Writer's Interview: Shauna Bowling
The times I'm most creative are ....
I can't give a definitive answer to this question. My creativity hits me out of the clear blue, or the dark rain... Oh, here I go, I've started already! Ok, I'll try to be cereal - I mean serious!
So many different things spark my creativity: sights, sounds, smells, people, conversations, music, animals, dreams and the biggest spark, I think, comes from Mother Nature. I'll get a first line to a poem or a title or theme in my head and have to quickly write it down. I keep a notebook with me wherever I go. My home office is littered with notes jotted on scrap paper and stickies.
Unfortunately, one of the times I'm most often hit with a creative thought is in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping (or trying to sleep!). It'll wake me up. After I push whatever song is in my head (I always have a song in my head each time I awake thru the night and when I finally awaken in the morning!) my mind reels with the writers thwack that knocked me out of my sleep. Annoyingly, it's usually 3:00 in the morning and I have to get up for work in 2 1/2 hours, so I don't wake up enough to write it down. (I need my beauty sleep, dontcha know!)
I guess what I'm trying to say in my signature blithering way, is I'm creative all the time! My subconscious never sleeps and is pretty loud when it wants to get my attention!
The times I'm most joyful....
I don't know if "joyful" is the right word for me. Uplifted, happy, bouncy, silly I think are better words to describe that emotion in me.
As me alone, when I'm outside taking in the flurry of nature or listening to music or dancing or singing (I sing all the time, even at work. When I'm not singing, my boss knows I'm not "right"!) and not feeling the stresses of life, I'm uplifted and happy. I'm uplifted when I'm writing. When people who've read my writings tell me I'm a good writer and should write, write, write I'm on top of the world! Oh, so uplifted! Bringing my soul forth and bursting through the stresses society has placed upon us, sets me free. That's one of the times I feel the most joy.
Another is when I've been toiling in my yard, working on a plant bed. At the end of the day, when my body aches and I'm sweaty, looking at my beautiful creation (ode to Mother Nature) leaves me as proud as an artist who has transferred his thoughts to canvas.
When people ooh and ahh over my cooking and/or baking, my heart swells with pride! I'm one of the few from-scratch cooks I know, besides my mom. Knowing my efforts have pleased the palate pleases me to no end!
As to me, the mom, when my son and I share conversation as adults and friends, when he admits I'm a great mom (those moments come far too seldom with a 20 year old!), when he hugs me (which is actually all the time) and tells me he loves me too, after I squeeze his knee three times (private signal we've shared all his life) I feel utter happiness. Then we'll have times when we are both so silly and laugh so hard our stomachs hurt! We have the ability to make each other laugh. And we laugh a lot! Those are the times I'm most bouncy and silly. And yes, joyful! Those moments reinforce my life decisions.
Ok, you got me, Maria. I guess I do have joyful moments!!
Something I'd like to learn to do...
I'd like to learn the nuances of the new media. When I was a copywriter in the 80s, there were no computers ( for copywriters), no SEO's, no tags and the video was left up to the camera crew and video editors. In today's environment, you need to create the copy, the story board (both of which I did as a TV commercial copywriter) incorporate marketing catches into your copy, edit, add video, know how to layout/create a web page, etc. It's overwhelming! When I wrote copy, I wrote copy. If it was to be aired on TV, a media producer took care of that. Today, we write for the Internet! That requires a whole lot of learning new tricks! What kills me, is many freelance sites want to pay you $1/500 words for all that! WTF! Are you kidding me??
My dream is to be published. In print. Be paid, not pay to be published! Shoot, I don't have the money to pay someone to publish me! And can I really in my heart feel a sense of accomplishment if I go that route? I don't think so. Until I got back into writing a year age, I didn't even know there was such a thing!
I want to be the writer whose books you buy in the store because the author has come out with something new and she's got you riveted! Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Iris Johansen, Robin Cook, Tami Hoag. People still read actual books! I do! In fact, I collect hardbacks of my favorite authors.
K. I'm ranting now, but I NEED, not want, to learn the new media because it is obviously the stepping stone I need with which to acquaint myself in order to have the tools to re-build my creative resume on the climb to achieveing my dream as I see it.
My secret talent ...
