The creative process isn’t something I really talk about, mostly out of a superstitious fear of ‘jinxing’ whatever good mojo happens to sometimes trickle my way and also a fear of inviting a boulder to block that stream by overthinking the whole thing. However, Becky invited me to participate in this Blog Hop, and I thought it was a fun enough exercise and a chance to look that superstition in the face and politely spit in it. And then quickly apologize and run off to find a handkerchief.
Becky’s a whiz. In addition to editing Crafting a Green World and creating/maintaining The Great Vegan Search Engine Project, she owns Glue & Glitter, her home for DIY craftiness, recipes, and her books. She’s my wife, too! How about that!
So here’s a look at my process and what I’m working on, and below that I’m featuring a couple of writers that I’m a fan of, Christine and Robert. Both of them are friends of mine and both have distinct writing talents and styles that I admire through clenched, jealous teeth.
What am I working on/writing?
Right now I’m involved in a rewrite/edit of two new books of children’s poetry: the first is book three (and most of book four) of a four book series, tentatively titled the mister or honey bee blues or here’s to the stars. The second is a followup to a book of post apocalyptic poems I wrote a few years back called distant friends. I don’t know yet what the sequel is called. That’s the first shelf, the one I tend to most frequently. I’m also dusting off books one and two of the four book series and preparing second editions of those; those rest on the second shelf. On the third shelf, I’m putting together a short story compilation and am in a slow first rewrite of a novel.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
Simply put, I think it differs in that everyone else in the genre seems to know what they’re doing and I really don’t. I have an enthusiast’s interest in poetry but not an academic one, at all, and I never thought I would write poetry myself. I never thought I was capable. The poems bubbled up while I was writing other things, in between things, like weeds, and I ignored them for a long time before I thought to maybe put a little effort toward cultivating them. Once I did I came to love the way they breathed and put a specific image in my head, and started working toward that as my objective. I’m not saying other poets don’t breathe or create imagery; of course they do. Mine just comes from a surprised, found confidence, a love of singsongs, and perhaps a different measuring stick than other poets have and that all results in something that I can definitely look at and say that it’s my voice.
Why do I write what I do?
I guess I already kind of answered this from a form angle – I never thought poetry would be the form that my writing took. I’m still reluctant to attack an idea through a poem as opposed to a short story or essay, but time and time again it’s the direction my head and words seem to run. As for subject matter, I’m insanely nostalgic about my own childhood in the ’80s and I’m a huge fan of entertainment/fashion/design of the back half of the twentieth century. Spread a love of sci-fi and fantasy on top of that and you pretty much have the source material for most of my writing.
How does my process work?
Write, write, write. Write all the time. When I catch a hook, I grab it and let it drag me for awhile and if it takes me to the end of the line that’s awesome but it usually doesn’t and that’s not important. What’s important is that I’m writing. All the time.
In a perfect world, this is true but the reality is that I can’t always get to writing or sometimes my head’s not there and when I can’t write it stings a little bit. At those points I get into organization mode and start looking at the more nuts-and-bolts aspects of the process, like edits and rewrites and page layouts and the whole publishing side of things. There’s always something to do and there’s never enough time for all of it. Especially when you’e got six projects in the oven.
That’s if I can’t write, though. If I can write, I’m writing, and everything else can just wait and happen when it happens.
That’s it for me! Let’s meet Christine and Robert!
I’ve known Christine for about ten years now and she planted her flag pretty early on as one of the funniest people I know. Her blog, TV Kitchen, showcases her love of television and television history through the lens of her own life and her, you know, person history in a way that makes what she has to say unique and distinct. Here’s her bio:
Hey! I’m a freelance writer and digital content strategist based in Atlanta. I previously worked for a bunch of years in a bunch of roles at Cartoon Network, helping build digital experiences for brands including The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Chowder, Adventure Time and Regular Show.
I’m originally from a suburb of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. I’ve performed improv and stand-up comedy in Atlanta, and in addition to my TV Kitchen blog, I also write about television and comedy for Paste Magazine. In my spare time, I love cooking, baking, checking out Atlanta restaurants, spending time with my husband and preparing for the arrival of our first baby later this year! (Uh-oh, I sense another blog coming on…)
Robert Lamb’s a good friend of mine, and I’m a big fan of his writing. His subject matter is usually about twenty shades darker than mine is, but we share an enthusiasm for the same what-ifs. His most recent book, Eight Black Offerings, is a collection of very grim what-ifs, indeed, and it’s fantastic and well worth your time. Just don’t read it in bed. Unless you sleep upon a bed of skulls. But at that point you’re probably the type to do whatever you want to do, anyway.
Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction, but such are the trials of puberty. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster.
That’s it. Check them out and if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading.
Jeanee @ Finely Crafted says
Dave, either you’re a terrible self-promoter, or I’m terrible at paying attention. I just learned about your blog! I’m always hungry for “process” stories, and I especially like the way you described your poetic bubblings. Share on!