My Writing Free on Goodreads!

There are some short stories and poems that (A) I don’t plan on submitting to contests, (B)¬†have already won a contest, or (C) have already been published and the rights remained with me. I’ve been trying to think of a way to share them with you easily in one place and not need you¬†to sign up for anything new. Finally¬†I’ve discovered that Goodreads lets me post my writing – anything I want!¬†I’ve already posted my poem “Words Can Form”, winner of the¬†Steven Barza Collegiate Prize from¬†the Poetry Society of Virginia in 2007. I also posted a short story called “Wisdom’s Creation” that I hope you’ll enjoy, especially if you love libraries.

Find my fiction creations here:¬†https://www.goodreads.com/story/list/584058. I’ll post more shorties and poems, and maybe even a section from¬†Locke and Keye closer to publication. Maybe haikus, or even Symbolic Experimentalism pieces!

Monday Thoughts on Creativity: Creativity is Subtraction

Mondays are very sneaky, aren’t they? Just as you get used to living in the weekend, BAM, Monday¬†wakes you up at 6 a.m.

YES. One¬†way I personally interpret this – and I feel there are many ways to read it – is that editing is also creativity. In order for me to write and not edit as I go, I’ll include cliches and wrong words in the first draft of a novel or short story or even poem. I’m trying to get my ideas down, and in novels, twists and turns and psychology. Those are the most important things in the first draft. When I edit, I accentuate my writing style. I delete all unnecessary words and cliches. When I add something, it’s necessary, and when I change something, it’s to make it original. I adjust the character’s voice to sound like them in particular. I consider editing part of the art of writing.

Another way I interpret this is the very reason I love flash fiction, and the shorter the better. I recently wrote two 16 word pieces. I started with something 21 words long and whittled it down to 16 words with careful consideration of tense, anything that slowed it down, every word counting for more than it’s worth, and meaning behind the meaning. I came out with something much stronger than the 21 word version.

My opinion is that creativity is many things, and nothing can be left out. Creativity is subtraction (careful wording), addition (fleshing out characters), multiplication (creating series), and division (anthologies). It’s the only kind of math I care to do.

Interviewed by Indie Author Tactics (IAT)

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Justin from IAT: Indie Author Tactics, who does indie author interviews, cover reveals, and more on The Novels network. Justin asked some great new questions that I hadn’t been asked before, so there’s some info you haven’t learned about¬†Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and me as an author. Come find out just how much research AoDH took, the genres I don’t read or write, the difference in my own experience¬†between writing a story and writing poetry, and more. Read it here!

“Desensitization” Poem Published in The Andromedae Review

Very exciting news! A poem of mine called “Desensitization” was recently published in The Andromedae Review‘s premier issue! You can see it here for free. It was put into three columns, but just read one column at a time.

“Desensitization” was inspired by a time that¬†I drove past a car on fire that was parked right up against¬†a building. I pulled over and called the cops right away, and of course they’d already had plenty of calls about it. Once the call was over, I sat there feeling strange. I had never seen something like that before, and it struck me how scary it would be to be the owner of that car or the building next to it (the fire was starting to pop and sending fiery bits all over the place at that point) and have no idea what was going on. I could be happily shopping at the mall, meanwhile my car is on fire and starting to destroy something else around it.

This made me think of the difference between watching similar things (or much worse) in a movie and feeling no real connection to them versus seeing them in person. There is an extreme difference. The level of desensitization we have to shocking, frightening, and life-changing events is higher than we realize. I hope this poem expresses that fact.

Bookshelf OCD

I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Plays, novels, cookbooks, history books, art books, classics, short stories, essays, poetry, sociology, gardening…you name it, I’ve got it! I love having so many books on so many subjects. It’s like having my own library, where there’s something for every mood, and many times I forget all about the things I have.

Here’s the thing: my bookshelves HAVE to be organized. When they’re not organized or there are books lying on their sides instead of standing up, it freaks me out. I hate it. I need to be able to find any book at any time without hesitation. I call it Bookshelf OCD. I also have the need to get rid of any books I’ve finished and don’t plan on reading ever again. If I forget to donate them, they irritate me to no end and it feels like¬†the whole room is cluttered.

Do you feel the same way about books or anything else? Can you control it, or do you have a hard time concentrating if your books aren’t properly organized?

Uncovering Your Old Works

I recently found a large stash of old poetry from high school and college. I was able to split it into three piles: one for amateur teen angst, one with the potential for improvement, and one for pieces that are already good to go. I think the second pile, the one I can improve, is the most exciting. I see it as a way to, rather than simply reconnect with my former self, merge and meld my old self with my current self. I think these works will come out quite a bit different than my usual writing from either time period, and I find the prospect unique and exciting, both in experience and in how the work will come out.

Have you ever come across old work of yours, whether it’s writing or art or something else? How did you react?