Whoo boy, you might not want to know this. It's a good thing many of the friends I've made on HP will probably never meet me face to face, but here it is: I can seem as if I hear everything you say, and even respond intelligently and appropriately, yet not hear a word you say, because I've left this realm. I travel outside myself constantly. I have most of my life on automatic pilot. My job. The way to work. Everything that has been conditioned and has nothing to do with Shauna, the person. I maintain my societal duties. I pay my bills on time. Everything is on a schedule. Automatic pilot. That allows my "being" to go where it may in order for my soul to be free.
Best gift I ever gave someone ...
I sent my brother a set of top of the line canvases and acrylic paints, which is his medium of choice, when he was down and out. He had no money to buy his wares. His release is art. I gave him that release. He was elated and has created some of his most masterful works of art since. In fact, the painting I hope is included in this interview, "Cheyenne", was painted by my brother. He again challenged me to write the story behind his art. I wrote my piece called "Forbidden Love" in answer to that challenge. I urge all of you to read it and look at the piece. The picture in my short story is actually a rough he'd sent to my cell. He put it on canvas and surprised me by having the finished piece sent to me. "It belongs to Sha", he told my dad who was ready to hang it in our parents' home.
My brother is color blind. Look at the amazing colors in his art! In fact, when he challenges me to write a story to accompany his artwork, I use his interpretation of color to help me tell the tale. I know his perception of hues. This is what makes his art so amazing. He brings my most creative efforts forth when he challenges me!
I'm rambling again, but see? The best gift I ever gave served more than the recipient.....
Best gift I ever received from someone ...
Strength. My parents gave me personal strength. I've never known them to show when times were hard; we always had what we needed growing up. Mom would make our clothes, the curtains for the windows and always served yummy from-scratch meals (to this day, I am a from-scratch cook!). I was raised with strict morals. I was always the rebel, but when push came to shove, I remembered what had been instilled in me, grabbed hold and moved on.
I've dug more than one hole for myself, rebel that I am, but the strength which has been embedded in the person called Shauna, overcame every time. No one to blame but myself. But self-rehabilitation has been and is to be attributed to the strength I witnessed, with which I was raised and absorbed.
I love you Mom and Dad! You were never at fault, but what you gave me, saved me!
If you peeked in my closet, you'd be surprised to find ...
Ha ha! You'd find a pair of jeans I wore in the 9th grade. They're hip huggers with the backs of the bottoms worn out (because I wore them barefooted) and patches I'd sewn on the ass! The snap button front has a peace symbol on it! Too cool! I refuse to give them up! They fit me about 10 years ago, but no more. I paid $9.99 for them in 1971 and they've not disintegrated! I hope Maria has included pix.
My dream dinner date ....
Oh my goodness! I don't think you're asking with whom I'd dream of having dinner, but just in care you are, it would be Yanni. I could go into a whole yada yada yada about that, but that would probably turn into a hub.
My dream dinner date would be dining outside at a seafood restaurant on the water, where boats dock. Party on or off the boat! My plate would consist of escargot as an appetizer, then clams, oysters, lobster tail, Maryland blue crabs and/or Dungeness Crab as the main course. Live music on deck and salivary orgasm moving me to the music. Holy Mackerel! You wanna see Shauna go? Give her music and shellfish.... Ooohh Laa Laa!
My favorite vacation spot .... paradise destination ....
We're talking fantasy, right? 'Cuz I've never had a vacation. Well, one - my first cruise (for my 55th birthday) and it was a bomb, so we won't go there.
I don't know. I love the water and I love mountains. I think I'd probably have to take two vacations per year to satisfy my yen. Since I've never actually taken a vacation in my entire life, I'd have to live both and more. When I've become a famous writer and can venture out of my checkbook, I'll let you know!
Something I fear....
I fear not living my dream of being a successful writer. I don't mean writing for HP (which I love and probably will never leave) or earning pittance on the internet. I want to write for print. I'm old school and want to attract old school readers. My love for writing came from and still belongs to those who turn pages consisting of actual paper and keep reading until the end. Those who look for the next edition from their favorite author. I want to be the author whose books avid readers collect. I want to write. I want to be printed on paper. I want readers to turn my pages and want to keep going..... I want to be a part of literary history that never dies. I don't want to claim fame thru the internet and have the next OS not be compatible with what I've posted. No sir, I don't want to reach my dream via the internet. I want readers to turn the pages to my soul!
What I most despise in others...
Lying and hypocrisy. I don't think I need to go into detail; it's self-explanatory.
Something I got rid of and never missed...
My last husband!
Some advice to my younger self...
You'll reach a point early in your life where you're living your dream. Don't mess it up by doing drugs. You'll find much later, after having raised a family, you return to that dream, but time and technology will have made it much harder to pick up where you left off. Live for today, but make sure you can see tomorrow. Make your choices count and move you forward, not backward. Be true to yourself.
The best part of getting older...
Is knowing you've grown out of self-destruction, have learned from your mistakes and have the opportunity to be all you are and more. In knowing you still have the chance to reach for the stars. Having life's experiences to share, stories to tell. Knowing who you are and liking yourself. In my case, having rose-colored glasses that still fit!
And don't forget the senior citizen discounts! Ha ha!!
Best advice to a new writer...
Don't doubt yourself. Spit it out. Go with your first instincts when putting your thoughts on paper. Don't edit your thoughts. Trust what you put down the first time because that's what comes from your heart. Gain technological knowledge, but always trust the sentiment and meaning that urges you to pick up your pen. Trust yourself. Creativity is not something you learn in school, it's a part of your soul and cannot be fine tuned by anyone but yourself. Your day will come; believe in that, spread your wings and fly!
My favorite book and why...
I don't have a favorite book. I do have a few favorite authors. Dean Koontz is at the top of the list. I've been reading him since he was Dean R. Koontz. I love his style and the way he paints pictures in my head. He writes in a way that I rarely anticipate the endings of his books accurately. He's spell-binding, creative, never dull. I'm always looking forward to his next book.
I have, however, learned the hard way not to watch any of his books turned into movies. He doesn't have the creative license over his movies, as does Stephen King (he allows no deviation from book to cinema). Every Koontz book-turned-movie I've seen is nothing like the book. To me, that's a sacrilege!
What subjects / genres are you best at writing/ about ?
I guess that question would be better answered by my readers! You tell me, what are the pieces or categories you most look forward to reading from me? When notified Bravewarrior has posted a new hub, which titles/ genres compel you to click on the link?
I love writing poetry; I've written well over one hundred poems. A first line will pop into my head and it just flows until my thought culminates. I also love writing short stories, although I need to hone that skill, as they tend to be more objective than subjective, as in poetry. I enjoy writing "green tips" because they offer something people can use; my words don't end at the end of the piece, they carry on into the readers' lives (hopefully!). I write what I know and research what I don't. I live by, or at the very least, try the tips I offer. I can't give advice if I don't have experience backing that advice. I try to add humor to my green tips in order to make them more personal and fun to read.
What would be a subject/ genre that would challenge your current writing efforts? Or are you perfectly happy with where you are...
I would like to expand my creative "spurts" into the area of writing novels. In fact, I have a couple of ideas in my head and have put the beginning thoughts on paper. "How I Became Bravewarrior" is the prelude to one. I have plans of publishing my poems, but I'm well aware poetry books are not best sellers.
In order to become the writer of my dreams, my desire is to write something the reader doesn't finish in a few lines. I want to enrapture my reader and take him/her on a journey through my mind. I want to occupy someone's bookshelf, as my favorite authors occupy mine.
I'm satisfied with the variety of my writings. I'm one who has many skills due to my ever-active mind. I bore easily. I need variety in my life and I think that's reflected in the all-over-the-place topics of my writings. I don't want to be predictable. I want my readers to wonder what I'll come up with next!
Can you take us to your favorite piece of writing on HubPages by you...
My favorite poem is "A Father's Love - Poem for My Dad", which I wrote this year for his birthday. He loved it and now knows how deeply I love him.
My favorite creative piece is "How I Became Bravewarrior". It will be the prelude to the novel I plan to write.
Tell us a song that is all about you... and why?
I think the song that most describes my idealistic nature (my ever-present rose-colored glasses!) is "Imagine", by John Lennon. When this song plays, all must be quiet; the words need to be heard. I'm a left-over hippie with an idealistic soul.
John Lennon - Imagine
Thank you again, Shauna....
I cannot think of another friend that I would rather dedicate one of my favorite songs to than you... so here is: "Flower in the Sun" by Janis Joplin.
Thanks for this interview and the inspiration you bring to my life.
© Maria Jordan (revised September, 2016)