Alycia Hodge: The Aphrodite of Marionette's

Dear Marionette, pull the strings of your memory!  Tell us about yourself and how many Tomes your quill has masterfully inked.

"Hello! My name is Alycia. Some call me Aly. I am an artist, a writer, an editor, and an agent to 2 other fantastic writers: Michael Falls and Spencer Warner. I help out as much as I am able at I Ain’t Your Marionette Press with editing and illustration. I am the owner of AlyWishesRed and a co-owner of 3 Amigos Ink & Splatter. I am an apprentice Shaman on a spiritual journey. I believe that expressing ourselves through art of all forms helps us to heal and connect with others and that learning to express our emotions through art is an important step in making the world a better and more accepting place. I love animals and nature. I love to explore the woods and mountains around where I live as often as I am able. I’ve always been a lover of the ocean and enjoy being near it and all other bodies of water. I tend to be an introvert most of the time, but on the rare occasions that I do emerge from my “cave”, I greatly enjoy spending the time that I do visiting with family and friends. I live in the beautiful state of Oregon in the U.S.A. with my fiancé and daughter, who are both amazing and talented people. We also have 4 feisty kitties who are a part of our family, keep us busy and fill our lives with immense joy. My first and only book so far is a book of poetry that documents my somewhat messy journey about a lack of self-love in relationships called “I May Be A Romantic, But I’m Not Hopeless”, published of course by I Ain’t Your Marionette Press. In 2022 I found out that I have ADHD and have been going through the sometimes difficult process of trying to re-adjust the way I live my life in healthier ways with this new self knowledge in mind." 

Pluck your strings like a harpist in trance and reveal unto us the title of your latest opus—the very quill-scribed creation that skirts the precipice of imagination and madness!  And whence came the  electrician that wired your literary bulb? What whispers of chaos birthed such prose?

"As I mentioned previously, my one and only current published creation that I fully wrote and illustrated is “I May Be A Romantic, But I’m Not Hopeless”. This little baby was conceived of about 4 years ago. I was getting back into writing after years of writers block and trauma surrounding some of my relationships. I would like to add that Marie Moldovan of I Ain’t Your Marionette was a big part of helping me start that process. They are really amazing for their ability to inspire and encourage others to fully express what is hidden in the shadows into new and beautiful creation. When the discussion came about possibly publishing a poetry book, I had the most material surrounding these failed relationships and decided to start with this theme. It was a very therapeutic process, but not always in the calm sense. Sometimes it was messy. Sometimes it was spilling years of pent up rage onto the page and deciding not to edit it much from its raw form, because those raw emotions deserved a true voice and outlet, and others might better be able to relate and know they aren’t alone in their very real situations if they read something not too sugarcoated. The book ultimately goes through my ups and downs of love, highlighting not only the pain I felt, but the times where I was also the problem, or at least a solid 50% of it. I try to leave the reader with the ultimate message that our love and validation for ourselves should be cultivated within and that having that true self love and acceptance will make all of our relationships, romantic or otherwise, better for it. "

Do your wooden sinews harbor peculiar rituals, as your quill--inked in inspiration--dances upon the parchment of your future masterpiece?

I very much prefer to be alone with little to no chance for interruption when I create anything. My mind needs the chance to go into its hyper-focused mode for as long as possible. I usually will make sure I have eaten something before, or else I will forget for hours once the hyper focus kicks in. I have some coffee and maybe listen to music, really get myself to a calm state before I begin (unless writing for therapy/needing to vent or work through emotions). I also seem to have the most motivation and creative energy at night. During the day I may have small bursts of inspiration or ideas that I will jot down, but they are usually never expanded upon or fully created until night falls. Frequent coffee refills seem to be a continual part of the creative process, even into the night.  

 String freshly snipped, hinges screeching and wood creaking I ponder:  What ink-stained tales' puppeteer the strings of your imagination?  Whose words influence your quill?  Speak, fellow marionette of mind-molding tales--what authors inspire you?

It would be impossible to mention all of those here, but I will try to narrow it way down to a few key people. 

I have a strong love of the fantasy genre and J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, and Robert Jordan are 3 authors in this genre whose works have greatly inspired me. 

As far as poetry goes, I have always been fascinated by Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath had a big impact, and I enjoyed Shel Silverstein as a child. 

Marie Moldovan has been an inspiration in a number of ways to me and many others and will always be on this list as well. 

 What are you currently spinning with your golden thread?

"I will be putting out a children’s book next, but I sadly don’t have a lot of information to give you on that just yet. My golden thread is currently on hold as I wrap up a couple of projects for my clients and get some personal things in order at home." 

Do you have any advice for future Marionette's wishing to put quill to parchment?

Don’t worry about what anyone thinks, even you! We can sometimes be our own worst critics, but you never know what someone else may like or be able to relate to. If you really want to write something or feel you have a message to share or whatever the reason, write it! Put that quill to the parchment! 

Embrace your tangled threads and spill the milk on the best advice you have ever heard.

I’ve had so much excellent advice on my journey and this may sound typical,  but I think the best is probably a phrase I’ve heard from many, and that is to never give up. There are so many times I have felt defeated, like I am failing, too tired or for whatever reason have thought of just giving up. I am thankful I haven’t given in to those thoughts fully. Never give up. Always keep going.

Now,  dear masterless marionette, what does the future hold for your quill?

As far as my personal projects go, I will be writing a children’s book, putting together my second book of poetry about spiritual awakening, and working on a future fantasy/adventure genre book series, along with many art projects. I am also currently working on a children’s book for Spencer Warner called “Lecaro’s Kitty” and Michael Falls’ much anticipated second book of poetry, “Walking Through the Ruins”, both of which I have the honor of illustrating and laying out.  

Dear Aprodite of Marionette's, where can readers find you and your work?

You can currently find me on Facebook on my main profile, Alycia Hodge, and my business page Aly Wishes Red. My website is currently under construction and will be listed as soon as possible. My book can be found on amazon. 

"Fuel Alycia's Creativity One Cup of Coffee at a Time."