First, I’d like to take a quick moment to thank so many great writers for giving me spotlight material. Today the spotlight falls on Kelly Crandall, and her blog, As seen through a different glass.
Who is your favorite musician – you have to pick just one!
Ack! You said ‘musician’, as in singular! I can’t just give my regular answer then, because Muse is a band. So then, let’s see … I pick … Loreena McKennitt, and here’s why.
She has an amazing voice. I love her Celtic sound, and traditional instruments in her music like the Celtic harp and bodhrán drum. I love fairy tales, and stories of dragons and castles and knights and ladies, so I love how McKennitt’s songs are influenced by literature and folklore, much of it from the Middle Ages. She builds vivid worlds with her lyrics. Her storytelling is deeply poetic. She does a lot of research before she composes anything, and I appreciate how all that work shines through her songs. She is a writer AND musician. And her sound is so … “me.” Ancient and classical and orchestral and new age all blended up in a minor key. I think Tango to Evora is probably the most sensual song I have ever heard (right up there with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor). I first discovered her in 1992, and still love her work just as much today. It has stood the test of time.
What would you do all night if you couldn’t get to sleep?
If I had something important the next morning that I didn’t want to be tired for, I’d lay there and stew and worry and fret, then I’d get up and drink a glass of warm milk and try again. If I didn’t really have to be awake the next day, I’d get
up and log on to the internet, and I’d head over to Ancestry.com and pick up researching my genealogy where I left off. I can kill hours doing that.
I haven’t verified most of the lineages past my great-great-great grandparents, but it kind of doesn’t matter to me whether they’re accurate or not. It’s more about just linking people through times and places, and discovering how people traveled and where they settled. When I click on a little green leaf (which means that someone else has entered parental information on a particular person in my lineage), and I follow the links back even deeper in time, the names that pop up always trigger my imagination, and I visualize the world that person must have lived in, their houses and clothing and animals and neighbors, and even what they might have looked like, with freckles and smiles or frowns and dirty faces. Clicking those little green leaves is addictive!
And then the sun would come up, and I would get grumpy for being up all night. But until then I would have been completely immersed in another time, which I love.
What is your favorite genre to write in?
Is email a genre? How about facebook postings? No? Oh, well then.
I like writing picture books (or “early readers” if the picture books get too long, ha ha). I always visualize my “target audience” tucked into a warm and cozy bed, the room safe and quiet and peaceful, the child sleepily settling in to hear a soothing story. Imagining that scenario opens up a place inside me where rhythm and poetry flow, and I try to build a world of sound and imagery that is going to wash over the child and relax her and make her fall asleep happy in the world she just heard.
I also feel I have a lot to say to children about how to be a positive force in the world, and I think my command of metaphor is a strength that allows me to turn lessons into engaging stories. Another strength I think I have is the ability to break down complex concepts and make them simple. Plus I like rhythmic poetry and song lyrics and patterns in sound and building pictures with words. All of which naturally leads to writing for small children.
I’ve been told all my life that I should write. But it was only when I started blogging and attracted loyal readers that I found the confidence to write for an audience. I blog to connect with people on a very human level. I don’t want to teach or lecture or be an “expert” in a single topic. I just want to share my viewpoints and tell my stories in a very honest way, in hopes that my readers connect, through my words, with the greater human experience. My readers say they love my blog. I hope you do, too.