As part of Cal Armistead’s blog tour for Being Henry David, I am pleased to have Ms. Armistead here for a guest post on how her other creative pursuits and activites have influenced her as a writer. She’s written a wonderful and charming response and I’m excited to share it with you all! Also, fill out the form to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of the book!
Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog! One of the potential blog subjects you suggested for me was: “How have Cal’s other activities/creative pursuits influenced/changed her as a writer?”
I like this question (thanks, DJ!) because I have a whole lot of activities and creative pursuits that are incredibly important to me. Too many, to be honest. In fact, my all-suffering husband could talk your ear off about the trials of living with somebody creatively scattered like me, who wants to do EVERYTHING, and wants to do it all NOW.
What exactly are my favorite activities/creative pursuits, you ask? Well, I want to write (but you already knew that): stories and books, and essays and articles. I also want to make music: to play guitar and sing. I want to make art: to draw and paint and make pottery. And, I want to go hiking and mountain climbing (Mount Katahdin in Maine is at the top of my list.).
The writing part, I have more or less covered. I’ve written for magazines, newspapers and radio and would love to do more of that, although fiction is my number one passion at the moment. As for music, I sang for 6 ½ years with a blues/rock band (we were finalists in the Boston Blues Challenge, 2011!), and currently sing in a semi-professional a cappella group. My art? Sigh. Sadly, that passion is on a back burner these days. In spite of my restless I-wanna-do-everything-and-I-wanna- do-it-now personality, I have to concede there’s simply not enough time for everything. Yeah, I hate that, but I’ll get back to it. As for hiking and mountain climbing, I’m incredibly excited about a planned trip to reach the summit of Mount Katahdin this fall, just like my character Hank does in Being Henry David. Interestingly enough, this is an example of how my writing has directly influenced my activities/creative pursuits!
But wait, what was the question again? (Did I mention I can be scattered?) Oh yeah, you asked how these things have influenced me as a writer. The short answer is: everything about my life has influenced and changed me as a writer. My love of music and nature has crept into my writing, simply because they are a part of who I am. Details about my family and my past, the places I’ve lived and the weird stuff I think about have also found their way into my prose. Everything in a writer’s life is material. Every book, I believe, is on some level autobiographical.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: “I am a part of all that I have met.” And my writing? By extension, it’s a part of all that I’ve met and accomplished and loved and feared and hoped for, a part of all I am. Whew. Now how’s that for profound? 🙂
Enter for a chance to win a SIGNED COPY of Being Henry David! Contest ends March 8th and is open to US and Canadian residents only.
To check out the next stop on the tour, visit Cracking the Cover tomorrow!
Cal Armistead: Twitter
Albert Whitman and Company: Twitter