About Magan Hammond

I am a Journalism student attending Concord University.

Fatima, Thoughts on Poetry

19-year old Fatima is your average girl with a twist; she loves to express herself through passionate words. Yes, that’s correct Fatima uses poetry as a way of expressing herself, she began writing her poems somewhere between being 12 and 14, and has been writing ever since.

Why poetry you may ask? When asked what motivates her to write, she responded “I personally believe poetry is a wonderful way to transmit all those feelings that some people do not allow to show up often, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be pure sadness or frustration, some are made out of the deepest emotions, that ones that warm up your heart, that make you smile… In my case, being able to express just the way I really want, is enough motivation.”

Writing according to her is about self-expression, her favorite thing about writing is “About writing… probably that it shows so much of who you really are and the thousands of topics you can actually get to talk about, adaptable to everything and everyone. Also, to be able to paint your own world in the confines of your mind and to be able to show clearly what your intentions are, capturing a moment with the exact combination of thought and feel on paper, it’s priceless.”

She says that writing has helped her grow as a person by helping her communicate with both herself, and other people better, “…it has helped me to communicate better with people around me and with myself at some point, because, I realize things while reading or writing quite frequently.” Where does writing stand in her future? Well, she hopes to continue to use writing “as my runaway to freedom still, or probably, to dedicating it way more time, as a vital part of my life, for sure.”

Fatima had a few words to those of you who are interested in writing, she said “I would definitely tell them to try it out; after all, it’s a wonderful way to think about things, usually, writing as words come to your mind is amazing; it really fuels the way ideas flow and the effect it has on them. Writing is just something that each person feels different but that everyone I know has loved equally.”

Her last words during the interview were a simple thank you to those who read her work. “Finally, but not less important, of course, to those people who actually take the time to read my pieces, I would like to give them a huge Thank you, for all their support and for all their love along with all the inspiration they give me. Follow your dreams they might lead you somewhere someday.”

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SMMile Photography

Stephanie Michelle Muncy, started her own photography business “SMMile Photography” just earlier this year, and all ready is having success. Muncy runs and operates SMMile Photography by herself, without assistance for the most part. She does at times have an assistant at photo shoots however.

Muncy stated that she offers her clients multiple options, “Packages vary. I usually make a flash drive of all images and give a release form for a set price but other packages vary. My prints range from 1$-10$.”

It was Muncy’s love of photography that led to her starting SMMile Photography,“It started out just being a stamp I put on my photos so people couldn’t steal them and slowly grew into more. People started asking me to take pictures for them. So then it became my name. Then as I got more and more jobs, I turned it into my logo.”

When asked about who some of her clients have been thus far, Muncy replied, “War Torn Angel, a local band, will always be one of my favorite clients, they are some very talented musicians and i love traveling with them to shows. They were one of the first to ever hire me. I love them to death and thank them for supporting me and helping me get to where I am now. Also I’ve had many seniors in high school, along with couples and children from the area. It started out with friends and family then progressed much further.”

Within the next five years, Muncy hopes that SMMile Photography will grow, and that she will possibly have a studio. She takes great pride in the quality and affordability of her photography. She feels as though everyone should be able to capture a special moment in time, and she loves being the person responsible for helping them preserve that moment. Muncy said, “I am very blessed to be doing what I love. If you need pictures just look me up on Facebook.” You can do so by checking out the SMMile Photography Facebook page!

Bradley Moore’s Photography

Bradley Moore is a photographer in the making, who has been doing photography unprofessionally for three years now. The imagery he manages to capture with the lens of his camera serve well to show the natural beauty of the environment. Moore took the time to talk about photography, and the effect it has had over his life.

“I was given a cheap simple digital camera as a gift, and I’ve always loved the outdoors, and I decided I wanted to forever capture a single moment in history that’ll never occur again exactly the same, because in today’s world not many take the time to see nature in its most beautiful moments.” Moore responded when asked what led to him getting involved with and interested in Photography.

