Tuesday, March 13, 2012

KJ Hannah Greenberg Guest Post

My theory that indie authors are some of the most interesting people around has been reinforced.  Today's guest post is from KJ Hannah Greenberg, whose Don't Pet the Sweaty Things is being released this week.  View it at http://www.bardsandsages.com/greenberg. Take it away, Hannah:

Today, I quelled three uprisings and decimated an entire outpost of spacelings. My occupational hazards, ranging from getting drunk on the particulars of integrating anthropomorphism into subject matter, to losing my cool when defining atomic boundaries, do little to interfere with the fun I am having.
Bewilderingly, I did not always amuse myself by arranging mosaics of make-believe entities. Short of my terminal degree, I left The University of Iowa’s esteemed halls of language and literature to: marry my undergraduate honey, complete my schooling (elsewhere) and raise a family. Along the way, I taught English and communication courses and remained sufficiently distracted by academic activities to not fully actualize my artistic faculty.

Nonetheless, after my children grew older and my family moved to “the other side” of the globe, I began to contrast the results of my verbal experiments with those of my theoretical modeling. There was rot in the ratios. Espousing rhetorical and literary criticism was doing nothing for my inventive yield. Only reallocating my resources to the construction of stories, of poems, of plays, and of essays might change my essential mix.
Thus, initially, the structure and composition of my offerings were less important to me than was those works’ existence. Without facts on the ground, per se, I feared
I would remain another commentator among thousands. I had to make haste to write creatively, to capture a hibernaculum of pretend hedgehogs, or both.

Accordingly, I dismissed internal arguments against “sensibly,” which indentured my energies to the pursuit of scholarship. As well, I tried out a handful of rationale for allowing my adolescent sons and daughters to receive a little less of my supervision. Our home did not entirely burn down. The toilet overflowed only sporadically, and we grasped that a former President was correct in considering ketchup to be a vegetable.

I muddled. I splattered. I dribbled a little here and there. I made many, many mistakes. What’s more, I refused to apologize for entire suites of efforts that lacked linguistic flourishes or any other “social worth.” Instead, I urged myself to continue to scribble narratives more full of irreverence than grace, and to continue to build poetry containing more superfluous references than measures of parsimony.

My tales became populated with jilted lovers, fledgling children’s book authors, awkward neighbors, and troubled elders. My essays flowed with anecdotes about my sons and daughters, about editors and publishers’ peccadilloes, and about road kill. My verse eked out paramagnetic materials from philological molecules and demonstrated that moral spin would be forever indeterminate. I snuck in paragraphs or stanzas, too, here and there, which suited no onomasticon, yet made my writing the ideal material with which to line budgie cages.

From hornbeam branch to shadblow bough, my craft became washable and worrisome. Not believing, even for a nanosecond or its cousin, that “sexy” or “comfortable” conceptions always superlatively benefit readers, I dared to roll in the waste of slipstream and pulp, and, in doing so caught, mostly by accident, some gatekeepers’ attention. It seems that fairytales, made urbane, are the “new black.”

Meanwhile, both my esteem and my social ranking took hits. Trading in prescribed academic paraphernalia for the less straightforward tools of original output hurt. Whereas the texts I offered up, in my fifth decade, spoke to the human addiction to adrenaline, and to publishers’ appetite for irregular outcomes, they did nothing to build on my previous, carefully structured, professional career. Indubitably, imaginative writing, if properly fed and watered, needs no blender, dryer, or lawn mower to be processed, and has the potential to move more souls than does any lecture on media and society or on the ethics of persuasion (my former areas of expertise). However, the realm of creative writing comes with a much smaller prospect of success that does the staid university world.

In balance, mental sprouting, whispered, shouted, or executed at any decibel in between, is not a “now or never” business, but a soft form of movement. Raging mentations, furthermore, are best facilitated by bobcats, or by intentionally allowing otherworldly monsters to feast on the flesh of invisible friends. Otherwise, powerful ideas persist in marauding on our highways as glittery personalities like crystalline chanticleers. There’s room in writing for growth.

Sure, many “refined” writers claim to operate within the confines of cultural licensure, to act within the parameters of de rigueur notions, to merely cast a sheen of mawkishness on already popular bits and pieces; such goings on are profitable. In spite of that, Yours Truly, even now, usually fails to be deterred by threatening garbles or by gallons of institutionalized drugging and cutting; I still push at edges. There’s little point in running with small, prickly mammals if one’s not willing to risk getting jabbed.

I purposefully fashion villains and heroes seasoned with dashes of imperfection, colonize fictions with the sort of huzzah more often associated with prides of cats lamenting missed wildebeest steaks than with polite exchanges, and engage in the kind of language-related maneuvers most familiar to adolescents who don’t really want to complete their algebra homework. In brief, I intentionally sought to join the ranks of word workers that elect not to employ fire sleeves.

As a result, presently, I write about a regional cleanout company’s monopoly, about Ilocano banquets, and about moments when butterfly kisses subsume all. My art is as likely to reflect my former students’ business acumen as it is to reflect my attempts to get giggy with piles of dishes. Occasionally, my writing espouses means to repair flattened garter snakes, to boot.

In the near future, I’d like to serve up more mindful discourse and to be able to explain why octopuses ought to have the right of way in bathrooms. I aspire, additionally, to be able to clarify why elementary school kids, who let lizards soil carpets, ought to be made to clean up, and why flying squirrels need to be reprimanded when making off with grocery coupons.

I’ve been fortunate to find audiences for my fun and games. I’ve been blessed to glean cheer and energy from my intellectual sport. I’ve been privileged, as well, to continue to embrace the oddities embedded in my performances. In brief, I’ve taken to this nature of output like a carnivorous, two-headed alien that gets invited in for tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment