The Writerly Blog Tour has come my way thanks to Liz Worth. She is not only a writer I greatly admire but a friend who has helped me from coming unraveled in some of the worst times.
What I’m working on.
I’m working on a new paranormal book that was actually a short story I wrote about ten years ago. It was never sent away to a contest or submitted to a publisher. I was three chapters into a different book I was writing and had to put it aside. The time just wasn’t right to finish it. If your heart isn’t into a project don’t do it. Put it aside until it is, burn it, or throw it away.
I also just finished a knife I started making years ago. I’d heated an old metal file in a fire and hammered it out into a blade. It’s funny how some projects need to be set aside until the time is right to do them. You may wonder why blacksmithing is relevant to my writing. The backstory in the paranormal book I’m working on reverts back to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. As a writer you should be able to pull the reader into a world where they hear the blacksmith’s hammer zing each time it strikes the anvil. They should be able to see the glowing crimson-colored steel take shape from the blacksmith pounding it. Watch the molten metal twist and bend like clay in the fingertips of an artist. Writing from what you know or have done firsthand makes your writing rich and original. A time existed before everybody knew everything about anything by clicking “search” on their computers. When writers wrote from their experiences or their imagination. I still prefer to write this way.
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I’m not sure I fit into a specific genre. I’ve had Sci-fi, Fiction, Poetry, Southern Gothic, and Horror accepted and published by different publishers over the years. I do believe folks that have read my work before would pick up on certain themes I tend to move around in. A sometimes dark truth that makes the reader uncomfortable to a point, but a truth that they can’t easily turn away from. That’s probably the best way to describe what I write.
How does my writing process work?
Lots of coffee to begin with. I prefer to write from about 4 am to 6 am. Not much is going on at this time. The phone’s not ringing, no one is knocking on my door, and for me it’s the perfect time to think. The rest of the day I carry a small notebook and jot ideas down as they pop into my head. If I don’t have my notebook close by, I use the original Palm Pilot, my hand. Some days I come home looking like I was attacked a Henna Tattooer turned poet.
Why do I write what I do?
In the beginning I was inspired heavily by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, The Beats, and others I found in the world of books. There was no internet in 1989. There were typewriters and whiteout. I was inspired by these writers and wanted to write about the place somewhere between my daydreams and the world I walked around in each day.
All of the writers I looked up to when I started out are gone now. I think the question I find myself asking these days is, “What makes me keep going?” Truthfully it’s hard to keep going. My sister Laura has always said to me, you have to first write for the love of writing. Her words have become an absolute truth as the years have passed by.
I think I get most of my inspiration from what I see others doing these days. The things Liz Worth, Lisa de Nikolits, Kateri Lanthier, Jacqueline Valencia, Robin Richardson, and many more are doing in the Toronto Scene are truly inspiring. There’s something very special going on in Toronto in the world of writing, poetry, and art. I see it daily in the words, photos, and drawings pouring out of that city. My bet is, it will one day go down in the history books as the place where it all went down. If you’re a writer or poet and don’t have your eye on Toronto, you should do so.
I also like what Brandon Graham is putting down in Chicago. He’s kept me motivated over the last few years. His writing is strong and truthful.
Elizabeth Woodham in the UK is another I’m inspired by. She has real beauty in her work and is able to stir every emotion buried deep within the reader’s mind. I also dig Narcisse Navarre. She’s so full of life and is a real joy to run across on the web.
All of these folks have kept me going along with the hope that one day my work will find a large enough audience that it will live on long after I’m gone. Like footprints for others in the future to stumble across and get a glimpse into the world I was a part of. But who can ever be sure of what the future holds? We never know when we’ll be dealt, Aces and Eights, roll Snake eyes, or walk off into the wild like Everett Ruess and disappear into the pages of time. As writers we can only be certain of what we have just written down.