Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jennifer Patino

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Jennifer: I wrote little stories about the squirrels in the front yard of my childhood home at the age of six but began to take writing more seriously at the age of nine. I was really into The Babysitters Club books by Ann M. Martin. I loved reading so much and making up stories to tell my siblings and cousins so it just made sense to me that I should be writing them down. One of my favorite Babysitters Club characters, Mallory Pike, wanted to be an author too and kept a journal so of course I followed suit. It also makes sense that a fictional character was my biggest influence back then as well. I was a very imaginative child and I sought solace in characters from books and TV. Most of my childhood writings were fan fiction.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Jennifer: I read a lot so it’s very difficult to pinpoint a single influence. I’ve also met a lot of people over my lifetime who have become poems. Some of them were people I only encountered once. I’m influenced by a lot, but for the sake of answering the question I’ll list some writers who have inspired me: Walt Whitman, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Diane Burns, Sherman Alexie, and Willliam S. Burroughs.

3. Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art?

Jennifer: I lived in Detroit, MI until I was thirteen years old and then Springhill, FL until my late twenties. Since my writing now is mostly nostalgic, both of these places and life events I experienced there have heavily influenced my writing. I’m not going to spill my traumas here—my life has never been easy—but both places hold huge signifiance for me on many levels. Michigan will always be home and the place I return to in my mind the most. It’s the only place I’ve lived in that had all four seasons and I’ve come to learn how that cyclic change is very important for my well-being. Times were somewhat easier and simpler then so I associate that place with so much goodness. The desire and hope that I will be able to move back and hopefully die there eventually is all over my writing. Florida is influential for a lot of other reasons. It’s a place I avoid as much as possible, except in my writing, because there’s so much about living there that I really would love to just purge. I grew up in different ways in both places so they’re both definitely in my work.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work & describe?

Jennifer: I have not traveled much in my lifetime for the sole purpose of traveling. The two trips I have taken for vacation purposes were in my twenties. I went to Las Vegas once and when friends fell in love with the place and wanted to live here someday, I told them all they were crazy and I would never even consider it. Well, life had other plans. I currently live in Las Vegas and believe me, I never imagined I’d live here and I’ll admit I’m still not a very big fan of it. It is way too hot for my liking. Living in three different parts of the United States at various stages in my life that are so vastly different from each other is a definite influence. Every new place created a whole new me. I had to grow and adapt to new ages, maturity levels, locations, and worsening chronic illnesses. As I said before, I hope my next and last stop will be home again.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist/poet/writer?

When I was nine this old man who ran a neighborhood newsletter asked my friends and I if any of us wrote or drew pictures and wanted to be featured in it. I liked writing creepy stories and had a lot of them so it was perfect that he specifically asked for something spooky because it was October. I wrote a few stories for the newsletter until he ran out of money to keep it going. He gifted me an old typewriter and that was when I knew I would be writing for the rest of my life. I was addicted to that thing. I typed up every thought in my head and annoyed my sister with the clunky sounds it made. It broke beyond repair right before I moved with my family down to Florida, but by then computers were becoming the thing. I learned to type early but I still kept notebooks and that continues today. Sometimes I have better flow with the keyboard, other times I can only write with the pen.

Q6: Favorite activities when not writing/creating to relax?

Jennifer: What is this “relax” thing that you speak of? laughs As I said I love to read. I’ll read just about anything. I prefer darker literature, memoir type stuff, and poetry the most though. I’m also a huge lover of film. I can spend entire days watching movies and due to chronic pain, I often do. I also listen to a lot of different types of music and that can be relaxing too, especially if I’m in the mood to sing along. I’m also a huge fan of phone calls. Most people hate the phone but the rare few I know that I can talk with for hours are treasured by me.

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work?

Jennifer:

I just had a story published in Punk Noir Magazine called “Snapped”. https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/06/22/snapped-by-jennifer-patino/

Forthcoming, some of my microfiction will be published in a horror anthology. It’s going to be a collection of #horrorprompt tweets from over the years by those who participate in the writing prompt over on Twitter. https://twitter.com/horrorprompt

Q8: One of your favorite lines from one of your poems/songs?

Jennifer:  
 "but I'm certain
  of sounds from the dark
  keeping me awake,
  of navigating postictal
  through tunneled hallways,
  & of the last image
   I recall before the long fall"

I can't ever pick favorites, but this stanza from a poem I wrote called “After the Shock” sticks out in my mind at the moment. My “epilepsy poems” often stand out for me. Some of them I've written while my head is still in that post-seizure, postictal state and that's always a surprise to find while I'm editing. Being diagnosed with epilepsy has changed so much of my life and the way I write. It's something I'll  never escape from because it's my own brain.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Jennifer: There are two people. My high school drama/English teacher for telling me “Wow, these aren't your typical angsty teen poems” while reading my work. He was a writer himself and he gave me a lot of advice and encouragement to keep learning, writing, and improving. I still remember our talks about writing and I learned more in those conversations than in my entire high school career.

