Sometimes we meet members of DeviantART who are just plain cool. They leave critique, they make great art or write great stories, they participate in groups and are generally just active and fun to be around. They also don't get any attention because being cool means you don't need attention to keep being cool. This interview series is meant to give all of you a small glimpse into the minds of these demonstrably deviant members. Twice monthly, I'll interview one of these deviants and feature work from their gallery. If you'd like to see someone interviewed for this series, just shoot me a note with the subject "Demonstrably Deviant".
SilverInkblot: Writer, Critic, Group Admin, Super-Busy-Bee
I've had the pleasure of working with Lauren at DailyLitDeviations and EliteLiterature for the last few months. I appreciate her tendency to get right to the point and avoid that drama whenever possible. Her leadership is authentic, her writing charismatic, and her love for dA undeniable. Please take a few moments to go thank her for all she does in the community, and read some of her remarkable work while you're at it.
1. Let's start with the basics: How did you discover deviantART and what made you stay?
Oh, I don’t remember. I must have been twelve or thirteen when I stumbled on to the place. I was browsing for years before I ever made an account. I remember a time before the mature content filters I think some of the things I saw then kinda scared me off for a while, partly due to the content, but mostly because my parents could see my browsing history You know, back before everyone and their grandma had their own laptop, cell phone, and iPod.
Anyway, I did finally get an account, but for a while it was just a place to collect cool stuff. I’m a lurker at heart. The only thing I was writing for years was fanfiction. It wasn’t until I joined the team at SixWordStories that I began getting involved in the literature community and began trying to do more original writing. After that I helped out in some other lit. groups on occasion until I was brought on to theWrittenRevolution and decided to really stay a while. At some point while all that was going on, I got a DLD which was this ridiculous boost of confidence for me. I took it as a sign I was doing something right with my writing and it just made me want to do more. Somehow or another I ended up working for DLD
I stayed first for the art, then for the people I met here. I’ve always found it difficult to talk, but I can write back and forth like it’s nothing. Having that barrier made it easier to be more open I think, and then that kinda spilled over into reality. Thanks Internet!
2. What deviation are you most proud of in your gallery? Tell us a little about the creative process behind it.
Oh good Lord, I don’t know. I’m proud of several things, but for different reasons you see. There are pieces I worked my butt off for and others that flowed right out of my pen. Some things work beautifully on a technical level, others on a more emotional level. I have my favorite pieces, but they aren’t necessarily the ones I’m most proud of. It’s hard to say which one is worth more when you need it all.
But since we’re talking process, I should probably choose something with an actual process behind it I guess I’ll settle for this piece:
The Watchmaker's LoverYour clockwork appendages
were cold to the touch.
The industrial complex of your mind
was grating gear against gear
where the unoiled
works kept clacking away; your atrium
was a tick-tocking machine
that counted the hours while the rust settled in.
The mainspring spiraled round
your mechanical heart tensed
so tightly it showed in your face,
in your quivering hands,
your troubled eyes;
the unlubricated escapement never released,
oxidized into place
from ages of neglect.
The joints of your fingers corroded
with arthritis and green rust
curled around curls
of ebauched neophytes uncalibrated
to your pendulum swing.
Your flinted eyes filed flaws away,
groomed for the fluxing process.
Oscillating gears locked into place,
before your backlash recoil
forced the dual mechanism apart
with shallow breaths emerging from beneath
until dawn glances from the window
and your mainspring rewinds itself,
awaiting the next night uncoiled.
I had the first stanza mulling around in my head for a while; I loved it, but couldn’t think of anything to do with it. Later, I connected it to a prompt from my Creative Writing class – to eroticize something not typically considered erotic. I’d wanted to take that prompt and use the inner workings of a pocketwatch. I just couldn’t ignore the inherent challenge in juxtaposing the sensual against the mechanical. I even had the title in mind; The Watchmaker’s Lover. I knew what I wanted it to be, but didn’t have a way to start.
So once I had that connection, I set to work. I researched. I looked up clocks and clockwork and looked for terminology I could use to extend the metaphor (if you’re interested, this is the link I relied most on: clock-dictionary.com/). Practically every line in this poem after the first stanza has a word with some sort of secondary meaning relating to clocks. I used that very deliberately to give a mechanical feel; even if the words are unfamiliar, I think that cold detachment is still kinda there.
It’s one of the pieces I worked hardest on, but in some ways it was easy to write as well, especially after I found that terminology link. Sometimes it’s just a matter of learning new words and seeing what ideas they spark off
3. What influences weigh most heavily into your work?
A lot of things really. I’ve drawn very heavily from my college memories in the past, especially the first two years. I had some great times at my first university and I love writing about them and the people I left behind. It was one of those small, sleepy college towns; it just had this atmosphere
I really like hitting random articles on Wikipedia – you’d be surprised at what you can find there Just researching something I find kinda neat can spark something. I’ve come to rely on their science and math (especially space) articles quite frequently. If you couldn’t tell by the last question, I really enjoy technical accuracy in my creative work. I might bend rules in the name of artistic license, but I’ll rarely knowingly break them. That’s just too easy.
Stylistically, the influences that most come to mind are two books and dA itself. The books are The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. The first just had this genuine honesty to its narration that I really loved. The second was simply magical and lyrical. I could listen to him narrate his morning breakfast of toast and oatmeal and read miracles into it if it was done in that style Just the way he says things – it’s gorgeous prose
And of course, there are so many fantastic authors here on dA; I couldn’t begin to list them all. So instead I’ll point you to my favorites gallery. I have seven folders in there dedicated exclusively to literature if that tells you anything
4. Now something a little different. If you could exact revenge against someone or something, what would it be and how would you go about it? (You may not kill the person or thing.)
I’m not really a revenge sort of person When I am, it has to be immediately after the fact of whatever caused the desire for vengeance or the anger just fades away. I can tell you though, that the revenge is most likely to be called upon the head of my brother – he’s caused more than enough trouble for me over the years.
5. What is your favorite sound? Why?
Ooohh, I like this question. There are so many to choose from I'ma go with a list instead of a real answer:
- The crunch of leaves
- Rain on a metal roof (www.rainymood.com/ ) Actually, just water in general – ocean waves, waterfalls, splashing – I love it.
- Pages being flipped
- That popping, crackling sound a bonfire makes when it gets hot enough.
- Playing with a Slinky
- Thoughtful silence. I’ve become particularly appreciative of this one since taking an education class.
- You know that evening silence just as the sun goes down and the crickets and frogs come out? That’s pretty cool.
- Distant church bells. It’s too loud to appreciate when you’re right under the steeple
- Windchimes. I like the tingling of the metal ones, but the hollow sound of wood on wood is fascinating.
- That weird mechanical whooshing sound sci-fi doors make. Also, lightsaber noises.
- Tile floor; high heels. That clacking is fantastic.
- A sword being drawn from the scabbard
6. Lastly - If deviantART was a country, who would you elect to government and what position would s/he fill?
Why would deviantART be a democracy? Besides, you know only [Premium Members] would get voting rights Keep politics out of my fun
A Selection from SilverInkblot's Gallery
Something Like OptimismHe loved the city most at night.
Not midnight midnight was cliché, passé; midnight was for Cinderella, and he was never leaving this ball. The fog rolled into the San Francisco bay on a gentle wind, the slightest touch of cold ruffling through his hair. The golden bridge shone on clear nights but tonight it glowed, softened by the natural blanket and cast a smoldering warmth in the black.
He cast one leg out, dangling over the lip of an abandoned, rather Victorian looking house. From here, his unobstructed view could take in the massive expanse of water on three sides and the distant gleam of a delirious nightlife, choking on its own heady essence. Somewhere, always in the background, the constant hush of lapping waves beckoned, rushing in and out, in and out, like a softer version of the fault quakes. The tang of salt on the breeze tickled his nose and mingled with distant aroma of Dungeness crab boiling on the Wharf.
He leaned back, arms behind his head, resting on t
A Language of LightI read the cosmos in my spare time.
There's something strangely fascinating about space to me. Explorers look up and see directions, a gigantic cosmic map. Poets look up and see moonlight and dreams. Scientists look up and see mysteries to solve.
I look up and see black holes and infinite loneliness, but also magnificence and beauty. I look up and see the history of the universe stretched out like an open book written in a rare language, a language of light. A language written by stars and bound at the spine by gravity, illustrated by constellations and nebulae. A language I can read, but that only stars can speak.
Black holes are gaps in the story. That's why everything gravitates towards them holes were meant to be filled. There are no main characters: only bit players and one scene wonders that stick around for about a sentence worth of time in the grand scheme of things. A redwood tree would grow and decay in an instant. A human life would play out with barely the blink of a
One Hundred and EightThe
not found by clapping
iambic pentameter beats
but, sometimes, the syllable count does, in fact matter.
Only to make a point concerning the folly of equating numbers to meaning
where there may not be any to be found. The caesura in the middle is just that;
a caesura. That you may interpret as you please.
One hundred and eight syllables
may, or may not, mean
a damn thing
Love LimericksThere once was a man from France,
who loved to teach ladies to dance.
He taught them the tango
until crippled with lumbago,
now the ladies won't give him a glance!
There once was a man from Spain,
whose approach to love was arcane.
He bought a stranger a rose
and got on one knee to propose
now his wife wants him to explain!
There once was a man from Great Britain,
who left all his love letters unwritten.
The pen shook in his hands,
when he wrote to dear Anne,
poor bloke was thoroughly smitten!
There once was a man from Romania,
with a bad case of megalomania.
He conquered the world,
for the love of his girl,
but she had left for Albania!
There once was a man from Hawaii,
whose face was truly unsightly.
Each day at three,
he asked her to tea,
but each time was rejected, politely.
There once was a man from Maine,
who gave new meaning to vain.
His beautiful hair,
caused moats of despair,
on romantic walks in the rain!
Fatherly AdviceMy father always warned me; stay away from vending machines. You never know what's going to latch on to your arm when you go sticking your hand into dark holes. Unnatural, he said, machines spitting up plastic bottles like a bulimic dolphin. Coin stealing bastards, never even give you the right drink, I said I wanted DIET Coke peabrain. Don't waste your quarters son use the soda fountain like nature intended, and all will be well in your life. Keep your ice cubed and your soda lidded when you drink. But who listens to him? He's afraid of vending machines.
Niu eoa EinEin
The world is still.
The deer perk their ears up at the crunch of snow under my fur-lined boots, curious. One paws at the ground nervously before taking flight across the open expanse, the herd following in his wake. They spring lightly over twisted roots and disappear in the fog. Another day, another place, perhaps I would follow, take thrill from the zeal of the hunt.
But today has a different purpose.
The World Tree towers no less than before; if anything, it is wider than I recall. The bough reaches into the very clouds, past hills, past mountains; perhaps even past stars. It matters not. I slide the pack from my shoulder, landing it with a heavy thump on the frozen ground, thundering across the silence. I leave it behind, save for Gungnir and a length of rope, padding my way to the Tree.
The bark is slightly warm something hums in the air and the silence returns when I remove my hand.
The Tree demands blood.
The blood has rushed and pooled into my fin