This week the spotlight is on Shahida Seedat, whose piece ‘Stranger in the mirror’ is published in issue 8 of Lucent Dreaming.
So, what inspired your piece ‘Stranger in the mirror’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?
‘Stranger in the mirror’ is about the heart-breaking illness that affects millions of people and their loved ones. My brother sadly passed away last year who suffered from mild dementia diagnosed at a very early age. I saw an advert on television concerning Dementia and envisaged how sad and cruel it is that only certain precious memories are remembered. I decided to write about one memory from the persons perspective and empathised what it would be like to be in that person’s mind and heart.
What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
My favourite books are children’s books. I find them humorous, emotional and inspirational especially books written by Roald Dahl and David Walliams. I see how effective they are on a child’s learning and imagination. Gangsta Granny is another favourite of mine, we watched it live at The Manchester opera house. Charlie and the chocolate factory is my all-time favourite, the list is endless. I also love crime and mystery books such as Agatha Christie and Steven Spielberg. My go to shows are CSI Criminal minds and Columbo. In terms of music, I love soul, reggae and classical music. I have no preference when it comes to artists but I do like Lowry and Banksy.
Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?
When I was a child at school and throughout my adult life, it has always been my passion to write poems and express my feelings. I found it easier to write my feelings on paper as oppose to expressing them verbally. I thought of poems about anything that inspired me, especially true stories, circumstances and events and how I would feel if I was in their position. My friends and teachers always admired the way I wrote poems and how I expressed myself. The day I saw the advert my heart became overwhelmed especially being able to relate to my own experiences. My children who are grown up now motivated me to submit the poem. Their words were ”You always encouraged us to do our best and inspired us” So the rest is history. I always tell the children who sometimes struggle to express their feelings at school that writing is the most beautiful way to express how you feel. There is no time limit and you always need to remember the pencil you pick up is your voice from your heart and the paper is somebody who is always ready to listen. When you have done that, you release multiple bags of happiness and feel lighter.
I would like to take this opportunity into expressing my humblest gratitude to you and the whole team in publishing my work as you have motivated me into writing again. You are never too old to be proud of your achievements.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine of surreal writing and art, and publisher of emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.