On Becoming A Writer: Megha Sood

An important part of every writer’s journey is the transition from seeing ourselves as “someone who writes” to seeing ourselves as writers.  We asked all the Go Dog Go Baristas to tell us a little bit about their journey as a writer.  We hope you enjoy learning more about the Baristas and are inspired by their stories.



When you did you start writing?

I started scribbling around two years back. Being a manager in the IT industry really took the best part of the day from me and I never got a moment to catch my thoughts. Initially, I used to write a poem here and there once in a month but since I have started my blog in August 2017 my creative juices have started flowing.

What kind of writing do you do?

I mostly write poetry, micro poetry and sometimes also do small articles on the subjects which are close to my heart.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

Anything or everything which moves me in a certain way inspires me. It can be a song, a quote, a random paragraph from the book I’m reading, a sudden change in the day outside. At times, just looking at the people I love inspires me to write.

What are you current writing rituals/practices? 

Mostly I prefer to write during the night-time when I can find some time exclusively for myself and also when the outside noises die down. But  I recently wrote something sitting in a noisy restaurant in the middle of the day, so I guess I’m improving.

When did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?

In my opinion, every one of us is a writer by heart but the art of mesmerizing others with your personal experience through writing is a gift. I saw myself as a writer when I started getting the encouraging response from my readers and also when my works started getting accepted in a few literary collectives.

What are your future writing goals?

I have not chalked out a long drawn goal for my writing. Writing is very cathartic to me. But the idea to collaborate with more eminent writers and getting my small collection of poems published are the things I look for in the future.

To read more of Megha’s thoughts on writing, visit her piece Are you writing from the heart?

“A drop of ink may make a million think.” ― George Gordon Byron

Guest Barista M. Mariah Voutilainen-Beach Creatures

Mama, I yelled, making a dramatic entrance, I saw an alien princess in the hall today!  I sprawled on the floor, my snowy boots making a puddle on the laminate flooring.  I was six years old, my hair a white halo escaping from my itchy woolen cap.

Mama came from the kitchen.  She had flour all over her black turtleneck and wet raw dough encased her hands.  They looked like strange molting insects to my eyes.  I wanted to pick the dough off and eat it, revealing her white fingers.

What did the alien princess look like?  Her eyes were serious as she rubbed her hands together, ignoring the slivers of dough that rained to the floor.  Did she have a crown?

I thought for a moment.  Yes, I answered, equally serious.  She has grey eyes and tree-colored skin, and her crown is silver wire.  I started to take my boots off.  It was so difficult and I felt like giving up.  But that’s not what six-year-olds do, I told myself, sounding like my mother.

Mama went back into the kitchen.  That doesn’t sound like anyone we know.  Your alien princess must not live here.  She went back to the bowl on the table and struggled with the dough for a few more minutes before pulling her hands away with a loud, sucking sound.

Later you can bake the bread.  I smiled, the holes in my mouth leaked air when I breathed.  I had lost four teeth this year and they were taking forever to grow back.  I finished removing the boots and wool socks.  Laying back on the floor and staring at the ceiling, I imagined my alien princess.  I knew she must live in our building because I saw her every afternoon when I came home from school.  But I said nothing to Mama.

The next day, my alien princess was outside of the building, throwing bags of trash into the dumpster.  The muscles of her strong arms were visible with each heave, and she had several bags.  I wondered how she could be so strong but so beautiful; maybe she was like a workhorse, I thought.  Horses were strong and beautiful at the same time.  She smiled at me.  Greetings, she said, as she tossed the final bag.  I have a lot of trash, don’t I–and it’s too cold to be outside without a coat, isn’t it?  I nodded, blowing air through the gap in my mouth.  I lost four teeth, I boasted.  I don’t know when the big ones will come in, and I have to chew with my side teeth all the time.  I tried to whistle for her benefit, but it only sounded like spit.  She laughed.

Each day after that first chat, I saw my princess, whose name was Cherie (I called her Cherry, but in my mind she was always my alien princess).  She would always have something interesting to tell me:  Something about the bird on her windowsill, or the cake she had with her coffee that afternoon.  I would tell her about my six-year-old life.  Sometimes I would ask her about her clothes or her hair, which often billowed out in an explosion of curls from beneath her woolen beanie.  Once, in a fit of bravery, I even asked her if she had antennae tipped with silver balls, like a Martian from TV.  She could barely contain her laughter, covering her mouth and looking sheepish when she snorted.

And then, strangely, I didn’t see her for a long while.  It seemed like months, but perhaps it was only days or a few weeks.  But I missed talking to my alien princess, Cherry.  Her cheery manner and bright clothing; the way her white teeth stood out against her the dark bark of her skin.  In my whole life I had never seen anyone like her.

