Blog Tour

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I was double dared to join in the Blog Tour by my friend, and fellow blogger, John Clinock over at Art Rat Cafe.  If you haven’t been over there, make haste and partake in some of John’s artful, sublimely  intimate and open armed hospitality.

The rules of the Blog Tour are to cite the person who asked you to join, answer a few questions about your own creative process, and to invite three (or so) bloggers to the tour.

Why do I write what I write?

I began writing seriously about a year and a half ago.  I needed to explain, also to myself,  an experience I had that changed the way I view my life and the world.

I started this blog, knowing that I didn’t want to work in a vacuum. At the time, my identity, that I considered once stable and solid, shimmed across the surface intangible as a heat wave. Uprooted from everything I’d known for decades, I was gravel in a hot dryer. It was a perfect time to begin something new. So I intuitively jumped in with enthusiasm if not vigor.

Within a few posts my word count distilled into a poetic language. I abandoned prose, for the most part, and embraced poetry encouraged by the fact I could say exactly what I meant without having to use so many words.

I’ve gone through many phases as they lead me along. Words are both holy and often an aphrodisiac. They are alive in me, as well as surrounding me. They provoke and prod, undermining my resistance and enlivening my humanness. They continue to puzzle me. Always intimate.

What is my writing process?

Poetry gave me the confidence, and the community, to consider tackling prose again. I prefer the way my life feels when I’m in the space for poetry though.

Writing poetry is always spontaneous and intuitive. The words just arrive … sometimes like a sneeze… short, succinct and full bodied. I know exactly what I want to say, understand it perfectly and then the words flicker and I lose it. These are the puzzles to unravel.

Some well up from the ground of my being … and release into a chest gripping harmony… old wounds healing.

In some I feel I’m treading water … way over my head. I put my swim fins on and dream through them for meaning.

Some are just romps through my day.

Prose on the other hand demands a method. I’m very disciplined in this regard. I usually start working straight out of sleep and begin writing the first draft, having a general idea. I continue to intuitively wade my way through all my thoughts on the subject. At this point I cannot attend to sequence or order. I arrive at a more cohesive sense of the subject by writing freely.

Then for however long it takes, I search for the rhythm. Now I can jump in at any time to work and I am able to work for long hours at a time. I write on scraps of paper, in various size notebooks but primarily on the screen and I quit when my eyes give out. When I have a reasonable draft, I used to read what I’d written out loud, but now I’ve switched to recording … over and over, listening for a genuine voice, possible repetition, awkward sentencing, lazy language and for sequence. This is generally how I find the ending of the post I’m working on and often times the beginning of the next one.

How does my work differ from other genres?

I haven’t a clue but I know each demands commitment. I’ve witnessed here on Word Press how combining different art forms compliment each other, giving a fuller experience. I’d like to have the momentum in writing to begin exploring a more visual language.

What am I working on at this moment?

I’m involved with an ongoing project attempting to artistically translate the work of a surreal, magic-realism flavored three-year mystical tour through the collective unconscious. In order to clarify my own understanding, I wrote a six-page text. Everyone who has read it, however, unanimously finds my initial text unreadable and incoherent.

So I’m learning to communicate. At this point, I am about half way through the text.

Right now I prefer the immediacy of this virtual community. I’m continually inspired and it makes a difference that I know who I’m talking and sharing with. There’s energy in this that moves me forward and compliments the work, which is still very much in process…and maybe this is what it’s all about.

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Of all the luscious in word writers I have the great good fortune of following, and of being in community with here, I had to consider my leanings toward the storytellers.

Bonnie spins the most curiously mindful, quirky rhythm-ed, uncannily insightful stories….a master Mistress Spider.    Maxada Mandala

Stacy … oh Stacy. What it is to be woman.When I see Stacy has posted…I know we are getting down to it. Her poetry is simply food.   the language we speak

Mark doesn’t so much as weave his stories, as immerse you in each word of his short fiction. His stories are verbal film noir….  each nuance palpable in black and white. Chris is a quick, spontaneous eyed photographer.  Each of her photos are captioned and worlds open up. Together they have begun working out a collaborative comic ….Mark writing and Chris drawing.  The Brokedown Pamphlet  and Spartan Eye

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Sketch: Self-portrait     “Start at the beginning and work towards the end?” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 responses

  1. Thank you Jana for the nomination and your inspiring words. I think you know how much I admire your work and I am astounded to learn that you only started writing seriously eighteen months ago. When I first stumbled upon Poetry of Light I simply could not stop reading and this really does mean a lot. I know StacyMichelle’s work and Christine and I both agree with you 100%. I don’t know Bonnie’s work although I have had a quick look and she has an original and distinctive voice and I look forward to reading more. We feel we are amongst highly esteemed company. Thanks again Jana, Regards Mark.

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    • Sometimes, Mark, I see your writing like tentacle fingers very softly touching all the surfaces absorbing what they sense.There’s no manipulation or sensationalism in the sensing. You’re an explorer…. It’s nice to meet another scout. xxoo

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  2. Dear Jana – thank you so much for your wonderful support and encouragement. LIke Mark I too am in awe of your penmanship so count this nomination as a real accolade. Regards Chris.

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    • I’m really happy if this works for you Chris. I love the way you “just show up” in your own work…and then make it yours. The plus is…I get to feel like we’ve just taken a walk together and madly riffed on everything. It’s grand…xxoo

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  3. Jana, Congratulations…and thank you for this intriguing, mystical and poetic discussion of your vision. Shine on, my friend. xoxo p.s. LOVE the brilliant self-portrait!

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    • I’m getting there Chloe… my packed solid and burgeoning closet of solitude is beginning to burst at the seams. What would I do without your ebullient self? xxoo

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  4. Jana…you have transcended my doubts about nominations and about your own doubts in responding. I know it takes more than a little time and courage to expose ones vulnerability in such a challenge as this. However, I feel confirmed by your response. To hear you, your reasons for writing, your poetic insights and unforgettable words of truth and process are all so inspiring that they almost leave me humbly speechless, but not quite. Your brilliant writings in text and voice have always altered my head and heart in positive ways and this post is no exception. Thank you for opening to all of us and sharing your creative personal and working life. I believe, essentially, this is why we blog. I know you must have gained some hope and personal inspiration from this writing. I will visit your nominations, they must be exceptional writers and artists for you to nominate them…thank you my friend for always sparking my electricity and sense of magic and wonder…

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    • You have me laughing here, John, because I am so going straight back into cloistered cover…whew…introverts unite.
      Yes, yes, yes thank you….”I know you must have gained some hope and personal inspiration from this writing.” You are absolutely correct my friend. It has me wondering all kinds of things. It was a good stretch..a very good stretch.

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  5. Jana, I loved reading about your process & more about you 🙂
    & the introduction to Bonnie. mark & chris, I already know & love!
    also, thanks for the nom … I really appreciate it

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  6. Love this: “Words are both holy and often an aphrodisiac. They are alive in me, as well as surrounding me.” Also found it extremely interesting that you started writing prose in your blog and switched to poetry. You are a wonderful poet. Sounds like you’ve been writing it forever, but now it seems it hasn’t been all that long. Enjoyed reading about your process very much.

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