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.
About The Creative Process
What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
I have always thought of creativity as the capacity for channeling the extraordinary, or even the divine, into everyday life. I believe it is a gift that is given out disproportionately to some, as most gifts are, but that everyone can develop it and expand it through a willingness to be receptive to the most beautiful and amazing things that surround us.
How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I think I’d have to say something in between. I’m definitely not a night owl, but if I get up early it’s usually not for a creative pursuit. I find that I do my best writing when I ought to be doing something else, which is why I always have my notebook with me. I sneak moments here and there to scribble down lines as they come to me, and sooner or later these lines begin to coalesce in ways that surprise and delight me.
How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?
I would say at least half of what I write is taken directly from my personal experience. I always try to be fully present and take in everything that happens around me, and when I succeed in doing so I can’t help but seeing and hearing things that I want to share with people. In my deliberate curiosity, however, I come up with as many questions as answers. When I’m not writing what I know, I’m writing what I want to know.
About Creative Moments & Inspiration
What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
One of my favorite things to do is explore old abandoned roadbeds in the Uwharrie National Forest. I was attempting to describe this pastime to a friend at work, and it became painfully clear that I wasn’t successfully conveying so much as a tenth of the fascination it holds for me. As I was driving home that day, what I had tried to communicate in prose started coming to me in fragments of verse. By the time I reached my house it was a sonnet, and I had finally said what I wanted to say. It’s entitled “An Old Roadbed” and it was published in Volume 2, issue 1 of Edify Fiction.
Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?
I sing and play lots of instruments, and I have been writing music since I was a teenager. I also try to write a short story every couple of years, but so far I haven’t produced any that I would want people to read.
What/who inspires you the most?
I’m most inspired by nature, my family, my friends, and my faith. I honestly can’t decide what order those should be in.
Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)
He’s had a considerable career as an author, but I can’t believe how many people tell me they haven’t read anything by Patrick F. McManus. He writes mostly humorous short stories, and they are good medicine.
Tips For Others, Personal Goals
What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
You’ve probably heard this before, but you need a thick skin. Your work will be rejected far more often than it is accepted, and it’s important to keep that in mind from the outset. A rejection notice isn’t an indication that you aren’t good enough; it means nothing more and nothing less than this: that particular piece wasn’t right for that particular publisher at that particular time. Keep writing and keep submitting!
What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
Books are one of my favorite things in the world, and books of poetry bring me unspeakable joy. I hope to publish a book of poetry someday, and I dream of seeing my work on the shelf at a public library.
— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—
Benjamin Daniel Lukey was born in 1986, but he often feels much older than he actually is. It must be the miles, not the years. He copes by drinking entirely too much coffee and taking lots of naps. He has lived all over the Eastern United States and currently resides near Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Megan. She once bought him a canoe as an anniversary present, and he is still pretty excited about it. He spends an inordinate amount of time fishing, camping, playing the banjo, and writing poetry, but when he is not busy with these important pursuits he can often be found teaching high school English classes or fixing things around the house that some other folks might hire professionals to fix. His work has previously appeared in Edify Fiction, The Mystic Blue Review, The Society of Classical Poets, and Sincerely Magazine. Honestly, he is just as surprised about this as anybody else. Please visit hellopoetry.com/bdlukey to read more.