Animals/Pets, Fiction, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

‘Rewind Interview’ with Writer, Blogger, & Poet Ryan Stone #amwriting #interview #nonfiction #poetry


Welcome to another ‘Rewind Interview =” in my now weekly interview series. Ryan is a talented Australian poet, extremely amazing, so I’m excited to reshare his interview with you both on my own blog and now on the Go Dog Go Cafe. The Cafe is a writer’s hangout and you can even submit your work there for publication. Here is the link to do that here: Go Dog Go Cage Contact Page.

Originally, I was doing this as a bi-weekly feature, only on my own blog. So in order to do this as a weekly feature on both my blog and on the Cafe, I’m going to be sharing some ‘Rewind interviews” as I think these writers are equally due recognition on both sites. Just to mention, since this is a ‘Rewind Interview’ some of the info might not be current.

Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer, poet, and blogger Ryan Stone of ‘Days of Stone’. Please visit the link provided to read more about Ryan and read his superb poetry.


Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

The blood of the Irish runs deep in my veins but I’m an Australian born and bred. I was raised in a ‘man’s land’ of karate, fast motorbikesheavy metal guitars, and football with Aussie rules.

My love of reading and writing was not readily accepted. Instead, I was forced to indulge my interests under my bed covers by torchlight. But the poets Seamus Heaney, Kenneth SlessorWalt Whitman, and Maya Angelou  — all have a way of asserting themselves in my writing.

Although I have no real love of uniforms, I’ve worn a few in my life so far: the combat fatigues of a soldier in the field and driving a battle tank; the torn black denim of a metal guitarist; and the turnout gear of a firefighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plainclothes special duties team. When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains.

I have no formal credentials, only an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges, but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time. I love MetallicaTed Kooser, and with equal passion, my closest friend in the world, my German Shepherd (don’t tell my wife).


 “When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains . . . the right turn of a phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.” – Ryan Stone 


 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

The first time I considered my writing to be writing, was towards the end of high school. I was blessed with an incredibly passionate English teacher who managed to channel a teenage boy’s angst and anger into something less destructive. When one of my poems earned me a kiss from a pretty girl I had a crush on, I knew writing was something I’d stick with.

I’ve never been much of a social media fan. But I reached a point where I became sick of waiting several months for editors to respond to my poetry submissions; I turned instead to WordPress. Along with all the great writing and posts, I’m able to read from other writers.

However, I’ve developed a wonderful, supportive group of friends, and readers, who offer feedback and advice in a much shorter time frame than editors. While I still submit to poetry journals, my year of blogging has given me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.


 3. What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

To borrow from my favorite quote by Anton Chekhov: Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.

I love the way a poem can capture more than a photograph, can carry an image or emotion over time and space, and let me experience someone else’s worldview for a moment. I also like the way reading one of my own poems years after it was written can transport me back to a previous ‘headspace,’ for a moment.


” . . .Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.” – Ryan Stone (borrowing from Anton Chekhov)


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

Nearly all of my poetry begins while I’m running with my dog through the rain forest beside my house. Usually, a thought, a memory, or an observation takes root and nags at me until I jot it down. Sometimes, an unusual word or phrase will catch me the same way.

My dog has developed his very own here we go again’ face which he pulls each time I pause during a run so I can tap out a note or two on my phone.


 5. Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like To Write?

Predominantly, I write at night, when my boys are asleep, and the house is quiet. I am frequently awake into the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes. During these hours, I can most effectively explore and develop the notes I jot down during the day.


Writing Night Ryan Stone
Credit: Andrew Neel via UnSplash 

” I am frequently awake in the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes.” – Ryan  Stone


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have two fantasy novels I’m working on at present. One is about a princess who becomes a pirate queen after her parents are murdered, the other is about an orphan boy who becomes a magician and later, a king.

Both novels began as short stories which expanded and grew during a couple of National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo).  As well, both novels are over hundred-thousand words and in need of serious revision. As with everything, time is a killer.

Poetry wise, I’m writing a chapbook with one of my closest internet mates (Ajay) who lives in India. It is loosely based on flowers and cultural differences. I’m currently editing a collection of my Senryu (5-7-5) poems, with the intention of self-publishing a small e-book of one-hundred Senryu poems, in the next few months, unless a publisher comes along sooner.


 7. Have You Published Any Writing or Are You Planning To Publish Works Of Writing In The Future?

I’m fortunate enough to have had many poems published in a number of online journalsprint anthologies, and poetry magazines. I never thought anyone other than my mum would enjoy my writing and rarely submitted my writing anywhere until recently.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet,” which I thought had a chance of being published, so I submitted it to a couple of places and was rejected each time. On a whim, I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine (a magazine in the UK to which I subscribe).

I was blown away when my poem won first prize and £100 (quite a lot of money with the Australian exchange rate being what it is). That first win gave my confidence a much-needed boost and I’ve been submitting ever since.


“I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet” . . .I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine . . .and was blown away when it won first prize and £100.” – Ryan Stone


8. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Went Through To Publish or Are Going Through To Have Your Writing Published?

All my publishing to date has been by submission, so I’ll talk about publishing by submission. Whether it’s a print journal, online review, magazine, blog, or something else, the rules are always the same:

  • Read the publication first, to gain an idea of what style of writing they publish. While it doesn’t hurt to offer something fresh, I usually have a fair idea of an editor’s likes and dislikes before I submit.
  •  Read and re-read the submission guidelines before you hit sendAn improperly worded subject line can be enough for an editor to discount the submission without even reading the poem. Some publications request everything in the body of an email, others prefer attachments. Decent editors are inundated with submissions which meet their specific requirements and most, won’t waste their time with substandard submissions.
  • Take rejections gracefully. Analyze any critiques subjectively and apply critiques if you think they are warranted. BUT DON’T GIVE UP – submit, submit, submit. There are a million homes for poems out there and because a poem isn’t right for one editor or magazine certainly doesn’t mean it won’t be a prize winner for another editor or magazine. While I’m realistic about my own writing, I generally look at rejections as a case of a bad fitnot a bad poem.

 


 

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

Almost exclusively, my writing begins as a note or two on my iPhone (often while I’m running) and later develops on my iPad. My writing environment is incredibly vital to me and the Mac/iPad writing program — Ulysses — puts me in an excellent creative ‘headspace.’ I tend to write the first draft quickly once idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over…

I am incredibly fortunate to have found a brilliant first reader. She’s an amazingly talented poet in her own right as well as possessing editing skills second to none. For some reason, I’ve yet to understand, she seems to enjoy my writing and conversation and has nurtured and developed my poetry to no end. My first reader’s input is a huge part of my process in developing a poem from initial idea to finished piece.


“I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over . . .” – Ryan Stone


10. Do You Prefer Certain areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?

When I’m reading a novel, it is usually fantasy and almost always a seriesStephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favorite, as are Game of ThronesMagicianThe BelgariadLord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.

I also play a great deal of electric guitar which draws me to music biographies as well, anything rock or metal is fair game. Additionally, I love short story collections: Italo Calvino takes first prize there, and I read as much modern poetry as I can get my hands on.

Originally, my love of poetry was nurtured by Maya AngelouKenneth SlessorJim Morrison (The Doors), and Jewel Kilcher. When I first discovered Ted Kooser a few years ago, my own poetry made a huge leap.

Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, was full of ‘Aha!’ moments for me. Most recently, I’ve lost myself in the brilliant Buddy Wakefield and Richard Hugo’s: The Triggering Town.


 11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
 

I’m not really big on dishing out advice, as everyone writes uniquely. What works for one person, won’t always help another person; but I can certainly share what works for me.

  • The important thing is to write, write, write and keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good. I have loads of writing which will probably never see the light of day; however, once the first jumble is out of my head, the writing that follows is much better.
  •  I don’t edit my first draft as I write. I write it all down and worry about cleaning it up later. If I’m only editing a word or two, then I’ll delete and replace. If I’m editing a whole line or large section, I cut and paste in a new version – v1, v2, v3, (etc .) and keep each version in the same document. I find it’s much easier to revise without the fear of losing words or ideas I may want to later reinstate.
  •  Once I’m happy with a version of my work, I put it aside for a few days and return to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’ I find it much easier to spot weak pointssticky spotsdoubled up words, bad rhythm, (etc.) when I’m reading it fresh.
  • The poem is more important than the truth. When I’m writing a poem based on an actual event, I find it easy to place value on a thing because its memory is significant to me. Often, I don’t want to let the thing go from the poem. This can become a weak point as the particular thing doesn’t make the poem better and doesn’t hold the same value for the reader. Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.

“Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.” – Ryan Stone


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like The Share With Us Which You Think Is Pertinent To Writing or Yourself?

An honest first reader who will tell me what works and what sucks without worrying about my feelings is worth her weight in gold.


 13. Can You Please Share With Us Few Links Of Your Favourite or Most Loved Pieces?  
*****
“Unburied Hatchet”
by
Ryan Stone
*****
Axe
Credit Markus Spiske via UnSplash
*****

Until I saw those wasted hands,

brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought

how fast the years make ghosts.

*****

I heard them once called brawler’s paws.

For me, they were always more:

cobras, poised to strike.

*****

But his brawling days are gone now;

I could kill him with a pillow,

if I cared enough to try.

*****

Thin sheets press tightly to a bed

more empty than full, his body broken

like the promises of childhood.

*****

Haunted eyes betray last thoughts

of a dim path, spiraling down.

He hopes to make amends.

*****

“Forgiven?” he croaks,

barely there, as always,

and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.

*****

With the last rays of day as witness,

I turn my back with purpose

and hear the silence roar.

*****

In a late-night bar, I catch my reflection

swimming in a glass of bourbon;

but I’m staring at a ghost.

*****

First published in Writers’ Forum Magazine issue 163, April 2015 – first place

 


Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Ryan Stone for doing an interview for me. I appreciate his time answering the interview questions a great deal. I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing on my blog. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Bop - 6 lines, refrain, 8 lines, refrain, 6 lines, refrain, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Travel, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writers: Poem – Bop – “The Hiding Place”  #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction #nature 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting last week’s FFftAW. 

———

Credit: Pamela S. Canepa

———

Take me down to the places on hidden —

Paths let’s hike; the lush forest has bidden, 

That we heed her wild calls exploring. 

Let us find all nooks, crannies, and more, 

Let’s find the secrets in this forest, 

Masked for centuries, deep secrets unknown. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

This landscape has its hardships it’s paths —

Twisted and sometimes steep, but we climb past —

All obstacles, find glorious treasures. 

Unafraid in tranquil woods we measure, 

Distances by landmarks, certain trees, —

Curved trunks bowing; see nature’s masterpiece. 

Hiking as far as we can, giant rocks near, 

Hearing the river’s voice trickling clear. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

At night we lie on air mattresses we’re, 

Wrapped in sleeping bags, lost in our dreams. 

The river’s language a tongue we know, 

Then, the sun is high, breakfast made, we go —

To explore our secret, the enchanted world, 

Life is short, peaceful quiet it restores. 

Search for me where rocks pile high, where I’m free. 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights a Reserved. 

100 Word Wednesdays, Flash Fiction, Free Verse, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Free Verse – “Where Ever You Go” #amwriting #poetry #100WordWednesday


Thanks to the lovely Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays.

——-

Credit: Scott Webb

———

This is your city, you may go where go, 

There is no divide, don’t sit, move with flow. 

Find your own kind, your worth is innate, 

A lust for adventure, has a mind not to wait.

Find your hopes, your dreams, in side streets and aves, 

Life is never what it seems, it’s about diverse paths. 

Meander down the walkways, from stores to the slums, 

Some have wealth and talk the talk, some are treated mute and dumb. 

Be not afraid to love everyone, 

Not as your sweetheart loved, but as a person, a human. 

The city is grand full of sweet times to be had, 

As you move through the days understand, be glad, 

You are granted time, to do what you love, 

To explore, with a sense of chance, to care for the unloved. 

Be kind and contrive, a life full of memories, 

Experiences survived, wherever you are led, 

Go with purpose and never forget you serve

Are blessed to be, and help others persevere. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Travel, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: Stolen Away #flashfiction #100WordWednesday #amwriting 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday.


Credit: Matias Larhag via UnSplash

I was excited to be away from home, I had been looking forward to exploring Europe and cities such as Stockholm in Sweden. It was a picturesque city and I was awed by the majestic view of it I had from the lake, the orderliness of the architecture.

I sighed loudly making noise and the man driving the boat smacked me hard. I peered up at the stranger who had kidnapped me with fear; a tear trickled down my cheek.

I knew I would never have the chance to explore Stockholm or any other city in Europe.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Blank Verse - unrhymed Iambic Pentameter, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blank Verse – “The Nymphs’ Allure” #amwriting #poetry #mythology 


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt.

—–

Credit: http://www.jwwaterhouse.com

——

Come in, come play, the water’s warm and fine,

We’re all having fun, clothing  unnecessary.

Any nymph knows her body is pleasing.

But little we find young men who wander,

To visit us a while — let yourself rest.

Let your body be beguiled by us.

We’re girls full of laughter; blossoms —

To eat which are tasty and keep you near,

From leaving too soon; it’s a party here,

A never ending happy hour, wine flows —

From Dynosios cup; so drink up, sit back.

Time stands still and you’re forever a youth;

Caught in this moment, we’ll all feel —

Forever blissed; stay amongst us spirits,

Of the earth, of trees, grass, wood, and water.

We care for the forest, lush paths followed,

Hideaways, treasures, meant to last.

Gift of the gods, for us having beauty,

Like yours; but we offer you — explore.

Spend your eternity here, we see so few,

Such attractive men, so stay find pleasure,

Aid us keeping the world alive and safe.

For future generations, for our —

Children, and plenty of youthful men.

Your life could be dreamlike, could be blissful.

Come in, come play, the water’s warm and fine.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Friday Fictioneer, History, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Friday Fictioneer: Where The Arched Doorways Lead #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting FF.

——

Credit: Dale Rogerson

——

The [girl] who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the [girl] who went out. [She] will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging [her] ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” 

― Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

——–

“Where do those doors lead, the arches are beautiful. Is there groin-vaulting in between each arched doorway?” 

The tour guide stared at sixteen-year-old Tina who was a surprise student of art history. “If you wish to discover the architectural features of the building, you must find them exploring, it’s how things are done here,” he said. 

Tina watched as other students from her high school trip went exploring in pairs, while she ‘the know it all,’ was left on her own. 

She walked through the first arched doorway and turned to see the tour guide watching her enter, “What is the purpose of these long hallways of arches. Do they end?” 

The tour guide sighed, “Go see for yourself. Sometimes experience is the best kind of knowledge.” 

Tina began following a series of arched doorways. She was filled with both trepidation and a strong urge to succeed, finding the exit. 

At times she had to choose a direction to travel when four different archways presented themselves. She kept walking until she was frustrated, bored, and tired. Then Tina lay down, resting her head on her jacket to sleep. 

In the morning she was relieved to find the exit. Last night she had thought she would never find a way out of this maze. She felt like a changed person today. 

——
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: Poem – Septoplets – “Purpose to Explore” #3Linetales #amwriting #quotes #poetry 


Thanks to Sonya from Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

——

Credit: Andrew Neel via UpSplash

——-

That’s the, 

 Joy of, 

Life; Every —

Year. 

—-

New, 

Chance to, 

Explore possible, 

Paths; accomplishments

—-

Finding revealed

Your purpose

In life, 

Dreams.

—–

Desires, 

Goals meant, 

For you. 

Other’s not;

Your purpose

——

Hopefully, to —

Help someone.

If not, 

Don’t —

—–

Harm

Them as, 

You explore, 

Life’s adventures

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Health, My Thoughts, Nature, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Not To Touch #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——

A Mixed Bag

——-

I’m reminded of a science experiment my class did in grade five. We used chalk to grow crystals on them. The exact process I don’t remember, but I do recall feeling proud upon removing a piece of chalk from my container and finding various coloured crystals on it. 

I thought back to this day when I saw the trees begin to glitter with crystals. It had been extremely cold and blizzardy, so we all assumed it was naturally, the accumulation of ice crystals. But then the trees became covered in crystals of all colours.

 There were bright lavender crystals and cyan blue crystals. There were even bubble gum pink crystals. Everyone thought this was the most beautiful and unique oddity. Journalists came from every city across the country, to report on this rarity for themselves. 

Then, scientists in the area starting testing the crystals and while they were lovely on the trees, the were not so lovely attached to your skin. They crystals once fastened, would not unfasten from one’s skin until a person was completely covered in them. Until their body was frozen, stiff, and dead as the trees which never budded in spring. 

Our town was nearly deserted by the time the military took over. The colourful forest was burned to the ground. 

The most heart breaking aspect for everyone was that the small children were the first to touch the trees. They had the smallest bodies and didn’t last long. I think it’s the reason so many people started over, the unbearable misery they left behind. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Free Verse, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, November Notes, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

November Notes: Poem – Day 15 – Free Verse – “Where Car Rides Lead” #poetry #writing #amwriting #music 


Today’s song prompt is “Midnight City” by M83.

——-

“Midnight City” – M83

——

Credit: http://www.8tracks.com

——-

To where do car rides lead? 

Wherever we may go. 

Let’s ride the night out, 

Let the city lights glow, 

Wrap us in their electronic warmth. 

—-

To where do car rides lead? 

Any direction you may go. 

Don’t sit and wait, 

Put your foot on the break, 

Start the car let’s go. 

—–

To where do car rides lead? 

Adventures waiting to be towed, 

Come along as the lights gleam, 

The city is ours, 

Our time, our night, to explore.

——

To where do car rides lead? 

Neon signs, the horizon beams, 

Driving all night, 

No where to go, our journey —

In this broken church, our city.

—–

To where do car rides go? 

They lead us to flickering dreams.

——-

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.