Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interview With Brian of WaystationOne

It is my privilege to interview Brian of WaystationOne.  He has so many ardent fans that he and his blog probably need little introduction.  Brian has a way with words that has captured the imaginations of over 600 followers.  His blog is not full of photography or art.  Words are all Brian needs to win your mind and heart.  His words ooze empathy and compassion and always point the way to the next right thing to do.  People read his essays, stories and poems, in my opinion,as much for a little attitude adjustment, a values re-alignment, a simple, silken reminder to live consciously and skillfully, as for the beauty of their construction.  Here is a chance to learn a little more about the fine man behind WaystationOne.  (A link will be provided at the end of the post so that you can visit his blog.)  Enjoy:

Could you give us a brief overview are who you are, where you
live, current interests or preoccupations?

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.

39 comments:

  1. Thanks, Bonnie and Brian, for another enlightening interview. It's so great to get to know the people behind people's favorite blogs.

    Anyone who loves Desmond Tutu and hates racial and ethnic slurs is a friend of mine, especially when the person is a creative writer. That said, I am looking forward to going over to WaystationOne and reading some of Brian's prose and poetry.

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  2. thank you so much for interviewing me Bonnie...i really need to work out that uppercase, lower case thing...lol. look forward to any questions...

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  3. I love, but not crazy love, Brian! What a great interview - I learned much more about him (like how he writes). :)

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  4. I was quite blown away by this interview, Bonnie. I've just visited Brian's blog for the first time - and was so affected, in a visceral way, by his poems. Fantastic.

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  5. Enjoyed the interview. I was surprised to learn that Brian feels he still has more work to do to hone his skill. I have often wondered why he does not yet have a book under publication. Has he submitted anything?

    I was also gladly impressed that he and I have done similar work with children.

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  6. Brian was a perfect subject to interview! I've followed his blog since March 2010 (?) and it's awesome to see how people have embraced his prose and poetry. He truly is a talented writer.

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  7. thanks, bonnie and brian. I have been enjoying brian's writing for a month or so now.

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  8. I think Brian is brilliant... and no I'm not his stalker.

    When I first became awre of Brian one of the things that appealed to me was that his style of writing was cross cultural.... you could read his work without knowing exactly where in the world he was..... there was a time when I thought that he was British.
    I like the humaness about his writing.... from the heart with good use of the mind.

    I enjoyed reading this interview, thank you.

    Brian I wish you well with all that you desire to achieve.

    Best wishes
    Robyn

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  9. Lovin' this interview. Brian is one of the few bloggers who writes just for the sake of writing. I like that.

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  10. This was a great interview. Brian is such a wonderful writer. His posts are a daily delightful surprise. He has a way of making multi-layered images, pulling you in with concrete experiences while at the same time connecting to our universal experiences and feelings.

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  11. I'm not a regular reader of Brian's blog but I see him everywhere I go (how does he do that, always get there ahead of me?). I pop in now and then so I enjoyed getting to know more about him. Some very admirable folks and Brian no less than the others.

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  12. awww...shucks...feeling the love...

    robyn, sometimes i dont know where i am either...smiles.

    myrna...i had a poem come out in a book a couple months back. i am in the process of submitting some short stories and poems...will keep you updated

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  13. Wonderful interview, Bonnie. I'm a fan of Brian and I really enjoyed learning a little more about him. I actually like the "all lower case thing". It's artistic!

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  14. A great interview Bonnie! I have been a fan of Brian's since last spring and had fun getting a bigger picture of him. He is an intense writer that I admire for his ability to capture so many people's attention (aside from his afore-mentioned negative one). I value his opinion and always look forward to his new posts.

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  15. *Applause*


    Another great interview!



    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

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  16. Thank you very much for doing this interview, Bonnie and Brian. It is nice to meet the man behind the talent - and talented you are Brian! I'm a bit concerned that the course (or any course for that matter) may destroy what we all love about your writing, Brian... Take care and thank you again.

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  17. Hi! Brian...
    The Introduction about you "hit the nail on the head without using that ("proverbial") hammer."

    Brian, I found this interview to be very honest, very thoughtful, and very revealing too!

    Thank-you, for sharing with your readers, your insight(s) into your inner thoughts and outer actions in your public and personal life.

    DeeDee ;-D

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  18. Brian,
    No X-Ray Required
    I like the meaning behind that "poem?!" or "quote" because it "reveals" and say so much about the person who "judge"...(and hide behind a facade)...others in life.
    Than those who..."reveal" and are honest.

    What do you consider an overrated virtue?

    I also like your answer to this question...Because if you are 100% sincere and nice whether online or offline people can usually "detect" your sincerity.

    "You are an amazing storyteller and word smith. How did you get started and what is it that you particularly love about it?"
    This was the question that I was going to ask you, too!
    Once again, thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

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  19. It's wonderful to get to know Brian better (he has the same name as my dad). He really is as compassionate in real life as he is on his blog. Kudos!

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  20. Great interview. For me, I like the lower case in Brian's writing, it has become one of his signatures. I have been a fan of Brian's since I found his blog maybe a year ago. His words have reached my heart in so many ways, and my hubby is a fan of Brian too. Brian shows he has scruples and decency while he remains a man and not a saint. I say thank you, Bonnie, for bringing out even more interesting facts about Brian.

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  21. This was great Bonnie! Brian is a wonderful writer that I follow, I cant wait to read whats going to come out of his brain daily. He takes us to so many different places. His style is so unique. I was suprised to see he wants to improve, there is always room for improvement but I like his style just the way it is :) I did have questions about his "stalker" and from this, I now have figured out who. Quite shocking. I learned some things about him here. I wish him all the best and much sucess in everything he does.

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  22. Thanks, again, Bonnie for helping us get a fuller more rounded view of people whose blogs mean so much to us. I have been following Brian's blog for quite some time now and have the pleasure of receiving his friendly comments on mine. One of the many delights about his blog is to watch him grow as a writer, poet, blogger. As good as he is, he just seems to get better before our eyes. I still find it amazing that he only began a relatively short time ago and that he is just starting to feel his poet's legs. Watch out when he breaks into a trot and full gallop! His warmth and consistently friendly spirit are so richly representative of what makes blogging as important, meangingful and, yes, just plain fun, as it is for many of us. Congrats to both of you for the interview.

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  23. What a terrific interview! Brian tells us so much about himself in his writing but these questions and answers really round out the picture.

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  24. I really, really liked Brian's responses. It felt relaxed and honest, the way I've felt when I've read Brian's posts and his comments around blogworld, including at my place. There is a free spirit that shines through you here, Brian, that feels true. You are a generous person also, and obviously people are drawn to you.

    Great job, once again, Bonnie! You are a fortress of kindness to do this! :D

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  25. I love Brian's writing! Each piece gets better and better. He reminds us to love life. Thanks for sharing Brian!

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  26. Well done, another interesting interview. I'm perhaps feeling a bit sheltered as I haven't visited most of these blogs :)

    I can see why Brian would be great working with kids, especially kids with emotional problems... I relate to that former life I once led.

    Writing naked, very refreshing concept, and something most of us strive for while still working within the confines of our audience.

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  27. What a WONDERFUL interview, Bonnie.

    It is very refreshing to read more about Brian and yes, he is right..as friends of him, we need to take care of each other in times of being harassed by ANYONE...I wish him and his family "PEACE , HAPPINESS and BLESSINGS"

    Again, thank you, Bonnie for giving us such a personal and awesome interview of one of my favorites!

    hugs
    shakira

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  28. