Creative people see the fantastic behind the commonplace. Whether it’s the landscape hidden on a canvas before the artist finds it, or the music adrift in the air until a musician plays it, creative people make magic out of the mundane. Today’s guest brings an international flair to the magical melange. Nathan Lowell Presents…
Masha du Toit
When I was little, my older sister used to enjoy scaring me. She would point at a vase and say: “There’s an evil spirit in there. It’s been trapped in that vase for many years but it may come out at any moment. Better stay away from it.”
I knew she was making it up, but I was terrified all the same. And even as a child that fascinated me, that I could believe and in the same moment, not believe. I became aware that I could think things into being and once they existed they were as real as anything else I could see or touch.
It’s almost a cliché with writers. We all want to be able to sit and write but life gets in the way. The truth is that without that interruption, we’d have very little to write about.
This is a story about a young child who believed that life would go on forever – well, not really forever, but it feels that way to every youngster.
When one is young, the days seem endless and the nights are long. What goes on in the big world outside the little bubble that the child occupies is of no consequence. Nothing else matters but that safe, isolated and tiny slice of life. Yes, when a person is young, life is long and mortality is never questioned. Time is elastic and there seems to be plenty of it to go around.
The trajectory that a life takes as it hurtles through time can only be observed when enough of it has passed to create a recognizable path. For most people that path meanders a bit in the beginning, the overall path not apparent until much later when earlier experiences prove their worth. Today’s guest exemplifies what I mean. Nathan Lowell Presents…
“You want fries with that?”
It’s the punchline of a joke used to poke fun at people like me who got a liberal arts degree. Me? I have a B.A. in Russian, of all things. I spent my last semester at a summer program where we students spoke nothing but Russian for eight weeks, so I was fairly fluent by the time I graduated. Now, twenty-some years later, I can barely remember the whole Russian alphabet.
In the landscape of prose fiction length, we find everything from the six word story to the epic, multi-volume doorstop. Sometimes the story itself dictates how long it will be. Sometimes it’s a conscious selection. Our next guest chooses to write in a length just north of a “drabble” and south of the “short story.” Nathan Lowell Presents…
I was completely innocent, let’s start with that fact. I was sitting alone at a cafe, eating a blueberry scone and sipping off my chai latte when it happened. I was reading a book, not clacking away on a laptop. I am not even one of those offensive “watch me write” writers. I swear, I looked like the most average person in there. My tattoo wasn’t even showing. I could have been a housewife.
The writing prompt for this blog is “Entertain me.” Some writers take that more literally than others. Our next guest submitted a piece he calls, “Entertaining Nathan.” From across the Atlantic, Nathan Lowell Presents…
Sounds a bit like a poor-man’s version of Educating Rita or Making Plans for Nigel, but that was the remit Nathan offered, so, here I am, I’ve got my juggling balls, my hat with jingly bells and the patter of the well-heeled street entertainer. There’s also the hat that’ll go around later begging for tips…
Actually, all things considered, I think I’ll tell you a story… it’s the story of my big break and how it very nearly wasn’t…
Desperation drives us to places we could otherwise not go. While nobody really likes the trip, being driven to take an extraordinary journey frequently leaves us in a place we could not have imagined otherwise. Today’s guest takes us along for the ride. Nathan Lowell Presents…
Elizabeth Ann West
A military family during the lean downsizing decades required creativity. Wacky, crazy creativity. We weren’t poor. But living in a neighborhood where homes had two cars, my parents shared one. Kids at my bus stop received new clothes all-year round, my sisters and I only for Back-to-School. After that, it was black trash bags brimming with hand-me-downs from cousins or family friends.
Having an interest in one creative field often fosters creatvity in others. Many authors are also cooks, or photographers, or musicians. It seems that when one courts a Muse, the choice of which Muse is beyond the reach of mere mortal. Today’s post comes from a follower of Euterpe as well as Clio. Nathan Lowell Presents…
Ah, my life as a rock star, playing music, getting into the hippest parties, never had to wait in line for anything, sleeping in until 4:00pm. No wait, that’s not how it is for me, let’s try this again.
Ah, my life as a drummer and needing to have a day job, yeah, that’s more like it. Ok, so I didn’t get to be a rock star, doesn’t mean I stopped playing music. How can I stop, I’ve been playing since before I could walk. It’s true. My mom wrote down I was going to be a drummer when I was only a year old.
When we sit down to create, sometimes we take what we know and extend it into the future. We imagine what life might be like if we look ahead, or how things might be now instead of what is. Our next guest takes what we know and looks back to consider where we came from. Nathan Lowell Presents…
My name, Arlene Radasky, is the same as all the other names that have called to us. A name is an identifier, the way we individualize ourselves. Our lives are filled with sounds of living. Look around–radios, computers, others laughing, talking, dogs barking, cars going by, jobs, school, grocery stores, gardens, parks, and clocks. Families. Families that live now–sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandsons, granddaughters. Our bloodline ensures we are remembered. It ensures our people, our tribe, our clan will have a future.
Sometimes writers get the feeling that something isn’t really working. Occasionally our characters or our plots drive us to places we had no intention of going. Today’s guest has some advice when you get the feeling that, perhaps, you’ve gone too far. He calls it “Regentin’s Law.” Nathan Lowell Presents…
“When you feel like you’ve gone too far, keep going.”
I call Ann Regentin my mentor. The term isn’t really accurate, because I teach her almost as much as she teaches me, and she doesn’t really have the kind of connections that a real mentor gives a protege. I like the way the word feels, though, mainly because she produces gems like this one from time to time. In the years since, the maxim has not once steered me wrong.
Many authors always wanted to be writers when they grew up. A few decide somewhat later in life. Today’s guest falls into that small group of people who wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll write a book.” Readers of my other blogs may recognize her name. Nathan Lowell Presents…
I did what any smart, professional writer would do when asked to provide a guest blog for your amusement. I turned to my readers for help—what did they want to know about me?
They started off on their best behavior, asking the kinds of questions I imagined devoted readers would ask of an author they love. And then, like my characters, they developed minds of their own…