An Outsider Artist (of Ink)
A note from Cusper Lynn
Through a series of random associations – mostly involving the search term, “Facebook ate my marriage” – I have met an interesting group of authors, journalists and bloggers. When I compare the experiences of the last six months, with the experiences of the previous twenty years, I can say that these connections have proven positive, productive and inspiring. In the previous twenty years I have been first hand at bombastic battles of egos, near fist fights over artistic merit and originality, and drunken discourses on James Joyce. My own contribution to those peculiar gatherings was to write character sketches and to take a unique opportunity to personally offend Kurt Vonnegut at a writer’s tea in Kansas City, Missouri; he truly deserved it.
Why the current environment should be so much more inspiring and democratic I cannot say. It requires a significant ego to place one’s words before the public and it takes a committed program of self- promotion to distinguish oneself from a large and talented marketplace of authors. Despite the inherent competition this represents, what I have found instead is cooperation and a place where the muse can run free.
A few months ago I ran across a column by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring on the website the Weeklyhubris.com. (The article titled “Facebook Ate My Homework” can be found by clicking here: Weeklyhubris.com The column later appeared again on the Huffington Post click here: Huffington Post.com ) The result of a comment I left on her original article became a piece I wrote , that she rightly called a “mini-essay” on the subject of chocolate. ( You can find the mini-essay titled “Death By Chocolate” here: Cusper lynn.)
To have this sort of interplay with a publisher, editor and author of Elizabeth’s stature is a stimulating experience. She also took time to share her views on the importance of cooperation, cross pollination and promotion in this media, where what we write is “so ephemeral.” Her entire approach to sharing what she does and her passion as an author underscores how different her world view is when compared to the bygone era of the exclusive writer cliques of 1980’s and 90’s.
Given all of this, it should be of no surprise that I was deeply distressed to read that she was stepping away from her duties with the Weeklyhubris.com. To be fair, Elizabeth runs at full tilt regardless of circumstances and is taking the time away to promote her new novel, The Visitors’ Book (or Silva Rerum): An Erotic Fable. So her absence from the weeklyhubris.com is offset by the fact that I will soon have a signed copy of her new novel in hand.
The day after signing off from the weeklyhurbis.com a new column from Elizabeth appeared on the Huffington Post. The title, “Dinosaur Writes (Sort Of) First Screenplay, On Steep Deadline, From (Own) First Novel” details one of her other major pressing projects( click here for that post: Huffington Post) a screen play for what, in the fullness of time, will hopefully come to be a major motion picture.
So for the reading public there are the columns on the weeklyhubris.com archives, future columns on the Huffington Post, the Novel, the film and her future projects to look forward to. For authors there is an important insight, beyond the blogs, the books and Elizabeth’s achievements, that can be found in the section of her website titled “About the Author” . It is where she “ …considers herself an Outsider Artist (of Ink),…”
That more than anything describes the new ethic and may go some way in explaining the current dialogue among authors and the larger sense of community I find across the writing planet. Not only do we now have greater access to the tools of productions than we have had at any other time in history. We are also effectively outsiders regardless of our experiences because there is simply so much out there for the public to read. As such, it is only through cooperation, crosspollination and promotion in this media that we can hope to reach the audience we are writing for.
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Author, Cusper Lynn, invites readers of this blog to take advantage of the opportunity to buy a signed copy of the limited first run of Elizabeth Boleman-Herring’s latest novel by visiting the link below.