The second was a dear writer/editor friend of mine that I corresponded with for many years who unfortunately passed away in 2013. He helped me break through a lot during discouraged times in my life where I was ready to call it quits when it came to the whole writing thing. I'll never forget either one of them or the advice they so kindly offered to me.

Thank you, Fevers of the Mind, for wanting to interview me. Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Jennifer Patino

3 poems by Jennifer Patino : “Postcard” “the Thaw” & “Watching Rosemary’s baby at 6 AM”

Audrey Hepburn Challenge: Some Things A Lady Just Wears Well by Jennifer Patino

http://www.thistlethoughts.com for Jennifer’s webpage

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Reggie D. Johnson (aka R.D. Johnson)

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Reggie: I started writing at the age of nine as a hobby I did on summer vacations. Langston Hughes was one of my first influences.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Reggie: The writers I’ve come into contact on social media who I’ve become very good friends with: Natalie Hernandez (@yerrrnandez), Luis Delossantos (@CoolerStoryMarc), Harold Fonseca (@halfxyou), Elijah Horton (@elijahhorton94), Chris Butler (@CLBpoetry) Daniel Alvarez (@itsdannylondon), Bruce Llano (@Beeruce_Sama).

WolfPack Contributor Bio: Chris L. Butler

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art?

Reggie: Cincinnati, Ohio. I was taught to write about things you know and have experienced. Speaking personal truths will help to strengthen your writing.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work & describe if so?

Reggie: Yes, I recently took a trip to Orlando, Florida to meet up with some of my friends who inspire me continuously. That time away and being in that environment with all them helped me create some dope content that I can’t wait to share with everyone very soon.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer/artist?

Reggie: When Drake released his Take Care Album. After 9, I didn’t pick up poetry again seriously til I turned 19. That album showed so much versatility in his writing and the ability to express his emotions through art was inspiring.

Q6: Favorite activities to help you relax when not writing/creating?

Reggie: Playing video games, listening to music.

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work you’d like to do now?

Reggie: I have a surprise project dropping July 1st, with Daily Drunk Magazine and then at the end of the summer I’ll be releasing my tenth book.

Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?

Reggie:     
From my poem 'Look At Me' found in my book, Cuarentena: 
                   
                   "I am black
                    I am then
                    I am now
                    I am what's to come
                    We are not less than
                    We are equal
                    We just want to be heard
                    And not for your entertainment
                    I am black
                    And you will not take that away from me"

  
                   
https://www.amazon.com/Cuarentena-Reggie-Johnson/dp/108791115X

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Reggie: A few people. Natalie Hernandez & Luis Delossantos taught me to not minimize the writing. Keep writing as it doesn’t matter how long it is or that it needs to stop at a certain length. Harold Fonseca, Elijah Horton taught me to expand the creativity. My love for music has now transcended into new territories as it has not only incorporated in my writing but I’ve had the pleasure of doing songwriting too. Also, Harold and Chris Butler have taught me to be the voice of a generation. In these last few years with everything going on in the world, the way I could ease my thoughts was in writing. I thank all of them for pushing me to the next level.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: R.D. Johnson

Links to Reggie’s work on this blog.

Poem by R.D. Johnson: “Just a Scratch” (new poetry)

Poetry by R.D. Johnson : (Not Just On) Juneteenth

4 Poems by R.D. Johnson : Malcolm & Martin, Angels, Dr. King’s Dream & February 1st (re-post)

The Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with musician, writer Ron Sexsmith

From http://www.RonSexsmith.com

Ron Sexsmith is an acclaimed singer/songwriter musician from Ontario, Canada. He has been putting out records since the mid 1980’s and signed with Interscope/Warner in the 90’s and began putting out a collection of records that gained attention from not just fans, but other musicians such as Elvis Costello. He has worked with Chris Martin of Coldplay, R.E.M., one of my favorites Leonard Cohen, Ane Brun & many more. He’s had work covered by Rod Stewart, Feist, Emmylou Harris, k.d. Lang, Michael  Bublé , Nick Lowe. His latest album in 2020 is “Hermitage” and should be sought out today. Also, please look for Ron’s book “Deer Life” through Dundurn Press. (2017)

The Last Rider
Ron’s album “The Last Rider” in 2017 (Compass Records)




Hermitage (2020 – Cooking Vinyl)

Q1: When did you start writing & first influences?

