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Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts

Meet The Artist Anita Rivera

We can officially say that the Holidays are upon us, and what better way to kick off the season than meeting an artist French Teacher who is a student of poetry and photography!
Anita Rivera is first and foremost a Lady, an articulate woman who delivers first class inspiration, and talent wherever she goes.

This month you will find her poetry published in Prairie Style Magazine.

I have had the joyful opportunity to chat with Anita and exchange weekly emails.
This communication all developed into a caring and cherished friendship, and an interview.
So, please sit back, relax, enjoy her decorating, photography, poetry and become inspired!

Anita was born and raised in Los Angeles but really grew up in Boston, Massachusetts where she and her husband went to school.  Her journey into academics and teaching started in Boston, but the artistic rekindling of her spirit began in  Minneapolis, where she lives now.  It all began seven years ago when she started her blog.  She and her husband have enjoyed transforming their brick house into a dream French cottage where they both enjoy writing and nurturing the inner child.  Both of them are goal-oriented learners and Anita has set her mind on what she calls her final frontier: 
to write professionally and to be published.

1-When did you develop your passion for poetry?

A friend and colleague came to my home one day after the death of a beloved colleague and friend from school. She brought over a copy of Mary Oliver’s book, Blue Iris and I fell in love. I had previously been introduced to 19th century French poetry during my studies at the university, but only on an analytical level. Mary Oliver’s poems spoke life and death, and from that point on, I devoured every one of her works that led me to other important, contemporary poets. Shortly after that, I signed up for a scholarship at our local Loft Literary Center and I was awarded a scholarship to take a memoires class that set me on my course. However, prior to this experience and without even knowing it, I was on my way to writing poetry, thanks to my blog. I was simply having fun expressing myself in multiple mediums such as incorporating images and music on my blog to accompany my pithy style of writing. As I started to develop a certain style on my blog, more and more readers commented that I was writing poetry. That’s where my real work all started: my blog. 

2-How many years have you been developing your writing skills for poetry?

When I took up the courage, to go back to college at the age of 34. I started to teach myself French for the fun of it, but immediately registered for an adult night school program while working full-time while my husband pursued his Ph.D. The experience of learning another language from an analytical perspective and to see how language works merged with my passion to communicate. Writing and developing my style in French for academic purposes lit the wick in my mind to continue to write for enjoyment like I never had experienced with English. I never learned how English works; I just learned it. But my tendency is to try to understand how words can engine thought taught me that writing can unleash their power to move the reader. My development in ongoing, and as long as my mind continues to be occupied and lucid, writing will be my elixir for youth. Thinking, arranging thought through syntactical variations, searching for new vocabulary (this is what is necessary in poetry) – how can this not continue to develop the mind and heart?

3-Your decorating inspires many of us, how did you discover your own style?

Over many years of observation and finally identifying what I always loved. During my years in Boston with my husband, we lived on campus as well as in various apartment arrangements with no personalized touches. We were concentrating more on our studies so decorating was not on the forefront, however, when both of us finally started to feel the nesting instinct, my thoughts turned to a European style. It took me years to finally identify and simplify that style as well as many a bad purchase to finally learn that I feel more at home with a vintage, antique and minimalistic environment. I just recently de-cluttered my home of unnecessary furniture and knick-knacks and the open and airy feel is what both of us prefer. Fresh flowers and other gifts of nature help make my version of French country more accessible in our post-war brick cottage in Minneapolis. 

4-You are an artist at heart, what is your favorite artistic outlet?

This is a loaded answer! In my youth (and still very much to this day), my primary passion is dance. Theatre performance soon followed and I continued until I got married. I currently play the harp but the performing arts will always be in my blood, and as a teacher, these skills are very useful for various circumstances. But the perfect artistic outlet for a maturing body and mind in my opinion, is writing. There are no materials to clutter the studio, and there is a wealth of inspiration around and inside each one of us.

5-Any tips for developing your creative passion?

I believe that if anyone is interested in pursuing a creative outlet, they must eventually face the reality that creativity is hard work and that one must be persistent in developing their medium of choice. A creative person must also allow time for input, or rather, inspiration. Many of us creative types always feel we must be generating output, producing and the result is fatigue, a sense of failure, and most of all, a blank page. I am learning that this rest period is vital. We are like vessels that need to be refilled on a regular basis in order to give back to a thirsty world in need of HEart.  Love what you do, and have fun. 

Thank you Anita, for sharing your poetry, glimpses of your beautiful French Cottage and the genuine artistic talent that your caring soul is infused with.

If you would enjoy seeing more of this talented poet, inspiring artist and decorator you will find Anita Rivera on INSTAGRAM.

Please Join Me~

Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Thoughts From Alice
Image Map

The Cabin Called Me

" I came upon a cabin,

I heard it's voice call to me,

come a little closer, and I will tell you what is to be.

The wind rustles through the trees,

the darkness falls too soon, 

but you will know, and so will I,

that kindness should always be pursued."
                                     ~author unknown~

 I would like to share our serendipitous discovery while hiking in

the beautiful state of Colorado last Summer.

A delightful cabin in the woods.

Still well equipped with a trusty and durable metal roof to shield against weather and varmints.


A cabin loaded with personality and colorful interest, intricate details,

could we even say maybe a Gingerbread House architectural design?

She and I sort of clicked, I was mesmerized by her.

She knew it too, because she looked good in every angle and lighting.

Some people might just see old and tattered, I see intriguing -a log cabin with so many stories to tell.

She appeared kind, personable and adorable too.

Offering a lantern to weary travelers.

And another one for overnight guests.

My friend Doreen over at House Honeys lives in a wonderful cabin and even has

bears that wander by-pay her a visit she'd love to see you!

I would like a cabin in the woods, would you?


Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House