Tag Archive | Blogger Interview

Getting To Know George

Once I go to visit George’s corner, I wear my thinking cap. His articles make me think beyond the literal words expressed and imparts new knowledge and perceptions on my mind.

A Bit About Me

Blogger, George Foulkes, Personal Interview

I spent my core years in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, England and at the age of 13 immigrated to the United States and have been living in New York City ever since.

At the tender age of 17 during the final year of high school, I joined the New York State National Guard. During my years in the National Guard, it took me to places all over New York State, the United States Mid-West, the Deep South, Kuwait, Germany and Iraq.

The tour in Kuwait and Iraq was in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

I retired from the National Guard after 24 years of service. Sadly I had to end the love affair with the Guard because I found that I could no longer keep pace with the physical demands the way I used to. It was better to retire before I hurt myself.

I’m currently employed as a civil servant for NYC’s social service agency where I supervise a team of workers. I guess you may call me a supervising bureaucrat. I am also the Union Delegate for my location.

On weekends I work as a Counsellor at a supportive housing facility where people with mental health disorders live I make sure that they take their medication.

I practice martial arts during the week. I do that at least 3 days a week or more.

I like to look at things from a win- win point of view. You may call me an optimistic person. If I should happen to experience some type negativity I find it to be small and trivial. It’s an outlook that I developed because I deal with people who are on the verge of hopelessness and the mentally ill and my negative experiences or perceived problems are very small compared to the problems people with little hope and the mentally ill face.

I am a father of one. He is now a grown young man.

A Bit About My Blog

I used to own a chat group called Mind Focus in Yahoo Groups. The group was up and running for a couple of years with discussions on some of the same topics that I now feature on my blog. Then one day out of the blue Yahoo shut down the group without any type of warning and Yahoo customer service was no help. So I decided to start the blog, True George.

The original intention was to write personal articles about my experience with the paranormal and entries from my dream journal. It has somewhat evolved to include short stories, and occasional a view on a political issue. I included the Psych Ward chronicles; it is based on real events that took place in one of NYC’s Psychiatric facilities where I did an internship.  Even though one of my original intents was to blog the contents of my dream journal I did not do it until recently.

The blogging phenomenon is awesome; if I was aware of it I would have done it sooner. When I had the mind focus group I used to search around looking for somebody else’s article to support or start a discussion. Now I write my own stuff.

My blogging experience has been great. I have connected with other bloggers who helped me improve the way my blog looks. I get ideas reading other blogs. 

My Simple Motivational Approach

I motivate myself by understanding that no one will know what is on my mind if I do not put it out there. I would be a happy camper if I know that someone got some type of benefit from the information I provided.

The Challenges So Far

The most challenging moment I have at times is deciding what to write about. I could have a head full of ideas but when it comes time for me to sit and write I sometimes draw a blank and can’t think of anything to write. Maybe I need to walk around with a notebook and take notes as the ideas arise.

My Words To Newbies

Keep blogging. What is the use of writing ideas in a book or even a personal manifesto and putting what you have written on a shelf?  Nobody will ever know you had ideas and something. At least when you blog someone will get to read what is on your mind and perhaps take a position comment on it.

A Typical Day in My Life

Well I’m just the average working stiff. Wake up move the car, get ready for work do my eight and hit the gate. When I get through the gate I go to the Dojo and practice martial arts. Come back home and relax. Sometimes after work I would attend a Union meeting and after the meeting hang out with Union officials; we go to a restaurant have a meal and couple of drinks. Other times after work spend some time with my girlfriend. On weekends I may run some errands then go to the weekend job. Sometimes I call out from working if there is an event like a family get together or sporting event I’d like to attend.

Future Outlook

I have the idea to do more creative writing and perhaps publish a book or novel.

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A Sweet Sister Called Deborah

Anytime that I see Deb’s Gravatar she simply reminds me of one of my younger sisters Ify, who’s so humble, sweet, unassuming and funnily stubborn 🙂
Deb makes me smile. Her writing is fresh, full of surprises and always satisfying.

This Bits About Me

Deb, Bloggers Interview

My name is Deborah Glover (Booky). I’m a choleric/melancholic person – I best describe it as “introverted extrovert”. A writer by passion, a teacher by profession and a Christian. I’m the first child of my parents and being responsible had been drummed into me since I was a child.
I’ve not been so perfect like most people think when they meet me, I’ve got so many imperfections but it’s what makes me human. I like sincerity. It’s a trait I admire and exhibit too. Tell me the truth even if it hurts, especially when it hurts. I dislike it when people try to become another person. I love originality. Be yourself and not the second version of someone else.
Life has its ups and downs. It is filled with TIME or MOMENTS. These moments are priceless. Both the good and the bad and ugly and devastating. They all add up! They make us who are. I mean that “Interesting and Special” person we have all become.

