Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meet the Writers

Writers and Graphic Designers - One dependent on the other

When I set out on my mission to review articles, with my first post in June 2011, I was quite skeptical about the feedback and support I would get. Although I was convinced that this is what I wanted to do, it largely depended on my audience to appreciate and support this effort. Surprisingly, I have received a lot of encouragement (even from unexpected sources) and have completed nine posts so far. This is my tenth (yes, double digits) and I am so excited that my blog has made it this far; thanks to ALL of you.

Since this is my TENTH post, I thought I'd try a twist to the usual Channel-wise format. I've decided that this post will be a potpourri of sorts or rather dedicated to writers I admire, for their talent, skill and (I have to say this...) common sense. If you need help navigating through or guidance on some topics from the Channels that I've already featured, these are the writers for you. Most of them have been of help to me in the past in some way or the other, and many of them have been around to cheer me on. It is with pride that I turn the spot light on to them. I have picked the following writers on the basis of the Channels that I have already covered. Do not be disappointed if your name isn't on the list. You might be featured in the following weeks. (Image Credit: Dieter Manero)

I don't think anybody needs any introduction to Raymond Alexander Kukkee. He has been with Helium since November 2007 and has also been one of the Managers under the Arts and Humanities Channel. But in case you do not know the full extent of his Writing passion, here are his very own words... "Creative Writing has been my favorite past-time, and writing fiction has become my favorite challenge with a focus on humanity itself. Novels, short stories, books for children, technical writing, essays, information, how-to articles, experimental writing, poetry and two completed full length motion picture screenplays are all included in my portfolio. I continue to believe 'Our use of words is fraught with traps and treasures' and also infers much responsibility."

The sanctity of a writer's work area - by Ramond Alexander Kukkee, Arts & Humanities

I know its been mentioned before, but if there is one person who knows how to convey humor and satire through her writing, in my opinion, it is none other than Diane Quinn. Its because she believes she can do it, does it reflect so much in her writing. Diane says... "Creating is the passion all writers thrive upon, but I also enjoy researching a topic that interests me. Being factual and informative are important, but just as important is emotionally engaging my readers. When I have firsthand knowledge, like a first person story for my life, writing with a sense of humor makes the process just that much more fun."

Satire: Music by Diane Quinn, Creative Writing

Meet W. Diane Van Zwol. She is a person so full of compassion and caring. Although a nurse by profession, and a dedicated contributor to the Medical Ethics section, Diane is ever passionate about poetry; and in particular 'Love Poetry'. She goes to no ends to stand for 'love' despite the conflicts and confusion of human life around, and this can be seen poignant through her poems. Based on the theme of love, you cannot go wrong, for what can be greater than love? Check out 'It's all about love' for an entire collection of love poems written by Diane. She says, and I quote, "In 1995, I attended the International Society of Poets Conference, D.C. What a wonderful experience for me as a budding poet! There were 2700 poets present and everyone did a poetry reading. That was fun! Johnny Cash was featured as the live, Saturday night entertainment." A truly remarkable writer to impact my world.
Poetry: An angel's wings by W. Diane Van Zwol, Creative Writing

All of us know M. J. Joachim. An ardent contributor to the Business, Arts & Humanities, Celebrations & Holidays and Creative Writing Channels, (and more), M. J. has stepped out beyond her comfy zone of writing articles, and has ventured into publishing quite a few eBooks. An excerpt from her biography at Helium, "M. J. Joachim is an extremely creative soul. Her hobbies include cooking, yarn and needle crafts - including bead work, gardening and creative writing, though research writing is also at the top of her list. M. J. believes writing is writing. It challenges the mind and heart, causing us to view the world with less skepticism."

Quick and easy Thanksgiving decorating tips - M. J. Joachim, Celebrations & Holidays

From creative writing to business, one person I know I have to give credit for is my senior editor at Bright Hub, Michele McDonough. Highly qualified academically, winner of two Editorial Awards at Bright Hub and Managing Editor and Senior Writer to the Business Channel, Michele is well knowledgeable in topics pertaining to Business and Science. Taken from her Bright Hub profile, I quote, "After spending several years teaching mathematics, engineering and programming at the university level, Michele shifted her focus to the corporate world. Her extensive background in the technical fields eventually led her to take up consultancy work, primarily with small, privately held companies. She still maintains an active presence in the academic community and enjoys keeping track of the latest developments in scientific research."

Creating Pareto Charts With Microsoft Excel by Michele McDonough, Business


Did I tell you that I had actually planned out this post differently? When I realized that this would be my tenth post today, I decided to rework my entire page. Yes, I deleted an entire section, if not all of what I had done, just to change it to some idea that popped into my head a little earlier in the day.

However, one part that I have been meaning to do all week is to feature Donald Hancock. I am not sure how many of you know him, but quite a few of us at the Castle Coffee House and Pub fondly call him Sir Don de lu. [You'll have to ask him to elaborate on his title. ;) ] Donald has recently published his book titled 'A Message for all Time'. I'd like to take a moment to congratulate Sir Don de Lu on a job well done and for being such an inspiration. :)

Synopsis of the Novel: A young man finds an old sealed bottle while fishing. He and his mother read a message, written by a sailor whose ship was sunk in 1942. Richard and his mother, Gloria, who live in London in 1954, are challenged to share this heartfelt message, about three dying men, with their surviving loved ones. Their search takes them on an adventure that change their lives forever!

