I’ve roamed around recently looking at other blogs and I’ve noticed that some bloggers occasionally ask another blogger to submit a guest blog post. I like that word “blog.” I’m going to use it some more.
Blog. Blog. Blog.
I thought…why not? I met some interesting new writers during BlogShorts so why not entice one of them over to Blogdramedy. It didn’t take much…just the promise that I would leave my red pen in its box.
Jaco, of Just Write of Left, was one of the participants in BlogShorts. When I mentioned I wanted him to be a guest blogger on Blogdramedy, he surprised me and said yes. With one little hitch. BlogShorts had shorted him out and he didn’t know if he could come up with a theme or post to write about.
Blogdramedy to the rescue!
I suggested the idea of 11 questions for him to answer and I promised not to edit the answers.
My voice actually cracked when I said that…and then my pencil snapped.
So here it is. My very first guest blog post. Unedited and in the raw.
Is everyone in your family a writer, a few or just you?
Well, I come from a family of artists who’ve worked in one or more mediums. Mostly musicians and painters. I’m the only one who writes as far as I know. My youngest son Zaid is also starting to write, as well as learning guitar.
Why, and when, did you start writing?
As for the why, I’m an only child so I always had quite an imagination. At some point I realized I could channel that imagination and be creative with it. I need that outlet, whether it’s writing short fiction or creating music. I thrive on having an audience which is kind of strange for someone who’s introverted.
I started writing poetry in my early teens, it just went hand in hand with my musical studies in the sense that they turned into song lyrics. Later I kept writing poetry often reading for audiences in coffee houses, poetry slams, and at Borders Books & Music. It was a performance. What I lacked in technical skills I made up for in my performances. I would plant a friend of mine in the audience, give him a line and a cue, totally catching the audience off guard. Where the other poets failed I excelled, moving through the audience, hands waving, lot’s of inflection. It worked well. I got quite a few reading gigs because of that.
Why a blog?
Well, a blog is often an opportunity, or at least presents an opportunity to say something. Whatever that may be. In my case I’m creating images in the form of words. I see my blog in particular as a kind of art gallery where I can hang my paintings.
You signed up for BlogShorts…why, and what was the result?
I discovered BlogShorts quite by accident through one of my friends Lisa B. of the ocdbloggergirl blog. I think she mentioned it in a tweet. She suggested I take a look. I thought it was the most unique blogging challenge I’ve ever encountered. I was also mired in a writing slump, and I hadn’t blogged anything in months. It presented me with the opportunity to write creatively, which I wasn’t doing prior. My blog had a whole different direction than what I have up today. So your challenge was serendipitous. It got me out of my slump and it gave birth to my present blog.
BlogShorts allowed me to explore an idea that was actually born last year with a guest post I did on another blog. It was a very short piece about a small Chinese girl selling flowers outside of a bar where I was living in mainland China. When I encountered that child, it was like 2:00 am. and it really affected me on a very deep level. It caused me to question everything about the society I was immersed in at that time.
So the idea was to create other images in the 30 word format, non linear scenes partly based on fact drawn from my experiences living in China. But mostly fiction about longing, impossible love, broken angels, and the tragedy of the human condition set in China. The culmination of these images is a story All Memories are Traces of Tears which is starting to appear on my blog. I’m working on the fourth installment as we speak.
My writing is actually heavily influenced by Wong Kar Wai, the Hong Kong film director who has been dubbed the world’s most romantic film maker. His films are poetry. His films feature the beautiful cinematography of Christopher Doyle, stunning photography, haunting and beautiful soundtracks, a simple idea, and no script.
So when I would sit down to write a blogshort I only had an image in my mind. Something I felt, and I wanted the readers to feel it, to taste it as I did.
I want to thank you for coming up with the BlogShorts challenge. I hope it will continue in other incarnations. I look forward to contributing.
What inspires you?
When something affects me, whether it’s something I see, or hear that inspires me to create. When I was living in China I saw so many things, just things on the street that were heart breaking. I remember coming home late one night, and seeing a young woman kneeling on a small street. She was in tears because her boyfriend promised to be with her for her birthday, but he never showed up. I know that sounds so trivial and petty, but in some way it just broke my heart. I knelt down and talked to her for a few minutes, my girlfriend translated. That really affected me.
In some way the tragedy of the human condition inspires me. I’m not a yellow ribbon kind of person. I need to be in the street and feel the pain of those marginalized.
Top three movies?
All Wong Kar Wai films with My Blueberry Nights being his first American film. I highly suggest Googling the director and his films.
Kar Wai goes into a film with no script. He has a piece of music, a poem and a simple idea.
Norah Jones and Jude Law are brilliant in My Blueberry Nights.
Top three books?
Les Miserable Victor Hugo
What can you say about Les Mis? Just the greatest story ever written. I think I read it 10 times. The unabridged 1300 page read is masterful.
Neuromancer William Gibson
The novel that changed science fiction forever. The first true cyberpunk novel of critical acclaim.
Intersection by Liu Yi Chang.
Translated by Nancy Li. Liu Yi Chang was one of the most established writers of fiction in Hong Kong. He was a war journalist in Chongqing, the city I lived in, during the 1939 invasion of China by the Japanese. Chongqing was the capital city of China at that time.
Hershey’s of course …..
Any meal my girlfriend Xiao Hui has ever prepared.
The last time you said thank you?
Uh, in question four?
If you were a shoe, what kind of shoe would you be?
The kind of shoe with the sole worn thin, and has a hole in it.
So there you have it. A little inside-the-mind of a fellow BlogShorts blogger. I’ll be back at some point with another guest blog post. If I work this just right, I could get enough bloggers blogging to take the rest of the year off.
Take that BlogADay 2011! Now that’s what I call creative writing.
(Author’s Note to the Author: See? That wasn’t too bad. Relatively painless…you can pick your pencil up now.)