TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Alyssa Oursler — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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 think of creativity as trust. To create something, you have to trust yourself. You also have to trust your audience. I don’t believe in tips and tricks for creativity. They seem counterintuitive, given the topic.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I’m not very good at mornings or schedules. I tend to get a lot of ideas on airplanes, which doesn’t really lend itself to routine.

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’m not sure if I’m too lazy to make things up or too fascinated by reality. Most of my creative work is personal. As Charlie Warzel of Buzzfeed once tweeted, “I like to ruin my life for content.” People (read: my mother) say I should just write fiction. Sometimes I say: Maybe I do. Other times I say: Listen. Look around. Isn’t this shit too good to ignore?

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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?

What/who inspires you the most?
One summer, I listened to MacArthur Genius Teresita Fernandez’s commencement speech (as found on Brain Pickings) almost every morning. I was a freelance writer at the time and was both grateful for and totally overwhelmed by the lack of structure. As she put it, “the process of making art is like blindly trying to see the shape of what you don’t yet know. Whenever you catch a little a glimpse of that blind spot, of your ignorance, of your vulnerability, of that unknown, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to stare at it.” She also says art “is a fragile process of teaching oneself to work alone, and focusing on how to hone your quirky creative obsessions so that they eventually become so oddly specific that they can only be your own.” These words made the looseness of my days and projects feel productive and valuable.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I’m not sure I would call her undervalued, but all I want to do lately and always is read Maggie Nelson.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Rack up as many rejections as possible.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
Books. All I want is the first book to hold in my hands so I can bury it and grow a better one.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Alyssa

Alyssa Oursler is a journalist and essayist. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hobart, The East Bay Review, SF Weekly, and more. You can find her at alyssaoursler.com and on Twitter: @alyssaoursler.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Brandon Marlon — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
Imitatio Dei. Being creative means emulating the divine example.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Daily routinization of creation. Time of day varies, but once in a groove, it pays to stick with it.

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?
For longer form story media (screenplays, plays, novels), I generally write in the historical drama/historical fiction story genres. When writing poetry, personal experiences come into play more often, though I strongly dislike reading poetry that is solipsistic and navel-gazing, so I avoid writing such myself.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I once wrote a play in 2 weeks, a considerably shorter period compared to my usual 3-4 months. In this case writing of a personal experience facilitated the celerity attending the process.

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 don’t write much fiction, but do read much fiction.

What/who inspires you the most?
In nonfiction, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Israeli novelists Haim Saban and Yochi Brandes.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Study English grammar, classical rhetoric, formal logic, and read voraciously before seriously writing and submitting work for publication consideration. If you write fiction, sentence patterning/variation is an important technique to be aware of and to master.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
The goal is always to have scripts filmed and staged, manuscripts published, selections excerpted. You can certainly write solely for yourself, and never send anything out into the bewilderness, but I write not merely to express myself but to commune with others and tell stories to entertain and enlighten.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Brandon

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 225+ publications in 28 countries. http://www.brandonmarlon.com.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Jeremy Nathan Marks — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
It is my bread and vegan butter. I feel that creativity is ecology and ecology is representative of what I value most in life: life itself. I believe that creativity is what humans do; I believe that the creative principle is what life is. So, creativity means everything to me.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I was a night owl until my second daughter was born (she is now two and a half months old)! I make time; I sneak time; I take any chance I get to put thoughts to digital paper. I also have learned that the “demands” made on my time are often wonderful sources of creative fire.

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 have long shied away from writing in a confessional manner, even though the work of poets such as Adrienne Rich and Robert Lowell has influenced me and I admire both immensely. I tend to write in an observational manner, though recently some of my poetry has turned towards family, memory, the experience of nostalgia and, of course, the presence of the past. When I write of my family and my family’s history, I find that my style is a blend of confession and semi-detached observation. But I suppose that is a judgment my reader would be better able to make.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I remember so well watching a Great Blue Heron standing perfectly still in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm. I was living in Hamilton, Ontario at the time and was watching this bird from the balcony of my 11th floor apartment. It was a fascinating spectacle as the ditch in which it was standing was just below the expressway. I remember feeling myself suddenly transported into the heron and seeing the world -for a moment- from what I believed was the heron’s perspective. I will never forget this. I felt such tremendous awe for this bird and for our world. It was, as the mystics say, an oceanic feeling.

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?

Yes, I do. I am working on a play at the moment and I also have a novel for which I need to make time. But when it comes to where my ideas come from I draw from a wide range of subjects including philosophy, myth, tales from Chasidism, liberation theology, rhetoric, epic, politics, the history of the Americas, painting (post-impressionism and American gothic) and music -especially blues, jazz, hip hop, reggae, American and African folk musics. I like to think that my work is a response to the conversations that are bubbling up from the land and water and through the landscapes of the urban, rural, remote and the body.

What/who inspires you the most?
The natural world is central for my work, but I find that the sublime landscapes of the American and Canadian Rust Belt are now exerting a tremendous influence in my life. I live two hours from Detroit, Michigan and I make time to go exploring there. I feel that Detroit in particular is the nexus of so many of the issues that drive me: ecological, racial, historical, post-colonial, industrial and contemporary political. Plus, the art of Detroit is inescapable: it is present in Diego Rivera’s murals; Motown music; Detroit jazz and blues history; graffiti; Detroit rock musics and techno; and of course the physical landscape of this fascinating city.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I am a very big fan of the poetry of Kevin Ridgeway and David J. Bauman, two writers who have received recognition in the poetry world but whom, I believe, deserve to be household names. They both write with sensibilities that are so finely tuned to the present moment but their poetry also contains a grain of timelessness. I have been influenced by both of them in my own writing. They are also very kind and gracious people whom I feel fortunate to call my friends.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
I will repeat the cliche that you must never give up. You will be published. I can guarantee that. Hannah Arendt -and Elizabeth Strout- both wrote that “anything is possible” in the human world. It is. You just have no idea what your potential and your creative depths are. When you feel the need to write, you must write. And of course, once you write you need to share what you’ve done. Do it. Good things will come.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I want my work to be sitting on bookshelves in libraries and in people’s homes. I dream of appearing in Kenyon Review and The New Yorker. I dream of reading my poetry and prose in front of audiences. It isn’t that I want fame; I just want to devote my working life to writing.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Jeremy

Jeremy Nathan Marks is an American living in London, Ontario. Recent poetry has appeared (or is appearing) in Rat’s Ass Review, The Blue Nib, Word Fountain, The Wild Word, Ariel Chart, Muddy River Review, Morel Magazine, I-70 Review and Chiron Review.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Holly Day — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
It’s like breathing. Writing and art in general is such a part of my adult life that I don’t know what I’d be without it.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I work at home, so I usually spend 2-3 hours in the afternoon writing, and another couple of hours at night. I would like to think I could write all day long but I haven’t worked up to that kind of productivity yet.

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 draw a lot of content from my experiences as well as people I run into and books I read.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
Boy, there are so many I don’t even know how to start!

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?

Yes–I write poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and technical writing, and I also work as a book editor and indexer.

What/who inspires you the most?
My children.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Again, too many to count. I’m a big fan of picking up stacks of random books at the used book store and just taking them home to read. Lots aren’t that good, but there’s a random pearl every once in a while that’s pretty wonderful. I have three libraries in my house full of books I plan to read before I die.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Just try. Submit one piece, or a bunch of pieces–there’s no wrong way to start out. Close your eyes and jump. The worse thing that can happen is someone’ll say “no,” and then you just pick yourself up and try again.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
My lifelong goal is to see one of my poems in a high school English/creative writing class text book.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Holly

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big MuddyThe Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Benjamin Daniel Lukey — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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—

About Benjamin

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.

 

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Wanda Deglane — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
Creativity means, in its most obvious form, to create something, to use your own talents and imagination to make something all your own. Being creative means being resourceful, innovative, and inventive, and being able to see something mundane and turn it into something beautiful and new.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Sometimes I think it’s my creativity that makes time for me– I spend as much time as possible creating, whether it’s in my writing or by painting and drawing, and it frequently takes up most of my time. I’ve been known to drop everything as soon as a creative idea crosses my mind. I’d have to say I’ve always been much more of a night owl creative. It’s my time when I have no other requirements or tasks to fulfill, so I can dedicate my whole self to my creativity.

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?
Almost 100% of my writing is drawn from personal experiences, and very few stem from the personal experiences of those who are close to me. I find that the best work I create is when I write about events I have experienced– the last thing I want to do is misrepresent an important event because I don’t have the insight that only one who has experienced it firsthand could have. As I continue to work on and hone my writing, I’d like this to change, and expand my work to more global events.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
Having my work accepted by so many amazing and beautiful journals! It still blows my mind that there are people besides me who love and believe in my writing.

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?

To be honest, I love all creative forms, be it art, music, or writing. I mostly read and write poetry now, but throughout most of my life I wrote short stories and painted.

What/who inspires you the most?
My family and closest friends and loved ones inspire me every day. They are some of the strongest and most resilient people I know, and they give me the drive to continue pushing myself to be better and better.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I absolutely LOVE Ada Limon, Eloisa Amezcua, Nadia Gerassimenko, Ocean Vuong, and so many others. I personally think that poetry as a whole is heavily undervalued and everyone should read more of it!

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Keep trying! I was told before submitting that rejection would be a huge, inevitable part of the process, and this has definitely proven itself to be true. The amazing thing is, there are SO many journals and magazines out there, so the trick is to keep submitting, keep doing your research and finding new places to submit, but most of all, keep reading and writing! Find inspiration in small, everyday occurrences and use it to create something beautiful.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I honestly didn’t even think I’d make it this far, but I’ll continue to push myself and make new goals! As of right now, I’d really like to publish a chapbook of poetry, and possibly someday a full-length collection. Above all else, I want my work to reach the hands of those who need it. I write a lot about adverse experiences I’ve been through, and how I’ve overcome them. I’d love for my writing to be read by people who need to know that there is hope for them even in the bleakest, blackest moments.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Wanda

Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Fariel Shafee — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
For me, creativity is the way to connect with the world. Many of my creative pieces, if not directly related to my experience, are shadows of my feelings expressed through words and art, or are narrations of experiences through the eyes of another character that I try to put in the shoes of people I know. Creative pieces hence let me bare myself of my emotions, while also helping me understand other people. When I find it difficult to relate with a person, from time to time I try to define a character and imagine living that person’s life. It is also a great way to find empathy and understanding for persons I perhaps would not want to relate with otherwise.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
For me, I cannot do the same thing for a prolonged period. Hence I shift between different types of activities. Say, I would read something academic intensely for a few days and then I would feel totally blocked. That’s when I would perhaps paint for a few days or write. In the end, I get a little bit of different things done.

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?

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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?

Yes. I actually do feel comfortable crossing genres. I often use of speculative elements together with literary narrations. I like to bring in the fantastic within the mundane just like one would let one’s imagination roam free while the person is indeed shackled within the prosaic world.

What/who inspires you the most?
Too many to mention here 🙂 Would rather not cite specific names and hurt others I might unintentionally leave out :).

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Once again, too many names 🙂 However, there are many really great writers and artists these days who inspire and whose work I tremendously admire.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Don’t let the rejection letters stop you 🙂 Be yourself. Not everyone may like what you write, but if you keep doing what you are passionate about, you will find some one who will understand you 🙂

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I would just like to keep doing what I enjoy doing. I am working on improving my technical skills as well. I write and paint because these make me happy. If I see any of my pieces picked up by some one, I feel inspired and encouraged. If my work eventually goes somewhere, that is an added bonus. However, I would rather not work with any specific venue on mind.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Fariel

Fariel Shafee has degrees in science, but enjoys writing and art. She has published poetry and prose in miller’s pond, The Literary Nest, Scryptic, decomP etc. She has also exhibited art internationally.

Tripod | Wix

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Lorraine Wilson — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
For me, creativity offers two things: It is a means of expressing inner selves in a way that (hopefully) resonates with others. Take grief, for example, it is a universal and powerful experience, and it can be a very lonely one. If my writing can reflect those feelings in a reader then perhaps they will feel less alone, more understood, and perhaps this will help, in some small way. Creativity can also be less of a mirror and more of a window. Can I, with my experiences and world view, show something to someone else that changes their perceptions? Can I cause them to see other perspectives, to understand the experiences of others a little better. In today’s political and social climate, I spend a lot of time thinking about this, about the extent of responsibility and ability that creators possess to make the world a kinder place. I don’t have the answer, but I do believe it warrants thought.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I suffer from a chronic illness which means I have been unable to work for the past few years. I am lucky in that writing is something I can fit in between my child’s needs and my health – effectively this means I tend to write between about 11 and 3 on weekdays.

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 think all of my experiences feed into my writing somehow, often indirectly, actually more often indirectly than directly. Up until a few years ago, I was a research scientist, working on conservation and behavioural ecology of a range of animals including song birds, mammalian carnivores, marine mammals and bats. This work took me to all sorts of ridiculously remote places and gave me a deep sense of wonder and love for the natural world. Both this emotional connection and my scientific knowledge are definitely apparent in a lot of my writing (and my husband, another scientist, picks me up on any facts I get wrong!). In terms of more human-based personal experiences, I think it’s emotions that feed into my writing, more than particular events. I hope it is anyway! I don’t want to write direct mirrors of my own history, partly because I wouldn’t want friends and family to see themselves lightly fictionalised. But also, I feel that if I write about only my direct experiences, I risk my stories becoming narrower. Perhaps that’s not true, but I’d rather reach out into the world for my stories than see only myself in them.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
Oh gosh, I don’t know. I suppose it was that first moment of realising I could make the switch from writing scientifically to writing creatively. Or perhaps the first time a reader said to me, ‘Thank-you for writing this, it helped me.’ I did have a little weep at that!

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 write fiction and creative non-fiction and I think they meet in the middle (the middle being me), where on the one hand is my world view feeding into stories, and on the other is my experiences being expressed with a touch of wonder.

What/who inspires you the most?
Margaret Atwood, for my writing. She melds crazy storylines, stunningly beautiful prose, and powerful political messages into her stories in a way I can only aspire to. In my personal life, my gran. She was just the strongest, most incredible woman. She went from poorhouse to orphanage; she was a household servant, then a nurse during the blitz. She then established nursing/midwifery services in remote areas of Zambia, and finally became Matron of a teaching hospital. She was damaged and brave and the most ridiculously stubborn woman you could ever meet! Also, very, very good at scrabble.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I think a lot of YA writers are dismissed by adult readers (and writers of adult lit) as being shallow and full of nothing but vampires and angst. But there are YA authors out there writing searing stories from non-western viewpoints that are full of depth and beauty. Women like Intisar Khanini, S.A. Chakraborty, Lila Bowen, Sabaa Tahir, and many others. I was also surprised how little impact Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give made in the UK compared to in the US. It should be on everyone’s reading list.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Edit again. Get beta readers you trust. Edit again.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I would love to walk into my local (indie) bookshop and see my book on the shelf. That would be sublime. I would be over the moon to have readers say that my stories meant something to them, where-ever those stories were published.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Lorraine

Having spent many years working in remote corners of the world, Lorraine Wilson now lives by the sea in Scotland and write stories that are touched by folklore and the wilderness. Wilson has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines, and tweets @raine_clouds about science, writing, cats, and weirdnesses.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Joe Bisicchia — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
Creativity is human. Creativity is of the divine. It is interwoven with timelessness. It unites us all with purpose, as if a portal from the present to forever. It centers upon all that we eternally are. To be creative is to be open to that which is immortal within us. Every one of us has this gift, if only open to it. Every single one of us. It is something flowing from within. Deep in the DNA. Intertwined with all that is life, from Creation, somehow connecting us all as one. No one should deny this reality for themselves, or any other. To be fully alive is to be creative. For to be creative, is to live a life with purpose.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
When embracing the power of your creativity, one must always know that there is no such thing as time. Time is irrelevant. Creativity happens when it happens, and can appear always, whether in the middle of the night, talking with a friend, mowing the lawn, eating a cookie, taking a loved one to the doctor, using the restroom, walking down the supermarket aisle, the wedding aisle, being yelled at by a driver, hearing the President speak, going to church, you get my drift. It’s like a baby being born. Let it happen. If it doesn’t happen, well, are you opening yourself to see it or hear it, or are you getting in the way? Don’t put up wall! Immerse yourself in life. For those creatively in tune, prepare yourself to welcome it, carry a notebook, jot things down, get up early, stay up late, write a poem’s line in between an at bat at a baseball game. Be ready for it! Poets know too well that sometimes runes are born, and quickly fly from their nest before every being photographed. Sometimes they just are so shy and slippery that way, and they have little regard for time.

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?
When creatively in tune, one is in tune with life. The two are tandem. Notice things. Relate. That’s a writer. That means every pain anywhere, any joy anywhere, all of life combines within the soul of the artist as shared. That commonality at the soul comes forth in the birth of creativity, with a birth to be shared. In the end then, no one is separate.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
So many. My childhood inspired much of a yet to be published verse novel. Sharing a moment over any other is difficult, but here’s one: the annual Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. Think of plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, cops, all wearing sequins, makeup, and feathers while playing banjos to bring in the new year. That cultural display of everyday people and art has influenced me in many ways just as a witness, as an audience eye and ear and singing voice on the side of Broad Street. That’s what art does. We are affected, and we participate. And that event plays a significant role in the verse novel which I hope one day may be published.

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?

Love all art. It all intertwines. The simplicity of a symphony to the complexity of a child’s stick figured family. Everything in the world then also becomes art, for the world is blessed with artists. The art expands. The curves of a car. The telephone lines. The turns of a brick face. The ceramic tile of a bathroom. The diner omelet. A haircut. All of it calling out to be noticed. And for the creative, if that creativity is held back in any way, it will only inevitably bloom as if from a hernia. So it’s best when it’s not painful, but a release of purpose as if the very breathing of the artist. So, let Bocelli sing. And let that cabinet maker make a beautiful Lazy Suzie. If looking for inspiration, bless your senses with it all.

What/who inspires you the most?
Everyone. But if I have to pinpoint it, God. I love scripture. For me, it just keeps inspiring.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Well, Scripture. It is always contemporary.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Just write. Notice things. Relate. Write. Edit. Submit. Edit. Rewrite. Submit. Edit. Rewrite. Submit. Nothing is perfect. Don’t ever dwell on rejection. Celebrate the joy of writing, by living. And then submit. Submit. Let go, and submit!! Also, keep keen records. I have an elaborate excel document that frankly I don’t know what I’d do without. There is a part of writing and publishing that you honestly feel like your packaging cupcakes. When then come back denied, taste them for freshness. Trust your buds. Make sure they still taste sweet, and they indeed may. And don’t feel bad if they don’t. Sometimes they need some sprinkles, but often they need far less. Sometimes, they need to be put out for the birds. But don’t feel bad if even they reject them. Just bake more.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I just hope I am always graced to see the poetry in life. In doing so, if poetry may then come through me to be shared, well, I just want to be an instrument for others to see their lives as poetry. We all interconnect. The seed doesn’t pick the garden it goes to bloom. Hopefully, some poetic gardeners or hungry birds may not mind my variety of flower to contribute to the mix of color.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Joe

Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, his works have appeared in numerous publications. His website is http://www.widewide.world.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Christopher S. Bell — Fiction Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
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?
Creativity is what keeps me going from one day to the next. It means everything to me, having the ability to create and conjure any number of ideas and obscure realities out of thin air.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I’m usually most productive between 6-8 on weeknights, post-dinner, pre-movie before bed. I’m an early bird on weekends, post-breakfast, pre-lunch sessions are always equally productive.

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?
The vast majority of my work pulls from some aspect of my personal life, even if it’s small and sometimes insignificant. I’m often building mountains out of molehills, or bending the reality to better suit the final outcome.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
There are far too many to track at this point. Sometimes the best ones come when you’re least expecting it, and then snowball over several months or years before ever making it down on paper.

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?

Yes, here and there. In addition to being a fiction writer, I also write and record music and dabble in screenplays from time to time.

What/who inspires you the most?
I find the most inspiration from simple vices. The guy that works the same job everyday, but at the same time, he’s living another life entirely once the closing bell rings. It’s like that with locations as well, how a small town or landmark can often surprise you or provide just the right amount of inspiration for something far more beautiful and ridiculous.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Not really into name-dropping someone here or there. Find inspiration in whoever’s work does it for you, although I will say, I think there’s a bit of a problem now with writers spending more time posting their sarcastic and often completely irrelevant thoughts on social media as opposed to developing them into something concrete. Some moments in the day are better left un-tweeted.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Edit your work frequently, seek out as many publications as you can, and go all-in. Rejections from literary magazines are expected, but get easier the more you submit. That first acceptance is all it takes to restore your faith.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I write primarily for myself. It’s therapeutic and also a worthwhile outlet for all of my random thoughts. I hope for others to eventually catch on and find some vague amount of value in what I do, but at the same time, once the work is complete, I can’t help but move onto something else entirely.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Christopher

Christopher S. Bell has been writing and releasing literary and musical works through My Idea of Fun since 2008.  His sound projects include Emmett and Mary, Technological Epidemic, C. Scott and the Beltones and Fine Wives.  My Idea of Fun is an art and music archive focused on digital preservation with roots in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (www.myideaoffun.org).  Christopher’s work has recently been published in Anti-Heroin Chic, Avalon Literary Review, BlazeVOX17, Drunken Monkeys, Heavy Athletics, Queen’s Mob Teahouse, Lime Hawk and Talking Book among others.  He has also contributed to Entropy and Fogged Clarity.