TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Nolcha Fox — Fiction Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity is walking into a new universe blind-folded, where none of the old laws (including the law of gravity) apply, and I don’t know the new rules, so I have to make them up as I go. I don’t know where I’m going, or where I’ll end up, or even why. Now you know why I write fantasy, dark humor, and horror.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?

I’m very fortunate because I’m retired, so it’s very easy for me to make time for creativity. Creativity can strike any time, day or night. It isn’t unusual for me to write the first draft of my short stories in my brain while I’m in bed, pretending to sleep. I used to get up and write everything down when that happened, but it only made me cranky the next day. Now I know I’ll remember enough to crank out a rough second draft the next morning.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?

Everything I’ve experienced worms its way into my writing at one point or another. I couldn’t keep it separate if I tried. For example, from the time I was a small child to the day I left home, just before I fell into a deep sleep, I would dream that I was falling from a great height onto a bed of shiny pebbles, washed by water. That became a short story I plan to submit, after I stop hyperventilating every time I read it.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

My most memorable creative moment was the time I received a letter from an editor who liked my story about a mother who drove her children off a pier, but thought it would work better if I told the story from the point of view of a child. The kicker is that I originally wrote the story from the viewpoint of a child, but my writing group hated it – they thought it should be told from the point of view of the mother who did the evil deed. Of course I had the original version, which I promptly sent off to the editor. He loved it, and that was my first published story. I learned to trust my gut, to trust my own creative impulse, not to trust my writing group. That was a tough lesson. They’re my second family. I still have to relearn it now and then.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

I don’t cross genres. I tried writing poetry. All my submissions were rejected. After I picked myself off the ground, I realized that my poetry whines too much, so I decided to stick with what I do best.

What/who inspires you the most?

I honestly couldn’t tell you where most of my story ideas come from, and I’m certain that some of my friends (who shudder every time I tell them it’s another horror story) would love to find the source of my inspiration and kill it.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I have a confession to make. I don’t read the work of other writers anymore because I don’t want to inadvertently steal any of their ideas. That’s not polite.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?

First, pick a genre. There are a gazillion literary magazines out there, and the more targeted you can be, the easier it is to decide where to submit. And even then, see my second tip. Second, expect to be rejected. Most editors are incredibly polite and sympathetic. And you know what? Rejections suck anyway. Have rejections ever made me think about taking up a different hobby, like juggling chain saws? Absolutely! But at some point, I try again. And again. And again.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?

I want to get my stories published in a book. Or three. (One day I’ll have to tell you about my story sock drawer.) Here’s my second confession. I’d rather get them all published at once instead of sending them out one or two at a time. I’m not a teenager anymore, after all.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Nolcha

Nolcha Fox worked as a professional writer in the software and finance industries for over two decades. Retirement couldn’t stop the itch in her fingers to write, so Fox started blogging about life in a Wyoming small town (http://nolchafox.wixsite.com/buffalo-wyoming-blog). Blogging wasn’t enough; Fox returned to her old love of short stories. Fox focuses on (dark) humor, horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

Her stories have been published in Deadlights, The Wire’s Dream Magazine, We Are A Website New Literary Journal, and Cadaverous Magazine.

Fox is an active member of Wyoming Writers, Inc., and the Writers Ink group in Buffalo, WY (we meet in the local haunted hotel).

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TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Brandon Black — Fiction Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?

N/A

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?

I’ve been waking up before 6 a.m. ever since high school. Suffice it to say, I am an early bird! Creativity definitely comes to me in the early hours though throughout my experience, it can strike at any moment.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?

N/A

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

Particularly for my story, it parallels some of my experiences while growing up in Southern California. Seizing those memorable moments and then letting my creativity take over was key in making the story really come to life and inflict the appropriate tone and resonance with readers.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

N/A

What/who inspires you the most?

I draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources including my family and social circle, real-life experiences, day-dreams and more. Once I have an idea I feel I can write the hell out of, I then seek the most applicable source of motivation to continue my writing and creative process.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

N/A

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?

Persistency is a fine line. Be confident in following up with an editor while also making the case for why your story should be published in the first place. Answering the question, “why my story resonate will resonate with readers of your publication?” is also a key ingredient in successfully pitching an editor and in follow-up emails.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?

N/A

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Brandon

Brandon Black is a 29-year-old aspiring writer, based in Los Angeles, California, who has chronic speech disfluency, stuttering. He grew up with a stutter and attended speech therapy in middle school and for a brief period after university.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Matt Reid — Fiction Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity to me means finding a special way to inspire others. Creativity can come from almost anywhere! I grew up hearing the expression, “There’s nothing new under the sun…”. My favorite rapper Nas said that in a song and it stuck with me. I interpreted these lyrics as one having to be creative because not much in life is new. So humans have to find innovative ways to appeal to one another by using whatever the world provides for them. For instance, a writer has to use the same 26 letters in the alphabet, the same letters that everyone else has access to in order to form words, sentences, and paragraphs that draw the attention of readers. It’s a very challenging process! I think of the writer Ernest Vincent Wright who wrote the lipogram, Gadsby. He must have been bored with writing and needed a new challenge. So he decided to write a book without using the letter “e’. Now that’s c-r-a-t-i-v!

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?

Time is something all of us adults seem to run out of with more responsibilities. We have to be creative in finding more grains of sand in our hour glass. A thousand ideas pop up in my mind at the most inconvenient moments. Particularly at my job! I work with students so they inspire me all day long by reminding me of what life was like at their ages. That’s why a lot of my writing is about me when I was a kid or a teenager just like the students I’m around. My daughter Sage also motivates me to think that way too. She’s becoming more curious about history and writing so I find time to creatively connect with her. Sometimes I think of concepts of stories while I’m talking to students or my daughter. The youth inspires me! So with little time to write, I jot a whole lot down as fast as I can so I don’t forget it. When I can, I also make time to watch documentaries that inspire me to be creative. Netflix has a piece titled Abstract with an episode of Tinker Hatfield (the guy who designed Air Jordan’s and many other sneakers for Nike). He was somehow injured and had to sit up in a hospital for weeks yet he asked for a sketch pad and designed sneakers in the 1980’s that many repeatedly buy over-and-over again as retros! Watching his creative process was mind-blowing! Another episode featured Christoph Niemann who’s a visual storyteller and draws cartoons for The New Yorker. He had an office space where he would go to sit for hours without coming up with any ideas, however, it was the time he put in to eventually get to his creative stage that mattered to me. These guys made me realize that my work ethic was poor. When I described these stories to my wife Lauren, she went and bought me a sketching desk. Now I have a creative space in my basement where my drawing desk, laptop, markers, colored pencils, sketch paper, and beats by dr. dre constantly call my name to come create.

I’m definitely in between being an “early bird” and a “night owl”! I get up early almost everyday and if I’m not writing or illustrating, I’m thinking about it. Or if I don’t find time to create throughout the day, I wait until everyone in my home is asleep and sneak down to the basement to write or illustrate pictures for my children’s book. In fact, I have a character who’s an owl that helps his friend find himself. It’s sort of symbolic to me finding my voice as a writer.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?

Most of it! I’m writing a memoir about my coming of age. It consists of defining moments that helped mold me into the man I am and continue to become. The theme of my memoir, “It takes a village…” pays homage to the community I was born and raised in, William Penn Village, the former name of a government housing project in Pottstown, PA. As kids, my friends and I had to be pretty creative because we were underprivileged. We used to slam metal shopping carts on the hard concrete until the top basket part fell off. Then we’d flip the basket part over to reattach it to the bottom section that has the wheels with string or wire in order to make a go-cart that coasted down the street. Only poor kids are that creative!

