i live in Virginia with my wife and two boys. we also have a cat named Miko, who is really in charge around here. she earned that after surviving an alligator attack. i work as a counselor for kids that are at risk of removal from their home due to behavior/emotion. i help the parents build structure and learn to live with and love their children and the children with managing and expressing their emotions.
one of the favorite aspects is that no two cases are alike. it is like working a puzzle, which i happen to find fun and feel i am good at. i also do not give up easy. on the other hand i deal with a lot of abuse cases and it can be pretty tough holding ones emotions together. i struggle with that at times.
i have held numerous jobs; dock worker, interim deputy, counselor, salesman, manager, training director, youth pastor, operations director for several large churches, and now back to counselor. all of these revolve around people in some way. i really don't know if i will stay in counseling forever, it was supposed to be a short term stop, but i am enjoying myself.
because of the positions i held, we moved seven times in the 14 years we have been married, to 4 different states. for a while it was fun, changing locations every two years. now that the boys are older though, our priorities are changing and we are looking for stability.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being alive at 37...snicker. honestly, i look at my family and to me they are what i consider the greatest treasure i have. we have not always had much, but we have always had each other.
What quality do you value most in your friends?
Honesty...it goes to trust, which is the foundation of any relationship.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
i can get a bit too focused at times and can ignore the other things going on around me. Focus is good, but not always the best thing in a given circumstance. Large noses also run in our family, so...
You are an amazing storyteller and wordsmith. How did you get started writing and what is it that you particularly love about it?
when i was in high school. i had an incredible English teacher that pushed me when it came to writing. After a few years in college, i gave it up and did not write anything for 15 years. i started my blog two years ago in October and after a couple months, my passion for writing was reawakened. For the last 6 months i have really been working on honing the skill.
until a year ago i had not written poetry and began when i was challenged by a commenter. what i love about writing is taking someone there, helping them feel as if they are in the story, by engaging all of their senses. i like to twist as well, and take people to places they would not go otherwise.
i am learning and part of that is just playing and seeing what works. some days it works, other days not so much.
Which writers inspire you? Stephen King, Nikki Giovanni, Jodi Picoult, Shaun Tan
What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?
being nice...i know that sounds strange but it is so abused...people play at being nice and then you get to see them in their natural environment...i think we should be nice...but be consistent.
Which living person do you most admire? Desmond Tutu
Is there a historical figure, or a figure from literature, you identify with?
i like Lewis and Clark. i have their journals and have read quite a few books on their journey. i think it has to do with exploring the unknown and the adventure.
How do you play?
too much. smiles. i like to go out into the woods, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming, fishing, camping. i also like doing silly things too i had a pretty intense light saber battle with a bunch of 7 year olds today.
How do you attend to your spiritual needs?
time alone. i go to church and practice being the church in my community. i look at sunsets, sunrises, breathe mountain air. i look for ways to bring love into the world. most times when i can, it affects me as much if not more than the one i helped.
Is there one thing you wish you had learned or discovered earlier in your life?
i try not to look back. even though there have been painful times, i embrace them. they are part of my story and what got me here. if i am forced to answer i would say there was a time i chased success way too hard. you have to know what you are willing to sacrifice.
What do you still want to learn?
how to write. i am just getting started so i need to keep refining. i need good honest crit to smooth out my edges. i have started working with an online crit group that i hope will do just that.
How do you make your life meaningful?
i breath. seriously, everything is meaningful. practice looking for it. open your eyes beyond yourself. give yourself away to a cause bigger than you. know that each time you speak to someone you can touch their life.
What is your greatest fear? something happening to one of my kids...
What sustains you through difficult times? coffee. smiles. faith. simple pleasures.
What two or three pieces of advice would you give to a young person just starting out?
* know what you are passionate about, find a job in that field or a related field if you can.
* chase your dreams, don't settle, but know it may take time.
* take time to enjoy life.
* love the one that is yours. never lose the romance.
What brought you to blogging? a dare by a friend...
What keeps you blogging?
the people...i have found some of the most amazing friends online. i know more about them, for having never met them, than many people i come in contact IRL.
several months back i joined with several other bloggers to create a place where poets and writers can gather to share their works. (http://www.oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com) i love to read others works and this is a great place to make those new friends and be inspired by some incredibly talented writers.
What have you learned from the experience of blogging?
we live in a very interconnected world...it blows my mind sometimes the trends you see in posts. we all are dealing with junk and its not much different than the next guy. as we come together we can help each other through it.
another thing is that there are some scary people out there. you asked me to speak about this in a subsequent email. i have been the target of an obsessive woman, on my blog. it started when i joined her meme. i started getting 5-6 comments a day from her. some of a more intimate nature. i asked her to stop. she started emailing me getting more obscene. had stopped playing the meme but my posts kept getting signed up. i was labeled perfect at everything in her posts. she took posts and put it on her blog. she did a really freaky highlight of my anniversary. eventually i went to the cops and called her out on my blog. we came to an agreement to keep legal action from continuing. she went away for 3 months but recently commented again and i outed her in a post. the moral of this is you don't have to put up with people that are disturbing. don't try to carry it yourself. there are no police in cyberland...we have to band together to keep it safe.
What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers of your blog?
i really have no idea. i think i write naked, so there is nothing i think i have hidden. perhaps someone can ask me a direct question on something in the comments that will jog a memory...
You have acquired an incredible number of Followers of your blog. Can you share a few of your secrets for attracting such a readership?
smiles. You realise after 9 months i had 35 followers. i had no idea what i was doing. The last 15 months it grew by 550...it blows my mind sometimes. it changes daily though...i lose people left and right and then two days later more show up.
if you want followers, play a meme or two and write something interesting. it has never really been about followers. don't get me wrong its a nice ego boost, but i would take commenters over followers any day. its about having a conversation for me. if you follow me, i don't necessarily follow you. if you comment on me, i will definitely comment on you.
a few good meme's i will recommend:
One Stop Poetry's One Shot Wednesday (shameless self promotion) (http://www.oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com)
Magpie Tales (http://www.magpietales.blogspot.com)
Friday 55 (http://g-man-mrknowitall.blogspot.com)
Can you share the titles of a couple of books that have inspired you?
Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun
The Spoken Word Revolution by Eeveld & Smith
Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
What is your favorite word? evanescence
What is your least favorite word?
it would have to be ethnic or racial slur...something that demoralizes people.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
everything...i try to practice a full range of emotion in my writing...sometimes in the same pieces...if i ever get stuck i go for a walk in the woods to clear my head and listen...this give space and silence for things to happen. another place i like to go is a busy coffee shop and just watch people. that will tell me what people are going through and i write it.
What turns you off?
leg hair...oh wait, i am not sure if that was where that one was going. lima beans would be the second, its like kryptonite to me. neither of these i think answer your question. there is so much out there to inspire us though. perhaps being constrained...unable to affect an outcome and only watch it play out...
What sound or noise do you love?
skritch...it is the sound gravel makes dragging across asphalt under your shoe.
What sound or noise do you hate? gunshots in the middle of the night
What question have I neglected to ask that would have given readers more insight into who you are?
i think you have asked most everything. what do i hope to do when i retire? (as if i will get there any time soon, smiles.)
What is the answer to that question?
for a few years i would like to travel the world, then settle down in a log cabin in the mountains with my wife...
thanks a bunch for doing this bonnie, it was a lot of fun and i am honored to be selected to participate.
The honor was mine Brian. Thank you SO much.
To visit Brian at WaystationOne click here. Brian has agreed to answer any questions you may have for him.