Home > Writing and Poetry > Wednesday’s Interview with Meena Rose Muro

Wednesday’s Interview with Meena Rose Muro


Today we’re visiting with Meena Rose Muro, a new writer coming into the children’s market. You may know her from the Poetic Asides blog, ICL forums or the FB Poets corner.


Claudsy: I know that you have so much going on in your life. You have a full-time job in an IT position, have a husband and three children, plus you’re taking the ICL course and are looking into upgrading another certification in another career path.

My first question is this: how do you manage to juggle everything and still have time for sanity?

Meena: Good question, Claudsy. I’ll start off with the definition of insanity. This is when too many deadlines line up at the same time for my different responsibilities.

I try my best to always prevent such a thing from happening. I ask the following questions of all the activities entering my queue: Does it take two minutes or less to do? Does it have a deadline? Is it urgent? Is it important?

I re-assess all the activities in my queue on a daily basis to determine whether the priorities have changed or not. This process keeps me sane along with my mandatory 20 minutes of doing nothing a day.

Claudsy: You’ve lived all over the world from early childhood well into adulthood. You’ve lived in varied cultures with multiple language requirements. For this new role of children’s writer, do you find that these experiences help or hinder the process of creative subject selection?

Meena: I believe all life experiences benefit a writer. There are times when I need to really examine the audience of a piece and guess whether or not I have introduced too much external culture.

But to focus in on your question… I believe it has been a great help for me whether I am starting with a particular setting in mind or a character from a particular culture.

Claudsy: Does it ever surprise you when you look back to see how much you gone through, experienced, learned? Does it force you to keep up the experiential pace?

Meena: One might say that I have always been a creature of experience. Until I took up reflective writing a few years back, I was always on the path of forging ahead oblivious of the experiential trail.

…a part of me fervently acknowledges Life as the number one teacher; Life as the number one reward …I have gone through a lot. Looking back I sometimes get dizzy trying to analyze the web of experience of what led to what.

Claudsy: You’ve become quite the poet in the last several months. Does writing poetry give you a different sense of satisfaction than writing prose? And if so, how much verse can we expect to see from you in the future?

Meena: I took up poetry in August 2009 and have been practicing feverishly. Due to the shorter life cycle of writing verse, I have found myself with ample practice …I feel I am in the Creation phase of poetry. I hope with continued time and practice, I can become more refined…

As far as how (much) to expect, I plan on doing every prompt that will show up on the Poetic Asides site this year, including the Poem-A-Day challenges of April and November…

Claudsy: Your native culture is Arab. Is that right? When you began reading so many English-language books, did you have difficulties understanding the idioms, dialects, styles, etc. that are sprinkled so sub-consciously throughout? Did this make you more aware of using foreign idioms and cultural anecdotes (to Americans) in your own writing for children?

Meena: Indeed, I am Arab. My ancestry can be traced back to Iraq, Turkey and Persia. I began reading English language books early on, and I experienced difficulties with idioms the most. …I had those difficulties in Arabic as well. “Who would have ever thought, this means that…” was a recurring theme growing up.

As far as style, the biggest difference has been that in the West it is preferred to write through point-of-view (POV) of the main character (MC) …Arabic stories (use) the POV …from the Omniscient Narrator perspective. If there is anything I miss the most in reading, it is the Omniscient Narrator. It is the closest to watching a movie…

I definitely considered A-Calendar-A-Day type medium for the Arabic idioms. …I have been contemplating a folkloric series for the American child that introduces the characters that an Arab child might hear about. For example, genies are featured a lot… for which I need to invent an anglicized word.

…I write for a global market as opposed to an American market …my writing …tries to limit the use of extremely localized idioms… if I want to add cultural flavor to truly enhance the story and interaction, I would pick cultures/sub-cultures I am familiar with.

…SPAG, is a completely different domain. …I trip up frequently… This is where having a handy critique group becomes life-saving for me.

Claudsy: Your own children, I believe, speak three languages already. Do you intend to have them speak as many as you do? Are they being exposed to written stories in those languages as well?

Meena: Language holds the secrets of the culture for which it stands. You can’t truly learn one without the other. The more you know, the more a mediator and ambassador you can be. My children speak English and French fluently. They’re exposed to Spanish and Arabic,too.

We’ve been having fun at their school exploring the various literary devices and how they surface in a French story as opposed to English one.

I have recently begun exposing them to written Arabic stories. At least now they recognize “Once Upon a Time” as “Kan Ya Makan..” They are 9more) interested in stories from “my head” than actual books when it comes to bedtime.

Claudsy: As a wonderful new addition to the writing community, what children’s genre (aside from poetry) do you feel most comfortable writing in?

Meena: I recall how my imagination flourished as I read hundreds upon hundreds of SF/Fantasy novels. I have been greatly influenced by those genres and my short stories are reining themselves into this category quite nicely. I also imagine myself contributing in the areas of non-fiction highlighting famous women of the east.

