Hello everyone! I’m happy to see you could make it on this wonderful Christmas Eve Special of ‘Adjusting The Antennae.’ Our fifth episode is a doozy for plenty of reasons. First off, it is the eve of Christmas, a time of gift-giving, showing love, and creating memories with friends and family. So, of course you know I have to get someone special for this Christmas Eve special. Before I reveal this amazing deviant though, I am your host, chromeantennae, and it a pleasure to have you with us on the eve of Christmas.
And my guest for today’s show is none other than the incomparable imaginative-lioness! Madeline here has been one of the more impactful artists in our literature community, showcasing her kindness with amazing features, and her truly phenomenal writing skills through her top-grade poetry. She’s one of my favorite people on deviantART, one of my favorite writers, and one of my dearest friends. I love Madeline so much and there is no one I’d rather have for my Christmas Eve special episode than this wonderful, wonderful deviant.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me for this series, Maddi. Your presence on ‘Adjusting The Antennae’ makes this series that much more incredible. It is so greatly appreciated.
Before we start this, is there anything you’d like to share with us? How your day has been, any pieces you’re working on at the moment, an interesting tidbit some of us may not know about you? Simply anything! From a shout-out to a favorite deviant of yours or a huge declaration. Ha! Anything that you can think of before we start this interview.
Hello, thank-you so much for having me! I would just like to say that this is such an amazing honour, thank-you for interviewing me Ricky! You are seriously my favourite deviant on this site. (It’s my absolute pleasure, you’re amazing. And oh wow, thank you so much, dear. I can most definitely say the same about you.)
Firstly, I would love to know where you got the inspiration for your username “imaginative-lioness!” I personally think it’s one of the coolest sounding usernames around and I would love to know where you got the idea to use it.
Awww, firstly, thank-you. But there isn't really a huge story behind my username, though. When I first joined the site I was obsessed with the song 'Little Lion Man' by Mumford & Sons, so that is where 'lioness' comes from. I then decided on 'imaginative' because I have a very over-active imagination. And not only when it comes to writing. (I have the weirdest dreams!)
If there’s one thing that I find so, so interesting about your deviantART life here so far is that you’ve been a deviant for nine months now. However, I think it’s fair to say that you’ve really only been a member for about five to six months due to your hiatus. However, even despite the hiatus (I’m so happy you’re back and feelin’ better than ever, dear.), you’ve made such a huge impact on the deviantART community in such a compressed amount of time! If you don’t mind, can you tell our readers (For those that don’t know.) about the reasons for your hiatus and how you’re feeling now?
I don't mind at all. For a very, very long time I struggled with my weight. To put it bluntly, I was dangerously obese. And because of this, I harboured a lot of self-hatred. But in September 2012, I decided to lose weight and ended up losing 85 pounds. But things didn't get better. I became completely obsessed with weight loss, to the point that I not only gave up on writing, but pretty much everything. When I didn't lose weight, I hated myself even more. I was heading down a path of self-destructive, like a breakdown or eating disorder. But I didn't realise this until my mother sat me down and told me her concerns. I decided that I desperately needed to change, and have since November become a much happier person.
Right now, I'm feeling fantastic. Do you know how great it is to have chocolate without feeling like a failure? I'm no longer living a life solely focused on weight loss, and I am now determined to teach others that your bodyweight does not define you. It is not a reflection of who you are or your worth, and it took me a long time to realise that. But overall, I am so much more happier with myself and my life.
Now to the ever-so impressive impact you’ve made in such a short time. One of the best things I believe that has happened to our dA literature community here was the genesis of the ‘Literature RoadTrip,’ invented by you! I even told ivorysinkshore and a few other friends here that I believe you’d create a mini revolution where lit. artists of all types would band together to support one another. And that series was actually a main inspiration for me with my ‘Adjusting The Antennae’ series as well as your other feature series that we’ll touch on, in a moment. I would love to focus on the ‘Literature Roadtrip’ and what inspired you to start such a wonderful series and if you would ever consider picking it back up again. (You guys don’t know how grateful and humbled I was when she selected me first for this amazing project. I’m also grateful for that because had it not been for the ‘Literature Roadtrip’ I wouldn’t have found one of my best friends on dA in Lady-Yume , one of my favorite poets in solis-ortus or quite a few others when I did.)
When I started my 'Literature Roadtrip', I never intended for it to be a 'mini revolution', haha. The only reason that I decided on hosting one was because my exams were causing me to miss out on reading the new literature posted here. I decided that I needed something that would allow me to favourite, comment, critique and feature pieces that would be posted when I wasn't around. Thus, the 'Literature Roadtrip' was born!
One day, perhaps before I go back to school in February, I would love to do another 'Literature Roadtrip'. However, it probably won't be as big as the first one. But look out though guys, one may be right around the corner! (Let’s hope everything pans out to where you can have another LR, my friend!)
I would also like to talk to you about your ‘Wonderful Wednesday Feature’ series and what brought on the slight changes to the series as well as what inspired you to start this series in the first place? It seems as if even though you were new you dove right into features and really showed me how fantastic it was to feature others. Also, why is this particular series done on a Wednesday? Was that something you just wanted to select or is the significance behind choosing that particular day of the week?
(Ergh, I really need to get back into doing these! Damn, I have to get my act together!) I feel like I’m giving you really boring answers, but the only reason I chose to do the features was because Wednesdays are my easy days at school, haha. (Haha, no worries. These are great answers!)
Onto your golden gallery; I think if there was one piece from your gallery I’d recommend that everyone go out and read is your masterful piece, Insecurities:
Insecuritiesi could tell you a million tales In the artist’s description you spoke about not really writing about personal things, deciding on keeping them close to your chest. After your hiatus, would you say that you are now more comfortable writing more personal things or does it still come as a challenge for you?
of when i stared into the abyss,
and drowned in the thrashing waves
of my own torturous thoughts,
that the dark crevices of my mind
began dragging me under
a sea of endless insecurities
imprinting on my bones.
I really wish this wasn't true, but I think that I will always struggle with talking about my feelings and I hate that. There is something inside of me that continues to hold me back when it comes to discussing my emotions. It's funny because I talk 24/7, I mean, I could practically talk underwater! (Haha, same here.) But when it comes to my emotions, I get scared and begin distancing myself. It will always be a challenge, but it has gotten a little easier when it comes to my writing. It feels so freeing when I open up in my writing, so I just need to translate that to my everyday life!
So, enough about what I love about your gallery (‘Cause whoever has spoken to me long enough knows how I adore practically everything you’ve posted), what are some of your own personal favorites from your gallery? Any pieces you just absolutely have to have someone read?
You seem to have already selected my favourite pieces, haha. (Great minds think alike.) But one of the pieces that I have written that I would love for people to check out would be 'Linger':
Lingerhow can i move forward,
when the fingerprints of my insecurities
are still lingering within my chest,
pressing against my ribs like piano keys?
i am just waiting, for the day,
when the saddest parts of me
are overcome with songs of serenity.
I think one of the most spectacular things about your return, was that after your came back you received two of the top honors a dA writer could receive. A Daily Literature Deviation as well as a Daily Deviation in a matter of days! If there was ever a more spectacular return from a hiatus, I don’t know what it could be as you were gone for 3 months and then bam! You return and get a DLD and DD all in the same week. It was absolutely so impressive that you could get such high honors after being away for a while (Not at all surprising ‘cause she’s absolutely brilliant, folks). And it was especially exciting for me as I absolutely knew you were going to get a DD eventually and I couldn’t have been happier at the fact you got it nearly immediately after your return. It was the perfect way to come back. Did the Daily Deviation feel any different from your first DLD in Ocean Captive? And did the sudden nature of the DLD and DD basically coing back-to-back add to the excitement of the two awards?
awaken from this
you’ve become a servant to the ocean,
obeying its every command –
succumbing to its demanding beauty,
hypnotised by the tranquillity.
(rising and falling.)
(falling and rising.)
you fragile, broken thing,
a beautiful golden fool –
your frame filling with
bones stiffening, skin wrinkling
blood turning blue.
you’re visiting the ocean’s depths,
welcoming the cruel world below;
but those lungs of yours are burning,
and those soft eyes are questioning –
you ocean captive,
open your eyes
swim to the top –
and breathe the air,
Soldiercigarette between his lips,
tar-induced lungs struggling to inflate –
struggling to make sense
of a war
where men are only equal
when they're dead.
I have never been more excited, ever; my mother is practically deaf from all my screaming! Receiving the DLD and DD is definitely different from last time, as I came back after my long hiatus not expecting for that to happen at all. I was certain that something like that wouldn't happen for a long time because I was away, so it was so surprising and I am so appreciative that it happened. To be recognised that way is beyond unbelievable!
Also, can you speak on the two highlighted pieces; tell us what inspired them a bit more in-depth? They’re two of my favorites, not only from your gallery, but encompassing this site as a whole and I’d love for our audience to know a bit more on what inspired those pieces.
That seriously means a lot! I was inspired to write 'Ocean Captive' based on the fact that I felt weighted down; by the world, by myself. It is kind of a poem about my relationship with the world at times, if that makes any sense at all. I guess this was my first attempt at writing something personal.
However, with my poem 'Soldier', I was inspired by something different. I am studying History and I hope to someday become a history teacher. I live and breathe history, and my favourite times to study is World War 2. So, with my love of history and due to the fact that I was watching Band of Brothers at the time, 'Soldier' was written.
Also, particularly, what is your muse is when it comes to writing any type of poetry or prose. What is your poetic muse? And do you have a specific writing process that helps you in the way you write or is there another method in which you go about things? Is your writing process different now compared to when you first started writing?
There are so many things that inspire me: my family, my friends, television shows, movies, history, books, etc. But the number one thing that inspires me is music. Whenever I write a poem, 9 times out of 10 I'm listening to music.
My writing process is definitely different from when I first started writing. I take it much more seriously now - I turn the music, shut my bedroom door and write away. I focus one hundred percent on my writing and nothing else. However, when I first began writing I was thirteen and I would write seriously bad fan-fiction. I would watch an episode of Charmed and write a piece of fan-fiction on that episode. Though, I thought it was the best thing since slice bread!
I cannot forget to ask you this as this is a question all of my interviewees get from me. Here at ‘Adjusting The Antennae’ we would love to know who are some of your favorite deviantART writers you would recommend to us to check out? Also, are there any deviants you watch currently that you believe deserve even more attention than what they’re currently getting?
These deviants are seriously the best, and all of them deserve more recognition: Lady-Yume, DrippingWords, goddess-of-ravens, saltwaterlungs, bloodawni, solis-ortus and littlemoonboots. To only name a few! (All people I adore. KJ, Caitlan, Reni, Hannah, Dawni, Phyllis, and Brianna are all amazing, amazing writers and people. Love, love, love them.)
Also! With you playing such an influential part in the literature community, both receiving and giving features, you’ve showcased a lot of different writers over your time here. And with that being said, what writer(s), given the perfect circumstances, would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Oh goodness, that is so hard to choose! Oh course I would choose you, Ricky! Though if anyone would like to collaborate, you should contact me sometime after January 12th! (I’m definitely gonna look to contact you after the 12th, then!)
And finally, are there any individual pieces from other writers you’d like to highlight for us? Some of your favorites over these last few months or something as current as what you favorited a few hours ago….?
obsolescence in lacea week after you left me, i cleaned the bathroom
in lingerie. or at least, i like to remember that i did. it seemed appropriate
at the time: an exercise in pointlessness, a reminder. to remember myself here, a seam fraying
between worlds: to turn my map of living over by its roots, open the atlas
grief left behind.
before i was brave enough to pronounce want, i did it
like this: in furtive visits to retail dressing rooms, choosing
my clothes by picturing the way they would unwrap
in your hands, fall like fabric chrysalidae--imagining that, by the time they were gone,
i would be changed. to place these satin consonants
to the blooming language of flesh, an alphabet
of intention. for you, i promised myself,
i would become a poet before i could speak.
(and remember, now. this honest treason
of blood and void; the beast and the machine
trading skeletons in the dark. i
the arrangement of astral cordsThis is how I'm built up, you see;
stars trapped in the linings of my
the regurgitation of meteors
the chambers of a heart--
deconstructs of kaleidoscope-stained
This is the reason why my throat
bubbles like witch's brew--
the insides of my body form monsoons that
scratch my lungs and
decapitate my windpipe,
an off-pitched dissonance
like wind chimes
whenever I try to shout or speak or
(and they tell me that you could sing
the moon to sleep when you cast
your faithful nothings on a star)
[and, no, I'm not some kind of genie
trapped in an expanse of dust
rather than a lamp]
Darling, I was never caught between
a collision of star-crossed galaxies,
nor an accident between the big bang
and a black hole.
I was born a star-child.
and, no, they could never be beautiful.
Yet, I could never be as graceful.
I could never carve my face the way
gods do, and
ode to youif you ever asked me
to describe it,
i would tell you how
you spin my thoughts into poetry,
compose my heartbeats into music,
how your lighthouse presence
beckons me to a home
within your smile.
if you ever asked me
to write it,
i would write my fingers bloody
with all the words
that could have come between us,
all the conversations
that skirted past unspoken,
all the poems
that i should have surrendered.
if you ever asked me
to show it,
i would love your heart till it's raw,
your joints till they no longer creak,
your tears till they dry,
your bruises till they fade,
the whites of your eyes
till the bloodshot veins
fade into milky bliss,
your irises till they lose all dreary grayness,
and your pupils till they tire no more of the sunlight,
till they tire no more of me.
if you ever asked me
to prove it,
i would recite the thought-poems
that you spun
and play the heartbeat sonatas
that you composed.
i would paint you an ocea
BreakfastYou told me she had died in a hospital bed
With her glasses on
So that she could see Death properly
And I picked away at my breakfast,
Which was pancakes and strawberries,
Trying to imagine
Her squinting ahead at Him
With her dying eyesight
The pancakes were dry and store-bought
And my plate was a pool of cold syrup
When I had finished,
And my hands were stained with the sweet blood
And you took my place,
Picking away at soggy crumbs.
the death of october.Trees toss bits of paper into ponds
and something inside of me ignites
like a jack-o'-lantern. I smile
crooked and toothy
as my insides are scooped out
and replaced with flames. Prop me
on a windowsill
for all to see: the husk of a human
with the grin of a ghost, the perfect
holiday decoration to be tossed
into the garbage
when the season ends.
~our eyes were fogged with farewells marking territories down our cheeks.
the ache felt like smoke at the edge of my throat and i was afraid
to say it loud before you said the ocean kissed your taste buds. we just knew.
maps tore apart and our paper walls built with just enough faith to last three decades broke.
it's been too long since we've been hurt with the blue of the sky and you are not the ache in my bones –
you're the crusts between my fingers when i tried to let the sun make me feel less alone.
you’re the clicking of knuckles i feel inside
and the fishhooks fumbling to pull out some pride
from arching, collapsing
(deep into your blue arms
veins overclocked from the last time
you couldn’t feel anything)
withdrawn – a film folds over, sticking
to your thumb and thenar like silken sheets
- directions dictated from throat to feet
- waxed for attraction, abdominal distention
and directions dragging my uniform
up from the floor
And to everyone that took time out of their days to tune into another episode of “Adjusting The Antennae,” I give you my most gracious thank you. Also, for those of you that are new here, “Adjusting The Antennae,” is the show where we try to shift the focus of dA to the greatness of poetry and prose. Of course, it is my greatest pleasure to have gotten this far with you all and I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate everyone’s support of me, my works, and this series. I also hope that you all enjoyed the fifth installment of “Adjusting The Antennae.”
I also want to give a huge thank you to the truly lovely imaginative-lioness for taking time out of her busy schedule to share more about herself and her spectacular artwork with this amazing community.
On one last point, if you know of a writer who deserves more attention or a writer you believe would make for a good interviewee, please comment below or note me with your suggestion(s)! You're also more than welcomed to add questions along with your suggestions, too. Also, if you enjoyed this interview, please show Madeline some love, spread the word on this series, or just let your thoughts be known on this with a comment!