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FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY: Writer: George T. Parker

Hello Friends,

Today I would like to introduce my husband, George T. Parker, to you.  He is also part of our local writing group called The Redding Writer’s Forum.  His main role in the group is writing their monthly newsletter, mailing it out, and posting to their website.  He has photographed some of their meetings along with others sharing in this responsibility.  He also includes writing from other members of the group in the newsletter.

In September he will be their first speaker of the year doing a presentation on writing memoirs.  He has been working on putting together his own memoir mostly focusing on the years that he was in the California Conservation Corps.  Here is a link to a great fictionalized story he wrote about something that happened in the C’s. http://reddingwritersforum.com

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So here are George’s answers to my questions for this post.  Enjoy!

 

  1. How long have you been a writer and/or artist? 

I’ve been a writer pretty much all of my life, as far back as grade school. I wrote a lot of weird adventure stories, and even did some cartooning of stories. (Yes! I could draw back then!) My writing got more sophisticated in high school, with more sarcasm and wit. I also started writing Dungeons & Dragons adventures for my gaming group. I journaled a lot in the California Conservation Corps, and after the Cs, I contributed to my community college’s literary magazine, Bridges. Lately, I’ve been blogging about the CCC and D&D. The main project that I would like to finish and see published before I die is my memoir of life in the CCC.

 

  1. What do you like to write about and/or create? 

I love memoir. The motto for my CCC blog is ‘Everybody has a story that deserves to be told.’ I believe that, and I love to help people tell their stories.

I love to help people see, hear, and feel the outdoors like I have experienced them.

I also love to make people laugh.

        

  1. Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.) 

I don’t know where to start. Certainly, John Muir comes to mind for any outdoors writing, or even memoir. Edward Abby’s Monkey Wrench Gang is the perfect blend of outdoors and humor.

Louis L’Amour really inspired me to write about places that I know first-hand. That’s what he did, and it showed.

Believe it or not, a primary influence for writing humor was Art Buchwald’s political satire of the 1960s and early ‘70s. I suppose that I should also include Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Robert Asprin (The Myth-Adventures series), and Monty Python.

You can see more of George’s work at either of his blogs.  Here are the links.

https://grinningdwarf.com/

https://ccchardcorps.wordpress.com/

Thank you, George, for contributing your story to my series FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY.   I enjoyed it as I am sure others will, too!

 

NOTE:  Unless I hear from other “creatives” who want to share their stories, George’s will be the last post in this series.  I realize it takes time to answer questions that perhaps you haven’t been asked in a long time, but just remember…it doesn’t have to be long!  Send it to larrytheleatherback17@gmail.com.  Thanks!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

 

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FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY: Writer: Vickie Linnet

Hello Friends,

Today, I would like to introduce my friend, Vickie Darnell, whom I met at the Writer’s Forum meetings a few years ago.  Her job in the group is “Hospitality Director.”  She sets up the food that people bring to share during the meeting’s break.  So here is her story.  Enjoy!

 

1) How long have you been a writer/artist?  

I have always enjoyed writing! In school, I was always writing notes to fellow classmates and essay questions were opportunities to express myself. My parents inadvertently encouraged me to write by leaving notes for me, telling me to have a good day at school and such. I was told that because I was left-handed, that my handwriting would be terrible. Therefore, I practiced writing, seeking to find an attractive way to write my name, Vickie Coleen Downey. I carefully wrote each letter, over and over again.

As a child, I also enjoyed drawing and painting with watercolors. In fourth grade, unbeknownst to me, my teacher entered one of my paintings in a city wide contest. I was the winner of my elementary school and my painting was displayed at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park! The day I brought my painting home, with a beautiful blue ribbon attached to it, my three year old brother tore it up. I ran, with tears in my eyes, to tell my mother what he had done. I was shocked and dismayed when she gathered up the pieces of my painting, crumpled them up and threw the pieces in the trash can.  I never drew again. (*And, my brother has a Bachelor of Arts college degree in graphic arts from Long Beach State…)

 

2) What do you like to write about/create?  

When I first read IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote, I became hooked on crime. HELTER SKELTER by Vincent Bugliosi, and THE ONION FIELD by Joseph Wambaugh further drew me into the crime genre. Becoming a police officer seemed to be a perfect fit for me, since I was (and still am) fascinated by murder.  On the flip side, I have also written several children’s stories, and magazine articles about draft horses and rural life, as well.

 

3) Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity? 

As I previously mentioned, authors Truman Capote, Vincent Bugliosi, and Joseph Wambaugh sparked my interest in crime novels.  Being a police officer, I wrote several crime reports on a daily basis.  After leaving the police force, I became a stay at home mom to my two little boys. Wanting to give them the best childhood possible, I not only read to them all the time, but created stories which included them and their toys, hoping to entertain them and perhaps ignite their own creativity and imagination.  In truth, my children inspired me!

Leaving the SF bay area and moving to Humboldt County provided the opportunity to initially have horses, cattle, sheep and chickens. Draft horses eventually replaced the saddle horses, opening up another avenue to write about. I wrote several articles about driving these draft horses, wagons, harness, and the places visited because of the drafts, such as participating in the Great Circus Parade held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1996 to 2000.

I owe my desire to write to everyone I have encountered in my life, which is akin to the Wild Ride of Mr. Toad, at Disneyland. My children gave me a second chance at childhood and continue to amaze me each and every day. My wonderful, supportive husband constantly encourages me to put my thoughts on paper. So, in the middle of the night, I am awake, reading or writing.

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Thank you, Vickie, for sharing your writing journey with us.  I’m sorry about your painting experience from childhood!  I can relate.  I appreciate your contribution to my Guest Blogs.  This was a great way to get to know you better.  I hope we can get together sometime soon!

 

My next guest blogger will be my husband, George T. Parker on Monday, August 7th.  Stay tuned!

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY: Writer/Artist: Teresa Robeson

Hello Friends,

Today I want to introduce my next guest on my new feature, FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY. She uses creativity in all she does.  Besides being an artist and writer, she also crochets, loves to cook, does digital art, and writes poetry!  Whew!  I love people who dabble in many areas of creativity!  Teresa and I met online quite a while back here on WordPress.   The name of her blog is called “One Good Thing” and you can find it here:

http://teresarobeson.wordpress.com/

Self-portrait

 

Now I would like to introduce you to Teresa Robeson.  She chose to answer all three of my questions.  I’m sure you’ll find her as interesting as I do.

 

  1. How long have you been a writer and/or artist?

I guess I’ve been a writer/artist for about a quarter of a century!

I dabbled in writing and art ever since I could hold a pencil, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until I took a course with the Institute of Children’s Literature back in 1990 and sold my first short story from an assignment in the class.

Likewise, I didn’t consider myself an artist until I took a fine arts for non-majors class at the University of Delaware in 1991. As I was leaving my class one day, the instructor told the group of majors who were hanging out with him that they should be glad I wasn’t a fine arts major because I’d blow them away.

When your skills are validated, you start to feel legitimate. There are still days when I feel like an impostor, though.

 

Watercolor

  1. What do you like to write about and/or create?

My favorite art to create is portraiture and wildlife/pet art. I love working in ink, charcoal, chalk pastels, and watercolors the best.

As for writing, I enjoy penning science fiction and children’s lit, with nonfiction (science, biography) close behind. I also write “own voices” because I love to write about my childhood in Hong Kong and my experience as an immigrant.

Digital

  1. Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)         

This is going to be a long list because there have been so many significant influences in my life, starting with my parents who encouraged me to write and do art, unlike many Asian immigrant parents who push their kids into medicine or law.

Then, I have to thank Bill Mammarella, the fine arts instructor of the course I took at UD, and Rick Ortwein, an art instructor who taught me a couple of classes at a local arts center. They were both firm believers in my potential when I had doubts in myself.

And more recently, the major influences on my creativity are Douglas Florian, the clever and witty author-illustrator, who has been so helpful and inspirational to me, and Jane Yolen, who needs no introduction and is my mentor from the We Need Diverse Books Mentorship Program, who made me see how prose can sing.

As well, I owe gratitude to my three critique groups – the Minnows, the Penguins, and the Scribblers. They have been instrumental in kicking me in the creative butt whenever I needed it, or even when I don’t.  😉

Thanks for interviewing me, Patsy!  I had lots of fun answering the questions.

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Thank you, Teresa, for being a guest on my blog!  I appreciate your participation.  You have led an interesting and successful life in your career.

 

My next guest blog post will be on Monday, July 24th.  Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

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