Claudsy: I’ve read some of your biography pieces and some of your translations. Have you ever considered doing a large biography? And if so, who would be the subject?

Meena: Biographies offer a great perspective. You do realize that heroes and champions are alive and well in this day and age. I believe in the biographical study as a great tool for creative fiction. To truly understand the concept of conviction and passion for your own fictional characters, there are many real world role models to pick up from.

As to writing a large biography, I had never given it thought. Now that you ask, I would write about my two Grandmothers. Both simple women; both extra-ordinary women.

Claudsy: If you had the time or ability to only produce one particularly good piece of writing, what would that be?

Meena: Claudsy, that is a tough one. So many stories are saying “pick me, pick me” inside my head. It would have to be an epic fantasy.

Claudsy: What do you do to decompress, when the pressure builds?

Meena: When the pressure builds, I walk away mentally. My lavender bubble bath… Connecting with my writing cyber buddies… Talking a walk… Listening to instrumental music… Take a nap… Family time…

Claudsy: Could you tell us just a bit about your varied work experiences?

Meena: I am a degreed Mechanical Engineer, who specialized in robotics. I have served collegiate roles of teaching assistant and research assistant. I moved into the IT industry, serving small business and large in the accounting, insurance and semiconductor domains. I would say writing but that is truly passion and not work.

Claudsy: Meena, I have to say you’ve given a lot of people plenty think about. Thank you so much for doing this interview. I look forward to talking again with you in the future.

Short Personal Biography:

An engineering graduate of McGill University, Meena Rose Muro lives with her husband and three children. She’s fluent in English, French, and Arabic, with an intermediate vocabulary set in Czech and Flemish. She’s also begun vocabulary study in Hindi and working through the paces of beginning Farsi.
Meena has gained a following on Poetic Asides and FB’s Micro-poetry corner and can be found on the ICL forums, as well. Readers can find more examples of her work at: MeenaRose.wordpress.com

I wish to thank this lovely and busy lady for allowing us into her writing experience. Even beginners have stories to tell and sometimes the reader discovers something about themselves by listening to these stories.Tomorrow is a commentary day. Friday I will be sitting down with children’s writer, Deb Hockenberry. Please come by and say hello and pull up a chair for the interview.

Until then, a bientot,

Claudsy

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Writing and Poetry
  1. Colorado Kate
    January 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Meena, it would be wonderful to read a biography of your grandmothers… I hope you write it someday.

    Kate

  2. January 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Claudsy,

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity of this interview.

    Kate,

    Thank you for your kind words. I hope I do write about them someday as well 🙂

    • claudsy
      January 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm

      Meena,

      You’re most welcome. I always enjoy talking with you and find much to learn in what you have to say.

  3. Marie Elena
    January 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    What a lovely and thought-provoking interview. Meena, I agree with Kate: I’d love to read about your grandmothers. I can only imagine that they are, in part, where you have gleaned wisdom.

    I can attest to how quickly you picked up poetry. It seems to come so naturally to you, Meena.

    Clauds, thank you for these interviews. Each is fascinatingly unique.

    • January 21, 2010 at 8:50 am

      Thank you, Marie. Perhaps you can help me develop the biography 🙂

  4. May 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Meena, you sound awesome, wonderful and incredibly busy; i’m glad I found your blog!

    • claudsy
      May 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I’ll be sure to pass this along to Meena. Rest assured. She’ll love getting mail at a new address.

      • May 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        thanks; i’m still wobbly legged on who and where to post; hugs and kisses

      • claudsy
        May 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

        Glad you could find Meena here. Wobbly is how we all are after hours on the net. No need to apologize.

        It was sort of fun being the mail carrier. Have a great weekend, sorrygnat.

  5. May 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Clauds: thanks for passing the note along.

    Hi sorrygnat: nice to meet you too! On Thursday, I will be posting about time management on my site: http://meenarose.wordpress.com/. See you there!

    • claudsy
      May 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      You both caught me on a “All cylinders firing” day, my friend. No thanks necessary. Glad you could hook up with another fan through this blog.

  6. claudsy
    May 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Thank you so much, Lara, for using Meena’s interview here as part of your research on her. She’s such a special lady and great friend. As a poet I’ll never come close to the approach ramp of her talent, but I do sit, amazed and appreciative when reading her poetry. And her prose isn’t too shabby, either.

  7. May 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Aww Claudsy… were you trying to sneak one past me? Thank you, my friend.

  8. claudsy
    May 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    You’re most welcome, Missy Meena. I’m so glad you’re going to be here tomorrow to enlighten all who drop in about your new exploration and personal adventure. Can barely wait.

  1. January 20, 2010 at 9:06 am
  2. May 15, 2012 at 5:55 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: