Of Coffee With Hayley

Coffee with Hayley

If you were having coffee with me on a Wednesday Midweekend Fiesta, I would be glad to introduce to you a friend of mine Hayley Ann Carstens… we managed (read that as I ran around like a headless chicken to catch up with her) to have a lovely chat:

hayley carstens plus size model

**Confession I am not really having coffee I am having rooibos herbal** And Hayley:

A cappuccino has to be it – its her go-to drink

~B: If you could describe yourself as a beverage which one would you best describe yourself as?

Most probably coffee actually [she laughs] uhm, I have a very strong and overpowering side but at the same I can be weak, venerable and subtle

~B: I am dying to ask you the question, “tell us about yourself” but I always  get stuck when I get asked that same question, so how about this “tell me what would you like me to ask you first and I will ask it next.

uhm I think a good question to ask people and one I love being asked would be what my end goal and passion is and why [she smirks at me].

~B: Okay okay, fair enough those are good questions. So what would you end goal and passion be and why? 

Well I’m currently at iStudy a college in Harare doing full component A-levels in English, psychology and business studies which will be my stepping stone to University. I have been offered over 30 scholarships so far and that is what will lead me to become a journalist and a creative writer. I guess one answer leads to the next [she laughs] my passion is the English language and writing. I fell in love with the English language about 6 years ago and its always been my dream. I love writing and English because you get given a topic and you can create the perception you want you readers to read, be it literal or metaphorical. There are so many boundaries and so many “you cant do this and you cant do that’s”, that it seems tough but you have no boundaries in another sense and you create you boundaries to extend to.

~B: Whenever I hear the word Model in my head I imagine someone tall and and and well you know the stereotypical model who looks like unlike a girl in the street… And here you are looking like you could live to next door to me…. Where do you get the confidence, are you on a mission? 

[Hayley laughs] That’s because I’m humble and because I don’t have that “I’m better than everybody else” attitude. I feel like we are all fair and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I have a crazy attitude and when the 2016 Zimbabwe Models Awards came up I was nervous but I also had that “I got this, I’m the best choice” attitude and I wanted to win and I did win, I got Best Plus Size Model. [she looks down and smiles]. Now it starts again for 2017 [she grins nervously].

hayley ann carstens

~B: Outside of just being there and looking like a breath of fresh fair, what are your other interests?

Funny enough, modelling isn’t something I ever thought I’d do or even consider but when the agency reached out to me and said that they wanted me – that is how it happened [She looks surprised]. I absolutely love reading, I love writing, I love binge watching my favourite series on a Friday evening while I write notes for my classes or just being with my friends in general, doing anything, as long as I’m with the people I love – I’m happy. I’m really easy to please actually, anything makes me happy and it’s the little things that matter. If there’s an adventure I can go – I will definitely be there [she laughs], I’m an adventure junkie.

~B: please, please, please, please do share what you read, then I can get to caption the next photo not just a pretty face, I have never used that cliché before… I am a storyteller and I have a soft spot for people who read, I might write something you like, right?

I absolutely love reading and I love learning different writing styles how different writers create the perceptions they want you to envision. My favourite author is Paula Hawkins and my last book was ‘I am Pilgrim’ which is authored by Terry Hayes. It’s a fictional thriller which is definitely worth the read.

~B: I adore Paula Hawkins and she is Zim born too!!!

hayley Carstens model

Not Just A Pretty Face

Where do you see yourself in the future? How supportive is your family in your dreams?

I see myself as a writer, I have a story I’m to write as soon as I’m out of University and it’s definitely going to be a bestseller. [she smiles confidently]. My family is remarkable, they support me till the end of time and we all support each other like that. We are always on call for one another and our relationships are better than good, the support is definitely above normal.

~B: What are your thoughts on the modelling industry in Zimbabwe? Any changes you wish to see?

Definitely. The modelling industry is so different from any other country. We are diverse and accepting which often leads to rude remarks about models. I recently saw a post on Facebook that states “Anyone can be a model in Zim, all you have to do is post a picture and claim yourself as a model and boom, you’re a model in Zimbabwe”. As shocked as I was by this and outraged, it made me little happy.[she smiles warily] 

Haylehann carsten plus size model

I mean, our country is known for being accepting and supporting no matter your gender, race, shape or size and that is something to be proud of. One thing I would change is the use of child models below certain ages being showcased because that could stir up a whole lot of problems and I think they should be a part of an agency but not advertised unless they are over sixteen per say.