One afternoon, my mother and I went to the lakeside.  The snow was still pretty thick on the ground, so she pulled me on the sled.  Every once in a while, mama would turn around and scold me:  Don’t drag your hands in the snow.  Sit forward so you don’t fall out.  You know when you do that it hurts my back.  You’re very lucky that I pull you so you don’t have to walk.  I didn’t really listen to mama.  I was looking at the lake and wondering if the water under the snow was frozen.  Okay, okay, mama, I yelled, both so she would hear me and also so she would stop complaining.  It was hard being six years old.

Mama stopped near our favorite bench.  It was covered in a thick and crusty bar of white snow, so frozen that I could sit on top without breaking through.  My overalls and coat were soft and stiff at the same time as I tried to scoot back.  I didn’t feel like playing, and mama didn’t complain.  She pulled out a thermos of hot chocolate and a bag of little biscuits.  Your mittens are dirty, darling, she warned me, don’t eat the cookies with them on, I’ll feed you.  So she pulled off her gloves and poured me a cup of the hot chocolate, which I could hold in my pawed hands.  After I took a sip, she popped a cookie into my mouth.  The sandy texture gritted in my back teeth and across my tongue.  I wished I could eat some snow to clean it away, but I dutifully drank from my cup instead.

There on the far side of the park at the playground near the iced-over swimming beach, I saw someone moving.  The person was dressed in black snow pants and a red jacket.  A bright blue hat for a crown.  Dragging snow, piling it high in oddly shaped cylinders.  Grabbing spindly sticks that had fallen to the ground beneath the bare trees.  From a bag an eruption of brightly colored hats and scarves, mittens that dangled from the twiggy arms on the tubes of snow.  The person was very careful, taking time to compare combinations of colors.  I smiled at the sight, the ghosts of my missing teeth twinging with nerve pain in the cold air.

The person looked up.  Eyes sharp and full of humor.  It was my alien princess, and she waved when she saw me.  I waved back.  I turned to my mother.  See mama?  That’s the alien princess over there.  She’s building a gaggle of snow people.

A gaggle?  Isn’t that a group of geese? My mother laughed, and I was surprised because she laughed so rarely.  And where’s this alien princess?  I turned back to see Cherry, but she had disappeared behind the trees, leaving the silent snow creatures in their riot of color.  I dropped my cup of hot chocolate, my boots sinking into the snow as I tried to run the short distance between the bench and the vanguard of the gaggle.  As I neared them, their button eyes winked at me, their stubby carrot noses dripped snow.

My alien princess was no where to be seen.  After much discussion and cajoling, mama managed to get me back into the sled and we went home in silence.  I wondered if I would ever see Cherie again.

The snow finally melted, but Cherie never came to the beach to collect her snow creatures’ clothing.  I picked up my favorite set and hid them in my closet to remind me of those months.

Not too long after that, I had my seventh birthday and my teeth grew in.  They were straight and sharp.

i was made, born and raised in the usa, and call seattle, washington my home. now almost three years into a temporarily permanent residency in the land of the finns, i make english language poetry and prose by the light of the midnight sun.

(re)imagining the mundane is my reason for writing.  even the most simple can be imbued with marvel, and that is what i attempt to do from this northern latitude, nestled somewhere between the forest floor and the sky.

i revel in midwinter midday darkness lit by candles and snow, and am occasionally convinced to partake in a snow-fight or two with my three finnish-american children and husband.  i can always be convinced to eat dessert, especially if it’s mämmi.

Eye Control

eye control 1

My eyes

meeting yours

chemical reaction

cloudburst of lust

tightening low in the belly

hips shifting

without my command

mind shattering rational thought

greedy, primal need taking over

sudden inhale

innate breath forgotten

unhinged moment

where eyes control

the unchaste soul




Finding Each Other- Michael Erickson

Our minds wistfully feasting on the past.

Alone on a crowded street, we stood.

Minds downcast and eyes clouded.

But between a dozen strange and empty faces my eyes found yours.

A light sparked from your skin and ignited my own.

Aquatinted we were at an awkward stage.

But I embraced you as one starved of human connection.

And you gave yourself wholly to the fire now kindled within our hearts.

Michael is a husband, father, writer, poet, and aspiring author. He finds time to scribble down his thoughts in the dead of night, between ghosts and night owls. If you’d like to read more of his poetry follow the link here. Or to visit his full blog, ‘The Ink Owl’ click here.

Disappearing Time-Eugenia








Never twice nor thrice

In the same tributary

Tracks of Father Time



© 2018 Franci Eugenia Hoffman

I have held various positions in the insurance industry for over 20 years. I have been rewarded both professionally and personally due to results from taking responsibility and hard work. My fulfillment comes from the promotion of others.

I started writing for my own entertainment in 2015. My two blogs-BrewNSpew and ThusNSuch

  “There are no right answers to wrong questions.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

image credits- http://www.lovethispic.com/image/298796/ocean-tracks

Barista Favorite: Hope Was Not a Loss/Barbara Harris Leonhard

February 12th was the first Promote Yourself Monday at Go Dog Go Cafe.  We would like to share the Barista Favorite with all of you, written by Barbara Harris Leonhard at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver.


