‘I have been writing for about twenty-one years. I asked for my first diary when I was nine and have been journaling ever since. That same year I submitted an essay to Texarkana’s local news program and was selected to read the essay on-air for their Kids-4-Kids segment. That was the first time I thought to myself, “I have something to say that my peers might benefit to hear.” I also wrote my first song during that time. That summer I was accepted into the Summer Writing Institute and we were asked to write an alliterated poem. “Dawn” was the first poem I ever penned and it was published in the National Library of Poetry’s annual anthology the following year. After that, I was a writer and I knew it.’
‘In April of 2006 I started a MySpace blog and for the first two years it was essays, short stories, anecdotes, and practices in stream of consciousness prose. Gradually, what I was writing turned into poetry, and then one afternoon I wrote “My Tree”. It is strange how vividly I can recall those hours of creating that piece and stranger still how vividly I remember being re-connected to writing ‘Dawn’ during those same hours. That is when I realized I was a poet. In March of 2010 I abandoned that blog and created There Will Be Flowers. Two-plus years and three- hundred-plus poems later and here I am.’
‘Long before I picked up the pen I was a reader. I would memorize Shel Silverstein and other poems on the off chance that someone might mention them… I was seven. The Phantom Tollbooth, ripe with puns and princesses and rhyme and reason, is responsible for my first ‘life-style change.’ I was eight. I devoured the Anne of Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables series. I adored The Trumpet of the Swan. I felt connected to the idea that ugly or unattractive things were potentially or actually beautiful. That’s when I became the person that I inherently am, someone who looks for and wants for and sees the best in people. I started reading the Webster’s Dictionary for fun. I was ten.’
‘During my short stint in college I memorized Dave Matthew’s entire catalogue of lyrics. I read The Electric Kool-Aid Test. I moved to Denver and shared a tiny studio apartment with three other people two blocks off of Colfax. I submerged myself in Colorado’s jam band culture and experienced living in the now while also maintaining a full time job and fulfilling the obligations of living. Two years later I moved to Little Rock and found the service industry via Boulevard Bread.’
‘My friend Tracy Dean introduced me to Rumi. Rumi introduced me to Hafiz. Rumi and Hafiz brought me to Albert Einstein, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa quotes. I re-introduced myself to Kahlil Gibran. Everything I read or listen to or write is influenced by the idea that people, thoughts, and moments are beautiful when they aim to lessen the suffering of the human condition. We are a better people when we choose to accept all other people as our equals. We are an even better people when we choose to better ourselves as individuals.’
‘I write all of the time. Time spent by myself is time spent writing. When I don’t have anything to say is when I am the most productive: when ‘all is right with the world,’ I am inspired by everything and everything is poetry. I rarely know when I’m about to write something very personal or from a soapbox. Usually I just have an idea for a poem title or I’ve decided to challenge myself to write in a classic poem structure or in a very rigid, self-imposed syllable or stanza structure, and that is the catalyst. I have always believed that the poem writes itself, so once I have given myself parameters I feel free to write and I just go. The written word is an infinite source of visual and cerebral inspiration for me…my process is: write something good, now write something better. Then I self-publish and hope somebody reads it.’
To read Kara’s work, visit: www.therewillbeflowers.blogspot.com.