Who is 'An Abundance of Ashes'?
My Name is Jasmine Erice-Harling. I am an aspiring Author and Poet, and the owner of the 'An Abundance of Ashes' Writing Blog. Also, I have coined "An Abundance of Ashes" as my poetry pen name in order to create a brand for myself and separate my poetry from my prose.
I have loved Literature and Writing for as long as I could remember. As soon as I could read, I would go through a book a day, forever expanding my collection until I could barely fit my books onto my bookshelf. Similarly, as soon as I could pick up a pen, I would spend hours writing poems and stories, filling the pages with imaginary worlds that allowed me to escape reality, even for just a second. Most importantly, writing allowed me to express myself in ways I always struggled with before and come out of my shell, onto the page.
I entered my first poetry competition at age 9 through a writing programme at school, and was lucky enough to win and get my poem published in the 'Young Writers Anthology' 2009 Edition. Throughout my childhood, various of my other poems and short stories have been published in other versions of the 'Young Writers Anthologies, as well as Poetry Forums.
After completing my GCSEs, I went onto study English Language, English Literature and Psychology at A-Level, in which I received A*, A, A Grades. These subjects were perfect; I enjoyed studying language and how to develop meanings through mood, themes, motifs, setting, grammar, syntax and other writing techniques, as this helped me with my own writing. Furthermore, reading a range of classic Novels and Poems by highly celebrated Authors who write brilliantly and create fantastic stories and explore interesting themes inspired me to Chase My Dreams. Psychology was also useful because it allowed me to understand more the intricacies of the Human Mind, Behaviour and Mental Health.
I am currently working as an Incident Report Quality Assurance Administrator but continue to write in my spare time. At the moment, I am working on a psychological-thriller novel, 'Gemini'. Additionally, I have other projects planned which will be displayed on this website.
Why did I choose the name 'An Abundance of Ashes'?
One day I was playing around with my writing, jotting down ideas for stories and themes for poems (which is highly typical for me) and I came up with this quote:
“And she scattered her heart, and every passion that burned within, with an abundance of ashes like that from a great fire”.
It embodied exactly how I envisioned my passion and writing in physical form; flowing out of me like fire and the ashes, the poems, prose and worlds I created through my words. It was perfect. It was part of me. This is how I wanted to establish my brand.
Thus, An Abundance of Ashes was born.
What themes do I explore in my work?
My poetry mainly focuses on the exploration of the self and society through means of Identity, Mental Health, Emotional Expression and the Natural World. These themes, while stand outs on their own, can be interwoven and used to support each other, even acting as justifications for the other. Most of my poems are relatable and written in a style that evokes the readers own experiences and emotions with the themes I explore. However, some of my poems are intimate to my own experiences with Mental Health, Identity and my place in Society, and act as 'Journal Entries' for my journey and self-discovery. In a way, I can free the demons from my head and trap them within the ink of my writing.
I use imagination and observation to sew these two concepts together until the fabric of my work is woven into a complete piece. It is up to my readers how they wear or use the fabric; interpretation is key for many artists. Music has also acted as a huge inspiration for me. I select a song or playlist based on the mood I am in and allow the emotions I am feeling through the lyrics and melody to flow into my writing. Music opens up a door to my creativity and I have pushed this to making 'unique' playlists; each one embodying the themes and emotions of a Novel I am writing - the title of the book the name of the playlist.
These are free to check out on my Spotify - give me a follow and you can listen to the playlists that inspire my writing.
Although this blog largely focuses my poetry, I post short stories and collaborations I have done with other creatives.