Author Interview, Introspection

Author Interview

“Goddess of Words”, an article by Fior E. Plasencia

Recientemente entrevisté a Cynthia Dougherty, una mujer que vengo admirando desde hace mucho tiempo por su magia con las palabras y su personalidad tan humana. Aquí les dejo su entrevista en inglés y ojalá como yo pueda sentirse identificados con esta maravillosa poeta y se animen a seguirla.

Fior E. Plasencia, a wonderful poet and writer, has a terrific blog and I was honored to be interviewed by her. She has a great book titled Para Cenar Habra Nostalgia and her words resonate. I often get lost in her site, http://www.mujerconvoz.com, and her other social media links in which she shares her ongoing creative talent.

If you can, take the time and read the article in order to get to know me better.

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Ireland…my soul hungers 

#30daywritingchallenge Day 5: 
A place I would live but have never visited would have to be Ireland. 
The scenic views of castle ruins and rolling green hills have always spoken of a quiet serenity to me. It’s a place where it almost seems as if time has stood still. My maiden name is rooted in its rich history. I am Dougherty, or O’Dougherty, from the O’Doctaraigh clan. I feel it is my destiny to see the land and plant my feet firmly on it. 
I want to roam through the castles, hike through the wilderness, and inhale the sweet scents of nature. This is a place where I feel like my heart can sing, where my soul can breathe, and where I can exist without feeling time crush me down. 
My father visited, and I have to admit I was jealous when he came home with laughter in his voice and a smile on his face. 
I will visit before I hit a mid-life crisis and I hope I can retire there (or at least spend a whole summer). One day, hopefully one day soon…


C. Dougherty

Fascination…

Day 6 ‘someone who fascinates me and why’ 

#30daywritingchallenge 

Fascination means to be drawn irresistibly or to be deprived of the ability to resist, the way a snake fascinates its prey

Not quite sure which definition applies to me and my “fascination”. I am compelled to studiously learn and cultivate a more comprehensive understanding of the feminine mystique, so it is not a someone who fascinates me but a something. 

This intangible, elusive whisp of an idea which I thrive to absorb and employ. I try to emphasize this ideal to all the women I interact with or come across. Although I am human and at times envy or jealousy gets to me, I am also aware enough to realize that every female is a goddess in her own right. 

Maiden, mother, crone…we are all a variety of facets of the feminine divine. A female can be bold and spirited, or shy and reserved. She can be silent and tenacious or impulsive and dramatic, she can be all of this and more. 

I struggled with embracing my inner goddess because it was difficult to shut out the negativity of others, and especially difficult to shut down my own insecurities within. My power, my feminine magick, was wasting in the shadows because I refused to stand in the light. Introspection can not be honest if it is filtered.

The pain I felt while trying to learn to love myself is mirrored daily in the faces of other women who battle their own inner demons. I am unable to resist sharing a compliment, some positivity, or in more familiar relationships a hug and loving words. The magick of being female resides in the soul, and beauty is born from embracing it. 

True beauty is unique, not generic.

Faults are no matter. Scars are hard won, and pain can help you feel when the threat of being numb is on the edge of your sanity. I try to bolster the spirits of the powerful women in my sphere through support and sincere feedback. I can only hope that the ripple I may cause can have a lasting chain reaction. People, women especially, can so easily cling to the negativity being spoon fed to them by society and status quo. It is a struggle to grasp onto a positive moment in this surge of darkness. I feel I am but a little whisp of a breeze across the landscape of another’s landscape, yet I try. 

I am blessed to see the feminine magick in the eyes of my mother, my sisters, my life long chosen family, and close friends. I am surrounded by women of strength, even if at times they don’t see it in themselves. I am fascinated by the capability and resilience of the goddess within each of them. 

Embrace your magick, be a goddess, and wear your crown with pride and humility. You are beautiful. 


