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Meet Mahnissa Maneerut (issue 04 Contributor)

SR: Could you give us a quick introduction to yourself?


Hello, lovely individuals! My full name is Mahnissa Maneerut. Might sound like a tongue-twister, but Mandi is the name that resonates with me, and I'm delighted to have you join me in the world of words and creations. Being a creator is more than just a label—it's a profound passion that ignites my every artistic pursuit. Whether I'm immersing myself in the kaleidoscope of colors on a canvas or sculpting narratives with the grace of words, the act of self-expression through art is a journey that constantly thrills and fulfills me. Writing, in particular, holds a special place in my heart, as it allows me to distill the very essence of life into words, weaving tales that resonate and sharing the intricate layers of my experiences with all of you. Connecting with kindred spirits who share similar passions is a true delight. You can catch a front-row seat to my creative endeavors on my Facebook page, MAOIs (www.facebook.com/queenbxoxoxo). It's not just a virtual canvas; it's a vibrant space where I pour my heart into sharing my creations, engaging with a diverse audience, and embracing the invaluable feedback that shapes and refines my art. Building a community around my work has been an incredibly enriching experience, creating bonds with fellow creators and art enthusiasts from all walks of life. You can also catch glimpses of my creative snapshots on Instagram at @mahnissa :)


SR: What does poetry mean to you?


TJ, a friend I unexpectedly met through work, holds a significant place in my heart as one of the most cherished individuals in my life. Initially, I perceived our connection as casual, thinking she was just a fellow colleague passing through the same company. However, as time unfolded, our bond deepened, revealing a friendship that, despite its complexities, involved mutual support. TJ's artistic talents captured my admiration, and her life story, filled with hardship, became apparent through the sadness in her eyes. As we grew closer, I observed a certain emotional distance on her part. Nevertheless, our unwavering support for each other persisted. Unfortunately, this bond was severed abruptly when TJ chose to end our friendship without explaining. In this message to TJ, though our communication has ceased, I express my gratitude for the lessons learned during our time together. The experiences we shared, both positive and painful, have played a crucial role in shaping the person I am today. I blend light and darkness, flawed but still deserving of love. My story, like yours, TJ, is one of survival. Despite our separation, you, TJ, remain a favorite chapter in my life, a masterpiece akin to 'Starry Night,' an eternal artwork. In closing, I wish you well, TJ. May life bring you the peace and happiness that we all deserve. I'll always be grateful to you for being my first long-term friend. All I have left now are the unforgettable memories. Writing these vulnerable experiences is poetry to me, and I am grateful to have had a friend to teach me this.


SR: Are there any authors or poets who inspired you to write?


To be honest, I don't really have a favorite poet or author. My writing is often driven by the desire to convey my thoughts, emotions, or seek solace. However, there is one poet, "โรแมนติกร้าย" or "Win Nimman," a Thai poet whom I deeply admire. His words possess a delicate beauty, simultaneously bittersweet and soft. Win Nimman has been a significant inspiration for me to venture into the world of poetry, a departure from my usual focus on fiction, content, or casual writing. If you're interested in exploring his work, you can find him at https://www.facebook.com/romanticraipoet and on Instagram @romanticraipoet (feel free to tag him, haha!). He is super nice and speaks English fluently!


SR: What advice do you have for young poets who’ve just started their publication journey?


Don't get discouraged if you face initial rejections submitting your work - that's a normal part of the process, even for successful poets. Use constructive feedback to keep improving your craft. Keep reading widely in your chosen genres too for inspiration. Find local open mics and writing circles or workshops to get comfortable sharing your poems. The in-person feedback can help you refine pieces before submitting more formally. You may also make connections that lead to future opportunities. Networking is so valuable in the arts. Consider publishing your work on smaller lit magazines or blogs first to start building a portfolio. Some online journals specialize in showcasing new poets. Submit to places that seem like a good match for your style. Above all, keep writing regularly and make it a lifelong journey of learning. Poetry skills develop slowly over years of dedicated practice. Nourish your creativity and let your love for words be the driving force as you navigate the publishing process. Stay passionate and you'll go far!


SR: What are your future plans as a writer?


At this point, I have a few books published and can support myself full-time as an author, which is a dream come true. My work has also been adapted into other mediums like film and TV, which has been so exciting to witness. However, I still feel I have more stories to tell and genres to experiment with. In the near future, I plan to write a new novel series that delves into social/political themes in a way I haven't yet. Taking on such an ambitious project will push me creatively. I also want to connect with more grassroots causes through benefit anthologies and talks. Long term, I see myself teaching creative writing seminars or developing a writing program. Giving back to inspire the next generation of storytellers feels important. Producing work under a pen name in another genre is intriguing too. I've also considered moving abroad for a while as a writing retreat and source of inspiration. No matter how "established" I become, I'll always be a student of the craft. There are legendary authors I still hope to meet someday too! Overall, I don't feel I'll ever stop challenging or surprising myself. As long as I have more tales to share, I hope to keep cultivating my voice and using it to spread joy, wisdom and social impact. The journey is its own reward for this storyteller!

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