Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Sarah Brentyn

I enjoy reading a variety of styles and follow a lot of writers for different reasons. From life tips to demons in poetry, I enjoy variety, though once in a while I come across someone who is real. Someone who bleeds, sings, soars, hurts, cries and writes. Sarah Brentyn is real. Sure she can be snarky and smartassery is a common occurrence, but every single time I chance by her blog, I’m offered something that leaves me thinking. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, deep thoughts, real thoughts, whatever that may mean at any given moment. So I got it in me to ask some questions and she was kind enough to offer some answers.

Here they are.

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1. Firstly, thank you for participating in this Writer Wednesday series and off the bat, here’s the first question: I’ve read in your blog that you are an introvert, how does that reflect in your writing and how has writing impacted your life?

Okay, first of all those are two questions. Cheater. Second, they are ridiculously difficult to answer. And C, I don't want to tell you. Introverts. Can't live with them, can't make them talk.
I will say that writing has impacted my life in the sense that it gives me life. I can’t breathe or, you know, live or whatever without it.

2. Writing is something that can be a very personal experience although depth is a relative term. How do you think writing helps one explore one’s depth and what benefits do you find in writing?

What's with the two-for-one questions? Ugh... I skim. I use one of those mesh things that clear stuff off the surface of the pool when I write. Some people dive right in and share wicked deep stuff and, for them, that might be therapeutic. I admire them. But I think you can find really interesting things floating about on the surface. Or... I'm a chicken. Either way.

3. For me, water is a strong element that appears in many places. Are there topics in life, the world or nature that often make their way into your writing?

Anything goes. If it happens in my life, I write about it. People fascinate me (mostly in a not-so-good way). I need to wear one of those t-shirts that say, “Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel.” Or I could get business cards with that on it or something. Just to warn people. Because I’m nice.

I absolutely love nature. Trees are always awesome. And the sky with all those cool clouds. I also love the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, & Water and their corresponding directions, colors, and symbols have always intrigued me. I find water seeps into my writing a lot but earth shows up quite a bit, too. Also. Lemon Shark and Lemon Shark Reef. Both water-logged blogs. 

4. You’ve mentioned fiction is a challenging genre to write in. What challenges have you found with writing fiction and what is the toughest part?

Ha! Challenging. You're sweet. I think the toughest part of writing fiction is how hard I am on myself. Also, I'm a pantser. I like being a pantser but apparently that’s wrong and I’m supposed to use storyboards or outlines or something. And, to be honest (and unpopular), there are way too many opinions out there about how you're “supposed” to write. I got tangled in that nasty net and almost drowned. (Ah. There’s water again.)

5. If Mother Nature came to you to ask to come up with a new season to compliment the other four, what would it be like, what would its name be and what would plants and animals do?

You are so strange and wonderful. I'm sorry to disappoint but I love the four seasons and wouldn't add or take any of them away. (I don't mess with Mother Nature. Plus, I’d have to find more room in my closet for out-of-season clothes.)

6. How many journals have you kept, what’s the oldest entry and how does journaling help you in writing and life?

I've had so many journals in my life I seriously can't count them all. The oldest entry would be around the time Star Wars came out. The first time. (That's me saying I'm old and have been writing a long time.) Journaling both gives me ideas and gets rid of brain-clutter to allow ideas in. Gratitude journals and free-writing are my favorites.

7. How does light and darkness impact your writing?

Light and dark, yin and yang, two sides of the same proverbial coin. Feeling the warm sun shine on my skin is just as amazing as sitting under a full moon hanging in an inky sky full of stars.

I like to play with the literal and metaphorical meanings of light and dark.

8. Self-doubt is one of the toughest challenges for any writer. It’s also one of the most common things I’ve heard from experienced and newbie writers alike. What is your relationship to self-doubt and what advice could you offer anyone in regards to this?

Ah, you have been reading my blog. Sneaky. My relationship with self-doubt makes my husband jealous. It's intimate. And it's long-term. I have no advice but if someone reading this does, feel free to leave that in the comments because I'd rather like to be rid of the bastard. (Self-doubt, not my husband.)

9. You are a superhero with a secret identity. Describe your super hero persona, compare it to who you are without the costume, then write a haiku that activates your super powers.

That's like... How many questions is that? Is that even a question?

I'm already The Hulk. *SMASH* But if I could choose?

I’m overwhelmed. There are too many options. Let's start with my costume. Regardless of cape, mask, or outfit, I must have kick-ass boots. That’s a given.

I'd probably be a vigilante (I know, that's not nice). But if I'm a super hero, there'd be no need for me because I'd be able to read minds and stop people before they did anything bad. Talk about an identity crisis. Naturally, I have super strength and speed. Unfortunately, I can't fly and that has always pissed me off. My sister can. Brat.

Wonder Twin powers
activate! Form of a...wait
Dammit. That's been used

See? Haiku. That was fun.

Without the costume? I’m just a girl. Standing in front of the world. Asking it to love itself.

10. Where can people read more things Brentyn?

Self-doubt is now stalking me… It’s not much, but here I am:

Blogs at: Lemon Shark

Writes fiction at: Lemon Shark Reef

Tweets on Twitter at: @SarahBrentyn

Thanks for the chance to… Oh, who am I kidding? You just tortured me with your questions. But I suppose I’m taking up space on your blog so thanks for that. Truly, I appreciate the interview and look forward to collaborating with you on whatever prompt you throw at me. To torture me. Again. (I know. I don’t think I’m funny, either. But you’re a lovely person and talented writer and I think you’re awesome. Does that help?)

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Thanks again to Sarah for enduring the torture of multiple tiered questions and random thoughts. As always, it was real. It's funny because she insists that she only skims the surface, which is almost a frightening thought if she would ever dig deep for her writing. Also thanks to her for considering the prompt I sent. If you’re curious as to what a future collaboration may look like, see below.

Peace, love, and maki rolls

PROMPT: In the mythical land of Kanvas, the Grayscale curse has ruled the land for decades. You are an ink fairy known as Pantone and I am a water bandit. It is our job to release the 7 musical colors to break the curse and return color to the land.

1 comment:

  1. What fun - love your sense of humour Sarah. I agree with J.D. though, you never visit any of your sites without leaving deep in thought. A place I really enjoy being.