Snippets of My Blog

I started blogging in 2015. I’ve had it in mind to blog long before then. However, when I started I didn’t have the faintest idea of what it was going to be. I wanted to write and read. I wanted a community that would understand my 200+ blabbing and won’t condemn me for it. I started at a crucial time in my life. A time when my family lost her home.
It was a point of distraction and an escape from reality. Writing 101 came along and all the WP courses tagged along too and I saw myself learning. I was a writer who wrote a few poetry and fictional piece but WP polished me. Gradually, I began to share my short stories and poetry. Somewhere good, some were not too good, but in the midst, I had friends who were able to encourage me with the Likes and the piece of advice they shared in the comment section.
Blogging is a great opportunity for everyone. It’s not just for writers and readers. It’s for everyone who can at least write about something. It may be old news to you and people in your country but it might be new to the world.

My Blogging Experience So Far

Blogging has been awesome and I’ll summarize them:
  • I’ve met a community of friends who sincerely care
  • My writing has improved.
  • My view about the world and cultures have broadened.
  • I have read about struggles of others and it encourages me and sometimes it helps me to give a word of comfort to those who are downcast. I have acquired the comrade spirit that says “we’re in this together.”

 

  • Now, when I see someone with a talent to write, perhaps someone who has many things to share with the world. I tell them about blogging and how blogging on WP has helped me. This is what I do.

A few of my links:

What Keeps Me Plugging Away

I just need to see a Colleen post or Rosema post or any blog I follow post in my mail. They remind me silently to do what I need to do. To keep speaking because I shall be heard, to keep writing because it’s the one thing that bonds us all. Even on days I don’t blog, I read blogs till my battery runs out.

Challenging Moments

I like answering to writing prompts both from The WP daily prompt or those hosted by other bloggers. At a point it became a full time job; so my most challenging blogging moments had been trying to answer all of them. These days, I have choosen to be more laid back. I answer to whichever prompt I could and let the rest go.

This is What My Day Looks Like

A typical day with me? (Smiles) Well, Monday to Friday I work at a children school as a teacher. I return home by 15:00. I cook, chat with my siblings, surf the net and read. If I got an inspiration to write, I write no matter where I am. That’s it!
I don’t have pets.

Looking to The Future

I haven’t published any work yet. I have a novella I completed in 2013 and I yet to publish it anywhere. I’m working towards publishing that this year.
I have my insecurities about the book. It’s my first baby (book) and it’s not been edited – excluding my writing it four times from start to finish. I might have to publish it online first before I get it done in paperback. It’s a Young adult Fiction set in Nigeria.

Meet my blogger friend Joe Cosme.

I connected with Joe in this space many months ago and not only has he been supportive, I find his articles inspiring. I never visit his blog and come away empty handed. Today, he has agreed to share more personal details about himself with us.

Thank you, Joe for obliging my nosy inquisition. My regards and best wishes in your endeavours.

  1. Tell us about Joe. Your background, short biography and general outlook towards life.

I am originally from the Bronx, New York and of Puerto Rican and Scottish descent.  My Puerto Rican heritage dominated my life. Yet, I do not speak fluent Spanish. I know nothing about my Scottish heritage.

Me as a baby.

Me as a baby.

I currently live in Florida with my husband of seven years and our two fur babies Maddy and Lotis.

A dysfunctional family life and living in the Bronx helped to make me one of the statistics.  I was a dropout from the school system by the age of 16.

I later returned to school to get my High School Equivalency diploma and went on to college to study Culinary Arts.

I subsequently changed my major to Psychology.  I made this decision because I started studying metaphysics and saw a correlation between the two.  In my opinion, Cognitive behavioural therapy is very similar to using affirmative self-talk.

I never completed my studies but continued to explore these subjects independently.  To this day these are two things that interest me very much.

I love understanding how the mind works… what makes people tick… how habitual thought patterns can be changed.

I love taking a recipe and making it my own… cooking for others and seeing their faces when they are enjoying the meal I created.

My other likes besides cooking and psychology is gardening.

These are some of my plants in my garden.

Some of my crystal collection.

Photography: Some of my shots below.

For my singing, you can check out this post for that.

Pollyanna

Nobody is perfect.  But, for the most part, I am a very optimistic person.

I have a strong faith in the goodness of my Creator and I believe that there is a reason for everything, because of this, I tend to look for the silver lining in every situation, even in the midst of hard times I look for the reason and try to adjust my attitude to not resist what is going on. Some might call this being a Pollyanna, but I like to think it’s just having faith that I am always where I’m supposed to be in life.

Transitions

Like all people, I have experienced some events in my life that have changed the direction my life was going.

Miracle On 42nd Street

One such incident happened in the year 1990.

It was the day after Christmas that my life changed as a New York City bus jumped the kerb in Manhattan.  I only remember seeing the bus coming toward me.  The next thing I remember was being on the corner of 42nd street and Lexington Avenue.

The next day I saw myself pictured on some of the major New York newspapers.  There I was, laid out on the corner of the streets of Manhattan.  The headline read, Miracle On 42nd Street.  I survived this accident only by the pure Grace of God.

I have the belief that things happen for a reason and that this accident was to help prepare me for what was to happen next in my life.

Instant Family

Two months after my accident, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and she lasted only 8 months after finding out about her condition. This resulted into my inheriting the responsibility of raising my two younger brothers.

I wrote a little about this here if you’d like to read about it.

Oops! I Did It Again

After raising my brothers, I eventually ended up working with special needs people as an education coordinator, coach, and trainer. However, my work with this community ended on  October 9, 2013, when I experienced another accident.

I bet you thought I was going to say something about Britney Spears 🙂 I won’t go into what happened with this accident, but if you want, you can read about it here.

This latest transition in my life leads to the next question.

  1. Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself?

My Blog is called What I Gotta Say About It

After having my last accident my self-image and everything I thought I was changed. I was physically unable to do most of the things I once did. Being physically unable to live as I once had affected me emotionally as well.  I soon found myself in depression. The only outlet I had was my journal. One day while writing in my journal I got the inspiration to share my writing and so, “What I Gotta Say About It” was born. However, there’s more to the story.

My Intentions

When I first started my blog, I was really interested in informing people about things they might not have known about. Things like the NSA and our privacy, whistleblowers, our civil liberties being taken away, and the like. I also wanted to discuss spirituality and self-improvement. As time went on I realised I like writing about these things but I needed to focus on something concrete. So, I decided to focus on helping people to realise their highest potential but, I also want to take it a step further.

Building A Community

Joe 31I have had an awesome experience interacting with the blogging community. So much so, that I created another site in the form of a social network. It is my hope that I will build a community where everyone can share their knowledge and resources with each other. I’m also researching how to create online courses and would like to offer that. It’s not completely finished yet, but soon enough hopefully.

  1. Take us with you on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of your pets if you’ve got any.

My Daily Quagmire

My typical day consists of

  • Looking for a job.

I was released to go back to work.  However, I have limitations.  So, this has been quite challenging.

  • Educating myself.

I am currently taking a course at Live You Legend.

I am also researching options for wigsai.com.

I’m contemplating studying to be a life coach.  I think some sort of credential would help me on my mission to help other people.

  • Taking Care of Maddy & Lotis

Maddy is our dog who is 15 years old.  She has random seizures and is prone to getting attacked by Lotis. Lotis is our brand new puppy, who is a handful.  We recently lost one of our fur babies (read about that here) and added Lotis to the mix.  He is only 3 months old.

Thank you for the opportunity for the interview Jacqueline.


out-of-the-silent-breath 2

P.S.: Would you like to grant an interview or guest posting? You can send an email to me at JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com

A Friend and Sweet Soul called Eugenia.

My dear Eugenia has been a steadfast support and friend in this space and I totally appreciate the hand of fellowship encouragement and constant interactions with her.

Her humourous outlook, Tuesday chatter and other thoughtful posts on her blog always leaves me refreshed and I am glad that she obliged my request to let us get to know her a bit better.

Thank you Eugenia for your warmth and kind spirit. It’s my pleasure knowing you.

Hi Jacqueline and thank you for selecting me for your interview. Quite flattering, I must say.

You know you asked for a bio, which the word bio is the shortened version of the word biography. I am going to do my best to compile a shortened version of my life, bio vs. biography.

My Pix

Born and raised in Orlando, FL before the mouse, meaning before Disney World was built. Disney created the opportunity for numerous modeling and acting jobs. I did a lot of modeling and had  parts as an extra in a few commercials. No big time jobs but I had a lot fun.

It was obvious I wasn’t going to eke out a living in modeling so I landed a job at an insurance company. After 40+ years in the insurance industry, I retired. This coming July 1 marks my 3rd year of retirement.

I moved from Orlando when I turned 30 and I lived from one end of Florida to the other (Tampa to Daytona Beach and Miami to Jacksonville).

Other than attending college in Fulton, MO and living in Marlton, NJ for a few years, I lived most of my life in Florida until 2012.  My insurance career, which I was co-owner of my own agency for nine years, led me to many great experiences including travels to London and several U.S. cities. It also led me to the finality of my career, via transfer to Atlanta, GA, where I retired.

Yes, there is a lot more to my story but this will hopefully serve as a petite summation of many years and experiences.  Currently, I live in Roswell, GA with my husband, Paul and our cat, Amanda. Neither Paul nor myself had children, so it is just the three of us. I must say, I am at a very happy time in my life.

The photos below are:  Amanda Panda, our Cat kid.   Canton Street in Roswell, GA, a very charming little city outside of Atlanta; and Paul and I while on a train ride in Blue Ridge, GA.

AmandaCanton1

 

After retiring, I had a void in my life. My position in insurance required a lot of writing, which it is referred to as documentation, and can be used in a court of law. So I was accustomed to writing and I am computer savvy. I thought what better way to fill some of my time than to write. I somehow stumbled on WordPress, which was the start of my blogging experience.

I believe the blogging phenomenon is fantastic! It is wonderful opportunity to be creative by expressing yourself in words, photos, and art; and the learning and sharing of ideas. Undoubtedly, the most fulfilling part of blogging is the camaraderie with others. I find the blogging community very welcoming across all platforms.

I have no set goals or visions of grandeur for my blogging. My need it to fill my time and feel useful. In the beginning, I found It took some time not to write like an insurance underwriter, meaning dry and factual with no flair. Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts – know what I mean?

Here are a couple of my own favorite publications:

https://amanpan.com/2016/04/30/you-know-2/

https://amanpan.com/2016/05/22/remember/

I also run a weekly event, Tuesday Chatter, which the intent is to have fellow bloggers share their link thus increasing their exposure.

https://amanpan.com/2015/10/27/tuesday-chatter/

My typical day begins early. I am an early riser because I enjoy the mornings. After putting myself together, breakfast, and playing with the cat, I am on my computer. I check our email and then access my favs. I spend a lot of time in beBee, LinkedIn and WordPress. I also play games on Pogo.com.

Yes, I do other things besides look at my computer all day – the usual cooking, cleaning, and shopping. My husband and I share in the household duties. Amanda, being a long-haired cat, keeps us busy.

Regarding any future plans for blogging, I don’t have anything carved in stone.  I blog as much as I can across 3 platforms: beBee.com, LinkedIn and WordPress. beBee keeps me extremely busy and WordPress runs a close second. In case you are not familiar with beBee, it is the new experience in social media. I migrated with my online friends to beBee from LinkedIn as we were not enjoying LinkedIn’s recent implemented changes.

My beBee group is made up of professionals, with many being professional writers.  I have learned a lot, published a lot and I run 4 groups (groups are referred to as hives on beBee). It’s fun, it’s fulfilling and I enjoy it. Several of my publications on beBee are not on WordPress and vice versa. And some publications parallel one another. Here is a publication that I posted on LinkedIn, WordPress, beBee and Millionaires Digest. It generated 5,000 views on beBee. I am truly thrilled.

https://www.bebee.com/producer/@franci-hoffman/you-yourself-and-you

Jacqueline, my attitude toward life has always been positive. I’ve had my share of bumps in the road and feel they are life events that make me a stronger person. My favorite type of writing is poetry, which I can be creative, whimsical, serious, or even melancholy in my reflections. You write beautiful poetry, Jacqueline, so you know understand what I mean.

https://amanpan.com/2016/06/01/life-death-and-inbetween/

Life is like a dream

It can be good or bad

It can be happy or sad

Death is like a dream

Never ending

And unforgiving

In-between is like a dream

But still remains unseen

As experiences of your being

Life may be pleasant

Death may be peaceful

No shows won’t know

In-between may be troublesome

But, isn’t it what you make it?

Wise up and don’t forsake it

-Eugenia

Well, it’s time to wrap this up and again, Jacqueline, thank you for selecting me for your interview.

Cheers!


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

A Richly Layered and Passionate Read. Jan Cliff

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works, you can fuel my creativity with a cup of coffee or a slice of cake😉