Moore describes photography as being a doorway, an escape from life, which gives him the ability to capture any moment in time, reserving it forever. “Sometimes I get frustrated when I snap about 50 pictures of one scene and none of them turn out the way I wanted. But the best feeling is when I capture the moment in a single shot, or at most 3, that’s thrilling. I agree with the old phrase that the journey is sometimes better than the destination.” Replied Moore when asked about how he felt when he captured the image he wants to preserve.

While Moore is exceptionally talented at photography, he has some doubts about making a career at it. He stated, “Personally, I would love to become a self-employed, starving artist type of photographer… that doesn’t necessarily starve. But I’ll most likely only keep it as a hobby through my life. My goal ultimately in photography is to glorify Almighty Jehovah God that created the universe and all its beauty, picture by picture.”

Moore has a bit of advice to those of you who are interested in getting involved in photography, be it as a career goal, or as a simple hobby. He said, “If you see something you like, snap a pic of it. Do it for yourself. All in all, you are always you’re biggest, hardest art critic. When you capture a moment no one else sees, it’s like your own little secret between you and Mother Nature.”

Not all of Moore’s photographs are planned out, at times, he just sees something he wants to capture, and he has to run and get his camera, and hope that he gets back in time to catch it with his camera. While other times, he plans out trips, to capture specific images. Thus, his photography is a combination of impulse and planning.

To sum up photography, Moore said, “The genius of the watchmaker is that he leaves details in his work that not everyone will see, but those studying the watch will eventually see the beauty.”

Hot Chocolate Bliss, The Best Hot Chocolate Ever!

Imagine you’re outside on a cold winter day, snow is falling around you, your teeth are chattering from the cold. You’re freezing when you finally go inside to warm yourself. What’s the best thing on a cold winter day, after being out in the cold? What warms you from the inside out? That’s right, delicious hot chocolate.

The shop Hot Chocolate Bliss, has some of the most delicious hot chocolate imaginable, and the shop contains a vast variety of flavors. Currently, Hot Chocolate Bliss is featuring three flavors: Stephen’s Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate, Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa, and Land O Lake’s Raspberry Hot Chocolate. If you order over $25 worth of hot chocolate, you will also receive free shipping, until October 30th.

The Land O Lake’s Raspberry Hot Chocolate, is a mouthwatering drink, its sweet, smooth, and it’s topped off with the delicious taste of raspberries. It is the perfect drink after a day out in the cold. The Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa, is amazingly rich and sweet, more so than any other hot chocolate I’ve ever tried.

If you need to buy some gifts for friends and relatives, who happen to be hardcore hot chocolate fans, I suggest purchasing them from Hot Chocolate Bliss’s website. It will be money well spent, and the recipients will love the hot chocolate!

Visit www.hotchocolatebliss.com, to view the different flavors of hot chocolate available for purchase and place an order. You will not regret it!

                       

Dream Weaver Shop

The shop Dream Weaver is home to some pretty amazing tea, and you can find nearly any natural tea flavor you’re looking for. This shop makes buying tea as easy as placing a simple order, and waiting! According to Bob, the man who runs the Dream Weaver shop, “I prefer to sell whole leaf teas because they have much better flavor since when you cut the teas very fine to put them into tea bags they lose flavor from being exposed to air.” The tea also comes with a reusable tea bag that can be rinsed out after each use.

Bob’s site offers many options to customers, available for your purchase, he sells; green tea, black tea, chai, white tea, herbal tea, herbs, resins, and fudge. Bob sent two sample fall flavors to the magazine earlier this week, English Toffee, and Pumpkin Pie herbal tea; both of which were very refreshing. The two flavors, which were very different from one another, had a way of warming you after a day out in the cold.

If anyone has a strong love for tea, this is the place to go! Your quest for delicious, natural teas is over, just visit www.etsy.com/shop/dreamweavershop and get shopping, either for yourself, or for friends and relatives who love tea! This would make an excellent gift during the holidays!

