I am honored and delighted to be featured on Priorhouse blog today. It was fun to be interviewed by Yvette while we talked about my latest book, More than Coffee. Of course, we talked about coffee, and even tea poured into the conversation, but there is also more to enjoy and learn. And if you aren’t familiar with Priorhouse blog, visit Yvette here . She runs a regular interview series with other authors, participates in photo and writing challenges, and really shares a little bit of everything. And now Yvette will take it from here…
Today’s Interview features author Lauren Scott .
Starting note – this is the final Priorhouse Interview for Spring 2023. The spring series included Restless Jo (here), Liz Gauffreau (here), Dan Antion (here), Linda Schaub (here), Sherri Matthews (here), Dan Fenner (here), Miriam Hurdle (here), and today’s post with Lauren. The Interviews will resume again in summer.
- One of the main reasons for this interview is to share about Lauren Scott’s book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose.
- My review of the book is on Good Reads (here) and the book is briefly explored in this post.
- Also, if you drink coffee and/or tea, you might enjoy our brief chat about different types of mugs.
PRIOR: Lauren, thank you so much for making the time for this interview. Can you share a little about yourself?
LAUREN: Since my teen years, I’ve always had journals to jot down my random thoughts or emotions, but I began sharing on my blog, baydreamerwrites.com, over a decade ago. Writing poetry has been a joyful experience but also cathartic during difficult times. I also enjoy writing memoir and have dabbled in fiction short stories. Recently, I developed an interest in attempting children’s stories, when inspiration came at full speed, so I have completed two children’s books that have not yet been published. But I have finished the manuscript for one of them, so I have passed it along to my illustrator, and I’m excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to see the finished book.
My husband, Matt, and I have been married for thirty-four years, together for thirty-five years.
We have two grown children
And we have a cuddly Labrador, Copper.
PRIOR: Copper seems like a great dog. I enjoyed the post about Copper: “A Labrador writes a poem…”
LAUREN: I have authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015), and my latest book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose was published in 2021. My poetry has been included in several anthologies, and I am a published author at Spillwords.com. Currently, another poetry collection is in progress that will hopefully be released in June 2023.
PRIOR: Best wishes with that book release.
LAUREN: Thanks,Yvette. Recent backpacking trips with my husband, along the California coast and Sierra Nevada mountains, have stirred up thoughts to pen about fear, loss of friendship, overcoming challenges, nature, of course, and the possibility that anything can happen.
These wilderness adventures provided a myriad of writing inspiration for the book More than Coffee, as well as for my upcoming book.
Speaking of my upcoming book, the title is Ever So Gently, and will be a larger compilation of poetry, mostly freeverse, but with a modicum of syllabic poems in forms such as Haiku, Tanka, Shadorma, Oddquain, and Etheree. There are three different themes that will be woven from the first page to the last: my love of nature; Love in a romantic form, a deep love after 35 years together, and love for family; and lastly, poems about the many pieces in the puzzle of life, along with the beautiful brush strokes of life’s painting that begins as a blank canvas…joy discovered in many facets, dealing with loss and heartache, the effects of climate change, and a hint of personification.
My writing projects are sometimes serious – drawn from painful subjects and raw emotions – or they spotlight my silly side – pulled from humorous moments.
As you can discern, I am inspired to write about family, love, loss, and nature – the marvelous wild world, the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds singing.
PRIOR: That is another thing your writing brings to the world – you let us feel nature with you.
LAUREN: Nature has so much to offer if we simply open our eyes. Hikes along a local creek remind me that life is fragile. From seeing trout hatchlings to swallowtail butterflies, I marvel at how the world is interconnected and every living thing matters.
Yvette, my honest wish is that my readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in my poetry and stories – I hope every reader will find some detail that resonates with them beyond my words.
PRIOR: Well that is what I took away from More than Coffee when I read it – I felt the “little delights and comforts”. That book is what led to this interview. I bought a softcover copy from Amazon and enjoyed reading a few selections each day for an entire month. I found that your very personal selections were also universal and written in a way that lets us experience many of the memories and reflections with you.
From the back cover of the book:
“More than Coffee is a memoir that paints a picture of young dreams and fears through short stories and poetry. But in adulthood, these dreams and fears transform. This collection touches on love and loss, nature and endurance, marriage and parenting. Humor diffuses fear, and taking risks proves to be a powerful method in boosting self-confidence. Through it all, whether in the wilderness near a sparkling lake or in the comfort of home, there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. This book is a reflective collection of verse and prose best enjoyed sipping your favorite coffee roast, or your preferred beverage.”
PRIOR: It really is a great book to go in and out of. While the Kindle e-version might be ideal for some folks – other readers might want to consider the soft cover of More than Coffee because the experience of reading will be different. It makes a great coffee table book. Here are the links:
- US Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/5bffee3t
- UK Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/fhy4mtaf
I liked all the entries in More than Coffee and one that stood out was the short poem called Wealth:
It’s a postage-stamp dwelling
with a few chips and dents,
but within the walls lie
giggles and imaginations.
Love enfolds itself
into every crevice…
a wealth much greater.
LAUREN: That poem has a personal connection, so I’m glad you liked it too.
PRIOR: I also liked the selection 1989.
LAUREN: 1989 is one of my favorites, a story that tells the funny tale of how I met my husband, and how I’m so grateful now, that after 34 years of being happily married to each other, 35 years together, he is my best friend and I am his. We complement each other. Communication is key in any relationship, so it has been a constant in ours. We talk about everything and have held each other up in times of sorrow. Our life has also given us much to celebrate, and he is the subject of many of my poems.
Another favorite is the story, The Way It Was, which is about my childhood dream as a nine-year-old. I wanted to sing professionally and that dream wound its way into high school where I shared how an amazing teacher encouraged me to step out of the box I had trapped myself in regarding the types of songs I sang. I learned something new and great about myself. Moments in the spotlight were not only fun, they were beyond thrilling.
However, that story, The Way It Was, also touches on the transformation of dreams and that it is okay to have more than one dream. We are in control of our own choices, so if we decide to slide into a new lane, it’s alright. Dreams are allowed to change shapes as we grow, without regrets, but with many special memories. Gratitude is also key in this story.
PRIOR: That might be one of my favorite quotes from you:
“Dreams are allowed to change shapes as we grow, without regrets…”
It is wise – encouraging – and something many of us need to embrace. I also like your resilient outlook and I think the wellness messages layered in your book can edify and model wellness ideas.
LAUREN: I love that you have discovered the many layers of messages in my memories. More than Coffee isn’t just about sharing my experiences or even drinking coffee. It’s about the subtle life messages that I’ve sprinkled throughout the book, hoping they’ll enlighten or resonate with my readers, and this book spotlights the people and places that have enriched my life.
PRIOR: Speaking of coffee in the title of your book, what is your favorite brand of coffee?
LAUREN: My favorite coffee is Peet’s dark roast blend called Major Dickenson’s. Peet’s is a popular local coffee shop downtown, a five-minute drive, or a lovely twenty-minute walk.
PRIOR: Do you have a favorite mug?
LAUREN: As to a favorite mug, you wouldn’t think this would be difficult to answer, but I love mugs! I collect them like kids used to collect baseball cards. I can’t choose just one, so I’ll name a few: my daughter and I used to watch “Friends” so I love the “Friends” mug she gave me. My son gave me a pretty blue mug with Rise and Shine on the front, another favorite.
Both of these mugs are big enough so that I can use my milk frother for a foamy touch similar to a latte. And then I have several matching sets that my husband and I have bought on trips we’ve taken – all sentimental.
LAUREN: I have to say that every mug that sits on the shelf in the cupboard holds some kind of significance.
PRIOR: Oh how fun that you enjoy a variety of cups/mugs. I do not collect coffee mugs, but sometimes my husband will tease me when I go shopping and he will say, “No more mugs…” ha – and he might say, “no more bags, pillows, or places to sit” – 🙂
LAUREN: I know what you mean…my husband will say the same about no more mugs!
PRIOR: Well we both know that the mug we use depends on the beverage. Black coffee? Any small mug will do. And for tea? Depends on the kind of tea I am using. I used to make loose leaf tea but I have found what I like in bags. I know some folks will cringe to read that (like maybe Janet– ha – and FYI – here is her interesting post about Irish Breakfast Tea).
LAUREN: One kind of hot tea that I enjoy is Yogi Mango Ginger. Once in a while on a winter evening, a hot cup of tea hits the spot and both of those flavors are favorites. When winter arrives, an occasional hot chocolate hits the spot. Who would’ve thought marshmallows could be so entertaining! Hot chocolate used to be more of a staple years ago when our children were little. Now though, the kids and my husband and I don’t eat marshmallows (after learning the ingredients, reading labels of the foods we eat began years ago) 🙂 . Iced tea is my go-to drink when the sun bears down with all its might in the summer months.
PRIOR: I am glad you mentioned the seasons because I actually drink less coffee/tea in summer months. Do you have a favorite season?
LAUREN: I love the renewal of spring, the colorful blooms poking up through the soil, inviting inspiration and hope. Warm tones of autumn and cooler temperatures bring a sense of relief following the heat of summer. But there is something also relaxing about sitting on our patio on a calm summer evening, feeling a balmy breeze pirouette around us. I also love the coziness that winter brings. We enjoy fires crackling in the fireplace, lighting candles and reveling in their soothing ambience, and feeling grateful that we are tucked inside our cozy home when the rain falls in droves, the wind blows aggressively, while the temperature plummets.
It’s really hard to narrow down all the wonderful past memories into one favorite season. Many seasons brought joy and some brought buckets of tears. The summer and fall months from 2017 to last year when my husband began taking me backpacking will always be special. By this time, I was in my mid-fifties, had some reservations, but I also felt determined, wanting to get that pack on my back and my boots on the trail. I write about my journey in one of the stories, “Ascent.” I express my joy of accomplishment while also grieving the passing of my father. At this time, both of my parents had passed. A chapter in my life I had to slowly process.
All the summers of taking our young children camping and showing them the beauty of the great outdoors, another favorite “season.”
My favorite season, though, isn’t about weather, but rather, about family in a more simple, yet profound manner. My husband and I entered into the empty nest “season” two years ago. Our daughter and son both now live across the country. They are chasing their dreams and we are proud of them. And as much as we talk, text, and visit as often as possible, it’s not enough “in person” time for me. So, my favorite season of all is when our grown children are home to visit and we are all together.
PRIOR: I enjoyed what you shared about seasons. The weather seasons – and then the seasonal changes we experience with family and life’s milestones. It was so well said and it has been a highlight of this interview for me.
LAUREN: It has been fun to share today. Thanks again, Yvette, for this wonderful opportunity to talk about my book, and I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed it.
PRIOR: I enjoyed it for an entire month and I look forward to your release of Ever So Gently. Another highlight of this interview was the brief chat about mugs and coffee/tea.
- Blog: baydreamerwrites.com (blog)
- Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Lauren-Scott/author/B08NCRH4MK
- FB: https://www.facebook.com/BaydreamerWrites
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/baydreamerwrites/
Questions for readers:
- Do you have a lot of mugs? Do you call them mugs, cups, demitasse? And if anyone follows Trent McDonald, you will know that he changes his cup/mugs image according to his location – and that is fun.
- What is your favorite kind of coffee or tea? Does it change depending on the season?
- Any comments or questions for author Lauren Scott? Have you read More than Coffee?