My experiences are everything to me! I take where I’m from everywhere I go even if I’m on the other side of the world. My mantra is a Bob Marley quote, “My home is in my head.” I had an opportunity to travel through South East Asia where my friends and I played soccer with kids in Vietnam, bought ice cream for kids in Cambodia, and rode elephants in Thailand with a kid and his father. The kid and his father provided an elephant as their business for tourists to ride. I’ll never forget the kid telling us that he couldn’t afford to go to school. Instead, he helped his father earn a living to entertain us and many others. These experiences humble me yet are worth sharing.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

My most memorable creative moment is coming up with the concept and characters for the picture book I’m working on. Writing a story is one thing, illustrating the pictures for certain text is another. It’s very time consuming when one does both on their own but it has a sense of fulfillment.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

Most definitely! My favorite genre is non-fiction. As a history major in undergrad and an aspiring social studies teacher, I love reading about events that took place in the past. It helps me better understand what’s presently going on and how to prepare for what’s coming. I believe it’s important to re-write history that’s either misrepresented or not represented at all. For instance, there are many untold African American and African stories that authors must creatively write about! Sometimes I cross over to the genre of fiction because it’s a gateway to touch on more serious topics in history. Graphic novels are great instruments to get kids and even adults to see pieces of history in ways they’ve never seen it in reading a boring text book. Also, I love hip-hop music and there isn’t much difference between verses in songs and stanzas found in poems. As I previously mentioned, I also do my own illustrations.

What/who inspires you the most?

My wife Lauren inspires me the most! She’s the one who put the battery in my back to pursue writing by gifting me with books and other things to get me started. Before that it was mostly talk about writing children’s books or memoirs. As someone who earned her PhD before the age of thirty, my wife is an overachiever who has little time for all talk and no action. Also, I get inspired every time I read an excerpt, article or book based on someone’s life story. It motivates me to keep writing so I can convert from being a writer to being an author.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

James McBride’s The Color of Water:A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, changed my life and is the epiphany I gained toward writing about my own experience. Paulo Coelho who wrote The Alchemist which is the perfect book to encourage one to follow their heart. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me, is something that every black father should read. Alexander Michelle’s The New Jim Crow is highly informative! Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope described a man I admired way before he’d run for president. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, describes the plight of Africans and Tim Wise’s White Like Me, reminds me that one always has the ability to step outside of their privilege or race to express empathy for oppressed people.

I think many of the above have been undervalued because for some reason, race and injustice is still an uncomfortable topic for many to discuss.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?

KEEP WRITING! Rejection is part of the process. Being stuck in the slush-pile is frustrating but it happened to the best authors out. I never delete the emails of the publishers that denied my work. Instead, I keep my list of them as a reminder that not being “the right fit” does not always mean my writing sucks. There’s always room for improvement. Also, to be a writer, you must be a reader. It’s wise to go into Barnes and Noble to see what authors stay on the shelves and who’s currently out. Read about someone who has a similar story as yours. Even if it’s only the inside flap.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?

My goal is to have my memoir available in all outlets! Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, local book stores, and more. Being a bestseller is every writers dream! Having a picture book that I’ve made from scratch published and accessible for every child all over the world would be wonderful! Someday, I want to be minding my own business in a coffee shop until I notice a college student reading my memoir. Or seeing a mother reading my children’s book to her five year old son at an airport would all be worth it!

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Matt

Matt Reid is a Child Specific Aide who works with amazing students to help them overcome obstacles within the Wissahickon School District located in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Matt believes that confidence is everything when it comes to helping students discover their talents.

Matt has gone viral exceeding a million views on House of Highlights after scoring the game winning shot in a faculty versus students basketball game.

Matt holds a B.A. in History from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Phil Gallos — Fiction Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?

My creativity management is minimal. I may be standing, writing at the kitchen counter while eating breakfast. I may be writing in bed before going to sleep. I may wake up in the middle of the night and jot some notes on the nearest piece of paper. I do try to set aside a few hours in the afternoon twice a week in a favorite café with a strong cup of tea and my writing materials (pen and notebook – I almost never compose on my laptop, and most revisions are done on print-outs). Working in an environment that has a fair amount of ambient activity actually helps me to focus. That does not mean that I don’t sometimes work in a quiet room at home or by the shore of a lake or on a mountaintop. I try to make room for the muse whenever she arrives, and then listen.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?

All of it. Everything shapes who I am as a creative person. The creative process is a process of transformation. Personal transformation. So now I have to be a bit dogmatic. We are what we create. We are constantly re-creating ourselves. Whatever we call our art is but one manifestation of that process. You can’t say, “Oh, that is my imagination, and this is my experience.” Your imagination is your experience, as much as your breathing. Stop breathing, your body dies. Stop imagining, your soul dies. Any separation between content and experience is an illusion.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

There have been so many memorable creative moments. The most recent was in June, 2016. I awoke from a dream and knew I had the crux of a story. I spent the entire day writing; and, when I wasn’t actually writing, I was thinking about what I was going to write. Everything else was pushed out of the way. I remember sitting at the counter of the Blue Moon Café eating lunch, a fork in one hand, my pen in the other, scrawling line after line in my notebook so fast that the words were barely legible, not even thinking anymore, the sentences moving directly from my hand to the paper, seemingly bypassing my brain. The first draft was completed before I went to bed sometime after midnight. Many revisions later, “Saffron Gold and Fire Engine Red” was accepted and will be published this summer in The MacGuffin.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

Absolutely, but not in a premeditated way. I have been working in fine art photography for over forty years. A number of my short stories, one novella, and two novels (not all of these have been published), have had their genesis from or been informed by one or more of my photographs.

What/who inspires you the most?

On one level, the people I have known, the places I have been, an object like a singular black stone picked from a cobbly Maine beach – these inspire me to write, they populate my stories. But on a more foundational level, I am inspired by my wife, Sharon O’Brien, and my friend, the late Maurice Kenny, because they believe in my creative potential, because they want me to succeed – Sharon from the here and now, Maurice from the hereafter. Finally, I am inspired by good writing.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

Frankly, there are not many contemporary writers that I can say I “admire.” There are those whose work I enjoy and whose voices influence my own, from time to time. I did admire poet Maurice Kenny, who died in 2016, because I knew him personally, knew his history and what he tried to accomplish, knew his struggle in his last years and his determination to keep writing, which he did nearly to the end, leaving several books in the publishing pipeline to add to the 29 already out there, and I knew his generosity with his time helping younger writers even as his days slipped away. Some will have the pleasure of reading his work. I had the privilege of reading him.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?

Don’t give up. Talk to other writers who have been published. Don’t become so attached to what you’ve written that you are unwilling to act on advice that even you know could improve your work. Revise, revise, revise. Keep all of your old drafts. Then you can look back and see that your story or poem really is better now than it was when you began. Rejections are part of the process. Each one is an opportunity to reevaluate and improve the work, to submit to another venue, or to submit something else to the same venue that may more closely align with their tone. At the same time, never write primarily to please the editors. Write to please your soul.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?

Goal: to continue to improve as a writer. Aspiration: to know that my writing is making a positive difference in someone’s life, even if it’s simply the satisfaction of reading a story well told. Where would I like to see my work? I can give you a list, or I can just say in the hands of those who appreciate it.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Phil

Phil Gallos has been a newspaper reporter and columnist, a researcher/writer in the historic preservation field, and has spent 28 years working in academic libraries. Longer works include Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake: Architecture and History of a Pioneer Health Resort, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, 186 p. Anthologized shorter work can be found in Rooted in Rock: New Adirondack Writing, 1975-2000, Adirondack Museum/Syracuse University Press, 2001; and in Adirondack Reflections: On Life and Living in the Mountains and the Valleys, The History Press, 2013. Most recently, his writing has been published in Thrice Fiction, The Vignette Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Sky Island Journal and is forthcoming in The MacGuffin and Blueline. A native of Manhattan, he lives in Saranac Lake, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains.

Read TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interviews — Beginning Wednesday August 1st

Hello Y’all!

Thank you for your patience! Much has personally happened to me during the past few months and I needed to take time to resolve some things. I would like to sincerely say that I’m truly, truly grateful for all of your work; this magazine is a work of love for me and I’m passionate about everything that it represents. For that reason, it was a struggle for me to postpone the release of the 4th Collection because I felt that I was letting everyone down. Now, I’ll be starting up again, and I would truly love for you to join me as I continue doing what I’m most passionate about.

Beginning Wednesday, August 1st, you’ll start seeing the interviews from those who will be joining The Wire’s Dream family. I hope you appreciate the words that each have to say about their creative process and about their work.

Thank you again for your support and for continuously being the wonderful people that you all are.

Christina Lydia

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Stallion Dunquis, TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Contributor — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About Creativity

Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?

Escapism, pure fun.

How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?

My muse is Estefanía. I’ve been writing since I was 7.

What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?

I acted in The Merchant of Venice as part of a Shakespeare course at university.
The two teachers were brilliant! They allowed me to write and perform music for
the production, as well.

People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?

Lighting candles. Boiling cinnamon sticks and vanilla extract on the stove.
Listening to classical music.

Time, Tips, & Future Goals

How do you make time to do what you love to do?

The night is always young.

What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?

Harbor no expectations for your submissions. If someone likes your work, engage
that person with the utmost gratitude. Get away from writing—go to the movies,
go dancing.

What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?

In 2023 I see myself living in Paris and owning a bulldog named Claude.

— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—

About Stallion

Stallion Dunquis, TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Contributor

Stallion Dunquis is a poet and singer based in New York City. Sonnets from Dunquis have recently appeared in Porridge Magazine and Rag Queen Periodical.
Facebook / Instagram & Twitter: @stalliondunquis

Read Stallion’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection

“Air” — p. 29
“Piel en Piel” — p. 55
“Nausea” — p. 57
“Advice From Ernie” — p. 86
“Merlot” — p. 89

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Scott Laudati — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About Creativity

Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?

It’s everything that staring into a cellphone all day isn’t.

How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?

I started writing way before I ever put a pen to paper. But it was probably for the same reason everyone else starts: I wasn’t cool. I find locations to be the best muse. Derelict motels full of residents on the sides of interstates are good. In the back of the Korean buses on the way to Buffalo is another one that works.

What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?

When I got my first book published I was able to finally say, “I did it”.

People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?

The only way to write is to stay up later than everyone else. No superstitions, I guess. Although I think I’ve prayed or cursed anything that could be up in the sky at some point while writing.

Time, Tips, & Future Goals

How do you make time to do what you love to do?

It’s very hard, but being awake while everyone else is sleeping is the best way to find solitude.

What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?

I think there’s a publisher out there for everyone. I’ve had a book deal fall through and now in hindsight it was the best thing that could’ve happened. It got published eventually by Kuboa Press and the guy who runs it, Pablo D’Stair, and his brother Carlos Gonzalez, have become great friends and Yoda-like mentors. Basically the point is, submit to every place you can find online. Just at the second I was going to quit for good everything came together. And that has happened in some capacity 100 times since. You’re always against the ropes as a writer. Just remember, you’ve only got a couple decades to get it out, so get to work.

What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?

I’d like to make $900 off book sales every month so I can move to Italy and never see a Republican and eat fresh sardines every day. And once a month go read at Shakespeare & Co. I’d also like a good dog to share all of that with.

— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—

About Scott

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Scott Laudati — Poetry Contributor

Scott Laudati lives in NYC with his boxer, Satine, He is the author of Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair (poems) and Play The Devil (novel). His new book of poems, Bone House, will be available soon. Visit him on instagram @scottlaudati

You Can Find Scott Here

Twitter @ScottLaudati

View Scott’s Book Trailer For Bone House

Read Scott’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection

“My Suitcase Is Packed” — p. 56

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Darren C. Demaree — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About Creativity

Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is the ability to find the artistic tether, hold it with both hands, and then try to do as many different things as possible with it.

How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?

I started writing poetry in high school. I don’t remember why.

What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?

I wrote my book “The Nineteen Steps Between Us” in four days. It was a fun and crazy four days to produce an 88-page book that got published the same year.

People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?

I write every day. It’s when I get my coffee, and it’s the only time I have any sugar. By the time I taste the coffee I’m ready to write.

Time, Tips, & Future Goals

How do you make time to do what you love to do?

Dedication to a very specific routine.

What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?

Write all the time. Submit all the time. Don’t take any rejection personally. Celebrate a little bit with any acceptance.

What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?

I just want to keep writing every day. I don’t know what that will bring accomplishment-wise, but I’ll have written a lot more poetry. More poetry is always a good thing.

— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—

About Darren

Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Diode, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review.

Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). Demaree’s seventh collection Two Towns Over was selected as the winner of the Louise Bogan Award by Trio House Press, and is scheduled to be released in March of 2018. Demaree is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

Read Darren’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection

[call it what you will] — p. 58
[you can take apart the couch] – p. 115

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Matt Nagin — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About Creativity

Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?

Creativity has a great deal to do with listening. Creative types, particularly writers, have an antenna–they pick up wavelengths/frequencies–that, hopefully, lead them to the promised land (successful work). This is particularly the case with poetry. Often creative phrases pop into the skull that later become a poem. Mozart I read heard whole symphonies! So creativity, to me, is first and foremost about listening; and, secondarily, about following–meaning following what you heard–and letting the creative process carry you away–like a tide pushing a wave to shore. Thirdly, after the first draft is complete (listening and following), it is about the Apollonian grunt work–crafting, perfecting, editing–to realize the original impetus behind the work or even something a bit more than originally intended.

How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?

I started at age 16. Depression led me to it. I was down and, at the time, was keeping all my anger and sadness buried deep within. I filled up countless notebooks with poems–and this had a therapeutic effect. I wouldn’t say I have one muse. I have multiple. It always changes. I think it is great to find new inspirations–and to look for them in unique places. I don’t like poetry that is forced; that TRIES to be inspirational–this all seems phony as hell to me. Just be honest. That is one secret with writing. Or, as Chekov put it, “a writer must be as objective as a chemist….he must know that dungheaps play a very reasonable part in a landscape.”

What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?

I suppose my most memorable creative experience was the first time I put on a one man show and my parents were in the audience. They never liked my work. Always, pretty much, were discouraging. But they laughed a great deal at this comedic show and the overall response was very positive that night. After that they had more respect for my artistic pursuits and my confidence increased. It was kind of a redemptive/transformative moment…to a certain extent…as I obtained a degree of validation I never seemed able to obtain before that.

People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?

I try to write every day. One important thing I started doing in recent years is directing far more of my creative energies into completing projects. In the past I would follow my inspiration–constantly starting new projects. But I learned–as enjoyable as that is–I need to slow down and polish. It is tough, sometimes, sticking with one project–and again and again revising it. But, stick with it, and very often it pays dividends.

Time, Tips, & Future Goals

How do you make time to do what you love to do?

There really isn’t any choice for me. If I don’t write I become unpleasant. So I make time. Put other matters on the back burner. Sometimes I alienate friends or relatives or have unpaid bills or my clothes don’t look so sharp, but, for me, this all is a worthy sacrifice.

What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?

Write every day. Don’t judge your own work too harshly. Just give yourself the freedom to play. Over time a craft and a sense of voice will emerge. Everyone grows at their own pace. Don’t compare yourself too much with your peers. Try not to get lost in bitterness and jealousy. Just stay disciplined and brick by brick complete work and, when ready, put it out there. Rejections can be tough. They can even hurt your creative output and induce extreme insecurity. But use the rejections to get stronger inside and fight harder and write more frequently to get beyond them. You are rejected now so you can be accepted later–with a new level of depth. Some of the best writers, for quite some time, were getting rejected. Don’t focus on it. Focus on where you are headed. And hopefully, with time, you will get where you need to go.

What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?

I want to finish more projects than in the past and create at higher levels. My immediate goals are a humor book (filled with short satires), a poetry book, and, when those are finished, a novel I started over ten years ago (and have yet to complete). In five years I hope to be more established as a creative voice on the literary scene and have a larger, built-in fan base. Finally, I’d like to in some way give back–other than teaching–by helping other writers through some kind of foundation, grant, or other charitable activity.

— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—

About Matt

Matt Nagin is a writer, educator, actor, filmmaker and standup comedian. His poetry has been published in Antigonish Review, Dash Literary Journal, The Charles Carter, Grain Magazine and Arsenic Lobster, among other markets. His first poetry collection, Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight, was released in 2017, and has obtained very strong reader reviews. More info at mattnagin.com.

You Can Find Matt Here

WEB: mattnagin.com
EMAIL: mattnagin@gmail.com
TWITTER: @MNAGIN
INSTAGRAM: @NAGINPLEASE
IMDB: imdb.com/name/nm4263194/
YOUTUBE: mattbrian12345678
POETRY BOOK: http://www.amazon.com/Butterflies
FILM SITE: http://www.insidejobthemovie.com

Read Matt’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection

“Hermit On The Subway” — p. 94

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Kevin A. Risner — Poetry Contributor

The Wire's Dream Magazine Logo
As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About Creativity

Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?

To me, it’s such a general word. I think of the process of creation itself, the idea that we are all creators of something. What can I put together and how can I refine it — so that what I have formed can affect someone or multiple people? How can I make my words effective, moving? How can I paint with words and sentences, just like an artist or sculptor might fashion something for the public or even for the self?

How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?

I began to read whatever book I found when I was very young, even if I couldn’t read the actual words. That transferred over to writing. I wrote whenever I could, whatever I could. It would sometimes be when I should have been doing classwork in grade school. I wrote mysteries, science fiction stuff, outlandish narratives. Sometimes a mimicry of what I’d just read. My muses are endless: my wife always inspires me, nature can be invigorating, and my dreams are an endless stream for me to dip into and enjoy. Current political and global issues also move me to grab my pen.

What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?

Nothing jumps at me right now. I’ve had moments when I need to scramble for my notebook to get an idea or an experience written down. I’ve been a part of writing groups, which has been helpful in writing down a poem or a narrative piece — with just one word or one situation as the spark.

People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?

I try to write down something every day. I’m sort of successful at that — but not always. Placing a notebook by my bed helps me whenever I have a dream that sticks and is memorable to me. I need to have coffee or another stimulant (tea works, so does beer or wine!) … and I need to be ready, though sometimes being ready doesn’t happen and I just have to write. Just do it. I’ve written “writing time” in my calendar before, but that’s normally when I get super busy and I don’t give myself the necessary time to do it.

Time, Tips, & Future Goals

How do you make time to do what you love to do?

That’s just it. I make the time. I have to. I have to tell myself to take a break: so that means go to the gym or the trails and get running. That means head to a cafe for some coffee, try a new beer at one of the local breweries. That means designate a time to be with people I care about. That means go out to eat with my wife. And I can’t just think — “you know, I should be doing such and such” — I have to do them. To act.

What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?

Read. Read a lot. Read a variety of work. Read work written by people that are different from you. Read work from underrepresented voices. It’s important to read, to listen, to experience as much as one can. It’s important to have willingness: to learn, to try, to get organized, to open that notebook (or computer), to write, to write anything and everything. The connections will come. The narrative arcs will appear. When submitting, one must be willing to take on that part-time job. Ask people what they do, take a deep breath, allow for rejection to overpower you, expect rejection, expect it often, and don’t be discouraged!

What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?

I want to move people. I want to inspire people. I want to reach people from all walks of life and from different backgrounds. I want everyone to reconsider their present state — their reality, their beliefs, their biases, their future. I want people to gain perspective, gain empathy, learn to love and help those who are struggling. In five years, I still would love to be teaching writing and narrative to a diverse and excited group of students. In five years, I would love to compile and publish a much larger poetry collection. In five years, I would love to have a completed prose piece. There is a lot buzzing around in my head; hopefully a lot of what’s up there can land cohesively and form something worthwhile and inspiring for others.

— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—

About Kevin

TWD Magazine 3rd Collection Interview: Kevin A. Risner — Poetry Contributor
Kevin A. Risner is currently ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work can be found multiple places online — including Rising Phoenix Review, Rise Up Review, the murmur house, and others. His first chapbook, My Ear is a Sieve, has recently been published by Bottlecap Press. He enjoys reading, running, and a nice scotch — but not all at the same time (though that would be quite an impressive feat).

You Can Find Kevin Here

Twitter: @mr_december
Instagram: mrdecemberist
Website: kevinrisner.com

Read Kevin’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection

“December” — p. 19
“Time” — p. 40