~B: its almost Christmas this year I promised myself to dress up like Santa and call myself the Rasta Santa and help spread the Christmas cheer do you have a wishlist you would like to share (not that I will get you anything ha! But who knows who is reading this chat……

[she laughs] Definitely. I can’t say there is anything I would particularly ask for, I have traditions of things I buy myself each year and usually if there is something I want – I just go buy it in general. I would say that I crave adventure and to live through new experiences. So, readers,  if you can bring me the guy I like or pay for ten people to go somewhere new – I’ll thank you. [Laughs].

~B: What’s the one thing you never leave home without?

I cannot live without water. I can’t leave my house or even my bedroom for the living room without water. I don’t really drink anything besides water, coffee and the occasional wine [laughing]. I mean, I don’t drink fizzy drinks, things which are too sweet or, well, I’m a fussy person when it comes to drinking and I drink water more than anything but I also drink a lot of coffee.

~B: Thank you for the time, oh yeah just something quick for research purposes; (lets see your hands) we  just want to know before we start drawing googly hearts on your name single, taken or its complicated?

It’s complicated [she laughs]. I have someone but it is isn’t official as of yet. We are waiting for the best time to make it official but so far, it is what I would consider the perfect person for me and the perfect situation. [She’s smiling uncontrollably and blushing].

~B: Ooooh final question, absolutely the last one; if Aliens came and took over the world why should they make you their queen?????????

I am a very strong willed individual and I like to win. I’m motivated, I’m determined and I can be ruthless as well as very caring and supportive. When it comes to my job, my family, or my friends – I am a born leader. [Grins confidently]

~B: Yes we have a runaway imagination, thank you very much; ok last one; if you were an emoji which one would you be.

I’d be that one with its that ‘Yeah you know what’s up’ face

yeah you know what's up emoji

~B: Pretend we are on camera wave at the camera and do a few shout outs.

[Laughs and does Queens wave] Well, my only shout outs would be my family, my friends and my agency for the support and encouragement.

We thought you should us out too!!!!!!

If you were having coffee with Hayley and myself  we would tell you that she is a nominee in the Zimbabwe Models Awards and if you like what you see, what are you waiting for go vote, like her  Facebook page : Hayley Ann Carstens

Zimbabwe Models Awards Hayley Ann Carstens
~B

 

Photo credit Nyamie Photography

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Of A Dear Beaton Letter

Confession: I have always wanted to to be immortal. That is why I write.

but maybe its not such a hopeless dreams:

dear beaton letter

Dear Beaton   By Mable

My dearest Beaton;
I want to immortalize you in the only way I know how, so I have decided to write you a letter.

A letter, I promised to write a year ago but life, adulting and good old plain procrastination got in the way.
Finally, the way is clear, the time is now and the  dictionary has yielded flowery words that I can use, flowery words worthy of you.
I had to dig deep into those dusty old pages….I was crossed eyed this week, thankfully my glasses hid my eyes. Glasses that make me look like a sexy librarian, I’m told….But see only the best will do for you. Donald Trump does not have the best words. That honor belongs to the dictionary, as I found out this week.
I’m rambling…..I tend to that a lot when I’m nervous…
Have I ever told you how much I love That Writer Chic? Well I do….I really do. See, I first came across your name, Beaton, on her blog. In her comment section to be exact. And thus the stalking began….And I quickly fell in love with your style of writing. I mean head over heels, poetry spewing, boom box over my head kind of love….. It was/is more than just a writer’s crush, you see.
Why? you ask… Its the effortless humor. The way you draw the reader in make them (in this case, me) feel like there’s no one else you’d rather be having coffee with. The way you make the most mundane of activities seem like an adventure. The stories you tell…..its also the way you encourage people. The time you take to not only read my attempts at putting a point across but to also comment. Its your friendliness and your big heart. It’s the fact that even never having physically met you, I consider you a good friend (no, I have not friend-zoned you).
I would call us kindred spirits. Do you agree?
Do you believe in reincarnation and past lives? I do not, however the kinship I feel towards you must mean that at some point, in a past life we knew each other. Because even without really knowing you, I feel like I know you (does that make sense?)…
May be we were (and this is the first thing that comes to mind because I’m a hopeless romantic) husband and wife.
I can just picture it in my mind’s eye; In the Africa-of-old setting. You’re a king and I’m your third, but definitely your favorite wife. The first two you had to marry for political reasons and I was your love match. You spend all your time with me talking and planning and laughing, which is frowned upon by the elders because no man should talk to woman like that, let alone a king of a mighty tribe……but you and I, we are rebels….because that’s what we are, rebels.
Or, may be we were twins, born at a time when twins were an abomination, thrown away into a forest, raised by monkeys and surviving because that’s what we are, survivors.
Or may be you were the mad man in the village square, the mad man that could carry a tune and would sing sad songs with a beautiful voice and I was the village damsel who had a soft spot for the mad man. And the only one brave enough to step close and and sing with the mad man. And the villagers would call us crazy. They’d go saying things like, “Mzee Ngundi’s daughter has been corrupted by the mad man, she is now crazy.”….
But we wouldn’t care because that’s what we are, slightly off kilter, certifiably insane, absolutely crazy.
Its the romantic in me talking again; perhaps we were star crossed lovers, like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Layla and Majnun (pretty interesting story)
Or perhaps we caused too much havoc together that the universe decided to separate us this time around, putting quite a bit of land between us but the universe did not count on there being a way for us to meet…social media. WordPress to be exact where you were busy becoming the muse and I was still experiencing growing pains….and somehow, our worlds collided.
Shifting from blogger to wordpress is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…it goes without saying that the outcome has been very desirable, the amazing people I’ll call my forever friends, I found here one of them being Beaton  *insert shy emoji here*
You’re such a cool person, Even your name is cool.
You know that question that is usually asked to people that have fallen in love? When did you know that you know?
I’ll answer it with this story. This is when I knew ..
You have no idea how much your words have come to mean to me. They have gotten me through many a dark day.
I look forward to finally meeting you physically, giving you a big hug, objectifying your abs (I apologize in advance for that), tugging your hair to see if stretches and helping you count the white in your beards. Yes, I’m crazy like that.
Keep writing B….keeping being the awesomeness that you are.

