Part 1-The Questions
A while back, in one of my earlier posts, I had the pleasure of announcing that a wonderful, and very generous lady with a kind heart, and a soul of gold, over at a fine Blog known near and far as “A Momma’s View“, had chosen moi to participate in an event known as “A Tour Through Blogland”, or “The Virtual Blog Tour Award”, an honor which I was very pleased to accept, and add my participation to. The curious among you may visit, “A Welcome To Winter“, to discover which fellow bloggers I have chosen in turn to bestow this honor upon, and the various obligations to which myself and any others who accept this privilege must now attend to. Which, gets us to the purpose of this particular posting.
Having basked (I love that word, and very seldom get to use it, almost never in relation to myself) in the limelight for sufficient amounts of time that my hard-earned modesty is definitely now being strained, I have decided it is time to get on with the business at hand, which as you most certainly know by now, is the answering of 4 questions designed to let you, my lovely, and oh so dedicated reader friends (and dare I say, foes), know a little bit more about how my creative processes work, and just what it is that inspires me to do, “the things that I do”. So, as soon as I stop chuckling here (sorry, it’s this concept of anyone actually wanting to know how my brain works), I believe we can begin.
- What am I working on at the moment?
Well, first of all, the main thing I’m working on is not really for Blog consumption at this time. That’s because it’s a novel, and due to concern’s about just what rights are lost when something is published on the Internet, I keep the material that I intend to offer to a publishing company, strictly private until if and when it’s ever published. At that time, depending on the advice of those people who understand these things far better than I, I would be interested in publishing parts of the finished work either in serial form, or as reviews and such. My lack of knowledge in these areas is exactly why I’m not interested in self-publishing, and I’ve had the right kind of encouragement from established publishing houses to make that route a real possibility for me, so for now, that’s the way I’m thinking. As far as my Blog goes (and that is the second most enjoyable form of writing for me these days) I’m working on a couple of longreads, one that has to do with the Assyrian Christians whose entire culture and language is on the verge of going extinct. It was already almost gone before ISIS began targeting them, and now they’re just barely hanging on. If we lose the few who are left, we also lose their culture, and their language (the language Jesus very likely spoke). And then, of course, there’s my poetry, which would never have seen the light of day if it weren’t for the encouragement I received from some wonderful people like those at : A Holistic Journey, or Nutsrok, or Big Red Carpet Nursing, or countless others that I just don’t have the room to list here. They all have my deepest thanks, and basically, that’s what I’m up to right now.
- How does my work differ from others in my genre?
If my work differs from my fellow Bloggers in any way that I can see on a basis that is at all consistent, I would have to point possibly to the length of the individual pieces. I see in most of the photography Blogs that I follow, the photographers publish one or two photos in a post, and sometimes five or six. I, on the other hand, very often display galleries that have thirty or forty pictures, and I’ve had a couple with over fifty. I suspect that is because the photographers I follow are professionals, or at least of professional quality, using professional quality equipment. My good equipment was stolen a few years ago, and I can’t afford to replace it since I’m on a fixed income these days. I use a decent enough point and shoot Kodak that gets the job done, and since I’m not looking to sell my pictures, I can display even those that may be of slightly sub-standard quality. Out of regards for the wonderful people who actually give up time out of their lives to view the pictures I take, I do try to avoid publishing bad photos, but in the end, many that I do choose to publish, show the lack of professional equipment, and/or the lack of professional talent. My prose postings are pretty much the same in regards to length, with a preponderance of “longreads” in comparison to shorter pieces, and even in my poetry offerings, I’ll often add some prose just to lengthen the post, rather than publish a simple poem of a few words as so many others so often do, to such wonderful effect. Strange, but it really does seem to work much better for many of them than it does for me. I don’t claim to understand it, but I do see it. And as a final example, when I was asked to join in this event, it was suggested to me that the one-time article that I was obligated to write for the event, could be included in the same piece in which I answered these questions, but after taking a good hard look at things, I realized I was going to have a longread article on my hands, or something close to it, by the time that I finished answering the questions. Thus, since the article is to be published on a specific day, December 29, 2014, I decided to write the answers to these questions as Part 1 to that article, and publish Part 1 today, with the article itself, Part 2, following on the assigned day, the 29th.
- Why do I write/create what I do?
I guess this question is both the easiest question to answer so far, and the most difficult to answer all at the same time. The reason for that is that I create all these things I create, and write these poems and this prose as a substitute for the social life that I simply don’t have, and that’s easy enough to say, so the question as such is easy to answer. But of course it immediately begs the follow-up question, without which having an answer to, the first answer is not really complete, and that is, “Why don’t I have a “regular” social life?”. I don’t have a regular social life, by which I mean having friends (I actually have two people I see somewhat regularly), or going out to bars, or shows, or galleries, or anywhere really, other than the continual walking I do throughout the city, and on occasion, the conversations I may have with merchants, or artists or such, that I may wish to write an article about, or which may in some other way be involved as research in something else I find myself working on. It should be noted that these interviews, or discussions require a lot of preparation on my part, and don’t always work out very well. I’m not going to bore you here with all the details as to why this is, other than to say it began when I was as young as 6 or 7, the fact that I was suffering from it was only recognized when I was in my 40’s, but the symptoms were severe enough at that time that I would not accept treatment , and now at the age of 57, I am finally being treated for, and making some progress with it. Basically, whenever I’m around people, I’m in a permanent state of “fight or flight”, and this doesn’t work too well for forming intimate relationships. Using the Internet as a “buffer zone”, and poetry, prose, and art as my vocabulary, I am trying to express some of the things that I have never really been able to express in my life, since I usually chose flight over fight, with alcohol, drugs, spirituality, and literature as my means of escape. Now straight, I’ve retained the literature and the spirituality, and added the poetry and prose, with a sprinkling of art to replace the drugs and the alcohol that I’ve said good-bye to. So far it’s been working out, with a big thank-you to a med team that has more patience than Job, and to a God who must have meant it when He said He would never leave me or forsake me. And that’s why I do what I do.
- How does my writing/creative process work?
Now this question is perhaps the trickiest of the bunch, simply because I’m not all that sure myself exactly how this process works. I can outline a few mechanical steps that I go through on almost each and every occasion previous to publishing a post, but I suspect that’s not what’s being asked here. But let me try anyway. The very first thing that for myself precedes any post, is a lot of walking. It’s no exaggeration when I say that during periods of warmer weather, it’s not at all unusual for me to walk in the area of 10 to 12 miles a day. If the weather’s not cooperating, I can still get in 4 or 5, and on days of really inclement weather, where I simply can’t get out, well that’s my definition of living hell, and there is no way at all that any writing is getting done on a day like that.
Now, when I’m walking, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have friends, because on the rare occasions where I’ve had to walk in the company of another person, all I ever hear is, “Would you slow down! Quit running!” I even had a Sheriff’s deputy say to me once in my younger years, “I’ve never seen anybody so anxious to get to jail!” So not only do I walk long, and fast, but as far as consciousness goes, when I’m walking, I’m somewhere else completely. I guess the 13 years I spent walking on a crowded carnival midway taught me how to avoid any obstacles without having to pay any real attention to them, and what this allows me to do, is to explore in my mind all the different things that I find so interesting at different times. These days, because that’s what the med team has me working on, I’ve been focusing a lot on my life, and the various aspects of it that have brought me to this particular place where I am at this specific moment. At other times, it’s my spiritual walk that I focus on, or one or more of the amazing scientific subjects that I have been reading about, or watching documentaries on. Whatever it may be at any given time, all of a sudden, one particular thing will stand out and grab my interest a little more than all the others, and that’s when I’ve got to head home, and start writing. As I’m heading home, I will be fleshing out this one idea, making mental notes of where I might find more source material on it, or if there are some pictures I might snap on my way, or that I might have in one of my galleries, and all these other things concerning the one idea. So that idea becomes my next post.
I don’t know if that really answers that question, but hopefully it at least gives you some idea of how I come up with my ideas. Personally, I think there are as many methods as there are bloggers, and I think every one of them is just as correct as all the rest. I hope I managed to make this piece interesting enough that I didn’t just bore everybody to tears, and hopefully, after all this, when you read this article tomorrow, it will be worth it to at least one or two readers (me and my Mom. Lol). Alright, and hopefully, one or two others. until then, take care and God Bless.