TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: J.I. Kleinberg — Combination 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 as necessary and urgent as breath. I don’t feel like it’s a choice or a lifestyle; it’s simply part of who I am, like the color of my eyes. To be creative is allowing, making space for something to happen, not worrying about whether it’s good. (The worrying and the making-it-good come later.)

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Definitely a morning person. I’m most open to possibility before I engage with the world (email, phone, news, etc.), so I go there first. Even 15 minutes is worthwhile and 15 minutes a day (or an hour) turns into a lot of raw material that can be revised for a long time to come.

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?
It varies. Some of my work is personal, even confessional, and some responds to the state of the world. But much of my writing is taken up with the ineffable, the mysterious, the shadow, and I am entirely okay with indulging my imagination in what I write.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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 see my interests as divided into genres, but rather see everything as connected and my life as an opportunity to learn. I read extensively – poetry, fiction and non-fiction – and look at a lot of art. I was a fiber artist for years and still do a bit of that. My found poems combine words with a visual aesthetic. They use collage as a sort of map into language and meaning.

What/who inspires you the most?
I’m continually dazzled by the lush generosity of the English language, by nature, by the senses, by simply looking out the window.

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

Too many to name, but a few poets I am admiring and sharing enthusiastically: Ellen Bass, Bruce Beasley, Stephen Dunn, Patrick Lane, Nancy Pagh, Pamela Porter, Bethany Reid, Michael Schmeltzer.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Read the publication; read the guidelines; let your work rest a few weeks before you send it out, then review it, edit, and proof, proof, proof. Keep track of your submissions (where, when, response, etc.); expect rejection and celebrate acceptance; don’t invest too much in your submissions: the next poem you write will be better and you’ll wish you’d waited instead of sending out that other one. If a piece of writing is rejected a number of times, revisit it to see whether it needs editing; it’s possible you just haven’t found the right publication yet.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I’m moving in the direction of a book and gallery exhibit for my found poetry. (The originals are quite small — a quarter of a page — but I scan them at high resolution and have blown them up successfully to 3 feet by 5 feet!)

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About J.I. Kleinberg

Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the 2016 Ken Warfel Fellowship. Her found poems have appeared in DiagramHeavy Feather ReviewRise Up ReviewThe Tishman Review (Oct. 2016), HedgerowOtoliths, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com.

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TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Carissa Owens — Creative Nonfiction 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 has always been about honesty to me- honesty and vulnerability. It is always about openness- especially being open and honest with myself. I think the best art is created by those that are able to be completely vulnerable with their audience.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I am most definitely a night owl (a product of never ending, late night reading sessions, I’m sure). I work the best between the hours of 11pm and 4am. In terms of making time for creativity, I have tried setting aside time every week to write or draw or paint but I always find that the creation feels forced. I prefer to create when inspired. Sometimes its just a sentence that gets stuck in my head and other times, I find myself writing for weeks on end. I like when ideas naturally take shape.

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?
I would say that most of my writing is influenced in some way by my experience. My voice has a tendency to seep into my fiction writing almost as much as my nonfiction. I like the ring of truth that personal experiences lend to writing. Great writing can be void of all personal experience but, it is difficult to write about something realistically and truthfully if you don’t fully understand the emotion behind it.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I think the most memorable creative moment for me was when I picked up canvas painting. Outside of writing, I have always had a hand in drawing and painting. However, oil painting on canvas use to frustrate me to no end- it still does for the most part. It was the fact that you can’t immediately fix a mistake. You have to let it sit and dry, all while staring at this one brush stroke that you absolutely hate. It has forced me to slow down in all my creative endeavors, to let things I don’t like stand for awhile. In general, oil painting has forced me to become a more patient creator.

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 like to think that I do cross genres for inspiration. Specifically, I like to incorporate some poetic devices in to my prose. I just appreciate the depth of imagery poetry is know for as well as the ambiguity it allows to exist in prose.

What/who inspires you the most?
I owe my inspiration to the support of my family and teachers. I come from a long line of medical professionals and science lovers who may have questioned my dedication to literature. However, they never doubted me. My younger brother would be embarrassed for me to mention this, but he told his best friend his sister was a published writer and it was probably one of the cutest, most satisfy moments of my life- he is thirteen so any interest he shows in my life is exciting but this is a moment I will remember long to come.

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

Honestly, I think a lot of first time published authors are under appreciated. I feel like people have tendency to look for the big names in literary magazines and forget to stop and read some newer authors’ work. The big names are big for a reason but the newbies deserve the recognition too.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Being someone who was just published for the first time, I would say my biggest tip is just to send things out and send them to a lot of places. You never know what reaction you will get from a piece until you do. The worst thing that can happen is the piece getting rejected. In reality, a rejection is just a chance to rework and revise your piece. Write, edit, submit, revise- do this over and over until you find the right fit for your work.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
Ultimately, the goal is to see a completed novel on a bookshelf- that has always been the dream. I would be awesome if it was popular and best-selling but, for now I will settle for seeing one of my works in print. Until then, hopefully a few more short stories will find their way into publications.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Carissa

Carissa Owens is a Boston based writer currently attending Emmanuel College. Owens has a passion for beautiful prose and literature. While she is currently a server at the best BBQ joint in Boston, she hopes to focus more on her writing as she finishes out her college career. 

Insta: Carissa8897

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Emily F. Butler — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
That is a tough question! I guess I think more about the verb- to create- than the adjective- creative. Creativity is active, even if it occurs solely in the mental realm.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
For me, making time for creativity is a matter of carving out sufficient alone time, especially in the mornings. I know that if I wake up without any work or social obligations, I will be able to accomplish some creative work. I have a long list of projects. I like to feel like I am chipping away at them every day, even if that means doing something as small as thinking about my fictional characters while I do the dishes or drive to work. Sometimes that is all I can manage.

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?
Since I write poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction, my answer varies by genre. Poetry is often drawn initially from something in my own life, but the end product is filtered heavily through decisions about sound and literary devices, such that the end product only tangentially relates to the real-life inspiration.

I am working on making my fiction less personal. I feel that if I’m going to write about my own life, I might as well write an essay, rather than a story. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to know which genre to work in.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I have had virtually no luck writing in a group setting, whether in a class or a workshop. However, there was one exception. I took a fantastic, year-long writing class as a senior in college. One day our professor asked us to free write at the beginning of class. I don’t think he offered any prompt. I was tired, cranky, and didn’t feel like I had anything to say. I ended up writing a prose poem inspired by a woman I had seen on the street the previous day. It was one of those moments (rare moments!) when you write something and you know immediately that it’s actually pretty good, and that you will barely have to do any editing. I brought it to class the next time it was my turn to workshop, and my professor said that I should try submitting it to literary magazines. This was the first time anyone had offered that suggestion about anything I’d written. It was very encouraging to hear. Years later I did submit it and it was my first accepted piece. This was a lesson in the importance of, at least sometimes, writing when you do not feel like it. You never know what will happen.

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?

Yes! I write poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Sometimes I wish I could settle into one genre. I don’t feel well-read enough in any genre since I am constantly switching between these three. That said, sometimes it’s very clear to me that making progress in one genre, through reading and writing, spills over into another. For example, reading poetry has improved my descriptions in fiction. Writing poetry has helped me be more concise in my prose.

I play music and make collages, too. This mostly ensures that I never get bored. I fend off writers block by switching genres or mediums.

What/who inspires you the most?
The figure who most inspires my writing was not a fiction writer, poet, artist or musician. I am most inspired by Terence McKenna, who I would describe as a thinker and public speaker. I try to imitate his work, not in content or form, but in the way that he drew inspiration from every little bit of life. His ideas were the product of intellectual inquiry from ancient history to evolutionary biology to popular culture, culminating in truly kooky ideas which he didn’t even want anyone to necessarily believe, but merely to consider. I want to make art like that.

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

Most of my favorite contemporary writers are getting plenty of attention right now. No one seems to have heard of the poet Anna Moschovakis, though. Check her stuff out!

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
I don’t have tips for writing except to say: read as much as you can.