All My Love
Mable

Confession number 2 I happen to really really love letters too

~B

PS Mable I hope you dont mind but I had to share this letter because I heart this ♥♥♥

Of Breaking Free; A Writer’s Block

 

Writer’s block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

When I try to picture it in my head, I visualise a large immovable block that your writing hand is shackled to, which is why you cannot write…..

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Or maybe it is large chopping block where you lay your head as you wait for the axe of creative constipation to chop your silly head off…….

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Off with your head….. if you can visualize your writer’s block in your head then you are kidding yourself you do not really have writer’s block, your creative mechanism still work; you need to collect and focus your creative energy.

To understand writer’s block you first have to understand the psychology of a creative individual. Imagine a writer as a therapist; unconsciously self-psychoanalyzing to resolve inner turmoil via the sublime medium of writing….

In other words writers are batty, how can they not be?

Writer’s block has probably existed since the first writer picked up a stick and scratched something on a cave wall or perhaps even before that when he traced doodles into the dirt with his fingers and when the rain washed it away he tried to do it again, and could not, quite get it right……

But the term writer’s block was first coined in 1947 by a psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler who described it as a “Neurotic inhibition of productivity

What causes Writer’s Block?

Self Doubt or Self Criticism; (afraid of how you will be judged or  if you wrote something before and it was praised and now the pressure as you are not sure you can ever equal the same level of excellence or being compared to other greats)

Timing; (when you just cant find the time and space and distractions.)

Procrastination; (waiting for inspiration)

Perfectionism; (waiting for everything to fall into place, which it never does)

Disillusionment; (you write and no one notices, no recognition)

unhappiness; (It should come as no surprise that an unhappy writer is likely to be creatively blocked and that a blocked writer is probably unhappy. Unhappy people daydream less period.)

There are many other causes for it but these are the most common.

Writer’s block is a psychological condition and as with all psychological manifestations its treatment should be some feel good therapeutic exercise….

How To Break Free The Writer’s Block

Writing is an intimate conversation with your innermost thoughts; so to deal with your writer’s block; relax and get alone time, you need to find some joy in your writing; if you feel good, you write good……

If I had a holy grail solution to dealing with writer’s block; I would probably be selling it in a set of 25 motivational DVDs at $1.99 a DVD and after you had bought the entire set you would find that you were no closer to getting past your writer’s block than when you started; that’s because writing is not an exact science, it is an art; and art has no rules; it has No Chill.

However I’ll share a few quirky remedies outrageous enough to just pop the bubble of that uncreative funk

*Firstly WRITE, write anything; keep writing until you write better

Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all

~Charles Bukowski

*Pretend you are writing a rough draft and not a masterpiece

*Talk to your characters, have coffee with them, interview them

*Write like you talk

No one ever gets talker’s block

~Seth Godin

~B

PS I never suffer from writer’s block; I immensely enjoy it and use it as an excuse to exercise all my quirky traits and blame my unruly muse ♥♥♥♥

Of Battle Of The Books

 

If you were having coffee with me……… we would be hosting a special guest author Candice Coates.

My dear friend Candice has two novels ready for publication Warden nor Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal.

She had an interesting dilemma of not knowing which one to get published first and so decided on an equally interesting concept of Battle of the Books where The Reader decides after reading teaser excerpts  from the books and completing a poll… the crowd favourite gets published first… sounds simple enough…

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We had an interesting chat with Candice about writing, books, battles and aliens grab a chair some coffee and join us……..

why a book battle?

