Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Hey.

Here’s another author (she’s a poet as well) who also has a page here on WordPress. I consider myself and anyone else aware of her to be pretty lucky already as this author has a pretty powerful perspective and is more than capable of articulating her experiences and thought processes as it relates to the cultural upbringing of the African American experience. Her name is Yecheilyah Ysrayl and I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A session with her a few weeks ago. Below is the interview along with her social media contact info.

 

  1. I’ve read you were born in the South side of Chicago (so was I!), what were some of your earliest memories?

Hi Dottie. First, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Yes, I am from Chi-Town indeed. Since I’ve been in Chicago for the better part of my life my earliest memories go back to childhood. Some of the most profound ones, the exciting ones, are when our family moved to Paulina. Paulina, for those who are not from Chicago, is just the name of a street on Chicago’s south side but we had so much fun in that one community that we came to name it after the street itself, like it was a city or something lol. We were so content as children on that one block. It was our whole world.

  1. When did you decide to get into poetry?

Poetry isn’t something I can say that I made a conscious decision to be a part of. It wasn’t something I decided to make a part of my life in that way. I’ve always been in love with books and when I was twelve years old some of the stories I read, which I can’t remember now, inspired me to write short stories of my own and poetry followed. It, poetry, just seemed natural. When I was in High School I joined UMOJA Spoken Word and Drama so that’s when my poetry really took shape, became more mature if you will.

  1. What can readers expect from your works- specifically The Stella Trilogy?

My works, especially The Stella Trilogy, tends to hearken back to identity; specifically Black Identity. What does it mean to be Black in America? What is Black? Is it something that has culture? Is Black an actual identity or is it a color applied to a group of people? And how do we return to nationhood after being oppressed for so long? My works, across genres, will always attempt to answer these kinds of questions in some way. As well as a focus on Biblical Themes and Womanhood.

  1. You’re a full-time writer. What does a typical ‘writing’ schedule include?

My writing schedule will always depend on two major components: Living and Discipline. When I decided to work for myself I did it for the freedom of being able to manage my own time. So I told myself that I wouldn’t create such a 9-5 type schedule if I was given the privilege not to. For this reason I make sure to take the time to actually enjoy each day because this is where inspiration to my writing will come from—living. I am however big on discipline so aside from just living life in general, I have carved out several areas to running this business that are critical to the operation:

(a)   Response (b) Package  (c) Shipment (d) Inventory / Financial Management (e) Writing (f) Blogging (g) Reading (h) Research (i) Travel (j) Social Media / Email Marketing (k) Marketing

Not necessarily in that order, not everything in one day, and of course some of these things are far more important than others (obviously fulfilling orders is more important financially than blogging which I am not being paid to do). But these are the kinds of things I have come to dedicate myself to right now as critical components of being a Full Time Writer. Even if I’m not benefiting financially from one over the other, I believe they are all accommodating in some way. The process is all encompassing.

  1. What words of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to visit yourself as a child?

“Be patient. The truth will set you free.”

  1. How much of you (or your habits) goes into any of the characters you’re writing about?

I would say that, like any writer or movie director, one can always find footprints of themselves somewhere in their writing and I’m no different. I wouldn’t say that you will find so much that a character is a carbon copy or so little that you can’t see me at all but there are footprints; little places here and there where the character experiences things or feel things similar to my own experiences and feelings. I think too that this is a natural thing that happens when you write whether that’s professionally or for personal reasons all the way down to the naming of characters who tend to be modeled after people we have known.

  1. What are your other hobbies outside of the writing world?

Nothing. No, I’m joking! LOL. I love to travel, reading never gets played out, and movie nights with my husband is a favorite past time.

  1. It says the last installment of Stella is due out in Feb 2016, are you doing any additional writing outside of The Stella Trilogy? Can readers expect more titles from you in the future?

Yes. I have quite a few projects in queue. For the most part I would like to stay within the Novella, Short Story genre if possible. I have found I really enjoy shorts. As far as long term projects are concerned, in 2012 I published my first novel, a Sci-Fi Thriller “The Aftermath” and I am in the process of revising it. I have already removed it from my electronic shelves and given it a new cover but I decided to wait until after Stella to finish it. So time permitting that’s my next project, the revised second edition of my novel. And then I’ll be back to shorts! I’ve already started on a few ideas.

        9. How can readers reach out to you?

Email:    ahouseofpoetry@gmail.com

Author Website:   www.literarykornerpublishing.com

Facebook:    www.facebook.com/literarykornerpublishing

Twitter:     www.twitter.com/ahouseofpoetry

Instagram:     www.instagram.com/yecheilyah

LinkedIn:     www.linkedin.com/in/yecheilyahysrayl

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Courtesy of Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s author website.

I would like to thank Yecheilyah for her time and I hope you find her work to be as interesting and worthy of your time as I do. You can purchase her works here through Amazon.

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Photo courtesy of Google images.

Changing Perspectives

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Image courtesy of Google.

Hey.

Like the title suggests, this Christmas Eve I’m acknowledging my changing attitudes and thoughts on many things… my God, does that mean I’m getting older (again)?

Recently I’ve been experiencing my own episodes of independence and maturation (moving in with the boyfriend can do that) as well as changing and owning up to the production of my own works (going from traditionally published to independent status) I feel more in control of my life now than ever before. I feel the potential to achieve success is mine to renew, rebuild, and refurbish- I am the captain. Part of me wants an official badge and hat or something while the other half wants to laugh at my former self for assuming I wasn’t capable in the first place.

indie publishing

Courtesy of Google images.

I’m in the mode of near-exclusive encouragement to others who are contemplating their next professional move, especially when it comes to authorship. Sure it will cost you a little money but piece-of-mind about the outcome is worth it, even at double the price. I’ll write more on the specifics of my journey later but I’ll suffice it to say that right now, I’m completely at peace about it all. My motto now is more closely aligned with the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”- “What are you waiting for?”

Well, as we close out the end of the year and look to set goals at the most popular and powerful time of the year in January: What are you waiting for?

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Courtesy of Google images.

(Almost) Missing: The Magic of Christmas

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Courtesy of Google Images.

 

Hey.

It’s two days before Christmas Eve and suddenly I’m reflecting on Christmas memories from year’s past. Its bittersweet. For about five years now I’ve found that Christmas has lost its steam, its potential, its wow factor. I’ve come to realize it’s not as fun of a holiday when you’re all grown up. Sure, if I had kids I could make it my job to give them the best impression that an obese man with a beard actually makes it to every house overnight with reindeer pulling toys on a sleigh- no bathroom breaks required. I don’t have kids so for now, I look to others and build as much of the fun as I can.

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Courtesy of Google images.

 

Like many others, I think the era of Christmas itself has changed due to technology and consumerism. I complain now for a very good reason: I spent the peak Christmas years for a child in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid 80’s. Let me tell you, it gets no better for Christmas than that. Folks my age and older will agree. Back then, things were simpler. With mountains surrounding the city and our proximity to the North Pole, it required no stretch of the imagination to believe that fat man would make it down the chimney so many of us had. With real reindeer roaming around the surrounding forests in the outskirts of the city it was easy to wonder if they were a part of the magic eight out on a stroll when they weren’t busy pulling the jolly fat guy around with his toys. We also attended church and knew of the spiritual meaning of the day: the day which we celebrate Jesus’ birth but I’ll admit as a kid the presents were much more exciting!

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Courtesy of Google images

 

Now as an adult, I as well as other 80s babies are now consumed with coordinating work/travel schedules, meal planning and gift buying… which all but a smaller portion of joy is removed to be experienced once everything comes together for Christmas dinner. The long awaited, child-like excitement is now replaced with budgeting and other mild stresses along with other adults who feel nearly the same way. The real reason of the day becomes more apparent and important. Jesus replaces the jolly fat guy. We each become a little bit responsible for the fate of the world around us.

Like my grandmother says, “Enjoy your youth.”

My offering to you at the height of this season (I apologize for not getting to you before now) is for a little bit of that child-like wonder to return to your heart. Remember when you went to bed on Christmas Eve and you were excited beyond words? Remember when you woke up feeling like you hadn’t slept at all but daylight was in the window and you knew this was one of the best days of the year? May that feeling return and make itself known. May your dinner table be packed with food and your smiles and laughter come often. May you wonder if only for a second whether that fat, jolly man might’ve made his way around to every heart bringing the gift of peace.

Merry Christmas.

Christmas Wishes Blog Photo

Image courtesy of: You guessed it- Google images