I received an invitation from a fellow writer to join a ‘blog hop’
The concept is very simple. Have a blogger answer some questions, post it to my site, readers of my blog hopefully will be intrigued then seek out their posts. I become a link in a chain of referrals.
The specific link in the chain the precedes this post is from a wildly original voice:
The chain will continue soon with (3) links to other blogs.
1) What am I working on/writing?
Landers Gate is a 65,000-word urban fantasy novel that is about to go through its fourth and most important revision. It represents the furthest revision I have made in my canon of unfinished works.It’s not what you did last summer, it’s what you did in a previous life.
The novel follows the uniquely gifted Lander Gate as he unravels his recent past with the help of others seeking answers from their long distant past.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I’m reading a novel, written in, and about Paris in the late 1800’s. By today’s standards, the level of detail in the description is ridiculous. It isn’t steeped in metaphor or a chain of clever allegories. The blocks of dense text fill the mind’s eye with everything you would see and feel.
What makes it a fascinating read is the need to slow down, meet the authors mind and be in that space. I can imagine him, sitting pencil in hand, with a broad sheet of rough artisan paper, scribbling, and the side of his hand black with smudges of charcoal. Without saying it, it’s important to him that we can see, hear, smell, and touch the space where his story unfolds.
As a photographer and a writer, this leads me off on a tangent. In the late 1800’s photography, while invented in Paris, would still be a novelty.
Was the reader more patient? Not programmed as we are today and over-stimulated by photographs and television.
As both a professional photographer and a writer, I explore and want to celebrate the visual world. I often indulge myself during first drafts with pages of detailed description. Most of the words end up as scattered electrons in the computers trash bin. But often, one line or phrase will stand out, survive, and legitimize the exercise. This is how I hope my writing differs from others in the genre, a rich visual landscape of the physical world with a connection to the personal experience of the stories setting.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Perhaps I have never been satisfied with the world as I experience it – I have an insatiable curiosity to ask “what if?”
I am also fascinated by our mortality, death, and the promise of what comes next. It’s not a self-destructive, morbid, or a dark inquiry. It’s accepting, whimsical, and asks readers to suspend their beliefs and consider the impossible.
4) How does my writing process work?
My writing is grounded in writing practice, in the style taught by Natalie Goldberg. I have studied with Natalie for over 12 years, assisted her at workshops, and photographed her for her web site and books.
I know it’s cliché but I like to write in busy café’s. I find inspiration and motivation in the people around me. They are there to witness me at work. I know that in reality they pay little attention to me, but if I’ve shown up, pulled out my notebook and computer. I am going to de-bunk the cliché by actually writing and not just talking about it, or pretending in the role.
My routine is built on a series of thresholds that begins with a 10-minute journal entry to clear the mind of the mundane. Next a 10 minute Natalie Goldberg style writing practice, free form on a random topic, keep the pen moving, permission to write the worst shit. This is the mantra of my writing, stretching, flexing, releasing… dropping into my own mind.
Then I write.
Part 2 (coming soon) – links to other blogs