Daniel Edward Moore–Interview

Describe your creative space.

I have an office/library space in my home where I do most of my work, along with a place in the living room where after my morning meditation I work on poetry business, social networking, website, revisions and other tasks.

What kind of materials do you use?

I use my laptop mainly, but if I’m at a café or at work and get struck by something, I will certainly grab a pen and paper to keep the ideas fresh and hostage so to speak.

What is your routine for writing?

Early morning after my 4:00 am twenty minute meditation sit, I work on drafts in progress, do multiple submissions, answer emails from editors, read new books of poets I love, and mainly dig in for three hours before my work at the office begins.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for 25 years.

When did you start writing?

I began writing poetry in 1993.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience?

I don’t really have a specific audience in mind, unless it is folks who are drawn to work that deals with the politics of intimacy, sexuality, the body, religious and sexual trauma or all of the above.

Who do you write for?

Myself and the world.

What inspires you to write?

My own interior life/mediation experience/other poetry/ and everything I open my mind and heart to in the hope I can always translate that experience back to the world in a fresh and different poetic form

If you are blocked, what do you do?

I have no experience of that. I have Asperger’s syndrome, and a radically obsessive mind that I calmly and fiercely turn to poetry. It’s the same as breathing.

What other things do you do besides writing?

I work out, play guitar and enjoy being a Grandfather and husband.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

The pure joy of being powerless over what I call having, “the affliction.”

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Read poetry. Listen to poetry. Find a community of poets and humble yourself to be mentored and loved through the trials and tribulations of poetry’s flames.

Check out Daniel’s work in Volume 5, Issue 1.

Henry Hitz–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I have a study, or a man-cave, in my house where I do almost all of my writing, though I also have a piece of land in the Santa Cruz mountains where I go for inspiration.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I’ve been writing using a computer (first WordStar, then WordPerfect, now MSWord) since I bought an Osborne back in 1981.

What is your routine for writing?

I don’t have a rigid routine. Generally I write on weekends, stoke up on caffeine Saturday morning and write away. I make sure I have a piece to read at my weekly writer’s group.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I wrote my first story when I was 8 years old. It was called “Fate and Pearl Harbor.” I’ve written off and on ever since, but seriously since high school.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

It varies from piece to piece. My first novel, White Knight, was written for the progressive community of San Francisco. My second novel, Supremacy, was written for both people into politics and into the kink community. The novel I am currently finishing, Squirrels in the Wall, was written for people who care about the planet and humans’ relationship with nature, as well as people interested in the nature of death.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Reading inspires me. The Castle, Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple are three voices that have influenced my writing. I am primarily motivated by an obsessive need to understand the f-ing universe and explain that understanding to my fellow humans.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I’m an activist and political organizer when I’m not writing. I read. I watch the great stuff on TV (Handmaid’s Tale, Chi, Peaky Blinders). I obsess about kinky sex, lol.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

The process itself when it is flowing. Allowing my all too vivid imagination to run away with me.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

There’s no such thing as talent. Talent is a myth designed by our oppressive society to exclude the vast majority of voices from our cultural conversation. Everyone has a story to tell that is profound and profoundly different from anyone else’s, and if you just keep trying to tell it, sooner or later it will be told just the way you want it to be, regardless of whether anyone reads it or not. Finding your voice is the same thing as finding yourself. Expressing ourselves is what we are here for in order to connect with others. It’s all about connection. Reality inheres in the connection between us.  Also, join a writer’s group.

 

Check out Henry’s work in Volume 4, Issue 2, and his story “Turtle Bay,” was nominated for the Pushcart.

 

David Spicer–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I work in a spare bedroom surrounded by books and CDs. Much of the time my cat is with me.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I use the computer for most of my poems, but I often write in longhand.

What is your routine for writing?

I don’t have a set routine or ritual for writing. I write when the mood strikes me, which is often.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

50 years. I started in high school.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

No ideal audience. I don’t write for academics but for myself and for people who care to read what I write.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Anything that catches my fancy.  I’m rarely blocked. Sometimes I won’t write for a week or so, but usually I’m back in the chair before long.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I watch movies, listen to music, email other writers, read. I try to walk a lot, too.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

Listening to that inner voice that says a poem is coming and then writing the first few lines. And then the revision part is as exciting, too. So I guess I like all parts.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Find a couple of trusted readers who believe in tough love and who push you in a kind way. Avoid abrasive critics.

 

Check out David’s work in Volume 4, Issue 2.

 

Daniel Edward Moore

Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His poems have been found at Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, Columbia Journal and others. His poems will soon be found at Hawaii Review, Blue Fifth Review, Plainsongs, The Museum Of Americana, West Trade Review, Frontier Poetry Journal, Flexible Persona Literary Journal, AJI Magazine, and Duende Literary Journal. His book Confessions of a Pentecostal Buddhist, can be found on Amazon. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Visit Daniel at danieledwardmoore.com.

Narcoleptic Stallion, Glory Unremarkable, and Government Shutdown, Volume 5, Issue 1

Ruben E. Smith

Ruben E. Smith is a current English major student at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He likes to write short fiction, nonfiction, and the occasional poem, while also finding time to argue about Faulkner, speak French, and read Fitzgerald. Some of his work has been published in Argus Art & Literary Magazine.

The Women on the Falling Elevator, Going Up, Volume 5, Issue 1
Interview

Holly Day–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I work at home mostly—I have a very tiny cramped office I write in during the winter (because it has a heater in it) and I recently turned my son’s former bedroom into another office, which has a window looking out into the back yard that’s turning out to be more distracting than I’d hoped.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I sometimes write by hand, but I mostly just write on my computer.

