Today, I’m happy to welcome Tumika Patrice Cain, an award-winning author and educator. I’ll move right into the five questions I asked this inspired writer.
What ideas helped you create your title?
For my novel, Season of Change, the title is symbolic of the seasons of our lives. I live in the Midwestern region of the United States where we go through the most amazing displays of seasonal changes each year; each one vastly different than the last. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The weather is cool, it’s the start of football season and there is this breathtaking artistic backdrop as the leaves on the trees change colors. The air even smells different.
As with the cover of Season of Change, this time symbolizes the most significant changes in seasons. There are times when like the winter, things are barren and seemingly dead. There are times when all is fresh and new; budding with new promise like the spring. Then there are the times when all is in full bloom, each day a sunny and bright reminder of the promise of beauty…just like summer. And finally there is the autumn of our lives which represents a time when the newness has worn off, but there is beauty in maturity. There is grace in slowing down. There is a gentleness present that you have to take time to bask in…a time to breathe deeply, exhale slowly and lax into the next phase. Autumn represents maturity to me.
With After the Rain…a Poetry Collective, there is still the theme of weather present. This collection of writing is a very private and emotional account of my life. The title represents what life had been like for years when the raging storms tore through my life, leaving damage in its wake like a hurricane, and that moment after the storms had passed. I found myself surrounded with peace and tranquility; the sun was finally able to shine, its warmth bathing my face with a promise of a better tomorrow. The poetry in After the Rain, is symbolic of that time. There are other poems presented, that although are not part of my own personal story, have managed to touch me deeply…and so I’ve told those stories, as well. It’s not after the rain just for me, but also celebrating after the rain for others, too.
What lesson do you want your readers to learn from the men/women in your novel?
Hurting people hurt people, and they hurt themselves, too. Behind every painful experience and heinous act, there is always a deeper issue just beneath the surface. In order to help, we have to go deeper and not always accept things at face value. We must not just assume that all is as it should be. While it is necessary to accept people right where they are, if they are hurting us with their actions, we are under no obligation to own their stuff nor are we required to have to deal with them personally.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is separate. The more we are willing to put up with, the more we WILL put up with until we draw the line and say enough is enough. It can be very difficult making the first steps to taking back our power, but it’s the most critical step. Even in the midst of hurtful and challenging circumstances, at some point we must own our own ‘stuff’. The journey to wholeness is not an easy or quick one, but it is certainly a necessary one. When we don’t take the time to deal with our issues, they come back around to claim us and others who are attached to us. The issues of life never just affect one person. And as long as there is breath in our bodies, we have another chance to right the wrongs of yesterday…even if who we have wronged is ourselves.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character in Season of Change is Aunt Gilly. Everyone needs someone who is a safe place; where everything they are and everything they are not is more than enough with no judgment. Aunt Gilly has seen much in her years of living, yet has made a choice to be true to herself, regardless of what anyone else says about it. Despite being able to see others for exactly who they are, she manages to love and accept each one, knowing that her place is not to judge or ostracize, but simply to love.
What do you see as your most powerful message to your readers?
In order for things to be different, we must change. It is impossible for others to deal with you the same way they always have, because when you change, everything around you has to change, too. Either people will decide to grow with you or they will go on without you, but either way, you win.
We sometimes give away too much of our power, then become embittered when it’s mistreated or abused. However, we don’t accept that we GAVE that power away and in order for it to be different, we have to take it back and put appropriate boundaries in place. And when I say this, it’s not from a place of judgment…it’s from the standpoint of having been there and done that. These words come from a place in me who wants to empower others to take their lives back; to embrace their fullness; to live their personal best. We can’t do that when we won’t be honest about who we are and where we struggle and then getting the necessary help we need to deal with it.
What is your favorite chapter/poem and why?
I am a sucker for love. Real love when it’s right is the most beautiful thing on earth. Love isn’t complicated….we complicate it with our hidden agendas, need to control and selfishness. But real love, when it’s right, is truly a force to reckon with. This is one of my favorite love poems from this collection.
Your presence is a kiss in my soul
Opening up the doorway leading towards bliss
Proof that real manhood still exists
Flowers bloom under the warmth of your smiles
Birds develop voices carrying tunes
Of cherished moments before taking flight
You smile and the heavens open
Golden rays of sunlight bask over us
At the mere sound of your voice
My whole body smiles when I’m near you
Melancholy fades into the distance
Like white shoes fade at the end of summer
Into closets eagerly awaiting their arrival
With you there is no sadness
And it’s all because you smiled
Tender touches become my undoing
As I become a woman
Under the expert tutelage
Of a man who knows that penetration
Isn’t always necessary to touch someone deep inside
And baby, that’s where you are…
Living in the farthest corners of me
I find myself blossoming and preening
Under the hypnotic effects of your gaze
Eyes that tell me I am the only one
They want to see
No division here
Just 100% attention on a wall flower
Who’d been content to be just that
Before meeting you
With you, the flowers of my past existence
Want to be watered and nurtured
Into something beautiful for you
For you deserve to see beauty everyday
Since you give so much of your own away
With you my roots get firmly planted
In soil enriched with love
Making branches soar towards the clouds
You are the fluffiest clouds that
The little girl in me wants to create pictures in
Deep baritone flutters over my senses
Wetting my face with tears
From tenderness so pure
It makes my heart ache with fullness
Your entire presence is a kiss in my soul
And I need to feel your kiss every day
Copyright 2014 Tumika Patrice Cain from After the Rain…a Poetry Collective
Tumika Patrice Cain is an award-winning author, radio show host, blogger, poet, motivator, founder of the Say What?? Book Club, contributing writer for B.L.O.G. Magazine and book reviewer for PEN’Ashe Magazine. Her works center around the complexities of the human experience and in uplifting the spirit. An assignment for a second grade class sparked her interest in writing that would quickly become her raison d'etre. As an educator, she wholeheartedly believes that each one should reach one; each one should teach one. When she is not writing, she may be found teaching writers’ workshops, blogging, volunteering, and otherwise beautifying the world around her. She is the author of the award-winning novel, Season of Change¸ and After the Rain...a Poetry Collective. Her works have been published in a number of anthologies, magazines and periodicals. You may follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tumika-Patrice-Cain/254769847981922 and on Twitter: @TumikaPatrice. www.TumikaPatrice.com
After the Rain is a poignant account of life through the eyes of one woman written in poetic verse. After the Rain will titillate your senses, arouse your passion for life and justice, and inspire your greatest essence for love.
Available in hardcopy and on ALL ereaders
Readers are calling this newly released collection “Powerfully Beautiful,” “There is something about AFTER THE RAIN that also screams freedom…”