Thank you, Carol Balawyder for inviting me to be a part of the Tour through Blogland experience. Wow! What a pleasure to participate. The exposure to interesting blogs, writers and writings has been enormously enriching.
Carol Balawyder, Writer/Author
Carol and I met, obviously through our blogging and in the year we’ve been online cohorts, I have discovered that she is a diverse writer with publishing credit in women’s fiction, memoir and crime writing, making her an accomplished fiction and non-fiction author. On top of her writing talents, she is also a welcoming and supportive person. I have enjoyed learning about her and her accomplishments, and I am so glad our blog paths crossed. I can’t wait for the day I meet her in person! I know it will be a blessing. Until then, I continue to enjoy her features on www.carolbalawyder.com and I hope you’ll take the time to link over and familiarize yourself with her and her latest works, Getting to Mr. Right and Missi’s Dating Adventures.
I’ve read both of her books and found them to contain insightful commentary on some of today’s relationship issues…and not just romantic relationships. Her works are important and engaging and I think you’ll agree with me once you have read them. Thanks Carol for inviting me into your world and for your contributions to the literary world.
Carol and some of the rest of you know that I’m not big on rules so I was glad to see that there were only a few requirements to participate in a Tour through Blogland. They are:
1. Pass the tour on
2. Give the rules to the other blogger and a specific Monday to post
3. Answer four questions about my creative process
Okay, simple enough; I can handle that. So without further delay, I present to you a blogger/author who I greatly admire and to whom I am passing the tour opportunity, followed by my responses to the creative process questions. I hope you enjoy!
Serena Wills: Poet, Essayist and Inspiration/Self-help Writer
When I thought of all the bloggers with whom I could share this experience, Serena rose to the top. Not only because of her recently released poetry book, Reconstruction: Pieces of Life, Volume 1, A Poetry Book, but also because she is an amazingly productive, multi-faceted and inventive writer. Also, I settled on Serena because she lives her life as we all should: combining grit, faith and goal-nurturing to overcome adversity (that occasional blip that happens in every person’s life). Read her poetry book and you’ll get a glimpse into the challenges she has had to overcome and how she overcame them.
Click here to access her site, and we can all look forward to her Tour through Blogland post in April or May (set date to be communicated).
Questions about My Creative Process
- What are you working on at the moment? My friend Renita likens the job of today’s writers to the juggling team of Vova and Olga, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljnmYQ5NJjQ. Their job is to keep all of the balls, clubs or whatever they are juggling in the air. So, like Vova and Olga, I am juggling many items that include: a blog; a memoir; marketing and promotions for “Fuller’s Curse” and “Voices from the Block;” a non-fiction personal development book; a children’s book; the programming for a non-profit organization; and involvement in three writers groups. I try to work smart to keep all of these from crashing to the floor, but some days it’s a real struggle. Now, really, truth be told, what I should be working on is “Tremont’s Curse,” the sequel to “Fuller’s Curse,” but that’s an entirely different juggling act that is too exhausting to think about right now.
- How does my work differ from others in my genre? This is a tough one because I write in so many genres. “Fuller’s Curse” is a horror fiction novel. “Voices from the Block” features two mainstream short stories. And “The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Again” is a dark short story to be featured in an upcoming anthology (spring 2015). Plus, as I shared earlier, I have a children’s book in the illustration process, as well as a memoir and a sequel in the drafting stage. So I’ll lump all of my works together, strip away the genre classifications, and say that the main focus with many of my works is to blur boundaries and pummel perceptions in an effort to make people think about the labels we attach to people, places and things. I attempt in my writings to push readers beyond the obvious to see what else can be gleaned even if it makes them uncomfortable.
- Why do I write/create what I do? Stories, ideas, characters, questions, titles come to me and will not depart until I have locked them down on paper. I have had an idea for a play incubating in my head for 10+ years and yet I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast. So why do I write? Because I don’t have a choice. I have to write. Even before I was born, writing chose me and I choose to answer the call. Why do I write what I do? Because I am a creative who is fed by life experiences, and those life experiences translate into written works that take the shape of different genres and forms.
- How does my writing/creative process work? The creative process is as mysterious as the Bible so I’ll just respond to the writing process. As stated earlier, ideas, questions, titles, characters and such flow to me like city water through pipes. Idea generation is the easy part. What’s hard is committing words to paper: making myself sit down to write, anchoring myself to the chair, and creating the right string of words. So like other writers, I have learned tricks to make the writing process less strenuous. Like…ending a writing session at the height of dialogue or action; outlining the beginning, middle and end of a scene (I write scene by scene in linear order); reading a quote or inspirational piece at the start of a writing session; setting up a reward system for number of pages written, scenes completed, etc.; capturing story notes on a separate document that I refer to when I’ve written myself into a corner; writing and editing the same scene a minimum of four times; making my final story edits the old school way (on paper with red ink); and mostly, praying a lot for help.
Besides keeping all your clubs in the air (metaphorically) as Vova and Olga do, Ann your writing is as smooth and artistic as their act. Your post is a model to be followed. You have such an elegant way of expressing yourself.
I love what you said here: “the main focus with many of my works is to blur boundaries and pummel perceptions in an effort to make people think about the labels we attach to people, places and things.” That is such a fresh look at genres, especially when one writes as many different ones as you do.
I will “steal” from you some of your tricks in your creative process. Especially praying a lot for help. We all need guidance and need to trust that Divine voice speaking to us.
Serena, your poetry (I sneaked a preview on Amazon) is lovely. There is so much tenderness in your poems. You are blessed to have so many people to acknowledge and I wish you all the best in your poetic career.
Thank you, Ann for your generous words about me. I too hope we will one day meet in person but until then you will continue to be among my precious blogging friends.
My comments about you and Serena are totally from the heart. I am blessed to have such wonderful stars to orbit with.
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