If you want to publish, expand your reading to include literary magazines just like this one! If you like the work in a particular magazine, your tastes may align with that magazine’s editor. Similarly, if you come across a poet or author you really like, read their bio. You may want to submit to magazines where they have published. All of that said, submitting work can be disheartening. You will get rejections. It helps if you start with magazines who explicitly state their desire to publish emerging writers.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I am hoping to publish a chapbook of my poetry. I would love to see my work in Spoon River Poetry Review, one of my favorite journals.

I am currently in the beginning stage of outlining a novel. My goal for that project is just to see it through to the end without losing the inspiration and drive to finish. So far I’ve abandoned three novel drafts at various stages. This time I’m trying not to rush through it. I think that if I take more time to outline, get to know my characters, and enjoy the imaginative process that occurs *outside* of the writing itself, I’m more likely to stick with it. I once met a local (to Western Massachusetts) children’s author, Jeanne Birdsall, who emphasized the importance of loving your characters because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them. That’s something I’m working on in the fiction realm.

I would also like to write enough songs for an album and make higher quality song recordings than the ones I have made so far. I’d possibly like to join or start a band since my music-making feels needlessly lonely.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Emily

Emily F. Butler is a librarian and comedian. Their work has appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Moonglasses, Eunoia Review, Cliterature Journal, and Bone Parade. They were a finalist for the Adelaide Voices Literary Award Contest 2018. You can follow them on Twitter @EBetcetera.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Margarita Serafimova — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Spontaneity and emotional truth. It means doing justice to the moment by expressing my experience of it. Doing justice to the moment in that sense is equivalent to reflecting my existence, in response to the effect existence has on me.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I don’t make special time. My poems are small and simple, and they occur as I am doing all sorts of other things, on the spur of the 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?
All of my poems are direct, literal translation of my experiences.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
There are many I remember fondly.

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?

In terms of literature, I only write poetry. My work as an attorney means that I do a lot of legal writing, pleading for human rights where passion plays a key role.

What/who inspires you the most?
Nature and love, which are really the same thing.

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 like Mia Funk (http://www.miafunk.com/) but I cannot judge to what extent she is valued by others.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Submit broadly, without inhibition.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
In The New Yorker 🙂

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Margarita

Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017. She was awarded a merit-based fellowship by Summer Literary Seminars as one of fifty runners-up in their 2018 poetry contest. Margarita has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, Origins Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Opiate, Poetic Diversity, Novelty Magazine, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Futures Trading, Ginosko, Peacock Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Liquid Imagination, and many other places. Some of her work on Faceboook.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Paulie Lipman — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity and art in general, are forms of pure self expression and move for what you do. Someone who excels at customizing cars is just as much of an artist as a painter or poet.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I’m beat creative between 9pm and 5am. So it’s real easy to carve out time because most places are closed and a good amount of people are asleep. Less distractions keeping those hours.

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?
My personal experiences completely shape what I do, be it things that have directly happened to me as an individual or what happens to people like me (Jew, Queer) as a whole.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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 most definitely cross genres. I’m a musician as well, so methods in that vein will be applied to my poetry. But, I also take a lot of techniques from film and apply them to what I do.

What/who inspires you the most?
Everything. Things I like/love/hate.

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

Cecily Schuler. Their poem “My Gender Is..” (find it on YouTube) in its writing created a new poetic form.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Make sure the work has been edited and exactly where you want it to be before you submit it. Keep in mind, though, to not plow right up to the fence and edit out all of the good.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I’m working on a spoken word w/music album currently (Rasing funds for some of the equipment here gofundme.com/paulie-spoken-word-album )but my ultimate goal with poetry would be a multimedia live show (voice/music/video) as a singular experience different from text or acapella performance.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Paulie

Paulie Lipman is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in the anthology ‘We Will Be Shelter’ (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache).
Social Media Links: Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Anne Valentino — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity, for me, is about tapping into those previously hidden or perhaps inaccessible parts of your mind and spirit and transforming them into something that others are ideally impacted by, or entertained by, moved by, even saddened by. So I guess in a nutshell, creativity is connection; it is that which allows you to cultivate your relationship with the world, whether via the page, the painting, or the poem. Anyone can be creative. It just takes a willingness to put yourself out there in a raw, down-to-the-bones kind of way. Find the art within, draw from the passion that maybe you didn’t even know you had, and see what starts to take shape.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Definitely an early bird. I’m a Gen-Xer, meaning in my forties now, meaning by 7 pm my brain is shot—if not already asleep. Courtesy of my dogs, I am up by 4:45. Honestly, this is my absolute favorite time of the day. I walk outside and watch for hints of the sun. I live out in the country and so the quiet is a given, save for my neighbor’s roosters of course. And it is this atmosphere that allows me to let my mind go to that creative place.

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?
My writing is me—I personally don’t see a conceivable way to separate the two, not while still creating something genuine and authentic. Even if the subject matter is quite fantastical, there’s still that element of you which brought it to life: the voice, the style, the underlying emotion. Regardless of what type of persona or character I am working with in a given poem, I always interpret the situation through my own eyes first and then creatively adjust from there.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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 am inspired by writing, all writing. I read novels, biographies, poems, plays. For me, it’s about trying to understand someone’s process while they created their work. Process is absolutely fascinating when you think about it. How did someone come up with an idea? How did they craft it into fluid prose or a provocative poem? How did they get to the beautifully polished end result? These are the questions that intrigue me as I approach any work of art, fiction or non-fiction. And so, it’s really beyond just what I am reading or looking at, but more fundamentally, how it came to be.

What/who inspires you the most?
Everything from soulful music, to epic novels, to clever memes inspires me. It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one influence or writer. As far as poetry, my two favorites are about as far apart on the artistic spectrum as you can get. I have read just about everything Anne Sexton has ever written, likewise for Alexander Pope—now there’s a combination.

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

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Keep writing. I know it sounds cliché and really isn’t some profound insight, but it’s true. It’s about doing the work. It’s art, don’t get me wrong, it’s creativity, it’s experimentation, it’s inspiration, but it is also work. The more you write, the better you get. And the better you get, the more confident you begin to feel in your words. There is a great deal to be said for confidence, especially in an arena where rejection and the corresponding heartbreak are givens.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I would love within the next couple of years to publish a collection of poems. I am also working on a hybrid journal/novel/comic book/poetry collection (haven’t quite categorized it yet) that offers a sarcastic and still heartfelt look at a life through a forty-something, single mom’s eyes. I have a little experience with that.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Anne

Anne is a self-professed over protective mom to two teenagers, a devoted companion (and servant) to three dogs and a freelance writer—in that order. A former English instructor, she has previously published literary criticism and is now venturing into the vast emotional landscape that is poetry. Her words are influenced by the powerful peculiarity inherent in the ‘everyday.’

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Brian Michael Barbeito — Photography 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 is not something that is compartmentalized such as a hobby or weekend practice, but instead a way of life. I feel that if a person is a true creative they are by some intrinsic nature always processing the world around them in artistic ways. Therefore to be creative is to add stories, poems, pictures, paintings, crafts, music, and or other things to the world, but that is only the tangible or ‘seen’ scene. The other half happens inwardly, and it involved seeing objects and events in an almost mystical way or at least with reverence, and trying to fit them into an personal artistic paradigm.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I am sometimes working at writing or photography in the morning, but at other times in the afternoon or night. It seems to change around according to the weather, seasons, personal schedule, and maybe even more ‘cosmic’ or flowery things influences like astrology.

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?
I don’t see much, if any, separation between who I am as a creative and as a person. My work as a creative is drawn on personal experience for the most part or another way of saying it is that life forms the form. I see nature for example, and then it gets written about and photographed. I don’t go out looking for pictures or essays. They just occur organically from some whole. It feels true, and more like a vocation, a calling, to create. I am most comfortable with this, having this process and activity of making writings and photos as part of me, as something from the inside.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I don’t have one single moment. Or, the whole thing feels like one moment believe it or not. The entire process for me can be seen as one large writing accompanied by one large photograph that explores as much as possible about outside nature and inside or psychological/spiritual nature also.

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?

Yes I cross genres but I try and do so as seamlessly as possible and I seek to loop, mesh, marry, genres together. I write essays, poetry, fiction, and I take photographs.

What/who inspires you the most?
I have many influences and inspirations. There are bands, singers, spiritual figures, and writers that have inspired me. But currently what inspires most are nature generally and forests, fields, and their walking paths specifically.

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

None come to mind although I am sure there are many out there. The past few years I have just been concentrating on my own work and absorbing writers and artists and musicians and directors from the past. I don’t know a lot about contemporary art scenes.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Keep at your craft as a labor of love first of all. Secondly, consider exposing your art to multiple curators or teachers or editors because though it might not resonate with everyone, it will sync or speak to those who it is meant to speak to.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
My goal/aspiration is to continue to produce written and visual work, which involves remaining in touch with the muse on the one hand and have the opportunity to create on the other. I think there have been people who have liked my work thus far, so if I can find more venues/platforms/arenas, then the writings and visual art can reach more people. That would suffice and feel right.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Brian

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer, poet and photographer. Recent work appears at Fiction International from San Diego State University, CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, and at Catch and Release-The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature. Brian is the author of Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press, 2013, cover art by Virgil Kay). He is currently at work on the written and visual nature narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: M.E. Proctor — 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?
I’m more comfortable with words like “creation” or “creating” – making something from pure imagination or combining ingredients to make a new product. It applies to literature as well as cooking or woodworking. I hear an implied value judgement in creativity/creative. It’s the outside world looking at an artist or a creation and putting a label on them.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Definitely not an early bird and a terrible procrastinator. It may take me all day to get in the right frame of mind before I sit down and get to work. I envy people who can hit the road running or stick to a schedule. I have wasted entire week-ends “getting ready to get going”. Maybe my mind is doing some churning in the background, unless it’s just gathering wool! I usually hit my stride later in the day.

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?
The things we do, the decisions we make, the people we meet… Everything goes in the big cauldron. What comes out of it has been transformed beyond recognition. Sometimes my friends say they recognize a person or a situation in a story. Maybe they’re right, but it’s completely involuntary on my part. I do not deliberately bring up memories or feelings. They find their way into the stories by themselves.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
Does writing yourself in a corner, chew on the problem for a week, then wake up one morning with the solution poking you in the face qualify? It happened to me a few times and gave me an unshakable belief in the puzzle-solving abilities of the brain. To the point that I’m tempted to build writing mazes for the fun of finding out how I’ll manage to get out of them.

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 mix genres all the time. SF, mystery, crime, horror. Genres bleed into each other. Even when I write a sweet childhood story I can’t resist inserting dark undertones. Where is the freedom of the writer if you have to follow strict conventions and constantly toe the line, where is the surprise for the reader? I constantly struggle with category checkboxes. They don’t matter much in the end anyway. It all comes to liking a story or not.

What/who inspires you the most?
Words. I get a name in my head and there’s a character. He/she will get a body, a mind, issues and something will happen to him/her. Or it’s a sentence, floating, disconnected, and needing to lead somewhere. At that point I do not know where the story is going and I’m excited to find out. I don’t see images that summon words, I see words that generate images.

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’m fascinated by Iain Banks. He’s a Scottish writer who died five years ago at age 59. He’s well known in the UK, but I don’t think he’s famous in the U.S. He wrote both mainstream books (The Crow Road is my favorite) and SF as Iain M. Banks (The Player of Games is the coolest story). He made me desperate to write SF. I want to be that good; it’s a tall order! There’s also a French singer-songwriter, Zaz, that people should check out. She’s mostly folk, but I like her jazzy voice, and you don’t need to know French to appreciate. I don’t remember who told me about her. I think it was a guy at the airport.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
An old teacher of mine used to say that everybody had at least one good story in them. What he didn’t say was that many writers start but never finish. You have to be passionate and obsessive to write, but it also helps to be stubborn. Keeping at it, sticking with it no matter what. Writing is fun, but there is a fair amount of non-writing involved in getting published. Spending hours online looking for agents or publishers, agonizing over query letters, synopses and submission guidelines. And then there’s the hurdle of the “thank you but no.” It’s hard and it doesn’t get better with time and repetition. It’s a frustrating game but you have to keep playing. Keep writing. Write while you wait for the replies, write after you get the “no”, and absolutely write after you get the “yes”. It will come but it’s only the beginning. Who stops after one story?

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
I want to keep finding new angles on stories, and characters I can fall for. Alternating short stories and longer work. I don’t know the length of a piece when I start. The tale goes where it wants to go and ends when it feels natural to end. Writing short stories is a way to relieve the tension that comes with working on a book, it’s coming up for air. I also want to try new things, explore different moods, challenge myself, go overboard. A short story is the perfect vehicle for that kind of experimentation.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About M.E.

M.E. Proctor worked as a freelance journalist and communication professional for many years. After forays into SF, she’s currently working on a series of contemporary detective novels. When she needs a break from the tribulations of her fictional private investigator, she writes short stories. Some of these have been published, both in Europe and in the U.S. She lives in Livingston, Texas, with her husband Jim, also a writer.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Alyssa Oursler — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
I think of creativity as trust. To create something, you have to trust yourself. You also have to trust your audience. I don’t believe in tips and tricks for creativity. They seem counterintuitive, given the topic.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I’m not very good at mornings or schedules. I tend to get a lot of ideas on airplanes, which doesn’t really lend itself to routine.

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?
I’m not sure if I’m too lazy to make things up or too fascinated by reality. Most of my creative work is personal. As Charlie Warzel of Buzzfeed once tweeted, “I like to ruin my life for content.” People (read: my mother) say I should just write fiction. Sometimes I say: Maybe I do. Other times I say: Listen. Look around. Isn’t this shit too good to ignore?

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?

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?

What/who inspires you the most?
One summer, I listened to MacArthur Genius Teresita Fernandez’s commencement speech (as found on Brain Pickings) almost every morning. I was a freelance writer at the time and was both grateful for and totally overwhelmed by the lack of structure. As she put it, “the process of making art is like blindly trying to see the shape of what you don’t yet know. Whenever you catch a little a glimpse of that blind spot, of your ignorance, of your vulnerability, of that unknown, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to stare at it.” She also says art “is a fragile process of teaching oneself to work alone, and focusing on how to hone your quirky creative obsessions so that they eventually become so oddly specific that they can only be your own.” These words made the looseness of my days and projects feel productive and valuable.

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’m not sure I would call her undervalued, but all I want to do lately and always is read Maggie Nelson.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Rack up as many rejections as possible.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
Books. All I want is the first book to hold in my hands so I can bury it and grow a better one.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Alyssa

Alyssa Oursler is a journalist and essayist. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hobart, The East Bay Review, SF Weekly, and more. You can find her at alyssaoursler.com and on Twitter: @alyssaoursler.

TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Brandon Marlon — 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 The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Imitatio Dei. Being creative means emulating the divine example.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Daily routinization of creation. Time of day varies, but once in a groove, it pays to stick with it.

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?
For longer form story media (screenplays, plays, novels), I generally write in the historical drama/historical fiction story genres. When writing poetry, personal experiences come into play more often, though I strongly dislike reading poetry that is solipsistic and navel-gazing, so I avoid writing such myself.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I once wrote a play in 2 weeks, a considerably shorter period compared to my usual 3-4 months. In this case writing of a personal experience facilitated the celerity attending the process.

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 write much fiction, but do read much fiction.

What/who inspires you the most?
In nonfiction, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

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

Israeli novelists Haim Saban and Yochi Brandes.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Study English grammar, classical rhetoric, formal logic, and read voraciously before seriously writing and submitting work for publication consideration. If you write fiction, sentence patterning/variation is an important technique to be aware of and to master.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
The goal is always to have scripts filmed and staged, manuscripts published, selections excerpted. You can certainly write solely for yourself, and never send anything out into the bewilderness, but I write not merely to express myself but to commune with others and tell stories to entertain and enlighten.

— TWD MAGAZINE 4th COLLECTION—

About Brandon

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 225+ publications in 28 countries. http://www.brandonmarlon.com.