Lena Corazon: Learning to Love the Space Between

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

In this third installment of the Being Between series, Northern Californian poet, novelist and sociology doctoral candidate Lena Corazon talks about her multiple lives and shares one of her poems.

Even though I’ve been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since I was a little girl, I always considered it to be little more than a hobby, something I did for fun. The route of academia seemed far more practical, and so I decided that I would study for a PhD and become a college professor.

I was lucky enough to get my wish. I entered a PhD program in sociology straight out of college, and quickly learned that grad school, like academia itself, is one big juggling act. For the last four years I’ve been student, teaching assistant, and scholar. I slog my way through 300+ pages of reading each week, grade what feels like mountains of assignments, and look for spare time to cram in my dissertation research.

It’s little surprise that during my first couple of years as a grad student, I didn’t pick up a single novel or write one word of fiction. Why? I had a skewed fantasy in my head about what it meant to be a “serious” scholar. Serious scholars, as far as I was concerned, did not prance about in make-believe worlds. Serious scholars didn’t waste time having conversations with imaginary people. Serious scholars did Very Serious Things, like immerse themselves in social theory and write books filled with academic jargon.  Continue reading

Interview: SJ Driscoll « Live Wonderstruck

Aside

Interview: SJ Driscoll « Live Wonderstruck.

Today S.M. Hutchins was kind enough to interview me for her Wonderstruck blog. Previous interviewees include writers Carrie Daws and Shay Fabbro.

If the interview were about someone else, I’d think it was excellent. If those accomplishments had been achieved by someone else, I’d be impressed. But this is me, so nothing I do is good enough. Why is that?

Maybe I’d better go back and reread some of Louise Behiel’s series about the coping strategies of children that carry over into adulthood.

Thank you, @smhutchins!

By S.J. Driscoll

Two for Wednesday: Fiction by Clark and Singh

Bri Clark: Scent of a WitchMaeve da Paer has lived her life free from the Board of Witchery, protected by powerful clan magic—and by a lie. In desperation, she casts her most powerful spell, one that will end the pain before it begins on All Hallows’ Eve…. Immortal tracker Fionn Hughes is on a mission to restore his honor. But, following the scent of gardenias and honeysuckle, he discovers Maeve, the last Scent Witch. Will Fionn be strong enough to stop Maeve when he finds she plans to cancel her own existence?

From Astraea Press      Kindle US

Bri Clark grew up in the South and learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She moved on to a series of bad choices. As a teen, her wake-up call came from a judge who gave her the choice of shaping up or going to jail. Bri ended up co-owning a successful construction business but lost everything in the real estate crash. Now she writes, blogs and shares her Southern culture in Boise, where she’s known as the Belle of Boise for her Southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.

***

Robert and Elise are strangers who meet at a bar. After one unique conversation, they find that they’re at a similar crossroads in their marriages. The decision they make that night will change their lives forever.

Kindle US   Amazon UK

Hardit Singh was born and raised in Southwest England. He rediscovered his love for reading at university, which sparked his desire to write. The author of crime fiction, Hardit believes that the most important aspect of a book is character. Often this is ultimately what the reader thinks about after closing a book. Mere words can create inspiration and empower an individual. The power that stories harness is what compels him to write.

Emile Zola on the Destructive Power of Creative Work

French Naturalist Émile Zola (1840-1902) is one of my favorite authors. His most autobiographical novel, L’Oeuvre (The Masterpiece), one of the books in his Rougon-Macquart series, provides insight into Zola’s relationship with his childhood friend, Paul Cézanne. In this excerpt novelist Pierre Sandoz, representing Zola, speaks to his friend, obsessed painter Claude Lantier, representing Cézanne:

“I, whom you envy, perhaps–yes, I, who am beginning to get on in the world, as middle-class people say–I, who publish books and earn a little money–well, I am being killed by it all…. Listen; work has taken up the whole of my existence. Little by little, it has robbed me of my mother, of my wife, of everything I love. It is like a germ thrown into the cranium, which feeds on the brain, finds its way into the trunk and limbs, and gnaws up the whole of the body. The moment I jump out of bed of a morning, work clutches hold of me, rivets me to my desk without leaving me time to get a breath of fresh air; then it pursues me at luncheon–I audibly chew my sentences with my bread. Next it accompanies me when I go out, comes back with me and dines off the same plate as myself; lies down with me on my pillow, so utterly pitiless that I am never able to set the book in hand on one side; indeed, its growth continues even in the depth of my sleep. And nothing outside of it exists for me. True, I go upstairs to embrace my mother, but in so absent-minded a way, that ten minutes after leaving her I ask myself whether I have really been to wish her good-morning. My poor wife has no husband; I am not with her even when our hands touch. Sometimes I have an acute feeling that I am making their lives very sad, and I feel very remorseful, for happiness is solely composed of kindness, frankness and in one’s home; but how can I escape from the claws of the monster? I at once relapse into the somnambulism of my working hours, into the indifference and moroseness of my fixed idea. If the pages I have written during the morning have been worked off all right, so much the better; if one of them has remained in distress, so much the worse. The household will laugh or cry according to the whim of that all-devouring monster–Work. No, no! I have nothing that I can call my own. In my days of poverty I dreamt of rest in the country, of travel in distant lands; and now that I might make those dreams reality, the work that has been begun keeps me shut up. There is no chance of a walk in the morning’s sun, no chance of running round to a friend’s house, or of a mad bout of idleness! My strength of will has gone with the rest; all this has become a habit; I have locked the door of the world behind me, and thrown the key out of the window. There is no longer anything in my den but work and myself–and work will devour me, and then there will be nothing left, nothing at all!”

Are you obsessed with your creative work? Do you wish you could be satisfied, living day to day without creating? Do you manage to balance your creative work and your life better than Pierre Sandoz? How do you do it?

Excerpt from Zola, Emile (2007-10-22). Works of Emile Zola (20+ Works) Includes The Three Cities Trilogy (Les Trois Villes): Lourdes, Rome and Paris, The Fortune of the Rougons, Nana, The Fat and the Thin and more (mobi) (Kindle Locations 45022-45029) MobileReference. Kindle Edition.

Two for Wednesday: Books by Eve and Powell

Later Bloomers, Book One: 35 Folks Over Age 35 Who Found Their Passion and Purpose—the first of four volumes that will cover 140 inspiring individuals. It’ll soon be available on Kindle and Nook, but by joining Debra Eve’s mailing list you can get the PDF **free until Saturday, November 5, 2011** .

LaterBloomer.com seeks to provide late-blooming adults with inspiration to pursue their passions and talents through stories, biographies, book reviews and more. In particular, LaterBloomer.com focuses on those who’ve wearied of the corporate treadmill and crave a more creative, intellectual — artier, smartier – life.”

Late Bloomer Debra Eve left the corporate world to become an archaeologist at age 32. She learned sword fighting at 41 and became a martial arts instructor at 42. At 46, she found the love of her life and got married! Now she writes about fellow late bloomers while plotting her next grand adventure.

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Lured to Ireland, Mae finds herself in a hidden world she never knew existed and falling head over heels for Beck, the man who tricked her into coming there. His deception is complicated by his feelings for the one person who holds the key to merging the ancient races that once ruled the ancient world. In this underground world of witches and vampires–half-breeds of aliens long gone–Mae learns about her parentage and powers. While Beck and Helen’s love for each other spans a millennium, some of the underworld creatures seek to destroy her. Will the knowledge of her existence cause a race war when the true power of her blood is discovered? Or will love become her ultimate downfall?

C.G. Powell has traveled everywhere–thanks to her innate curiosity about the world and the Navy. She has learned aviation electronics, CCNA networking, Gemology and how to get bloodstains out of the carpet (you never know when you might need that). Her latest, all-consuming endeavor is storytelling. When asked why, her response was “I live to challenge myself; I like to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and writing is one of those things that pushes my boundaries.” C.G. Powell lives in Virginia with her husband and children.

Amazon 4 1/2 stars   Createspace Paperback   Amazon Paperback   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble