The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream Magazine
A semi-annual magazine featuring art, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and mixed graphics/ combinaciĂłn
Joyfrida Anindo Jen Cosby Deanjean Naushena J.L. Wright with illustrations by Christina Lydia
The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream 2nd Collection ÂŠ 2017 The Black Lion Journal & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. All contributor copyrights are reverted to respected owners on publication, both in print & online.
General Questions & Submissions
Founder, Administrator, & Creative Deviser (Editor In Chief) Christina Lydia
Writers & Photographer Joyfrida Anindo Jen Cosby DeanJean Naushena J.L. Wright
Accompanying Illustrations, Layout, & Cover Design Christina Lydia
Joyfrida Anindo 7 Farewell Street 13 Sold
15 Monsters In The Midst 17 Warriorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Revelry: 2017
DeanJean 21 Zephyr
27 The Great Illusory Bamboozle Of The 29
Polka Dot Shirt Skymning: Interludes
33 The Trees Where My Childhood Is Hanging
Photography Of Place
On Community Service & On Compacting Emotion In Fiction
On Gaining Inspiration From Experience & Setting Goals To Write
On The Meaning Of Writing & Approaching Creativity Through The Unusual
On Writing Styles & Submitting Work To Journals
On Photography Aesthetics & The Volunteer Life
A Letter From The Editor
Joyfrida is a short story author and poet. She has work appearing in StoryZetu and several other blogs. When sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not making strangers cry with her writing, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most likely at the office, reading a book, cooking, or hanging out with her progeny.
“Sit right -- I paid too much to have you squirm little bitch.” His vile breath gagged my response in my throat, the flower brutally plucked and trampled to nothingness.
A dross is how my mum described him. The day my heart ran with my so called crush, I threw my ears at her feet.
“People would pay double for a girl so green,“ I heard him brag as he collected what he was owed -- or what I owed -- for the papers, for the food, for the parents.
At 18 I didn’t doubt my feelings. He promised jobs and money in a land beyond the sea -- the harbinger of doom I refused to see. They asked me to reconsider -- but oh, he could provide that which my folks couldn’t -- bread to fill my ever empty belly. Oh this man could serenade a serpent out its hole. He filled our emptiness with red berries of yew, with time my parents consented. For their trouble, a few shillings were poured to their name. I promised to write every week -- my savior promised to keep me ever green …off we went.
From then I knew what to do to clear my debt. Generous tips were awarded for tears shed. Their demands just a psittacism. Indifference slowly crept inward. I grew accustomed to the rhythm, mechanically serving one devious master after another. Soon, a new model had to be found. Clients don’t ride the same saddle too long. When they found her, even her toes had turned black. The river within her frothed through her lifeless body emptying at the mouth. They said it was a drug overdose -- just another junkie whose parents would never admit to. She was just three blocks away from her home.
The long trudge was barely what was promised. My honor prickled with horror as my innocence was poured to the dogs to fund our so called voyage. slap 13
Jen is a blogger who writes from a perspective of intense emotional experience. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an aspiring writer from New Jersey who believes in giving love to everyone. She shares the hard truths of life while intentionally cultivating the art of being resilient no matter what.
Monsters In The Midst In my attempt to age gracefully, I am growing more uncomfortable with the truth of human interaction. I come from a distant, blended family built on stubbornness and violent frustration. It is my hope to never want for anything as I own my individual quest for excellence. Sometimes, I sacrifice the internal fires of the ones I love without a moments thought. I am here in part, because a woman desperately sought to continue her line. She chose an act of love -- of determination -- and no one could convince her otherwise. I am a fact. The result of two people choosing to advance their union. They saw something worth fighting for in a world full of the lost. Family was their answer to a lonely existence. 15
I am a tattered end. There are nights I cannot recognize my eyes behind tears, I cry when I am sure no one is looking. I question my ability to be wiser and think, “wisdom is not worth the trouble of this hazardous road. What good is hindsight if you leave a trail of damage in your wake?” It costs nothing to be a good person but the price of being innocent is always pain. Even then, the victim is never completely blameless.
We wrap fragile hearts in a parallel journey. Still, some will not comprehend the gravity of combining their lives. You will quarrel bitterly and resent your other half. Maybe, you will throw a decades old friendship away because you lost your mind. Only to recover it when it is too late to make amends.
Monsters dwell in dark spaces under beds, waiting until you gain your courage... before they take everything you have. I think about how I have become a villain in the narrative of certain people’s lives. How, at one point in time, I was a little girl whose own family was infiltrated. Someone, huffed and puffed and blew my house down. Knowing a strong foundation could never be knocked to the ground.
The Warrior’s Revelry: 2017 I pray you find what you are looking for in 2017. But more importantly, I hope, with a burning urgency, for the realization that what you seek is already alive and well -- within you. Getting in better physical shape, eating all the right things and meeting your elusive “One” will not compare to developing the courage to live your life aggressively.
It takes courage to face the ultimate heartache in an effort to prevent it from overcoming your original course. There are eager, fractured parts of your once-trusting self begging for your immediate attention -- pleading with you to take a second look at this pain and turn it into a success story. Encouraging you to grasp a unique opportunity and make up for where you were once lost.
Instead of damsels in distress, I believe you and I were destined to be the heroines (and heroes) of our own narratives. The hero does not wait in dread or sit with vivid anxiety. He or she does not torture their self by poking excessive holes into open wounds. No; they take time to absorb their failures and to recover from them triumphantly. Quite often this means taking a stand with the hostile and merciless battle fighting against the dreadfu healing process. It is wrestling with your self-
Know you are meant for some legendary stuff. 17
doubt and putting the voice of adversity in its place. Picking up your heart after a catastrophe and brushing off the rubble and dust. Deciding the one you love is worth your fight and vulnerability. Courage is sharing the ugly truth with the intention of honoring the people who deserve a whole lot better than your apathy. It is acknowledging the various possibilities of where the truth will lead -- by not being swayed toward fear of the unknown. It is trusting in the knowledge that being honest is the only way you can grow. Because you cannot acquire anything worthwhile until you learn to first let go.
DeanJean blogger; she views her creative writing as an opportunity to explore her interests, which include astrology, literature, and surrealism, together with â&#x20AC;&#x153;lightning bolts from the blueâ&#x20AC;?. Her forays into kooky short stories and free verse poetry can be found on her blog and elsewhere on publications, such as Blue Nib Poetry and Figroot Press. She currently lives in Singapore, where she can be found lurking in libraries, being hopelessly lost in parks or fervently building imaginary sandcastles at the back of public buses. 20
Zephyr i The morning breeze sneaks in through brittle windows and I feel her kiss, like the affectionate nip of the bramble bush that scrapes against my skin when I walk too closely besides the hedge.
It alights ever so gently on my cold cheeks, as she swoops past me “Honey, what’s it about?”
bleary pillows that
Oh – it’s really nothing, Mum.
dimple softly in
It’s about some girl
her passing wake,
who flashed her
to the cheering crowds
towards the filthy
at the local cinema yesterday.
Mum, stirring the pot of stew,
A news story
explodes in a fit of laughter.
“What a fucking blowser she was!”
ii Now she settles comfortably on Mumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoulders, a silvery, amused chanteuse perching birdlike, all ribbon-festooned feet as she slowly unravels a loosely tied chignon from the frayed blue scrunchie,
her cheeky smile
from her shoulders,
spreading the butter
she runs out
onto squat, moon cheeks.
First, she picks out
a lock of hair
in her bare feet,
the wind chimes
in a cheerful goodbye
to curl it at
as she slips out of
the exact spot
the gaping windows.
I look at Mum,
her brow all furrowed
her eyes, making
in deep concentration
her go â&#x20AC;&#x153;humphâ&#x20AC;?
as she dices the carrots -
I giggle as
she tosses her head to 24
the right, like some
Now she labours
whinnying chestnut mare
to get the annoying
strand out of her eyes…
for tonight’s dinner… iii
If you look closely, you can spot a mole perfectly eclipsed by a scar
a digital trinity of index, forefinger and ring
in that smile, like the boughs that bend over from a baby’s weight as the cradle sways gently in the contentment of domesticity.
hold the onion’s heart in their delicate grip, pale coccyx cocoons that shed ivory half-sickles that fall to their sides, fast asleep
as the knife slices into it with ease. What a picture she is… I sit up, trying to catch this fleeting vignette between my shaky fingers: “Pausing for a moment to wipe a pair of callused hands on the apron, so as avoid the gradual sting –”
The Great Illusory Bamboozle Of The Polka Dot Shirt These pin-points of agglutinated fun take no chances
in the ensuing chaos
perhaps acting on
that wink aglow
of this handsome
and the slim rarity
in the night,
of a half-baked answer
in this rigid line
stamping their feet
of navy blue,
in between split seams:
on a blanket of snow?”
keeping the check
by enclosing this
at his own game,
dotty riot within
as I cunningly park
But they fail to see
against the busiest of
how the majesty
of human vision
in Sarahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house -
pulls out the optical rabbit in the blink of an eye -
thereby cracking through all three dimensions and beating this knavish merchant 28
Skymning: Interludes Clouds galloping Sluggish hands
across the horizon
drag a velvet cloak, as pale horses throw
their misty heads -
unobtrusive taps of
the mottling gangrene
enveloping her feet -
on a polished surface.
Savannas, a smoky Africa -
of the Galilee;
spurts of dying yellow
stubborn flecks that
a skull, flanged flesh
burn steadily, in
bronze, bruised elephant legs.
the sword glinting, in the red. 29
a flickering flame.
the murky, sulphurous musk
which arouses many a man
concentrated in a little diamond, still
hailing the western galesâ&#x20AC;Ś
Gleaming silverware sits hushed on the mahogany tableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strapping shoulders, star of the show now a chipped porcelain spoon where
a geishaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smile regales,
disappearing under leafy dregs: 30
in the night.
Naushena is a writer whose voice carries through moments of tranquility with soft-spoken storytelling. Naushena loves to write poetry through which she expresses her feelings and emotions. She also writes essays sporadically. Her topics cover a wide range of subjects. Her work has been published in Five Poetry, Scarlet Leaf Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Mamalode, Mothers Always Write, EXPOUND and is forthcoming in few others.
The Trees Where My Childhood Is Hanging I sip my tea and look outside of my bedroom window of the new house and see the Plumeria Tree. The short tree burgeoning white flowers with a yellow centre moves and the tree blowing in the wind transports me back to my childhood memories. I see myself as a carefree little girl climbing and hanging on trees, chasing colorful butterflies and dragonflies in the garden, gamboling bare feet on the bedewed green grass early in the winter mornings and playing with soft mud. My father was a banker. Each time he got promotions, we moved to a new city, a new house. So my childhood is fragmented and my memories are scattered. Yet, I did love climbing on trees. My playmates and those trees were always there to satiate me. I was always fascinated by the Plumeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sap I would call milk - a white sticky substance that oozes out of its soft green boughs the moment you pluck a flower. I would wear them on my ears and fingers as rings. We were warned by our elders not to sit on its boughs. I was one of those children who always did what they were told not to do. So 33
when I sat on the Plumeria’s fragile bough, the tree pushed me down for my disobedience and I never tried to climb on it again. Right outside our gate, there was a tall Loquat Tree planted in our neighbor’s garden. It hung on our side benevolently knowing that three little girls would have been tempted to eat its fruit. In the midst of hot afternoon, my elder sister, Sam and I, busied ourselves- our mission (im)possible - in getting the juicy fruits by throwing stones at the tree laden with loquats. We sometimes succeeded in hitting at the yellow swollen loquats making them fall to the ground -- sometimes the stones fell to our neighbor’s area. Other times, we didn’t succeed in our efforts.
One time, I had thrown a rock aiming at a loquat but it came back to me like a boomerang and fell on my big toe. I sat to the ground wincing. The activity came to a halt. My mom came out to know what had happened when she heard me crying. She appeared astonished at our trick but, thankfully, did not scold us, only warned us to be careful the next time. Later my toe turned black and stayed like that for days but it did not deter me from joining my sister and trying our activity again. Many 34
times the stones fell in the ownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s garden. His gardener, our biggest obstacle, knew about our pilfering and would stare at us sternly. He would move his right hand to shoo us away as if we were flies. One afternoon, Sam and I schemed our way into that lush garden. We entered through a hole in the hedge that served as a boundary wall! Once there, we would turn round and round with closed eyes and open arms and stop when we felt woozy.
My grandparents backyard had a bifurcated Guava Tree. Our names carved on its white trunk peeping through the crispy thin bark, my cousins and I sitting on the v-shaped branches and hanging like monkeys; jumping up high and grabbing at the lower branches helped in our agility and firm grip. Once while sitting on a thin bough, I misbalanced and fell down like a lizard which stays still for a few moments to recover from the shock of falling. The tree never got the chance to bear ripe fruits because as soon as we would catch sight of the raw green guavas, we would pick them and tear the outer green skin with our sharp teeth like a tiger tears flesh. We would eat the sweet white inner part consisting of seeds, we called Toffees. I wonder now why we never had a constipation problem! 35
At some distance next to a wall, there was a Papaya Tree too. I disliked papayas because of its pungent smell but loved that its height looked like a pole to me at that age. It served as my drop down tower. Climbing on the low boundary wall then clinging to the tree’s slender trunk like a baby does to his mom’s legs, I would move upwards to the top. From there I would slide down and in doing so, often grazed my hands. My buttocks would come down with a real thud yet the fun of slipping down the tall trunk was more overwhelming than the pain. So many memories are associated with the Mango Tree of my grandparents’ neighbour. Whenever we tried to get the enticing sour green mangoes by standing on our cousin’s shoulders, the neighbor would suddenly appear and we would scamper away. Later, we invented an apparatus to reach the out of reach mangoes; we pinched an empty can from the kitchen, poked holes in it, and tied a stick to it; a few cousins would stand on guard while the older ones would stand from the rooftop and rob the mangoes. The sharp edges of the tin would easily cut the stem and mangoes would fall in it. After peeling them, we would add spices and distribute our booty. Even if any of us had a sore throat, no one disclosed the reason to our elders. It was our secret and we had complete camaraderie. 36
A ringing tone from far away pulls me out of my memories and I come back to my present life feeling happy and refreshed but simultaneously yearning to relive my childhood. Thanks to my elders that I had a natural and active childhood rather than a confined one. I was not ever stuck within the four walls of the house, nor did I play artificial games with the latest gadgets and gizmos. The trees provided me everything; entertainment, exercise, companionship and play. When no friend was available to play with, they welcomed me by silently swaying as if beckoning me. I am happily able to see that my children have become as adventurous as I was then.
J.L. Wright is a photographer and traveler and a full-time RVer who enjoys learning about the United States through exploration. It is J.L. Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wish to start conversations about current issues through the use of an artistic voice. Graphanome: A graphanome is created from text, usually a name written in a manner that lends itself to become an artistic image. 38
A Conversation with Joyfrida Anindo
On Community Service & On Compacting Emotion In Fiction CHRISTINA LYDIA Thank you for taking your time to answer a few questions for us to know more about you and your writing. Let me start by asking about your love for writing. What drives you to write?
How do you make time to write?
JOYFRIDA ANINDO I am a very emotional person and always have feelings in me that have to be released. If I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t write I feel emotionally clogged. CHRISTINA LYDIA How did you get started in writing? 46
JOYFRIDA ANINDO I have always wrote for as long as I can remember. It began as a stress reliever, I had several scrap books full of poems through elementary and high school. I was also the best creative writer in my class all though school and university. One time in 2005, a friend found my scrap book and they suggested that I start a blog. My mum is also a writer, not professionally, and I guess I just picked the gene, and with practice, became good at it. Early mornings and
late evenings are my peak times. I create personal time during that time of the day to write or think about things that I might want to write about. CHRISTINA LYDIA What struck my attention the most about your writing was its sense of immediacy, presence, and emotion. I felt this especially when reading “Farewell Street.” You have a skill at compacting so much sentimentality in small moments that your writing often reminds me of what poetry is best known for. Is this a particular style that you have always used or did you learn to write this way? JOYFRIDA ANINDO My writing comes from a place of emotional density — it is a form of release. It is what I am feeling at that
specific time, whether loss or heart break or pure joy and happiness. My pieces are all fiction but driven by true emotions. These emotions can be because of personal issues, what my friend(s) are going through, or what the world if going through. CHRISTINA LYDIA What quick tips do you have for writers who want to pack much emotion into short form fiction or into poetry? JOYFRIDA ANINDO Write at the height of that feeling. When you feel it most. Some pieces I have wrote through blurry eyes at the edge of crying. The words to describe a certain feeling come to me when I am feeling it. If I am not sad and try writing a sad story I never go past the third line and vice versa. 47
“My writing comes from a place of emotional density — it is a form of release. It is what I am feeling at that specific time, whether loss or heart break or pure joy and happiness.”
You mentioned to CHRISTINA LYDIA me that you are a How much of your program assistant personal life and at a humanitarian experiences shape who organization. Can you tell you are as a writer and as us a bit about what your a person? Do you find that organization is about and you draw much content your role in it? How does from your experiences or working there shape the have you worked to keep way you define yourself as that separate from your a person and as a writer? writing? JOYFRIDA ANINDA JOYFRIDA ANINDO I work for Mennonite I believe it is hard for Central Committee (MCC) any writer to completely as an Admin and Program separate themselves from Assistant. MCC is a their writing but I try not global, nonprofit Christian to let it overtake what it is organization that works that I want to put across. in relief, development and If I will write anything that peace. I get to interact will touch my experience with different people in with someone or an my country and across the experience that someone is globe. That has helped me going through, I always ask avoid the danger of having their permission. However, one side of a story on any many times I make it as issue. I am able to balance obscure as possible. All my writing. of my work is fiction but relatable. CHRISTINA LYDIA Can you give us a few CHRISTINA LYDIA quick tips for those 48
who are interested in knowing more about how to help and support humanitarian organizations? JOYFRIDA ANINDO Check out MCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website and see the amazing things that we are doing around the globe. I was quite the skeptic when it came to humanitarian work but now I see the many gaps that these organizations fill, not only in my country, but all over the world. Consider giving monetary assistance and/or your time. There are many activities that one can participate in around your area and/or around the world. CHRISTINA LYDIA I like to ask writers about their experience with blogging because I am interested in knowing how it shapes
challenges helps one to practice their craft — the only way to become better at writing is writing more.
“Write at the height of that feeling. When you feel it most.”
CHRISTINA LYDIA What quick tips can you give novice writers who want to get started with blogging as a platform? JOYFRIDA ANINDO Write, follow other writers, comment on their pieces, interact, keep your blog active, and never give up. I blogged for a couple of years with zero followers before my blog finally picked up; you must be patient. Find that genre that you are good at and then practice, practice, and practice. CHRISTINA LYDIA Where do you hope to you see yourself in 5 years, professionally and creatively?
their writing. How has blogging impacted how you write? Do you feel that it has benefited you as a writer?
JOYFRIDA ANINDO Creatively, well, I would like to have an anthology of poetry and short fiction out by then. Even if it will be selfpublished. I also look forward to growing professionally in my field of work as a humanitarian worker.
JOYFRIDA ANINDO Yes, it has benefited me; you get constructive criticism on your work and also get to interact with a variety of writers across the globe. It however hasn’t changed my style of writing. Blogging and participating in blogging 49
On Gaining Inspiration From Experience & Setting Goals To Write CHRISTINA LYDIA Let me start by saying thank you for taking some of your time to answer a few questions for us to know about you and what you love to do. I’ll ask you first: What does writing mean to you? JEN COSBY Thank you, for your interest in my writing! Before I knew the power of words, I used writing as an outlet for my grief. I lost an influential English teacher to suicide when I was 17 and it was not until this event that my writing took an emotional turn. I wrote a poem entitled, “While You 50
A Conversation with Jen Cosby
Were Sleeping,” and recited it at his wake to commemorate him. The impact for me specifically was a feeling of release. Other people told me they felt a sense of peace in the midst of the tragedy. It was at this point that I understood just how much potential writing could have towards the healing of hurting people. CHRISTINA LYDIA Your writing is powerful and intense in its meaning and its message. How has your personal experience and worldview influenced the way you write?
“We make time for the things that are important to us. This is true for all things for which we are passionate. If I choose to neglect my responsibility in one area of my life then eventually, all the other areas will suffer.” JEN COSBY I would say intense definitely describes me accurately! I remember reading a quote once, “Art never comes from happiness”. I would counter this to say, “Great art comes from extreme emotional states”. Sadness is not the only thing that inspires me to write—some of my best pieces were created out of pure joy. I am driven by passion and a need to share my full experience. My personal challenges influence me to be transparent and open with the good, bad and often ugly moments that
we all experience (in one way or another) in life. CHRISTINA LYDIA Do you have writers/ artists that you admire and look up to? JEN COSBY One of my favorite writers is Jane Austen. She wrote stories about fiercely independent women who knew what they wanted and refused to settle for less. Her own narrative is one of determined perseverance. In addition to Austen, I admire the works of Elizabeth Alexander and Claudia 51
Rankine. Both have a fantastic creative presence with an ability to attach an emotional picture to their words. I aspire to have a fraction of an impact that these women have had on their audiences. CHRISTINA LYDIA I always ask writers how blogging has changed and/or how it influences their writing process. What about you? How has blogging influenced your writing process and how has it influenced the way you approach writing? JEN COSBY
Well, for one I am fully aware that I have no idea who could be reading. With this in mind, I do my best to take care with sensitive subjects and speak only what I know and feel to be true. My blog is based on my personal experience, which makes it chock full of my opinionated thoughts. Sometimes, these feelings resonate positively with other people; but if I am not careful with my expression, words have the ability to wound in a way that I do not intend to trigger.
to us. This is true for all things for which we are passionate. If I choose to neglect my responsibility in one area of my life then eventually, all the other areas will suffer. For instance, I recently completed my Associates Degree while both parenting and working full-time. For years, I did not pursue my degree because I was afraid I could not make the time. I did not want to start another thing and fail, so fear kept me in a place of stagnancy. Thankfully, I realized the time was going to pass whether I sat still or moved forward. CHRISTINA LYDIA I set goals and took How do you make time baby steps — creating a for both blogging and schedule, talking to other writing? What quick people who were doing tip(s) would you say to what I wanted to do — writers who want to get and I gained the courage started in blogging? to invest in myself. If you JEN COSBY want to write — if it is all We make time for the you can think about — things that are important you will find a way. 52
CHRISTINA LYDIA “The Warriors Revelry: 2017” was a piece that I truly enjoyed reading; it was a strong read. What does it mean for you to be the heroine (and/or hero) of our own narratives? JEN COSBY Thank you, so much! I will define what being a heroine means to me. There is a war within all of our hearts that most of us do not recognize. For myself, it starts early in the morning when I have to choose between hitting the snooze button and getting up early to practice yoga. It continues when I can either be present in a conversation or retreat into my thoughts (and panic) about what is yet to come. If I want to be the heroine of my own narrative, I must choose to vibrate on a higher frequency. I have to own my mistakes and take stock of the damage I leave in my
wake. I have to make better decisions and bring other wounded warriors with me. A true heroine (or hero) always takes responsibility.
JEN COSBY Some of the monsters I speak of in “Monsters in the Midst” are regular people fighting for what they believe to be true. One of the things I learned about the ideals of the “villain” is that he/she thinks they are the hero. All of us at one point in our lives stood in direct opposition to another person. And truthfully, we are all probably a monster in a way to someone else. Monsters are usually people who aggressively fight to right a wrong or fix a problem. Unfortunately, sometimes a monster is the angry person who makes a bad decision. When monsters live in negative feelings, we have to be intentional about putting them in their place before we hurt other people.
CHRISTINA LYDIA Last year I attended a panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) writer’s conference (Making Monsters: Exploring Otherness in YA/MG Literature) and they spoke about Monsters and the creation of monstrous characters — not just scary ones or horrific ones, but characters labeled as monsters because they defied traditions and/ or questioned norms. “Monsters in the Midst” reminded me about that panel. What does a monster mean to you as a writer and what did it mean to you when writing “Monsters In The Midst”? CHRISTINA LYDIA What goals and/or 53
aspirations do have for your writing? Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years, creatively, personally, and professionally? JEN COSBY My ideal 5-year plan. Professionally, I would like to finish my Bachelors Degree and work with a publishing company to bring ideas to paper and combine those papers into books. Creatively, I would like to place my own ideas into a book (or two) of poetry/prose and work alongside my significant other (who is an artist) to “take over the comic book industry”. Personally, I see us combining our families, growing our tribe and raising a family of creative minds who make meaningful contributions towards the peace and unity of our society.
On The Meaning Of Writing & Approaching Creativity Through The Unusual CHRISTINA LYDIA Hi DeanJean! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions for us to know about you and your writing. DEANJEAN Thank you Christina for giving me the opportunity to be featured in The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream Magazine!
A Conversation with DeanJean
to you. How and when did you get started? Do you have any writers that you look up to? DEANJEAN Whew, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tough one, because I can imagine the potential tangents splitting off from this single question! In general, writing is a way of setting these guttural human sounds into an orderly, visual structure on a tangible form, from which we can unmask,
CHRISTINA LYDIA Tell us a bit on what writing means 54
consume and extract the purest essence for the purposes of understanding ourselves and the world around us. Writing is also an excellent pathway through which emotion and knowledge can transcend beyond the physical and mental limits of an individual, by presenting themselves in a manner that allows ample room for original elucidations to be drawn from. So, writing is incredibly meaningful to me because of the enormous implications of these factors. I’m fascinated by how knowledge and emotion can turn the cogs in our brains and spur us on to perform amazing feats. Significant events in our world’s history have permanently altered the paths on which we have walked, all because of a humble book or ideology
of the moment that were probably birthed from some hastily scribbled notes! I can’t remember when I started to write exactly, but I remember the gradual process. I began by reading just like any other kid – going to libraries during the weekends and coming back with an armful of books! I was an only child with boredom to contend with, so creativity filled that hole of solitude perfectly. I progressed towards writing at about 9 or 10, as another means to create my own
“I’m fascinated by how knowledge and emotion can turn the cogs in our brains and spur us on to perform amazing feats.” 55
worlds of reality, writing mostly short stories as I had neither the patience nor stamina for longer works. Then I switched my attention towards fantasy and fan fiction stories for the next few years, due to the highly conducive environment of my grandmother’s home. I stopped as I got older, but recently went back to writing again after realizing that it was still highly enjoyable. I started a writing blog last year, to see where it could lead me to. I’m a big fan of Yukio Mishima! His words stitch together the smouldering passion that colours many of his seminal works with his Buddhistinfluenced insights on beauty that implodes with an excruciating intensity. His writing haunts the reader, even
after the book has been finished. There’s also the undercurrent of human mortality in his books that I find very compelling. I also find Iris Murdoch’s writing to be incredible – she has the rare ability to conjure fictional characters that seem as real as the people walking down a sparsely populated street, but have been cobbled together in some wry, absurd way that offsets the mundane and makes them larger than actual life. And I also appreciate how her deceptively simple writing illuminates the most obscure of truths. CHRISTINA LYDIA After I read “That Man Had A Really Weird Sunhat On” (amazing title!) on your blog I just knew that I landed on a special writer. I loved reading your
three poems and have enjoyed the vivid imagery presented in each. Writers approach the writing process in different ways. How do you approach writing? Do you pre-write and edit later or do you let your words tumble as they come? Do you have a specific genre you lean to, or are you more free with your poem’s construction?
and then examine the scraps to see if they can be pieced together into something coherent, and plug the gaping holes with whatever that comes to me at the moment. I usually leave the editing to the next few days, so that much of the excitement and the novelty of the moment have worn off. This allows me to view it in a more objective DEANJEAN manner and make sure Ah, thank you very much! the piece is worth its I guess I lean towards a weight. I don’t lean experimental approach towards any specific when I write – I don’t poetry genres, but I do have a “one-size fits all” try to make some efforts approach as I’m unsure of towards appropriate the direction I’m heading towards when starting on a punctuation, sentence new piece. I get bored really and stanza lengths. I’m still relatively new to easily, so I try to make the process as fun and quick as poetry, and I’m game for trying out other poetry or possible. I keep a lookout similar writing genres if I for the unusual, or I try to can see potential in it to spot anything that makes improve my writing. sense in a bigger picture CHRISTINA LYDIA of intertwining patterns. I note these fragments down, There are plenty of 56
writers (myself included) who struggle with finding the time to write. Some have suggested making time in the morning or evening to write, others have suggested to do what works for them. What about you? How do you make time to do what you love to do?
found that writing a little for a short period of time everyday (say, half an hour or a few minutes) – even a few words, or a single sentence, or working on an unfinished piece – allows you to fall easily into a routine which can create the impetus for writing creativity. It flexes the brain and keeps the words DEANJEAN flowing. Additionally, I think this is where the activity of immersing technology can be a real yourself in books, films or life and time-saver. I art allows you a glimpse quickly note down ideas into the worlds of others, that I find to be of interest from which illuminating on my phone, so that I insights and newly gained can expound and edit the perspectives can spark off pieces when I get home. If that elusive inspiration. I’m lucky enough, the idea can generate sufficient CHRISTINA LYDIA mental interest and I know that writers out momentum to allow me there look to blogging to complete the piece in as a way to spread their a few minutes! Work can words and even find be an intensive time and community among other energy-gobbler, so this has writers and lovers of been a good way for me to words. How has blogging make much of the precious helped you as a writer? little I have. And I’ve also What advice can you give 57
those writers who want to start blogging? DEANJEAN For me, blogging has been a massive help in finding like-minded writers and fans who either dig what I do, write in the same vein or have the same interests as me! I’ve also been delving into the works of other writers on their blogs, and have found much to admire in the various literary styles and expressions. Through interacting with them, I can look at how I can improve my own perceptions of life and my own work. I’m still aware that I have lots to learn about, and learn from! I’m not very good at giving advice; mainly because I usually don’t take the heed of others myself, but this seems
the best to anyone who’s still wondering if they should do it: Stop thinking about it, and start doing it! CHRISTINA LYDIA We all write and produce work for many reasons, either personal, political, professional, or a combination. What do you write for? What do you hope to achieve with your writing? Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your creativity? DEANJEAN I write to explore the different terrains of my ever-expanding interests, to reveal the hidden beauty in the mundane, and of the moment, to clarify my own muddled thoughts, to revel in the simple joy of creation, and its difficult but ultimately rewarding process – and to slip into the gradually warmed shoes of my own
self. I don’t intentionally set out to achieve with my writing, since the interpretation of any finished work that goes out into the world is beyond your control. But I hope that they can view the world through a renewed pair of eyes when they finish reading my work… and to see that beauty can exist in the mundane, even in the dankest of ditchwater puddles. Where do I hope to be in 5 years with my creativity? I would like to put out a chapbook or an actual product that I can hold in my hands and be proud of. That’s something that I’m working towards, one step at a time.
A Conversation with Naushena
On Writing Style & Submitting Work To Journals CHRISTINA LYDIA Hello there, Naushena! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions. Let me begin by asking: How did you get started with your writing? What does writing mean to you? NAUSHENA Thank you so much for having me, I feel so honored. I started writing at a very young age but that was in the form of snippets and my personal diary. For me writing is an expression of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self and a vent through which we let out our feelings and emotions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a powerful tool through which we can say much without
saying. CHRISTINA LYDIA Those who write or who are creative in different ways often struggle with making time for doing what they love to do. How do you make time to do what you love to do? NAUSHENA I believe a person can always take time out for anything he loves be it reading, writing or simply playing a game. I always keep my journal handy and whenever I have an arrival of a poem or a subject to compose upon, I instantly
jot it down. Then the first thing I do in my free time is to compose upon it whether its day or 12 o clock at night. CHRISTINA LYDIA I know some writers like to draw inspiration from their personal lives, often using people they know as characters in their stories. Other writers that I know make a clear effort to separate their real life from their fictional creations. However, some writers that I know are in between and blend their real life seamlessly into their fictional creations! What about you? How does your personal life play into your writing process?
is shaped directly or indirectly by others. So like any other writer, my work especially poetry depicts my personal feelings towards life in general. CHRISTINA LYDIA You have a wonderful list of places in which your work has appeared and/or is forthcoming. What advice can you give novice writers about submitting their work?
NAUSHENA I still consider myself as a novice! You need to have patience while and after submitting your work. It does not happen overnight since all publications have deadlines and reading periods. The editors do a painstaking job of reading innumerable submissions. NAUSHENA It would be wise to read Our personal life is never a copy of an issue to personal but an influence better know the editor’s of other people’s lives too. taste and demand of a Our thinking and persona magazine. Moreover, all 60
“You need to have patience while and after submitting your work. It does not happen overnight since all publications have deadlines and reading periods.”
publications have certain guidelines which should be adhered to in order to have a better chance of acceptance. CHRISTINA LYDIA In your bio you mention that you sporadically write essays. What about essay writing draws you the most? Which other genres, if any, do you like to delve into? NAUSHENA I am basically a poet and I accidentally discovered when I was a sophomore that I could write poems. I compose poems on anything that encompasses life. Poetry writing is concise and easier and it comes naturally to me. On the other hand, if there is too much to write on a subject then I have to write in the form of an essay. CHRISTINA LYDIA Spread throughout
“The Trees Where My Childhood Is Hanging” are snippets of beautifully crafted imagery, very much a skill that is often found in poetry. Is this a particular style that you have always used or did you learn to write this way? Is there any advice you can give writers who would also like to learn how to pack imagery within their own writing? NAUSHENA Being a Literature student, I was trained to embellish my writing with all the literary elements such as imagery, symbolism, personification, alliteration etc. When I write something I unconsciously use them because it’s drilled in my mind. Once a piece is complete, I do its critical appreciation and see what elements 61
“One should always try to use a better phrase, for instance, instead of calling your character brave, why not call him a lion?”
I have used and what can be altered. My advice to the aspiring writers is to do the same. Have your work be critiqued before submitting. One should always try to use a better phrase, for instance instead of calling your character brave, why not call him a lion? Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell, let your words talk. Increase your vocabulary by a good amount of reading. CHRISTINA LYDIA Where would you like to see yourself, both personally and professionally, with your writing? NAUSHENA I still feel that I am on the first ladder of writing but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to make my name through my writing in all the good magazines of all the continents. Getting a literary award is on my wish list too. 62
On Photography Aesthetics & The Volunteer Life CHRISTINA LYDIA Hello J. L. Wright! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions so we can know a bit about you and your photography. Tell us about what photography means to you. How and when did you get started? Do you have any photographers that you look up to? J.L. WRIGHT I had my first job re-shelving books in my elementary school library. It was the last year of Look magazine and I had to remove all the earlier editions and throw them away. As I boxed them up for the
A Conversation with J.L. Wright
trash, I thumbed through the earlier editions I had never seen before. I saw several story shoots by Stanley Kubrick. Pictures where he found repetitive patterns in light and shadow while telling a story without faces. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about the subjects but about the backdrop in the photos. It was the lack of clarity and depth that pulled me in. That was the year I got my first camera, a pocket Kodak Instamatic 110.
