Tuesday, December 31, 2013

INTERVIEW: WAYNE MASON


Name: Wayne Mason
Age?  39
Location? Lakeland, Fl     U.S.A.
How long have you been writing? I've been writing off and on and in some form and capacity since I was very young..... of course, it wasn't always very good.
Do you have a specific writing style? My writing style has changed a lot over the years. When I first starting getting published I was known largely for straight forward working class poetry. Now I guess you'd call it “experimental” for lack of a better term. Who knows what it will be like in another ten years? I'd like to think it will keep evolving.
Do you write as a career? I wish. Who wouldn't want to get by in the world doing what they are meant to do? Though I imagine a lot of the freedom I feel as a writer to experiment and do as I please would be tamed due to the pressure to make a “successful” career. Nothing comes without a price.
Do you write full-time? I don't write near enough! 12 hour shifts at the factory and general life business don't leave a lot of time in my day. Then of course what free time I do have often gets split between writing and other creative outlets, like my work with sound. This is actually a dilemma I've been contemplating a lot recently. I'm hoping in 2014 I can learn to better juggle the various aspects of my life..... or forgo sleeping.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? Perhaps my greatest accomplishment isn't so much about writing at it is a direct result of being a writer. A few years back I founded and headed up a spoken word collective and was damn determined to jump start a literary scene in my dreary little town. In the end the task got too tiring but for a time it was great. It was something that was started with very vested interest (to get my own gigs), but in the end it really wasn't about me anymore. It was about all the people that showed up to take the open mic, to give them a platform.
What is your ultimate goal as a writer? I'm not sure I even know the answer to this. Recognition is nice but not necessary. Myself and most people I know write for the love of writing or for sheer necessity without any real promise of fame or financial gain. Yet we keep doing what we're doing out of love or instinct. So where does one go from here? Further, wherever that is. As far as you can take it.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer? Just trying to be a writer in a world that does not want you to be, finding the time to write. Also I find the older and more cynical I get the less inspiration I find around me. When I was twenty years old inspiration was everywhere, it enveloped me. Now it's still around I just have to dig for it.
What projects of yours have been recently published? 'I Ching Jukebox' is my most recent project and my first book published in electronic format. I feel it marks a new direction for me, it's definitely my most far out there book so far and I'm really proud of it.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? I'm in the early stages of a prose/poetry collage type piece that will intersect autobiographical sketches with dream inspired writing. Also, polishing up a poetry chapbook manuscript that will hopefully get picked up soon.
Where can we find your work? Much of my work can be found online, like my newest ebook and many of the journals I am in. Google works handy if you ignore results for the New Zealand rock star of the same name.
How often do you write? As I illustrated earlier, nowhere near as much as I'd like. Any real writing I get done is usually on days off of work. The most I get done otherwise is quickly jotted lines and notes in a notebook always kept in pocket.
How do you react to rejections? Rejections don't really bother me at all, it's part of the game..... but I am very stubborn and tenacious. If it's a magazine I really want to be in badly I will keep submitting until they publish me.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? It's a good feeling that sticks with me all day, one that really hasn't diminished over the years.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? I'm not sure it is possible or even advisable to stay sane as a writer! I suppose the best way to stay sane as a writer is simply to write! Writing keeps me sane, it's only in lapses of creativity that I start to lose it. Write with no regard as to what others are doing, without regard of “being publishable”. Just write as pure and self centered as possible.
What is your favorite book? I don't really have a favorite book, though I definitely have books that I return to again and again. In fact, I've recently been a on a re-reading binge lately, started last week with Kerouacs 'Dharma Bums' and continues this week with Burroughs 'The Ticket That Exploded'. Next I plan on re-reading 'The Job: Interviews with William S Burroughs', which to be quite honest is a book that I come back to again and again.
Who is your favorite author? That's a tough question..... maybe the toughest one of all. Like a lot of my peers the so called Beats were my main catalyst propelling me to the point in which I am in now. If you had of asked me 20 years ago who my favorite author was I would have said Kerouac, but now Burroughs....... definitely Burroughs. His literary style, his apocalyptic vision, his scathing wit! It's not a far stretch either to say there would not be the Burroughs we love without Brion Gysin...... an author who in my opinion is very underrated.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? That is another difficult question! It's funny because the fictional characters that come to mind are in fact exaggerated versions of real people. Japhy Ryder from 'The Dharma Bums' comes to mind (maybe because I just re-read the book), in the book he is the perfect blend of artist, Buddhist, thinker, and rugged mountain man. We'd have dinner and a jug of wine over a campfire........ although more likely I'd end up having dinner with Raol Duke fueled with booze and who knows what else. What a dichotomy! The idealized self versus the realized self...... though both would be really fun.
What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer? Nothing can kill creativity quicker than giving a shit of what other people think or worrying if something is publishable.... at least during the writing stage, save that anxiety for editing. The writing should be done with abandon and written precisely with one person in mind, yourself.
What makes you laugh? Life in general makes me laugh because they're are so many things in our day to day lives that are so absurd that you have to laugh not to cry.
What makes you cry? I'm more of a sappy guy than I care to admit.... meaning you're more likely to see me cry out of happiness than anything else. I cried when my daughter was born. I rarely cry out of sadness.
What is your preferred drink while you write? Beer for writing, coffee for editing.
Beach or Mountains? I'm surrounded by beaches, but much prefer the mountains.
Cats or Dogs? I have five dogs and a cat that thinks it's a dog.
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Honestly.... neither. But if I had to choose I suppose I'd say the Beatles. At least they gave us “Revolution #9”.
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra? I dig Jimi but I gotta be honest, you're more likely to hear Sinatra coming from my house.
Shakespeare or Bukowski? Sometimes I love him, sometimes I hate him but I have to go with Buk.
Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.
Personal website/blog: http://brokenzen.wordpress.com/
Facebook profile or page: https://www.facebook.com/brokenzen
Other page(s) or profile(s): https://soundcloud.com/waynemason


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