why you chose that name?
my Dragon is my husband's nickname. he earned it as a Force Recon Marine during his second tour in Vietnam. years later, when we were first introduced, he said he could be my "knight in shining armor." i told him i didn't want a knight as knights were owned by those they had pledged themselves to. i told him i was looking for a dragon because they were old and wise and could not be fooled easily, were intensely loyal only to those who earned the right, and were vicious fighters protecting what they cared about. he smiled at me and our relationship started.
3. Several of your hubs mention the ocean and a special island you loved. Can you please tell us how these places have inspired you? Where is your favorite place?
my Dragon and i lived in Rockport, Massachusetts. the coastline is rocky and very austere. the fetch across the water from Europe has nothing in its way to slow the waves coming across. they can explode against the rocks so violently. there is such awesome power there and i always saw a beautiful kind of symmetry in the forms it took, arching back on itself or falling over and forward, as if trying to consume these enormous boulders of granite. my island is Straitsmouth Island. on it is an abandoned lightkeeper's house and a working but essentially useless lighthouse. there is a horn that sounds every 5 or 6 second if there is fog coming but with the latest in technology floating out in the water inside buoys, even it is superfluous. the Aududon Society controls it but is letting the house and the history die. it's off limits to visitors; being left to the birds. all the money raised goes to another island, Thatcher, with it's twin lights. my husband and i always dreamed of buying the island, rebuilding the old keeper's house and living out there, our own sanctuary surrounded by the ocean, reclaimed, and its wonderful history and stories brought back to life from the basement of the town's public library.
4. How did you find Hubpages? And what do you enjoy most about the site?
to be perfectly honest, after my husband died, i needed to find ways to make a living while i wait on the VA to process my claim for pension. i do not own a car and pretty much barely get by. finding a job at my age has been hard. grieving has left me drained. i was doing an online search for ways to make money at home and i found Hubpages. i like the freedoms allowed to writers here. i also like the sense of community.
5. What authors, on and off of Hubpages inspire you the most? And why?
on Hubpages, to name just one since there are so many, i like reading Ginn Navarre. she has wonderful stories that she tells from actually having lived her life, a life she proudly claims has not been a bed of roses. i like stories from people who have endured and survived. to me, scars, visible on a body of flesh or a body of writing, have always been a symbol of strength. off Hubpages i read Robert Young Pelton, Frederick Forsyth, Laurence Gonzales, Nelson DeMille, Dr. Richard Feynman, an endless list as i am a biblio-holic. i like survival stories, intrigue, and, well, Feynman was so in love with the world, with his science, i find magic in his explanations.
6. I know many writers such as myself who use our personal pains and tragedies as influences in our writings that in the process actually works as a cathartic release. Do you feel that your poetry is a healing source for your past experiences?
yes. sometimes it falls out so easily. other times it's like trying to build a stone wall one word at a time. the Christmas Eve poem, though, i wrote in half an hour. what can i say? it was a very bad day missing my Dragon and my island and the ocean. it nailed my feelings at that moment and though my grief wasn't lessened, at least someone was going to know i was "out there" and how bad it can be. i was hoping misery loved company.
7. When you are not online publishing your poetry what do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
i am polishing 3 novels i've written to get to the point of finding representation. i sew and quilt. my home business is textile art - embellishing jeans and the big thing, making quilts from the clothing of the deceased. it is one answer to the question of what to do with the clothes and it gives a tangible solace to those who grieve. i have done them for any and every member of a family. it brings me a veil of peace that i can slip on when i am tired or worried.
8. I have noticed you are quite the photographer. What are your favorite scenes to capture? Do you have any other hobbies?
i like outdoors, of course, the sea, gulls, but mountains, deserts, anywhere outside. i like to capture people working. i have several series of lobstermen working their boats, plying the waters. one day standing out on the Dog Bar in Gloucester, i took a series of shots of a boat in distress due to the coming storm and the already rough waters. i wish i could have filmed it because behind me were a couple of Coasties who had walked out of Eastern Point Light. one was on some kind of hand-held radio keeping in contact with the captain. i could hear both voices. as the captain got in sight of, and then around the end of the Dog Bar, there was a sudden lessening of that edge in his voice. you know that sound, that rawness that people have when they are in a life and death situation. hearing his voice change when he knew he had made it, survived another day out on the ocean is something i will always remember. like they advertise, "it's not only fish you're buying. it's mens' lives."
9. You and I have both lost loved ones suddenly. Both of us share a common bond of losing our partners. Both of us also have experiences losing a parent to Cancer as well. Out of all the tragedies you have faced, what would you say gives you the strength to be the strong woman you are?
my Dragon, my husband. he came deep into the shadows to get me. he understood me and gave me love and hope. i try to live graciously and honorably, as he did, so that when i die i will be allowed to go find him.
10. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today? Any inspirational advice you would like to share with your fellow hubbers?
some of, well, most of my answers have been so heavy, how about some of my favorite bumper sticker quotes from my collection? "Don't steal. The government hates competition." "Never do anything you don't want to explain to the paramedics." "Animal testing is futile. The animals always get nervous and give the wrong answers."
and advice for my fellow hubbers, my last bumper sticker: "Always proofreed. You might something out."
Again, I want to thank you for the opportunity to interview you.