What is your routine for writing?

Wake up, do an hour or so of market research and submitting material, get my daughter ready for school, then write for the next 4-5 hours (until my daughter comes home from school).

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Unofficially, I’ve been writing poetry and fiction since I was 4. Officially, I’ve been writing for publication since I was 15 (going on 32 years now).

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

Initially, I always write for myself, and then the question of audience comes later.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I’ve been writing for so long now that just the act of sitting at my desk inspires me to write. I worked as a journalist and a technical writer for a long time, so I didn’t have the luxury of being blocked—I always had intense deadlines to meet, so every moment I wasn’t writing was a moment dragging me closer to poverty. I maintain those same sort of deadlines for myself with fiction and poetry now, so I don’t really think about writer’s block.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I do a lot of handicrafts, like needlepoint and beadwork. When it’s nice out, I love to play in my garden. My husband and I write hiking and history books together, and a lot of our research involves big, long, wonderful walks through parks and the city, which I also love.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I love all of it. I love stumbling into a story or poem and feeling it grow into something separate from me. I love the moment after finishing something when I wonder, “How did this come about?” I love watching pages and pages fill up while I’m working on a book or a longer piece. It’s all wonderful.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Be persistent. Approach writing with joy.

 

Check out Holly’s work in Volume 3, Issue 1, and Volume 4, Issue 2. Two of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart, “Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head” in Volume 3, Issue 1, and “The Patch of Tulips I Never Planted” in Volume 4, Issue 2.

 

Lonnie James–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

My favorite creative space is in my home at night after most of the world has long been in bed. I find that I’m most creative at night, so in my living room in between 1am and 4am seems to be the time and space when I feel most comfortable. Honestly, I think it’s the isolation. However, I have done a great deal of work in a studio setting within my college experience with 20 other people in a room where I just sort of have to phase everything and everyone out. I may be there in body but my mind has long gone.

What kind of materials do you use? What mediums do you work in?

My favorite materials to use are Pilot G-2 Pens and India Ink. I’ve also really started to enjoy the use of charcoal. So, I’m sort of all over the place because I think I’m still finding myself as an artist—but what is definitively clear is that dark colors, and lots of use of ink is a very distinctive characteristic that seems to be at the center of my style and/or chosen aesthetic.

What is your routine for art? Do you always sketch first?

My routine for art is to use it as a catalyst for expression when I’m unable to communicate my feelings orally…which seems to be often. I hold a lot of things in, and I suffer from various mental illnesses such as PTSD and Depression. When I’m having bad days, my art becomes my lifeline. It gives me a constructive way of dealing with the feelings and thoughts I’m experiencing.

How long have you been making art? When did you start making art?

I started when I was young and gave it up because of a lack of value in what I was doing. I didn’t think I was any good or that people would care about what I was doing, so I stopped. My professor at BGSU, named Theresa Williams, reminded me what being a real artist was about. It’s not about recognition, or money, it’s about self-expression, self-exploration, and honesty. So I started again recently in college because I started to realize that there is a whole world of people who are open minded enough to appreciate things that I can create.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you make art for?

My intended audience has really only been me up to this point. I never really thought that anyone else would care to see it much. I’ve gotten to a point in my journey as an artist that I feel it’s important to create my art for myself, and if others appreciate it, great, but my intentions for art are really just get my feelings out there in the only way I know how. It just took on this medium with the guidance of people much wiser than myself who showed me that I could do this to heal myself.

What inspires you to create? If you are blocked, what do you do?

My feelings are my biggest source of inspiration. Especially my sadness, and depression. I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be who I am artistically without my sadness and depression. It’s sort of tragic to say in a way, but I’m thankful in some ways for having a hard life because I’ve survived, and now I have so much fuel to create things. It’s a double edged sword though, because it’s not easy struggling. If I’m feeling blocked I listen to music and watch films. They inspire me and make me feel things that make me want to create something.

What other things do you do besides art? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I’m a filmmaker, and a musician. I was in a Thrash Metal band for years, and then after that went south, I decided to go back to school for film. Now I have a real passion for creating films, and writing, as well as music. I’m also a big fan of video games. I don’t have as much time to play these days but I love to sit down and play a good Role Playing Game from time to time.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I think when I finish. (haha) Honestly the feeling I get when I’m done is such a relief and a sense of accomplishment that it has to be my favorite part. Other than finishing, my favorite is the moment your idea starts to really take shape. When you’re drawing and maybe at first you’re not really sure what you’re drawing, you’re just letting your hand free flow over the paper and then suddenly in the assortment and array of lines and shapes that you’ve created, you identify something coherent, and something that you didn’t think was possible. I love that “breaking ground on a new frontier” sort of feeling when I feel like I’m trekking into uncharted territory artistically. Every so often that happens, and I’m shocked at what I’ve accomplished.

What is your advice to aspiring artists?

I almost don’t feel qualified to give people advice. However, if I gave any advice at all, I’d say think outside of the box. Don’t always aspire to look exactly the way other people might do their work. I would also say don’t be afraid to really express yourself. Art isn’t always politically correct, and it’s not always about playing it safe. It’s ok not to stay within the lines, and it’s ok for something not to be perfect. Don’t allow the idea or aspiration of perfection lock you up like it has done to me. Just do something, anything. Put pen to paper. I highly suggest checking out Lynda Barry’s Syllabus because she comes up with some ways for anyone to make something even if you’re locked up and have creator’s block.

 

Check out Lonnie’s work in Volume 4, Issue 2.