C. Dougherty

Ten interesting? Things about me… 😳

Day 4: #30daywritingchallenge 
1. My ear…my husband claims to have fallen in love with me because of my ear. We met when I was about sixteen. I was awkward, shy, and I blushed furiously and often. I have a nervous habit of pushing my hair back behind my ear, not both ears, just my left ear. Sometimes I get all my hair behind it, sometimes I fail and my ear pokes out. To this day I’ve caught my reflection in exactly this predicament. One lone ear poking through my auburn hair. On the occasion when my husband is in the room, I catch him staring at me with a little smile. He says I’m adorable and he can still make me blush. 
2. My thirst for words, books, and an overall obsession with having a home library. Don’t know if this counts as interesting, but I am always on the lookout for unique books & items that I envision in my library. Frames, knick knacks, book ends, shelves, and the goal: a few comfortable chairs. I even scored a first print obscure book of plays from 1908 at a flea market for only one dollar. I have quite an eclectic mix and I’ve posted a few pics of my shelves on my IG account. 
3. I can devour a 900 page book in less than a day. I still function as a human being during this process, I cook, clean, go to work, talk with my kids, and remember to eat. Throughout this whole process I can still consume the soul of a lengthy adult fiction novel book. 
4. In high school I was happy to attend a fine arts school and I tried everything except music and theatre. It was a blast to dabble in tv/radio communications, write for the tribune, be a member of the Dead Poets Society, I was in ballet, Celtic tap, and jazz. I loved photography, metal work, art/sculpture, and jewelry making class. It was all a blur and a blast. I enjoyed all four years there. 
5. I can identify several artists and songs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Even more surprisingly (as I found out one adventurous night with family and friends) I can correctly identify several sitcom theme songs from those decades as well. I surprised myself and after all these years together, I surprised my husband lol. (Mind you I was born in the mid 80s) 
6. I almost majored in History instead of English in college. I have always been in love with British History, the Royal lines and the mystery of power and death. I chose English when I declared before the end of the first year, and I haven’t regretted it once. I have always wondered what would’ve been through. A mild curiosity. 
7. I consider myself an amateur (emphasis on the amateur) photographer. I admire every aspect of art. Those who do this for a living are artists that glimpse into the universe. 
8. I have Puck’s farewell speech memorized from “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. I spontaneously burst into it when I want to nerd out in a Shakespearean way 😎.
9. I am addicted to flea markets & garage sales. Yes I am! For the following reasons: mirrors, books, wine boxes, cigar boxes, candle holders, decorative cushions, frames, on the hunt for a working vintage typewriter, and oh the many wonders of life. 
10. I deal better with books than people. I was a child seen and not heard, as long as I had a book nearby I was at peace. Oftentimes I would get sick in large crowds, and I hated (sometimes still do) the noise that permeated every inch of my skin. Introvert for life. 
–C. Dougherty

First love, first kiss 

Day 3 of #30daywritingchallenge
I won’t name names 😳 but my first love happened in kinder. I was always a shy, timid little girl who preferred the company of books and hesitated in groups larger than three. When I started school that year I was approached by this tall Amazon who bursted into my little bubble. 

She was amazing, and through her I met my little love. 

He was sweet, silly, outgoing and wore suspenders. I mean I was lost at the first flash of his rosy cheeks and bright smile. We shared a pencil, I was practically engaged. The following year, as crushed as I was over summer, I began the new school year with trepidation. But oh no, there he was and I was besotted, my little 7yr old heart. Alas it wasn’t meant to be when second grade rolled around and his family moved from my hometown. I was lost in my shy bubble once again. 

From time to time over the years I would hesitantly make a new friend, but it was hard for me.


The minefield that is middle school almost shattered my fragile pre-teen heart. I fell for a guy who fell for my friend, and he never knew. Amongst this emotional turmoil I imprudently allowed another semi-crush to kiss me. It was gross. I kinda regretted it, but a girl forlorn is lost at times. You would think that I would have shunned romance altogether. But no, teenage years hit and my life was never the same. 

I was a wallflower but even I bloomed when love, lasting love struck me. 😘
–C. Dougherty

My earliest memory 

Day 2 #30daywritingchallenge 
My earliest memory is an odd one…
I can easily get lost in my own mind, and at times it’s hard to decipher what’s real and what’s a story. Maybe I made this one up too, or I dreamt it, but I can picture it clearly.
Childhood memories can venture into extreme emotions, it’s what makes a lasting impact on the psyche so that as we grow older we don’t lose grasp of what makes us unique. I was about 3 years old and I’ve always been a rather calm and tranquil soul. My dad had gifted me a huge green smurf, I don’t remember it being blue even though I know they were blue in the cartoon. For whatever reason this toy, approximately my height, scared me. It sat in the corner of my parents bedroom for the most part, and it was there when I took my nap. 
My mother used to sew, and she would keep a basket near her bed full of the requisite tools: scissors, needles, thread, material, etc. I never messed with it, simply because it did not call me attention. 
One afternoon, my mother laid me down for my nap and I was sleepy eyed. She had held me in her arms and sang to me long enough that when she transferred me to her bed I fell under easily. When I woke, the sunlight poured in from the division between the curtains and the fan whispered lazily. I turned because I felt I wasn’t alone. There on the edge of the bed sat the smurf. I didn’t remember it being there when my mother laid me down. I stared at it and it stared at me. I was too scared to blink, much less make any noise. 
I saw it lean forward, it’s eyes took on an eerie muted glow and I broke free from my shock. I remember how heavy and cold the scissors from the sewing basket felt in my hands. The smurf scrambled for me and I plunged the scissors in its plush neck. I swear it growled low at me. By that time I was atop of it and I wouldn’t stop thrusting the scissors in its stomach, arms, and I must’ve started crying. 

My mom came in and pulled me to her, thinking I had a nightmare. Maybe I did. 

Maybe it was all real. 
She consoled me and offered to fix the smurf, I screamed no! 
After that my mom placed the torn smurf in a black bag and put it outside in the laundry room, maybe thinking I would miss my toy and she could repair it like she had offered. I never asked for that smurf again. As long as that black bag resided in that laundry room, I refused to cross the doorway alone. I was so happy, years later, when my mom cleaned the room out and threw that black bag away. That pile of plush and fabric always felt malevolent to me. 


C. Dougherty

5 problems with social media (Day 1 prompt) 

5 problems with social media…for starters social media is a paradox. The concept is to encourage socialization beyond the limits of land, time, and identity, yet it fosters a sense of labeling. Labeling pigeon holes unique and complex individuals into sub-sections that only let them express one side of their whole self. You join a group for “mothers” or “writers” or “art-lovers” or whatever, but life is more diverse than that. I am a mother, a writer, an art-lover, book addict, karaoke enthusiast, foodie, history buff, diy fanatic and so much more. 
Another issue I have is the lack of actual social interaction. You cannot fathom the facets of the soul from text that’s usually written in a rush as a tweet or inconsequential status update. We have literally the world at our fingertips yet we cower in the depths of comfort and only reach out on a superficial level. It is rare to foster a true connection, and it’s kind of hard to meet other propel in the real world if we are constantly being sucked into the glow of whichever electronic screen is your latest fascination. Now I am not innocent in the mighty time-suck that is FB, Twitter, IG and more, but there must me structure in order to not lose communicative skills.


Which brings me to my third rushed proverbial thorn about social media, what is going on with this mesh of an alphabet soup where so many aren’t texting full communicable dictionary words? How can I garner a sincere response from the notification of a like or a standard emoji? Now there is something in the web-verse that is called an emoji sentence! What in the world is that? Emojis by definition are not words, they are emotion icons or emoticons. Faces and images, have we regressed to prehistoric times, before verbalization? Social media “walls” are now decorated like the hieroglyphics of ancient times. 
*and breathe, I’m almost done* Fourthly (yes I know that’s not a word, I’m using it ironically) social media can be both a tool and a weapon depending on the hand that wields it. So many insipid people have become famous off the superficiality that photographs well or translates famously in 140 characters or less. Life is not a sound byte, genuine social interaction is a give and take, a chemistry that can take a variety of directions depending on tone, gestures, facial expressions. Anything out of context can be misconstrued, at least when I have a misunderstanding with one person it can be remedied. However if it is forever cemented in the memories of all who read, like, comment, repost, share, and retweet then my folly is at the mercy of potentially hundreds if not thousands. *le sigh* 
Which brings me to my number five, bullies. Growing up during the 80s-90s I experienced bullies, I pray I never was one. But I could leave said bully behind me, literally. I could walk away, I had a loving home that allowed me reprieve. In today’s technological hell a bully is always there. Worse yet, a bully can garner a following of other bullies in training and then they collectively can pester you in the privacy of your own home, vacation, school, and future. Releasing social media poison that will leech into your psyche, under the guise of anonymity and “kids are cruel”. No, kids are blunt and sometimes lack a social filter, but they are not cruel. Cruelty is born in the hearts of the soulless. Age isn’t a factor in cruelty. But an ingenious bully can forever trail like a shadow of anger, or force the bullied into a social media hermit. Social media isn’t the problem alone though, I am not naive enough to think that. 
I’m out of breath and in a bit of turmoil over what I wrote. The truth of the negativity in the world is something I cannot comprehend, social media is not at fault. Poison just found a way to twist something good into something bad. I applaud the individuals who are using social media to spread awareness, positivity, community spirit, and healing. This free write to a simple prompt became a little bit more of a release for me. 
Embrace the power of good in your soul, and share a smile.
–C. Dougherty 

