I decided to take an impromptu break this holiday weekend and spent it outside in the sunshine. My husband and I had decided our vegetable planters were in need of a serious overhaul this year so after a trip to Home Depot we were in business. Unfortunately, with a slipped disc, all I was good for was supervising, keeping the dogs entertained and providing refreshments but he didn't complain.
With the long winter we'd had I'd almost forgotten about all the critters that come out to play at this time of the year. There seemed to be hundreds of spiders which freak me out as I get a bad reaction if bitten. I'm sure the mom with the rather large egg sack would not have thought twice about defending her brood.
The reward for all the hard work . . . a swim in the pool. Of course Ravyn was in heaven, I think she would live in the pool if she could. She goes absolutely crazy when my husband dives in and then goes frantic searching for him while he's under the water. We're still trying to teach her some pool etiquette as she has a tendency to scratch and try climbing up on us but I fear that might be a losing battle.
. . . . as for my boy Joey, he prefers to sit in the shade as far from the water as possible.
I was recently invited by my friend, Kim Stevens, to participate in a virtual blog tour which aims to highlight many wonderful blogs through questions on the writing and creative process. View her blog tour post at Picking Poppies.
Kim is a jewelry artist and photographer, both of which are inspired by her love of nature. Her passion for life oozes from the screen in the images she shares and the words she writes. Be sure to check out her Monarch series, the pictures alone will astound you.
. . . and now for a little insight into my own writing and creative process.
What am I working on?
I don't consider what I do work, more like play . . . and messy play at that!
I love variety, it makes life interesting, which is why I enjoy writing poetry, painting, reading, photography and blogging. They all tap into each other but allow me the freedom to chose where my focus is going to be on any given day.
After publishing my debut collection of poetry and prose 'The Edge Of Silence' this February, I'd found myself in a bit of lull but Spring seems to be enticing my muse back into the swing of things.
I recently changed out some of my art in a local gallery where I exhibit my work and right now I have several journals in different stages of completion with a handful of paintings all textured up and ready for layers of color.
You'll also find me working on an upcoming interview piece I've been invited to do as well as wracking my brains, and rummaging through odd scraps of paper, to see if I can fashion a poem out of my sleep deprived scribbling's. Once a poem forms, I'll then set about creating an image to accompany it. I love the combination of image and verse and how they often play off one another.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I never intentionally set out to be a particular genre or find myself concentrating on whether my work is or isn't like that of others. I simply do what I do, and write what I know.
Poetry: free form, and often considered dark and confessional, my writing comes from a personal place where I call upon a range of emotions and experiences. I believe that, while I write for 'me', themes of pain and promise, hope and heartache, grief and despair are subjects many others can relate to.
"Pain backs me into a corner. I sink to the floor using the wall for support.My head rests on my knees as I hug myself tight, an act of comfort that does anything but. I know this space. This corner with my name etched into the stone, still bloody from the last time I clawed and scratched at it. Fear holds me here, whispering harrowing tales of where Pain has taken me before."
Art: I may not be able to draw but with the urge to create and a love of textural elements I found a way. After experimenting with different mediums I came across caulk which I just love working with. Love it or hate it I always enjoy seeing people's reactions whenever I do a show.
Why do I write/create what I do?
This question made me think of a poem I wrote titled 'I Write'. which lists the many reasons why I do what I do. One of the verses reads "I write to lose myself so that I may find myself again". I think this sums it up perfectly.
I've always loved to write but the creative element came much later. As someone who has a hard time expressing herself vocally I find that through art and through writing I'm able to convey so much more. It also allows me to deal with emotions, with pain, to capture thoughts and feelings, to notice the little things and record this amazing journey I find myself on.
In both the writing and creating process there's a magical moment when I truly do lose myself and all track of time, I guess its like being 'in the zone'. When I 'find myself again' I'm usually amazed at what I've created.
How does your writing/creative process work?
It doesn't! Well not always. It tends to be a chaotic and random event for me, with little or no control over it. I often find myself jotting down notes and snippets on paper that later get construed into something more.
As someone who suffers with insomnia it will come as no surprise that many bursts of inspiration come late at night when I furiously scribble them down so as not to forget them come morning.
Occasionally I will write a poem in response to a prompt but my muse is fickle and doesn't like to be told what to do. When I'm creating a poem, or having to do anything that takes a lot of brain power, I like silence. Lately, however, I've found I've been enjoying listening to music while I paint.
Well enough about me, now it's time to introduce you to three incredibly talented souls. You can continue your tour of blog land next Monday (May 19th) when you will find Kelly, Susie and Michael's answers to these telling questions.
Kelly Letky is a graphic artist, poet, writer, photographer, jewelry designer, wife, mother, sister, daughter, crazy cat lady, friend, runner, knitter, gardener, not necessarily in that order. Always searching for the beauty in life.
Susie Clevenger is a Poet, Author, Blogger and Photographer. Her debut book of poetry 'Dirt Road Dreams' is available on Amazon and Susie is currently working on her second poetry collection, Insomnia's Ink.
Michael Douglas Jones is a mixed media artist, writer and caretaker of wonder in Frederick, Maryland. He is currently working on an art and essay project, 'Written Receipts for Paid Attention'.
Michael's art and writing can be found on his blog 'Michael Douglas Jones' and his novella, UNION, is available online. He can also be followed on twitter at @MJonesStudio.
I find myself inspired by the amazing writing skill of these guys (whose words often stay with me long after being read) but you will also find many other inspirational bloggers under the 'Favorite Places To Visit' section of my sidebar. So have fun visiting these folks and hopefully you'll find some new personal favorites along the way.