The internet hosts so many talented poets, writers and artists, it would take years to find them all and a lifetime to absorb the beauty in their work. The Virtual Blog Tour will shed light on many of these creative people.
I was asked by Sara Vinas, a gifted poet and artist, to allow the Tour to pay me a visit here in The Land of Pleasant Living and I very much appreciate the honor to participate. Visit Sara’s website, Cracker Jack Poet, to discover the extent of her crackerjack poetic skills.
Sara v is a worshipper of sun, sea and serendipity. She is also an artist and the inspirations for art in paint and pen come from her delight in nature, especially of the salt water variety. Her poetry has been published in “Jellyfish Whispers,” “Errant Parent,” “Brevity Poetry Review,” and several anthologies. Her art and poetry is at saravinas.blogspot.com.
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And now, on to my own part in this Tour:
What am I working on?
A few months ago, I developed an idea for a themed chapbook based on various musical instruments and styles, creating poems around their sounds and rhythms. It’s been an easier mental exercise than written one. I do make a little more progress on it each day but, admittedly, it’s going slow. Recently, through Poetic Asides, I discovered a form called the Golden Shovel (best described here). I really enjoyed working with that form and have become addicted to it. Having suffered two writing slumps this year, I think this makes a great recovery tool. I’ve already written a few more Golden Shovels since the prompt and hope to write many more with the thought of ultimately turning them into some sort of collection. Like many poets, I’m also on a Quest for the Holy Grail of Publication.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I’m not sure it differs at all, as I choose my subject matter from everything around me like every other poet who draws from the well of experience. If there is a difference, it’s in my perspective which can, occasionally, be twisted. I have sometimes looked at a poetry prompt, written my poem and then, after reading the work of others and re-reading the prompt, wondered and worried about my thought process. But that’s the beauty in and freedom of poetry – that no one approaches a subject in the same way.
Why do you write/create what you do?
For me, writing poetry is like being my own therapist. I’m sometimes surprised by what the words I’ve written tell me about myself. From the safety of the keyboard, I touch on subjects that are too painful to speak about and by doing so, often bring many of these matters to resolution. Words are like puzzle pieces that come in an unmarked box. You struggle with them for hours and hopefully, in the end, you have something that makes you laugh, cry or think.
How does your writing/creating process work?
Five years ago, a family crisis forced me to become a RWB (retiree without benefits). That event made it possible for me to spend a great deal of time on my writing. Reserving the evenings and weekends for my family, I’m a Monday through Friday 9 to 5-er poet (which most days is more like a 7:30 to 6-er). Every morning, I grab my coffee, head to the den, pull back the curtains and turn on my computer. First, I check out any new prompts at my favorite writing sites, Creative Bloomings and Poetic Asides. Next, I work on any outstanding prompt poems and they are either submitted, filed away or recycled. When I’m finished with my prompts, I usually get back to a work-in-progress, but having a desk at a window allows me to find new inspiration by almost anything outside – clouds, trees, flowers, kids splashing around in their pool, squirrels scampering across the lawn. All in all, it’s a great way to spend a day and I’m grateful to have the time to do what I love.
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It’s a privilege for me to introduce the writer I selected to carry the torch to the Virtual Blog Tour’s next location. His poetry does what good poetry should: it takes you on a journey from the page to your soul, where you don’t know if he’s writing about himself or you. Discover this man’s talented way with words at his self-titled website.
merlinspielen – or more correctly Merlin Spielen is a name gifted to Stephen Mumble in his university days. Merlin is blessed with the gift of patterns, and uses that gift to draw connections between imagination and the detritus of living. Sometimes the patterns actually even makes some sense! The results are a thin slice of reality, reflected, refracted, distilled and turned into a crystallized lexicography of meaning. Merlin lives in Ontario, Canada. Just to the west of the great urban miasma called Toronto. He is a computer consultant by day, and in the evening He hangs out with his cat and his thoughts distilling fiction and poetry into readable forms. His blog is at https://merlinspielen.com.