The concept for the Battle of the Books came from my own indecision. First, neither Warden nor Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal are my first finished manuscripts, however, they are the strongest in my opinion. I chose to battle them because I was undecided about which should have the seat as my purchasable debut novel. The two tales are extremely different in character, but I recognize that the one published first may in fact set the tone for my audience. What better way to have the tone set than to have the audience decide.

-Whats in a name? How did you come up with the book titles ?

         Book titles are tricky things, aren’t they? I honestly believe that each tale named itself in a way. Whenever I think about either of them I think about them by the names they currently have. I’ve fooled around with other titles for Warden but nothing else seemed to fit. Nexus Gate is also titled ‘The Animal,’ since this book is a series, like Warden, but unlike Warden the story is told in a linear way. *SPOILER ALERT* Each additional title, like The Animal, is describing the character of Tucker John and where he is currently within his journey.

I know you would say you love both equally but …. is there one you are secretly hoping gets picked and why?

         You are right I do love them equally, but if I had to be the ultimate deciding vote for which would be published first, I would go with Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal. The concepts within this story, the struggle with morality, the confrontation with racism/colorism and just about any other ‘ism’ are relevant now, and honestly, has been for a while. This story deals with these issues in a straight forward, way but does so in a manner that allows the reader to be aware of the struggle but enjoy the growth and the flow of the story. I think I subconsciously told the story as an allegory for the mindsets of today. We are living in a world of extremist; people who are extremely ignorant of reality either because they are sheltered or by choice, people who are extremely hateful because of fear or how they have been cultivated. No matter which side of the spectrum a person is on, both are rooted in a form of fear, and when fearful people are the decision makers, the results are without a doubt devastating. The backdrop of the Nexus Gate shows you what that could potentially look like if fear wins from either end of the spectrum.

In short, comparing the two, Warden is an awesome ride of action and adventure. Readers will enjoy it, they will fall in love with the characters and the worlds created. But Nexus Gate will make the reader think, cause them to be a bit more introspective about their own views and thoughts and how they deal with people who are on opposing ends.

what happens to the one that comes second???????

        Even second place is a winner here. The second place holder will also be published but not for at least six months after the winner has had time to shine. Even now the second place holder is gaining a following and that is a good thing.

Do you ever get surprised at the way the story turns out? or that’s impossible every scene and plot is meticulously planned out on some vision board

   I am often surprised at how my stories tell themselves. I may have one idea but find that my characters have another. When I write I view myself as a stenographer. I type what the characters tell me. There have been times with stories I was working on that I was writing a scene straight from scratch and found myself literally yelling at the computer at the character whose scene I was typing, calling them stupid and asking them why they were doing what they were doing. I was appalled at their behavior but I just kept typing. Now, I do write out the ‘synopsis’ if you will, when I first catch the seed of a story, then I will type scenes as they come even if they are not in order. In which case, I save them in a file and work on the manuscript and when the story weaves in the direction of a previously written scene, I add it in.

if you could go back in time, to when you first picked up a pen, or was it typewriter what would you tell yourself?

I would tell myself to just have fun, and not to overthink the process. But I would also tell myself that there is a lot of work ahead, that the first draft is just that, a first draft of many. I would also tell myself not to have thin skin that every story is not for everyone and that is okay. Be confident in the work you’ve made no matter the negative feedback or silence that may come. If you’ve done an honest labor of love, be proud of that and celebrate the achievement even if only one person reads it. Perhaps the story was for that one person alone, and that too, is okay.

Early Bird or Night Owl

I am a struggling night owl. I’d like to get to bed earlier. For me, that is before 1:30am…most times I am in bed closer to 4am. I can get up early though without much issue BUT I will need a nap for obvious reasons. In my adult years, I’ve found that naps are indeed a blessing from God. Lol.

Tea or Coffee

Tea always. Coffee on occasion, especially in cake or ice cream.

lastly…. If aliens from the future, light years from now were to come to earth why should you be the first person they see before they ask to be taken to “our leaders”

Well, I am very hospitable and I think I would give them a good impression of Earth people. I am also pretty good with linguistics so communication might be easier for me. Also, who’s to say I’m not the leader 😛

candice

BIO: Candice Coates is a fiction writer, jumping from genres ranging from Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Drama, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is creating visual art with pen or paint, or she is creating new designs for her handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook. To read more of her work you can find her at her author site, candicecoates.wordpress.com or icameforthesoup.com. You can also find out more about her and how to stay connected by going to www.about.me/candicecoates

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sticker.jpgThe battle of the books promo started on the 20th February and will run till the 25th of March pop by her site read a bit and vote wisely…..

~B

PS do hit us up and let us know what you think thanks a bunch…..