A Din’s Thoughts

Timothy Hatfield is a name the majority of you will not recognize, but it’s a name you will come to appreciate, and respect after you read some of his poems.

Hatfield is a freshman studying at Marshall University, who partakes in the art of writing poetry in his spare time. He took the time to discuss how poetry has influenced his life, as well as what his goals are when it comes to writing poetry.

Hatfield stated that he began writing poetry when “I was 13-years-old, after my parents divorced.”His major influences with writing have come from “watching people,” and the works of brilliant poets like “Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, and H.P. Lovecraft.” Hatfield has a goal in mind as for where he would like his poetry to take him, and that plan is A Din’s Thoughts, a book which he hopes to write. When asked the purpose of A Din’s Thoughts, he responded with “to one day have enough pages to complete a small book of poetry, and to have it published.” He hopes to have this book completed within the next two years.

“I’m currently working on one more poem. Usually I try to write one per day, but here recently that’s been a strain. I should have one up by the end of the week thought.” The poem featured here, is titled “A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10.” A poem Hatfield explained as coming to life from him watching his grandfather’s grieving the death of his sister. He said “I had seen my grandfather morn his sister who had just passed away. It was around fall time. So you could say that A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10 is based on personal loss.”

The message Hatfield wants readers to take away from “A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10” is, “That life goes on, and there is a dreamer in all of us. It’s a short poem, with a very simple meaning.” Hatfield’s book in the making is one that will be filled with artistic poetry that will be enjoyable to a broad range of readers.

The RiffRaff

Open Mic at The RiffRaff, an Art Collective located at 865 Mercer St. in Princeton, WV, is an “artistic haven” according to Lori McKinney-Blankenship, where artistic talents of all types are welcomed, encouraged and respected.

Lori McKinney-Blankenship, along with the help of her husband Robert Blankenship opened The RiffRaff in 2006, making it a mere five years old, with the goal of giving back to the community, in an artistic way.

McKinney-Blankenship responded, “I grew up here, this is my hometown. I went away, studied theatre, and spent a summer abroad in London. The way the culture was shaped by the arts really affected me” when asked about what had motivated her to start The RiffRaff. She continued by saying “The fact that the community had access to art was something I recognized to be very valuable. After graduation, I searched for artists to work with, and hit the jackpot with creative collaborators. We wanted to make a difference in our community.”

Their desire to make a difference in their community was the building block to The Riff Raff. At open mic night, people are encouraged to make their way towards the stage, and to share their artistic talents with people who help form a supportive and welcoming group of people. All types of art are welcomed at The Riff Raff, according to McKinney-Blankenship, “Visual, literary, performing, healing, and theatrical. All types of creativity are welcome.”

The RiffRaff supplies people with a place to communicate with people whom they share things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship stated, “We’ve seen tons of young artists come in. Their creative lives are shaped by it. Waves of artists come at a time. It’s like eras of time. It’s always exciting,” she went on to say that “a few have really made it their identity, and taken advantage of the opportunities. Our door is open for you to make it your own.”

What falls under the category of making The RiffRaff your own? Well, at The RiffRaff, you are encouraged to share your art with other people. Diversities of art are welcome, encouraged and respected at The RiffRaff.

If you’re interested in starting or being in a band, The RiffRaff is a great place to meet people. McKinney-Blankenship said, “If you want to find a band, come to open mic. You’ll find musicians to perform with. Once you’re ready to record music, talk to us and we’ll get you started” when asked about how people could go about starting a band, and recording their music at the recording studio at The RiffRaff.

The RiffRaff gives people the opportunity to meet other artists, and to make friends with whom they have things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship said that “If you’re an artist or really creative person, and you’ve been looking for people to relate to, be friends with, you’ll find them here.”

For more information on The RiffRaff visit their website at theriffraff.net!