- Guest Author -
Welcome to the life and times of a writer from the USA, but a man who has lived in several countries - EUART RAMSAY. Euart is an amateur writer who has written short stories, poems and academic articles, been published in magazines and journals, and has recently completed his first novel. Brought up in the United Kingdom, he now lives in San Francisco, California.
Welcome, Euart ...
· TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I am a writer in San Francisco, California and was brought up in the UK. Have lived in Japan, France, New York City and LA before the Bay Area. I’ve been writing since I was a boy when I wrote science-fiction stories, largely imitating Dr. Who, if you’re familiar with the Time Lords and the Tardis! I also wrote Tolkienesque epic sagas and then later, as a teen, lots of poetry based on poets like Baudelaire and short stories inspired by Impressionist paintings. I was and am a Francophile! More recently, I have been writing about my own life, and folks can see that in my online murder mystery In the Garden of Fragrance at www.euartramsay.wordpress.com.
· WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I think you become a writer as soon as you put pen to paper and, of course, it helps to have folks who want to read your writing, too. But it all starts with your creating something that you get some sense of fulfillment from yourself.
· WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I have an outline. I have some core ideas about what I want to say, about what is going to happen, about words or expressions I want to use. And these are all on scraps of paper or in notebooks. Or in my head. But as I write, things change of course and better ideas, better phrases come to mind.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I enjoy words and I enjoy putting words to experiences and relationships and then with that understanding them a little more clearly.
· WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Being ready to erase or delete material you once thought was good. And of course, knowing that most folks will never read what you write; and that some who do will reject it. You have to get used to the rejection piece! Stuff it, it’s their loss J
· WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I have been and still am a school teacher.
· WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I’ve come up with a few lines in essays and short stories that readers tell me make them shudder or shiver – with fear or elation – and that makes me happy.
· WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I have a series of short stories – Science-fiction, contemporary settings, travel – that are waiting to be written!
I am also doing a sequel to In the Garden of Fragrance that is called Sacrifice.
· WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Everything – especially people whose path I cross.
· DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Write! Have a space and a time when you write. And write.
· DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
No. Sometimes it’s slow. But I force myself to write. I can always erase it later.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Yes. I exercise, meditate and then write for two hours most days. Ouch!
· DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
It has to be quiet and I have to be alone.
· WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
This always changes. Right now, I am enjoying Guy de Maupassant and Somerset Maugham’s short stories. I also love Henning Mankel’s mysteries.
· WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
They loved it and were gripped!
· WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
My writing sounded like a gardening manual.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Right now, I love the outdoors – hiking, camping. I have traveled a lot, too, around the world. I am learning to play Bridge!
· WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
Long ones: Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu; Baudelaire’s Collected Poetry; The Lord of the Rings trilogy; a comprehensive Chinese-English dictionary; and probably Shakespeare’s Collected Works.
· HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
That you create something of which you are proud and that gives you a sense of fulfillment.
· WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
I can’t say but I am always curious to know what readers do take away from a piece of writing, which is often different from what I might have gotten out of it myself.
· WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
Discover Turkey – the Lonely Planet Guide!
Clancy's comment: Many thanks, Euart. Keep hiking, camping and writing.
Happy birthday to His Majesty, the King of Thailand (Rama 1X), Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch.
An important public holiday is held on 5 December to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch. Known in Thai as 'Wan Chalerm', the occasion is marked by an outpouring of love and reverence by Thai people throughout the kingdom and around the world.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, ascended the throne on 9 June 1946. The King has won a special place in the hearts of the Thai people through his combination of devotion to the welfare and development of his people, and a keen understanding and awareness of political and social issues. As an institution, His Majesty has provided a firm foundation for the country to weather the trials and turmoil that have beset the region since the end of World War II. Today, His Majesty continues to play a central role in a wide spectrum of national and social development schemes.
On 5 December, buildings and homes all over the country are elaborately adorned with flags, portraits of His Majesty and bunting, predominantly in the color yellow. Around the Grand Palace and Ratchadamnoen Avenue areas of Bangkok, thousands of vividly colored marigolds decorate the streets. On the evening of the holiday itself, the streets around Ratchadamnoen and Sanam Luang are closed to traffic and thousands of people take to the streets. Spectacular fireworks displays are held and the atmosphere is joyous and festive. The best way to enjoy the atmosphere is to take a bus to the Rattanakosin area, and just stroll along the crowded but traffic-free streets for a truly memorable experience.
Think about this!