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Spotlight On Writers
- Where, do you hail from?
I was born in Hunedoara City, Transylvania, Romania, in a communist regime. Hunedoara was at that time an important steel plant in Europe and I remember it as a very vibrant city, busy and full of colors. Despite having, as a nation, hard time, I had a beautiful childhood amongst the chestnut trees, snowy winters, dance classes, countryside holidays, great friends, but beyond of all, amongst the love of my parents who have done their best to raise me and my brother well.
In a way, all that time put a mark on my critical thinking. The communism had its facts with goods and wrongs, and while the freedom was not that clearly defined, I was lucky to learn in a school with a lot of brilliant insights. And this was great for my foundation.
I was 15 when communism dropped down and from that point, my home place became more and more affected by the incompetence and corrupt politics. People no longer found enough decent perspectives and many of them left their homeland. Yet the democracy brought us the liberty of moving. A kind of… Then it was a while with a blurred definition of what the new freedom meant and how mentalities struggled to get the best of it. Plus, the way the things turned in our society. I remember being 8 and standing in a long, long queue in “Alimentara” – the food shop at that time, to buy oranges. I got only 2 because they should be enough for as many people as possible. Then I was 10 when we visited with our class teacher the Army Department in our city and there was a small “chiosc” (kiosk) where we could buy some chocolate and each of us was allowed to buy only half of a bar. But you see, even these seem to be strange things now, as a child I did not pay that much attention to them. I only saw the good part of having finally something you cannot get every day. And this was a thing that brought smiles on my face and happiness. It’s interesting how facts are sparking in each of us at different levels during the years.
Then I remember I was 17-18 when we had to face even longer queues than in communism in the new markets. Around that age, I discovered the rudeness of some of the public institutions’ staff. And I felt so sad. We hoped that Revolution will bring us some sort of release, joy, and happiness. And a better social justice. In reality, the facts were a bit different. There is a lot of psychology around those times and all that stuff had a huge impact on my development.
- What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I think the greatest thing about the place I could call home, is the capacity of making me feel free, being myself, at peace with my own thoughts. Home is where I feel loved, safe; a cozy and warm place. It says the earth calling is very powerful during our life, and regardless of how far as physical distance as we may be at any point, our soul is longing for our native land. And it is true. That will make an enormous impact in finding comfort. Yet home is more than being just a place. It's about feelings, about the love we have around, and we could share, about peace. I miss a lot Hunedoara and I feel like I miss that Hunedoara from my childhood, not the one that became lately. But this has to do with the not so good events that passed later through the paths. Now I am living with my husband in Nottingham, a beautiful city in the UK, where I have a wonderful job. I love a lot what I am doing, and I feel like Nottingham is my home. I only miss my sons and my parents. They are still in Romania. Children are very busy with their studies at the University of Bucharest and parents enjoy their retirement in their house outside of Hunedoara.
- What turns you on creatively?
Everything around turns me on creatively. Everything around my loved ones, around the places I see. Life itself is the best muse. People, colours, music, nature, emotions, patterns, numbers, situations. Then I only need to arrange the words into ideas and thoughts. It comes as a necessity of expressing, a kind of burning out the flame that sparks on my mind. Not only once I had to wake up in the middle of the night because the wings of some ideas wanted to fly away from my head into a piece of paper.
On the other hand, memories become sometimes my muse. It’s interesting how with the passage of time, the facts get more charm in the echoes of the old times.
Mostly I like to rhyme. Poetry has been my best friend ever and allowed me to play with the rhythm like in a good song. I was 7 when I wrote my first serious poem and that was about Hunedoara. It had a perfect rhythm and a good rhyme. And even won some prize in a community poetry contest. I was so happy, and that event helped build my confidence along the way.
Six years ago, I started learning English on my own. It was a great challenge. Then 2 years later I decided to take the job opportunity in the United Kingdom. When I was feeling quite confident in my English writing, I tried to write poems straight in English. And I have enjoyed a lot. I still need to take my time, may be more than English native would do, but I love the act of creation so now I just love to express myself in English too.
I tried some translation as well between Romanian and English on my poems, but found the message not that accurate while keeping the form – rhyme, and rhythm, or I lose the form to be accurate in the meanings. So, I prefer to just ink straight in English or Romanian, distinct poems or short stories. In English I still work to improve rhythm, as it’s quite hard in the second language to correctly pronounce the syllables in all the words.
Coming back to what turns me in creativity, I am working now on a novel project in Romanian, inspired by my personal story. I am happily married to an amazing Pakistani man I met on Facebook in a math group, about 6 years ago. There is a long story behind and I was encouraged by close friends to write it as maybe many others who struggle between continents, will find some inspiration insights.
- What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I have a lot of favourite words, such as Faith, Hope, Light, Truth, Peace, Serenity, but above all comes Love. And I think the most poetical sentence ever I found it’s in the Bible: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopeful, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” Simple, purely and so beautifully expressed.
A sentence I live by, and I could say: Love always prevails! No matters the distance, the continents, the cultures, the embassies procedures. True love always trusts, always hopes and never fails.
- What is your pet peeve?
Hard to answer this question but I will try to express it somehow. I am an extremely positive person and focus more on solutions rather than complains. Yet life is full of injustice and I think this is the biggest of the universal pet peeves ever. Mine too. An injustice that comes in different forms in our daily routine and news, all around the world: discrimination, social injustice, human trafficking, bullying, lack of respect, violation of the human rights, animal abuse, modern slavery, workplace sexism, crimes that remain unpunished, etc.
The remedy for injustice? Utopic to say it could be solved 100%, but not impossible to take at least a few steps to the better. One of the remedies could be the world called Love in all its forms and relatives: Humanity, Kindness, Respect, Truth. It’s up to us to stand up for a better justice, for human rights, for humanity. We can do a lot by being more focused on our neighbourhood needs, with kindness and respect for life itself.
- What defines Simona Prilogan?
Hard to answer this question. I am still looking to finding myself. Searching for my own. Otherwise, I am a very friendly and emphatic person who loves simplicity and hope at its peak.
I am Radiographer by day and a storyteller by night. By day I am doing proper radiography by x-rays to the human body and by night I am doing poetical radiography, by words, to the meanings, ideas, and thoughts. I love my profession which brings me so much satisfaction. I love penning too and feel like the energy must express constructively through the art creation. I am so happy I have self-published this year my first two books. An anthology of poems in English and a collection of short stories and poetry, in my native language, Romanian. All the profit from sales is going to charity. And this makes me happier, knowing that my words could heal some sort of wounds.