As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.
Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?
Creativity to me, has always been a way to express myself. Sports never interested me. Crafts, music, writing, and art always have had a special place in my heart. I love to create things, and I love to be able to express myself in ways that people cannot interrupt. A poem, a short story, or a novel; at the very least forces a person to read them for as long as they’re interested and it gets my points across. People always have a tendency to talk over me in person (including family) and it always irritates me so it’s nice that when in the creative realm I can express myself without feeling repressed, cheated, or annoyed at all the things I wanted to say in a conversation but couldn’t or wasn’t given a chance to.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I’ve always been writing from a young age. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember and stories. I didn’t really write regularly, though, until I was about thirteen. I started off simply writing short stories and then I wrote poetry and fanfiction. Thankfully the fanfiction phase has ended, and I’m writing on my own with my own thoughts and characters.
As far as creative muses go music often inspires me. Sometimes it’s the weather. Sometimes it’s other writers, musicians, or artists. Inspiration can strike me from any source, and I think that makes me one of the lucky ones.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
Both times I got nominated for a pushcart award was really exciting. I will never forget the thrill of getting my first book published, either.
People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?
I work 40 hours a week usually and I work second shift so I wake up and usually get right to it. Sometimes I need complete silence and sometimes music is my best friend and helps me get the words out of me that were stuck. One of my own quirky habits is putting notes in my phone for writing when I cannot get a poem or story idea written down right away because I’m at work or visiting a friend. I’m not so sure why that’s weird, but people always look at me like I have three heads. As for creative superstitions that probably varies from person to person, but I feel the more you write then the more creativity you have. If you waited for the moment that was perfect you’d never write anything. Although, I’m sure that’s more advice than superstition, but what can I say? I’m not a superstitious person.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
I just do it. You have to. You can feel guilty or make justifications as to why you should do your housework, but honestly…when you die do you want to be the person that was too afraid to try or the person that dove right in? I’m the latter type of person and I’m not ashamed of it. Sometimes I feel I should clean more, but my characters usually shut me up. 😉
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
Make sure you read a publication or at the very least read any examples they may have on the internet of things they enjoyed reading because that gives you some insight into what type of topics and voices they like to hear from, make sure you’re respectful and courteous: be professional!, also never assume the editor is a man – when writing your query letters simply say Dear Editor(s) because it’s more respectful and you won’t make female editors want to stab you in the face, make sure you polish your work as much as you are able so it stands a better chance of getting published – some editors will edit a typo here and there and others will not, and never give up. Sometimes it gets hard, but in the end, I know it will be worth it.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
I would love to make writing my full time job. I hope to heal the world and give it more stories, poetry, and novels to enjoy. I want to be able to be the girl from a small town who had a dream and made it because there have been many people telling me that I can’t make it, but my passion and my dream is writing.
I would also love to get into acting and modeling although I’m not really sure how to pursue these two. Maybe someday.
Professionally, I would like to as I said be a full-time writer. If I can achieve that in five years or less, I would be so happy. Yet I know writing is a hard sell. You have to overcome lots of obstacles and some editors are just plain rude. But I am not giving up on this dream of mine. I know five year old me would never forgive me if I did. I’m not going to quit myself before I ever began.
I would also like to have published more novels, books of poetry, poetry, and short stories in the next five years creatively. And if I’m honest it would be cool to see someone base a movie off of something I wrote, but we’ll see.
Regardless of where I am professionally and creatively I really do want to get out of the town I’m living in now because I despise this city. Just yesterday I had to block some creep on Facebook who said he saw my picture and it was pretty. I would really love to live someone rural maybe in North or South Carolina where I can live off on my own and not have to deal with people all the time because as much as I love meeting new people – I also love alone time, and I’m one of those types who needs a lot of alone time. For your safety and my sanity. Ha ha.
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made To Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.
You Can Find Linda Here
See Linda’s work In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“you won’t restrain me” — p. 50
“the curious mind” — p. 116
“just say no” — p. 117