Friday, 01 February 2013
And the Xangan in this month’s Xanga Writer’s Spotlight is…
His Favorite Piece: The Monster
1) When did you first become a member of Xanga?
I first became a member of Xanga in 2003; originally, it served as an outlet for a very transformative period of time in my life. I had just entered the Military straight out of High School, in order to gain money for college. I went straight from AIT to Germany, and as soon as I got to my Unit, we deployed to Iraq. I was still in the process of discovering who I was, my thoughts and feelings, and using Xanga to capture them. Like a snapshot in time, a time capsule for my thoughts, so one day I could look back on myself, and see what a difference there was. *Smiles* I used to write about the things that were going on in my life, a safe place to store my poetry, a sounding board for my thoughts, a community to sift, review, and challenge those thoughts, such that I didn’t become complacent in my Self Growth. Xanga has been home to me, for a long, long, time now. *Takes a look around at this place he has called home for so long, a place that even though life’s travels take him away from time to time, he always comes back to *
2) How did you begin writing? What inspired you? Who inspired you?
I began writing in earnest when I joined the Xanga Community; before then, most of my writings had been on messengers, through email, or in chat rooms. I used to frequent a lot of role-playing chat rooms when I was younger, and I still have influences from those experiences on how I write now, because I frequently using asterisks to denote actions. You know *His voice taking on a questioning tone* to add a visual element to my writing for those who like such things? *Smiles as he decides this interview needs a proper setting and a chair. Taking a moment to visualize a cozy study, filled with books and bookshelves to the point that, the smell of old books comes across very clearly. A comfortable warm light spills into the room from a fireplace, and a rather large chair one could sit cross legged in comfortably, paints the setting. After a moment, the room continues to fill out and take shape, as he settles himself into the large chair.* Hmm, *Takes an appraising look at his creation, and feels that it will do for now* In the world of words and literature, your space can be literally anything you can imagine. *Smiles* I think I have been most influenced by my time in the chat rooms really, but I did have an appreciation for imagination and writing, that I have carried with me my whole life, but it became apparent in 9th grade English. I’ve never been particularly good with Grammar, Spelling, or Bibliographies, but writing has always fascinated me.
3) What’s the meaning behind your Xanga username?
It was my persona in those chat rooms I spoke of earlier, Silveran the Moon Elf, a grand master Illusionist who owned a quaint inter-dimensional Tavern, that serviced other patrons who decided to stop by. I think I actually fully described it once, let me see if I can find it. *A dusty old box appears before him, and he takes the lid off as peers inside pretending to look for something inside, the box it is clearly labeled archives* AaaHA!!! Found it!. *Pulls out an old worn paper and shows it to you, it reads as follows:
*A figure of ageless quality strides across the tavern floor to greet the new visitors to his abode. It is a dimly lit place but with every step the nameless figure takes a pulse of darkened prismatic light radiates outward like a stone thrown into a pool. Soft and not bright the lights are pleasing to the eye and add to the ethereal ambience this majestic place seems to put off. From the outside the Tavern appears quite shabby and small almost humble. Once inside however the eyes are greeted with vaulted ceilings and spacious walls lighted dimly by the deep and darkly colored prismatic globes suspended mid air by nothing the eye could see. The Keeper wore a modest robe of a dark grey color. His Snow white hair had a faintly luminescent quality that one could also find in his pale blue skin. It was as if the stars had kissed him and their dust left behind a similar sparkle. His eyes held a regal quality about them, commanding yet friendly. When one stared into those eyes however they seemed to drink in your soul and strip you naked and defenseless. Deep dark eyes that looked to contain the universe in them. “My name is Silveran,” he said with a smile, “and I am the Keeper of this tavern.” With a slight bow his long pointed ears that marked him an elf were more pronounced.
It was here in a house fashioned of his own illusions that Silveran the Elf spent eternity contemplating life and its purpose. His own existence and the existence of others. His doors always open to travelers who stumble in from time to time, and in exchange for food, drink and shelter would tell him of their lives on the outside world. His friendly and disarming nature seemed to lose the tongue of the most secretive of people. He didn’t just listen to the stories though through his illusionary powers he lived them. I am his most recent incarnation. A life lived, a story told and yet unfolding in this illusion.**
Anyway, yeah, that is where my username comes from. That isn’t the introductions I used back then, but it is pretty close, adapted for a Xanga Introductions post I made in 2008 *Smiles* Isn’t the archive feature great?
4) Who’s your favorite author/poet/writer? Why?
My favorite? I have had so many it is hard to pin down a specific. Growing up I was absolutely in love with Dragonlance and the Champions Chronicles, I would stay up late into the night devouring those books. I also had a special fondness for Raymond E. Fiests Riftwar Saga, and later the Deamon War Saga (I think this is right, Rupert Avery appealed to me, and Nikor’s exploits amused me) But right now I am into the Wheel of time by Robert Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson. I was intrigued by the idea that Robert decided to let Brandon take over and complete his series post humus, and read some of his books, he is an amazing Author and my current favorite. Ever notice how your tastes and likes grow deepen and develop as you get older, and while you have an extreme fondness and affection for your own personal classics, the books you grew up with, you always find someone more suited to your present day needs, wants, and desires. Right now, Brandon Sanderson is my favorite, because his worlds are so imaginative, well laid out, well written, and original. Masterful writer, Mistborn is one of my absolute favorite trilogies.
5) What’s one thing, if anything; you would tell everyone about yourself that they may not know?
Right now *Smiles*, it is that I have feelings, they do get hurt, I usually hide them from you, and do not let them get in the way of having a good time. A lot of people have this misconception that I am a robot because life and circumstances don’t seem to get to me the same way they do others. I spent a long, long, long time working toward that very goal, but it hasn’t subtracted anything from me, in fact it is quite the opposite, I feel more intensely, I just have better coping mechanisms in place, and process things more constructively. That doesn’t make me less human, even though it has gotten to the point that sometimes even I feel like I am so different from the people around me, that I could be classified as a different species. I have always been a passionate person though, an artist of the written word, and deeply involved with my own life.
6) What’s your preferred genre or style? Why?
Free form? I don’t really have a genre or style I stick too, and none that particularly suite me as a preferred, I really just do what works, what fits, and what feels right. I can obsess over a particular piece of work for days, perfecting it to my own standards; or I can just mash the keys and spit something out. Everything has its place, and I know that in terms of poetry, @LiquidyofSelf has been an influence to my poetry, after seeing how she uses positions, italics, bold lettering, to make the piece just come alive on the pages, I have been playing with that in my own poetry pieces. Not quite in her same style, because I always only do me, but using the same mechanic to breathe life into a piece.
7) What inspires your writing now?
The same thing that has always inspired my writing…. Life. *Smiles* It is one of the most fascinating, and intriguing topics. It changes dynamically, and always seems to lend itself towards inspiration in some way or another. *Grins* Although, sometimes, I feel like I have talked so much and spilled so much of myself out on these pages, it is as if sometimes I just cycle around, come full circle and run right into the same walls over and over again. Isn’t life great? *Smirks* But hey, that is what I created this blog for, to capture those moments, and see how I have grown, how I have changed. Many cherished memories here.
8) What do you plan to do with your writing in the future? Ex: publication, starting your own literary magazine, writing as a hobby, etc.
*Chuckles* I am not sure, but like most Xangan writers, I dream sometimes of actually writing a book and getting published, sharing my story, and this adventure. It isn’t like I do not have a lot of great source material, I have archives stretching back to 2003, many interesting twists and turns, many observations and reflections. Right now, life is kind of busy, and it isn’t as great a passion as it should be, for me to go out of my way to become a professional writer. No, I think I will keep my love affair with language and the written word, but we will be a bit more intimate in nature for now, keep it small and localized. One day, when I am old and fully lived life, I will write my story, and probably all the stories I have rattling around up here. When my bones aren’t quite as forgiving as they are now, when life slows down, and it is the calm quite day next to a lovely stream with an amazing view. Isn’t it a nice thought, to one day live an adventure so amazing the view is lovely when you look back on it. When you are old, sitting down in your chair, looking back with admiration and able to say: I lived. I think I could fade away in peace then, quietly. But I have miles to go eh? *Winks* Sleep is some time away, or perhaps tomorrow, who knows. *Smiles*
9) How does it feel to be in the spotlight?
It is actually kinda cool actually, *Smiles warmly* I never thought I would be featured because I am so long winded, do not have many visuals, and I am not easily digested like the blogs that feature endless poetry. Never really think I could get the spotlight makes it a really rather pleasant surprise. When I am active in the Xanga community, I pay attention to the Xanga spotlight, and it has led me to many interesting and amazing writers. To many to list, but I have a personal fondness for three in particular, MyHomeisWriting, Somewhatabstractelf, and LiquidityofSelf. I have always had a particular affinity for spoken word poetry, so Liquidity had an unfair advantage. *Grins* But Jen is the closest thing I have to a friend here in the community, I have been following her for a rather long time now, and she is just dark enough to echo off the insanity in my own skull. *Smiles* I love the dark, morbid, and jaded feel she often times presents. I am extremely Jaded, it doesn’t always show, because despite being jaded, I allow myself to open up to get hurt over and over again, but reality hasn’t exactly been kind to me. Perhaps I am a masochist? I tend to spin things in a constructive and positive light, but I live in the darkness, and she resonates something inside of me. Anyway, I am not sure how I got off topic, but that is ok, rambling is what I do best sometimes. It feels good, I am honored to be featured among so many others whose writings I admire.
10) Who would you like to see in the spotlight next?
I would like to see many people who have faded away into the annals of time, people long since turned dust in halls of this community. We need more Philosophers featured, *Grins* we are woefully underrepresented. *Smirks* But I haven’t been as active to pick a person that hasn’t already been featured. If I was to go off of my suggestion when voting was being cast I believe I said TheGiantSlayer would be a good mention. I would say MyHomeIsWriting, as I do not believe she has been featured, but as she was the original owner, and one of the members of PallidPen, who is the new home of the spotlight, I think that would be a conflict of interest. *Smiles* Still, I think she deserves some recognition sometimes, she has written many pieces that just jumped off the page, and painted such a vivid picture in my head, truly coming to life.
What I like about silveranstavern’s work:
Oh, where do I begin? First and foremost, I have not had anyone who was such an avid supporter of my writing. Nor who inspired me to keep writing, as well as broaden my horizons when it came to writing. For a long, long time I was nothing but blood, guts, and death. None of you were around for most of that (it goes back a very long way). I like to think I’ve become more than that now, and I’d like to think I have him to partially thank for that.
His work challenges and inspires me to become better at my craft; to hone it until I’ve owned it. He’s not afraid to experiment with his work, and I admire that. I’m trying to break out of my shell and experiment more with different types of styles and what-not. I don’t always achieve my goal, but I’m expanding, and that’s all that really matters since that is all I was really going for.
Considering my username, it’s no surprise that my favorite piece would be his latest piece, Home. What I find most interesting is the concept of making one’s home a person, as that is something I fear doing, because so much can go wrong that way. It’s safe to say I’m a jaded cynic. Yet that peace gives me hope. It helps me realize that sometimes it’s worth the risk, and the effort, to put faith in people.
To be honest, I feel that my words don’t do justice to how much of an inspiration his work and friendship has been to me. In the aftermath of the darkest period of my life, and of all the great friends I’ve made here on Xanga, he stands out among them all. There’s reality and raw emotion in his work that appeals to the humanity left inside my heart, a humanity that’s starving for an outlet it can’t find in my own work.
All I can say is this: if you don’t know his work, take a moment of your time and head on over to his page and learn something, feel something, become human once again; it will be worth the time you spend, trust me.
My Favorite Piece to Date: Home
Now it’s your turn, Xangans. In the comments share what you like about silveranstavern’s writing and presence here in the community. And if you don’t know his work then you definitely need to head over to his site right now and educate yourself.