CHRISTINA LYDIA What is your most memorable photography experience? J.L. WRIGHT Photography was an expensive hobby before digital. I have never taken a class or learned how to process my own film so I spent a lot for out of focus, poor quality images at Walgreens. When I think about all the photos I’ve taken, I’ve only planned a few, mostly still lifes. Sometimes I plan for the light effects and thinking through what vision I’d like to capture in a landscape or wildlife photograph. I got hooked on photography when my wife and I decided to quit our jobs and become full-time RVers. My mother-in-law gave us our first digital 64
camera and told us to post pictures on Facebook so she could enjoy the journey with us. We left Houston and headed straight to Alaska and have been in 43 states and seven Canadian provinces so far. I consider myself the best photographer I know at 55 mph. That’s because my wife and I travel as full-time RVers. She’s behind the wheel and I’m behind the camera with my head out the window capturing the scenes she can’t see when she’s paying attention to the road. When I looked through my photo album of this journey to respond to this question, I went straight to the file called Keila. She was our 14 year old Labrador. I made a journal of her last day on this plane of existence 65
and those would be my most memorable images. CHRISTINA LYDIA You mentioned that you enjoy traveling around the United States in your RV! What do you enjoy the most about RV-ing and travel? How do you make time to do what you love to do? J.L. WRIGHT My wife and I have discovered the volunteer life. We volunteer with USFW, private entities, and will be joining the National Forest team this fall. As volunteers, we receive free campsite in exchange for our work. If you want to follow our adventures, follow our blog: A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime: Quitting Our Jobs, Selling Everything, and Hitting The Road. We love connecting to the wonderful public lands
“I want people to see beauty wherever they are. They can look at my pictures and think, ‘I’ve been there but I never really saw it like that.’” 66
currently threatened by changes in legislation. Hiking, camping, enjoying ourselves and helping clean and maintain facilities for other visitors is very rewarding. We support the mission of the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect and manage the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; by providing scientific and other information about those resources to visitors. CHRISTINA LYDIA What do you look for when approaching a photography subject? Do you lean toward a particular aesthetic or are you more free with your photo’s composition? J.L. WRIGHT I like to frame a shot naturally. I notice the rules of thirds when I see them but always have a
computer program to help make them work when I don’t capture what I wanted you to see. CHRISTINA LYDIA There is a series photographer that is featured here on TBL Journal named Thaddeus Miles; and in his interview, he talked about how he hoped to achieve unity and diversity with his camera. His work touches on diversity and culture, and serves to create positive narratives and conversation on perspective. In your bio, you talked about how it was your desire to use your artistic voice to start conversations about current issues. I think that is a powerful way to approach current issues! What do you hope to achieve with your photography? What conversations do you
“We support the mission of the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect and manage the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage” hope to have? J.L. WRIGHT I want people to see beauty wherever they are. They can look at my pictures and think, I’ve been there but I never really saw it like that. I want people to see what they want to see in person, a mountain lion in New Mexico, a grizzly in Denali, Mt. Rainer, Okefenokee Swamp, or the Atlantic City, New Jersey skyline. 67
CHRISTINA LYDIA Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your work? J.L. WRIGHT Photography is my second love as I define myself as a poet. I am currently writing my first books, a memoir in verse and a children’s book. I want to use my photography as a support for my word art. In 5 years, I’d like to be able to say my art has affected someone in a way which made them get off the couch and do something be it a walk around the block or a drive across the county.
A Letter From The Editor
sincerely could not imagine, three years ago, that I would now have the highest honor in sharing the stories and lifeperspectives of such wonderful individuals. The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream 2nd Collection is the sister of The Inaugural Collection -- both feature beautifully talented individuals who I am humbly grateful to have met. This collection could not have been possible if not for the inspiring and creative individuals whose work lines these pages. Thank you. 2017 will be recorded as a year of memorable events -- political, cultural, social issues have dominated the airways and have gained momentum unlike what has been seen for the past 10 years. A sense of expectation and intense emotion on life issues and worldviews has been awakened and now is ever present in the daily lives of many.
started The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream for the purpose of collecting and sharing inspiring work
in order to shift perspectives and to view the world through a different lens. I aim to continue doing that.
“It is my hope that The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection, and future collections, continue to honor the lifeperspectives and worldviews of everyday individuals by respecting their voice”
he Black Lion Journal’s mission is to honor and share differing and underrepresented world views by overcoming boundaries that oppress and discriminate others based on one’s sex, gender, sexuality, ethnicity/ nationality, age, class, and/or economic status, with the goal to show a strong respect for the written word, for past histories, and for different cultures and art. It is my hope that The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection, and future collections, continue to honor the life-perspectives and worldviews of everyday individuals by respecting their voice -- their power to positively influence others by sharing their experiences. Thank you for taking the time to read The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection and for your support of creativity.
The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream 2nd Collection ÂŠ 2017 The Black Lion Journal & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. All contributor copyrights are reverted to respected owners on publication, both in print & online.
General Questions & Submissions
2nd Collection The Wireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream Magazine
A semi-annual magazine featuring art, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and mixed graphics/ combinaciĂłn
General Questions & Submissions