THIS TIME IS The Right Time
Using Our Personal Experiences To Have Important Discussions with Mildred Stokes
In her workshops, Mildred encourages writers to explore past occurrences to understand the now. In doing so, one realizes the journey of life’s future pursuits are worth it, regardless of any setbacks and oppositions.
Our individual experiences and lessons learned in life are valuable, and many more should embrace them in order to live life truly fulfilled.
"Mildred M. Stokes has authored two published works. I Can Hear You Better With My Glasses On! is a collection of poetic reflections about life and realizations met along the way. Romancing the Beautiful Divine, A Joy Embrace Story Devotional is an intimate, meditative exploration that returns the author to her first love.
In addition, Ms. Stokes holds a master’s degree in human resources development from Towson University. And from UMBC, a master’s in ESOL/Bilingual Education. Her career goal is to write in a multiple of genres. Most recently, her curiosities have taken her to exploring children’s book writing, alongside inspirational and poetry writing projects, blog writing, speaking engagements, and product promotions. As her website undergoes re-construction, deliberate self-care and whole body wellness are this author’ steady practices.
AJ:THIS TIME! -- An Audience's Historical, Poetic Short Story: Tell us more about it and why you chose poetry as the medium?
MS: There is good reason for THIS TIME! It was birthed in a moment that could not be silenced any longer. I had to have my say! The words, the sentiments—even the off-rhythms and rhymes at times—were shaped to underscore a Nation’s tumultuous journey, a story for many who were brave enough to admit the anguish that a disquieted spirit and troubled heart unveils. THIS TIME! attempts to be an historical, sweeping view of the persistent inequities and collective trauma facing our country and a clarion call for unifying justice.
Choosing the path that this medium provided was key. Poetry permitted me the freedom and space I needed to have my say unencumbered. It was important to not allow formalities and regimens to hinder spontaneity, for this writing rose from deep inside. There were points to be made using embedded rhyme as well as end-of-line rhymes intentionally.
AJ: When getting writers to open up, what have you found to be their biggest challenge?
MS: Widely enough, I would think vulnerability. Writing puts the wordsmith on center stage—with all eyes peering, waiting with reasonable expectation—poised to commend, condemn, and everything in between. The most challenging quest that comes to mind for writers most often is deciphering how to develop a story that makes you transparent, credible, and of sustaining interest to your target audiences. Success in the marketplace and the speaking invitations that follow are more than reason enough to plow through. However, overcoming self-doubt and embracing the bold confidence to stand in the spotlight is prerequisite.
AJ: What made you decide to now explore children's book writing?
MS: I am a perfecting writer and explorer. As I continue to perfect my craft at writing, I am learning to open myself to explore the evolving world around us with expanded curiosity. Children’s book writing is a genre that presents character building themes to young readers in search of entertaining lessons about life. Settling on an illustrator is the greater challenge for myself at the moment after getting past manuscript writing and editing.
AJ: How does focusing on your own wellness contribute to your writing?
Wellness and writing present an interesting intersection. I have actually determined that my writing has moved beyond the notion of being just a hobby. Writing is catharsis, allowing me the opportunity to transfer energy from thought into dynamic practices. Wellness incorporates three components that support my ambition to create engaging content: good nutritional health, good sleep and mental health, and a healthy sense of community and service to others.
AJ: With a masters in ESOL/Bilingual Education, do you write books in Espanol as well? How do you encourage this population to enjoy reading?
MS: Thus far, I have crafted manuscripts in English. However, when in the presence of non-English speaking persons and families, I rely on personal observations and members who are English speaking to open the way for interactions.
My training has informed me well: use of story illustrations, familiar cultural role models, book themes representing other nations, intentional ethnic diverse exchanges, along with select education-based media resources are all essential. Each of these as a collective demonstrate to ESOL populations the value of reading, cultural inclusions, and continuous learning.
AJ: What is next for you as a writer/author?
MS: If you had asked me this question a year ago, I would have indicated exploration into children’s book writing. What I see presently in discovering is the need to pursue children’s book writing while continuing to write inspirational themes for youth and adult audiences. We are bound only by the limitations we put upon ourselves.