Ron: My first attempts at writing songs came in my mid teens which was mostly riff rock with dumb lyrics. Mostly influences by UK bands like the Beatles & Kinks. I didn’t start writing anything decent until I was about 21, and by then my influences were Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot & Dylan, etc.

Q2: Who is your biggest influences today?

Ron: Most of the same people although i’m quite obsessed with Warren Zevon these days.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how that influence your writing/art?

Ron: I grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario in the mid 60’s and 70’s, which was a great time for radio. All the songs I heard were so melodic with such thought provoking lyrics that made life feel quite magical.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe if so?

Ron: I’ve written many songs on the road while on tour, etc. So I guess the short answer is yes…

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist/writer/poet?

Ron: When I found out I was born on Elvis Presley’s birthday as I turned seven and promptly fell down a flight of stairs.

Q6: Favorite activities when not writing/performing to relax?

Ron: Walking mostly and reading

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work you’d like to do?

Ron: I’m hoping my tour will happen next year. It’s been postponed 3 times now.

Q8: One of your favorite lines from your poem/song, or favorite piece of art or photograph?

Ron: “In every nowhere town, there are somewhere dreams” from my song “Love Shines”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Ron: Other than my influences, perhaps Mitchell Froom who produced my first 3 records.

10. Thank you for a quick interview.

Ron: My pleasure!

Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

  • *Donations for maintaining website costs & to help with Print Anthologies go to our paypal feversofthemind@gmail.com*
  • Submissions e-mail: feversofthemind@gmail.com  Twitter: @feversof please include an author photo, a bio, social media info if any.

Fevers of the Mind July Themes including new *Writing Prompts*

Anything unless published elsewhere will be eligible for our Fevers of the Mind Print Anthologies in the future.

Upcoming Fevers of the Mind Press Anthologies

*Fevers of the Mind Issue 5 (probably in August)

*Fevers of the Mind Issue 6 (Probably in October if not sooner)

*A Sequel Anthology to Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen: Submissions end on September 1st 

*Poetry, Haikus, Sonnets, Poetry book Reviews, Music Reviews, Essays, Art promotion photos, Photography, Interviews*

Open submissions with bio. Please give us up to a full month from your sent e-mail date for acceptances/rejections.  I will answer any status questions but remember to give us at least 1 month from your sent e-mail. Please let us know if something has been previously published, we will make a judgment call on whether able to include. 

Themes in addition to General Submissions could include,  #StoptheHate Social Justice Poetry, The Audrey Hepburn Challenge, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Avalanches in Poetry 2 Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen, Mental Health, History, Old Hollywood poetry, Influenced by Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath,  Jack Keroauc, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, artists, Instrumental music, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, Rita Dove, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bukowski, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Keats, W.B. Yeats, E.E. Cummings, James Joyce, Ginsberg, Lorca, Henry David Thoreau, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Ted Hughes, Elliott Smith, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Marvin Gaye and many more.

*New submissions will only be accepted for a future print anthology except from our current Wolfpack Monthly contributors, this does not include interviews and book reviews. We are now sending rejection e-mails (not a favorite thing to do) but will be necessary in this process. After a month some of the Anthology poetry could be added to the blog.*

About Editor David L O’Nan

Follow me on Twitter @DavidLONan1 

For More go to Amazon and look for the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 Deluxe Edition paperback & kindle  Split editions Volumes 1 & 2 from the Deluxe edition available on paperback (look for post on Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 to know who are contributors in each book), Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Volumes 1-3 available on paperback and kindle. Also there is a Poetry Only combination book of Volumes 1 & 2:  Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen available on Paperback & Kindle.   My poetry books (David L O’Nan) New Disease Streets (November 2020) The Cartoon Diaries (2019) Taking Pictures in the Dark (February 2021) Our Fears in Tunnels (2021) The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers (2018) Lost Reflections (2021) are all also available on Amazon.  For my Amazon Author Page (may not have all listed at first)  I have had work published in Icefloe Press, Royal Rose Magazine, Truly U, Dark Marrow an offshoot of Rhythm & Bones Lit, Ghost City,  3 Moon Publishing, Elephants Never, Nymphs Publishing, Anti-Heroin Chic & more. I have edited 5 Anthology editions & have poetry, prose, short stories, photography in Fevers of the Mind Poetry (&Art) Digest/Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen.  A Best of the Net Nominee for 2021.