My body was a cage

With only eyes for doors.

My arms, contorted,

Like branches twisted in shadows.

Voices, hollow sounds,

Called from the dinner table, but

My legs, dead trunks,

Held me to a bed

With a view to other children.

How they danced,

Like pansies and violets,

Their blooms outstretched,

Gathering rays for Grace

But not for the night of storm

Clashing in my bones.


My lips held back the truth.

My cries were muffled in my throat.

Each wail, the language of stones

Falling on deaf ears.

Mother spoke the tunes of clouds.

Her words carried her young to the stars,

Not to the dead rocks lining

The bed of flowers

That could be me.


Rocks and earth held down

This young one with muted cries.

I’m still here.

In here.

Don’t forget the light inside this bud

Afflicted with blight.

How I want to burst out of

This stiff casing

To stretch my arms and fingers

Like tiny leaves unfolding in dawn.

I am stuck in mud,

Too dense for birth;

Too turbid for food.

No gardener is churning the soil

To give me air.

I am buried under new blooms

Dressed in violet and pink swaddling,

Dancing on my grave and beckoning,

 “Come and play; the day is divine.”


And so, I clawed my way

Out of the stiff core,

Muck and stone,

And peered into light

Blinding my infant eyes.

My arms and fingers unfolded

Into new green.

My tiny legs stretched into roots

Holding my core as it danced

In breezes carrying buoyant rays

Like waves hitting my face.


Is birth a choice?

Or is Spirit’s breath

Irascible in creation?

Can a flower remain a seed forever?

Or does it cast its casing aside

In a mighty battle

To forage life.

The seed knows choice;

Its soul has Will.

For some, the earth’s bed is always home.

For this one, hope was not a loss.

Copyright© 2018/02/10 Barbara Harris Leonhard @extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

This poem describes how I felt when I was paralyzed with measles encephalitis at the age of 6 going on 7. I could neither walk nor speak intelligibly. My arms and fingers were contracted. This time was very frightening. I went into a coma for a period of time. Though I awoke able to speak, I was still unable to walk, facing life in wheelchair since I was told there was no hope. I was only able to watch others play outside. Lonely, vulnerable, and scared, I made a conscious decision to walk again. I taught myself while my parents were out of town at the time. This poem describes my inner world and decision to heal.

Guest Barista Aurora Phoenix-Ebb

Trees’ barely perceptible de-greening

Ebb of verdant vibrancy

Lushness incrementally drains

Life leeches slowly from limbs

Silent yellowing testimony

Dry with season’s perpetual march

Toward exhibitionist flame-out

Grandiose flamboyant finale

Ritualistic disrobing

For season’s hibernation

Year’s end suspended animation

Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at Insights from “Inside.”

Promote Yourself Monday- February 19, 2018


Welcome to Promote Yourself Monday.  All Go Dog Go Cafe readers, guest writers and baristas are invited to post one link to one specific post (750 words or less please!) from your blog into the comments section below.  Be sure to pick your best recent post*, because we will be choosing a Weekly Barista Favorite to be published in full on the Go Dog Go Cafe with a link back to the your blog.

If you post a link, be sure to read some of the other great writing people have linked to.

*By posting below, the Baristas of the Go Dog Go Café assume permission to publish your piece on the Go Dog Go Café,  if it is chosen the Weekly Barista Favorite.  All authors will be properly cited and we will publish a link back to your blog.

After Hours: My Attic Room- Christine Ray

You and me in my attic bedroom in Somerville.  Green and tan striped wallpaper inexpertly hung on deeply slanted walls.  Futon on the floor, the smell of warm cedar, window fan lazily stirring the air.  Dust particles floating suspended in golden light that falls across the hardwood floor in a diagonal.  Your eyes the bluest I have ever seen.  Your skin so pale it is almost translucent. Your short hair black and curly, surprisingly silky to my touch.  Your mint fresh breath against my mouth as if you could breathe for both of us.  We try to stay away from each other but we are the drug the other is always craving, we are the hum in each other’s blood. You don’t tell me how you explain your absence from home and I don’t ask—you are the only thing that makes me feel alive.  Your soft breasts visible under ribbed white men’s undershirt that sticks to your skin with summer sweat. You  twist your fingers in the belt loops of my shorts, pulling my hips closer to yours.  Our mouths always hungry, our bodies straining to meld into each other through layers of thin cotton. We are liquid fire in each other’s arms.  The feel of my hands tangled in your hair, the hitch in your breath when I trace your throat with my lips.  We tell ourselves that it is just kissing, that as long as our shirts and shorts are on this is not an affair.  We rationalize this wildfire passion to ourselves, to each other, even when we arch our bodies into each other, even when you give me your gentle and your fierce, even when you call in the middle of the night to say that you can not stop thinking about me, that you can’t live without my apricot kiss.


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved