Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Method to Madness: Getting hopped - My creative process

I always enjoy connecting with new interesting people because I think the more we share, the more we learn, the more we live and the more we can discover. Recently a very good friend got a “blog hop” with some questions to explore the method to her art and she was kind enough to pass along the “hop”, so to speak. Katherine Lipnitskaya is from Belarus and she writes poetry in Russian, Belarusian and English. We share a mutual appreciation for the written word and are both fans of capturing the essence of a moment and exploring feelings through verse. Her blog offers an interesting perspective on many things and apart from being thankful for the shoutout, I certainly enjoy the friendship so far across the world and her talent for poetry. Her blog can be found by clicking here.

So she got some questions in regards to her creative process and she passed them along to me, so here are the questions and my answers as we explore the Method to my Madness.

What are you writing?

At any given time I’m working on several projects and right now is no exception. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from me in the near future:

The Sequel to Only Human: Only Human took me 8 years to complete, so naturally it’s taken me a few months to write down about 30% of the sequel. It’s amazing how easy the story is flowing in comparison to the other’s trek and it all has to do with breaking down that wall of writing my first book and finding the story that will flow through all three steps of the Human Cycle. Much darker in tone, I continue my exploration of the human aspect and what it means to be human.

Young Adult project: I am currently a quarter of the way done with a Young Adult project I’ve been working on for a while now, which talks about a kid who dreams of flying. I’m amazed at how much more human it feels than I thought it would and am just happy to let the story flow. It is very personal in the sense that I touch on countless things from my childhood and my life, from relatives to stories that still resonate with me, over twenty years after I first read them.

An already finished poetry compilation to be released very soon. I had actually lost touch with poetry for a long while, instead focusing on riffs and lyric fragments for songs and last year I refound my love for poetry, quickly penning over 60 poems thanks to the urging of various lovely people that convinced me that maybe I had something worthwhile to share.

A bilingual compilation which is 70% done at the moment. Being Hispanic, I want to show what it’s like to live a bilingual life and although some people won’t understand one language or the other, it’s my invitation for people to spend time with friends who speak the other language to discuss or to learn something new.

And along with this, I’m also working on a noir novel, a Spanish poetry compilation, a philosophy project, two nonfiction works about my perspective on life and I’m always adding to the blog, which goes from essays/posts and poetry to short stories and anything I think can resonate with people. Oh and my Daydreams on the Sherbert Shore, a stream of thought adventure series from my blog where I invite fellow writers into my daydreams.

Why do you write what you do?

I am fascinated by the aspect of humanity and what it means to be human. I love fiction and have always gravitated towards that vein of literature because through fiction we can discover what makes us tick as humans. Our wishes, our dreams, our fantasies… it all speaks about what drives and defines us and I’m interested in showing how fascinating we are.

As I mentioned earlier, poetry came about because last year I posted a poem and was surprised at how much of a response it received and it invited me to push myself and my writing in poetry as much as possible.

And sure, all this sounds fantastic though in reality, I write because I have a deep seeded need to write. I love to write, am in love with the written word and truly can’t imagine myself not writing. In fact, the more time passes the more I need to write and the more stories I want to share because in these stories, we can connect, we can resonate and we can enjoy the beauty of being human.

What is your writing process?

Each project has its own spirit and its own method. Some works I write on paper and pen, others I need to use a pencil, others I do directly on the computer and I decided a long time ago I would not be a slave to method, only to my stories and whatever message I felt I needed to share.

With Only Human, the process was quite interesting because I overdosed on information, jotted down a rough route I wanted to follow in my story and then allowed history, religious texts, geography and folklore to guide me on my way, not to mention over 200 pages of notes. I wrote down the titles of the 44 chapters and just let it flow. This means I had a rough map though mainly a start and finish and did whatever I needed to do to finish my adventure.

In the young adult project, I have about 100 index cards with chapter, location, character and event descriptions, which influence the story quite a bit. This means I basically already wrote the story in my head and my hands are just basically catching up and filling in the gaps with dialogue and details.

With poetry I rarely revisit a poem more than two times. That’s because I love capturing the essence of a moment. Some people like to tweak and adjust, and rewrite, and edit. To me, I love taking a picture of an emotion using words so it’s as pure as possible.

With other projects, I can write short stories in a single go or can take years until I finally see the path and write my way through it.

In posts and essays I really meditate about what personal experiences I can share to try to make a positive impact on people. Some time ago I made a very clear and firm decision to try and make a difference and be as honest as possible in the interest of understanding myself and hopefully sharing something that helps someone else. I truly believe it’s our time as a species to resonate and to give better than what we have done so up to this moment.

And that’s about it, except I need to single out a fellow blogger whom I follow and whom I think you should give a read to. Since deciding is rather a pain, instead here’s five blogs you should read.

Linda Anderson’s blog is titled Dabbling Writer although she hardly dabbles. She writes beautiful snapshot shorts and fantasy stories that truly leave you wanting more.

Cate Evans is a brilliant, witty, kooky English lass with a talent for writing clever rhymes and wonderful messages of light and life on her blog. Wonderful posts, lovely poetry and just a great person I'm honored to be able to know. 

Rachel Karp is a quirky spunky writer with a lot to say and a blog to say it on called Hippety Dippety

Veronica Brannon is one of the most honest writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and her blog has a lot to offer if you want to read about passion and life. What’s on your Mind. 

MarĂ­a Rochelle is a wonderfully human writer who writes from her heart and was kind enough to collaborate with me on a blog post series last year. Her website can be found clicking here. 

And like these wonderfully talented people I’m fortunate to connect with countless other people to resonate and share our paths in life and I’ll be sharing more of them in the near future.

So here's to reading and connecting.

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