A Message for all Time by Donald C. Hancock is now available at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords as eBooks at the following links.

Image Credit: Dieter Manero

This brings me to the part where Conny Manero's son, Dieter Manero, played a part in designing the front cover for Donald's book.

Dieter Manero is a freelance graphic designer, graduated as a graphics designer and specializes in editorial and industrial design. Editorial design comprises of book covers, advertising material and newsletter layouts. Industrial design include concept design of cars in 3-D and custom vehicles. His services are directed to authors and small businesses. Those who might be interested to know more about his professional expertise in the field of Designing may contact him at dimaconcepts@gmail.com. He's there to help.

You may visit Dieter Manero's Portfolio at Dieter Manero, Freelance Graphics Designer.

Last but not the least, during the past few days, I requested friends and writers to share their best poems with us. I thank each of them for their contribution and support and hence share what they have to say about their work.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee - "The best of my own selection of works in poetry may well be 'Silver Drops' because of the imagery of unrequited love and sadness extending to infinity."

Angela Masters Young - "Its a poem called Marilyn Matters. In a nutshell, when my mom (Marilyn) was dying of cancer, she felt like her life had not mattered, that she didn't matter. During this time (I was staying with her and caring for her), she received some of those pre-made address labels in the mail. My mother's name is Marilyn Masters. The labels were for Marilyn Matters. This was definitely a God story about how God showed her she does matter. I wrote the poem from there and have been able to change the name and use it again for others in need."

Alexandra Heep: "Poetry: Yesterdays. I like this one the best because I had to use a word bank. It is my all time favorite."

Conny Manero: "Poetry: Spring love and Poetry: Cats. Both poems deal with cats. Cats and their well being are very close to my heart. Through both these poems I have tried to draw attention to shelter adoption and the importance of spaying / neutering. Even though the poems are about cats, they apply to any other type of animal as well."

JoAnn Windsinger is of the opinion that this poem, titled Poetry: In like a lion, out like a lamb, is her best.

Sarah D'costa: "This poem, 'Here No More' was written for Yvonne, a very precious friend... much elder to me. She passed away due to a cardiac arrest while she was alone at home. Yvonne was the kindest soul I ever knew. Always soft-spoken, gentle and optimistic, I could turn to her for anything. I feel this is the best piece I have written as it comes from the heart. After we lost Yvonne, I often wished I could have helped; wished I was there to help. Wished she would come back... so that I could tell her how precious she was to me."


The call was sudden

She had to leave

While al her loved ones

Grieved in disbelief.

That fateful Saturday noon

Saw her uneasy and distressed

All by herself wreathing in pain

Help was rendered……. Minutes late!

Still and motionless she lay

Lusture lost, pale and grey

Anxious loved ones left distraught

Hope and pray, they were briefed.

How we longed to hear her speak

To see her smile and feel her move

The shadow of death lurking by

Seemed elated to have found its prey.

A loving gentle harmless soul

Sought happiness in life’s woes

Adorned with simplicity and grace

Angel on earth, one could say.

Friend to all, mother to a few

Sister to those who knew her too

Left to her father’s Heavenly abode

Without the slightest bid adieu.

Life has changed for all who knew

This God sent angel…… here no more.

Watching over me and you

Somewhere in the distance through.



  1. Had I known you were going to put my poem up here I would have written a longer explanation of the story behind it lol.

    This page is great and I especially like that you featured Dieter Manero.

  2. LOL.. Alex, I did mention that it was for my blog.

    I quite liked Dieter's work on Donald's book... so I decided to add him in too.

    Thanks for stopping by yet again. :)

  3. Another winner, Mandy! You even managed to feature me yet again. I never thought I'd have to consider over-exposure. I'm also pleased to see Dieter get recognized. Great that you linked into his website.

  4. Mandy, your blog continues to amaze. It continues to be a great read, well done, and you insist on including the best. Both Dieter and Conny are the best without doubt. My hat grows tighter as I am again honoured to be included in your selections. Thank you!

  5. What a wonderful blog post Mandy. A well deserved spotlight on some talented writers. And you even included Dieter ... how sweet of you.
    Alex`s poem was very moving.
    You`re on a roll girl!

  6. Diane, there is never such a thing as 'over exposure'. Once you pick up your pen to write, or rather start using your fingers to type away at your keyboard, be sure that your audience awaits... :)

    Raymond... thank you :) You have earned your spot on this page and I had to mention you. ;)

    Conny - talent has to be given due credit. I liked what I saw and so featured Dieter too. ;) Thank you for supporting and stopping by. :)

    Actually, I kept thinking, the past few weeks, I let others review writers. This time, I'll do it. I'll make my picks. There were a few others too that I've wanted to add to the list, but either for lack of feedback or want of time I was not able to do it. My focus was also on naming writers who've accomplished something more than just writing articles at sites, and this is where the idea of the books came in. Writing a book is indeed a great achievement, irrespective of the number of pages or words... and this is what we ultimately strive for. And btw - doesn't our Sir Don de Lu look charming in his smiling pic? He just had to be featured.


Amanda Dcosta - Writer, Helium.com