It’s the little things…

I am by no means a relationship expert, and I have almost burned the bridges between me and him to a crisp with words carelessly tossed around in a moment of emotional turmoil. It is through this and many other moments like it that I carry my battle scars with humility and pride. 

Let me explain something, I am not a romantic. I do not melt at the delivery of chocolates and flowers, and never have I expected the romance that rom-coms depict on the tarnished silver screen. I am a realist that tends to be optimistic, but not delusional. The day I met my husband, I did not expect to meet anyone. Have you ever been set up? Yes? Well, were you forewarned? Yes? Must be nice. I was not given that heads up. I’ll try to be circumspect, but I am warning you it is my one romantic story. 

In high school I had been burned by one or two guys that had little to no guts when it came to facing the delicate wrath of little ol’ me. I was jaded, and I had three older sisters and a wealth of dating knowledge second-hand. In a moment of teenage angst I had sworn off being a one-man woman (aka 15 years old tackling on the world). My introverted nature didn’t allow me to dance on table tops, but I had flirtation down to an art in my daily sphere. I smiled, blushed, and yes I admit I giggled. For once my head was not buried in a book and I think my shy nature worked in my favor, so I milked it a bit. It was easy to make these budding egotists believe that I was demure and without agenda. They were wrong, I had a few (forgive me one and all) guys “on the line” for sheer ego and entertainment. 

In the midst of my flirtation nation, I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. Boyfriends broke up with you, over the phone, in a conversation devoid of sincere emotion over their “work break”, but I digress. I was having fun and loving it, as cliche as it may be. It was in the middle of this that destiny/fate/karma/the heavens had another plan already in the works. See my niece (who’s more like my cousin since we are less than two years apart) had been dating this guy and his cousin was her prime target, she had a plan to deliver him to me. She set me up for the ever dreaded “blind date”, and I was blind since I didn’t even know about it.

High school football games were my life, and that weekend was no different. I spent the day at school conquering the world, the afternoon playing basketball with friends in the park, and then headed to the game in a rush to see if another beau had purchased my ticket (yeah one of my flirting finds). This unnamed beau met me at the gate, and well he bore me so I ditched him. By second quarter I was sitting with one of my sisters and cheering on my team. This is when my gravity shifted. I felt electric (I never stayed still of quiet at a football game, this was my outlet) and I turned to look at the gate entrance. He saw me. His eyes piercing, I turned twenty shades of pink then red. I couldn’t help it, I stared and stared. 

Here with confident stride came him, who in the hell he was I didn’t know. I forgot about my student council shirt, faded jeans, new awkward haircut, glasses, and flushed face. I was more forward than I had ever been. Audacious even. I met his eyes and didn’t blink. Mind you, he was surrounded in a group of my family members: my other sis, her husband & two kids, my niece (the puppet master), her boyfriend, my other niece. All I saw was him. 

He approached my bleacher section, then my row, I vaguely recall him being introduced, but I came to my senses and studied my shoes. He sat next to me and all my “shy, demure, coy” flirting game evaporated. He was more than those other guys ever were, and I had only uttered a mumbled hello. 

He smelled divine. This, this and those emerald eyes, got me. I was hooked in less than ten syllables of human conversation. But how to move forward? It was the little things I noticed, the little things that made me aware of him near me. His cologne, his knee near mine not touching, his strong hands in my line of sight, his quiet presence that demanded my attention. I was overwhelmed. 

Now what? 

(To be continued…this is Part One of “Emerald Eyes”) 

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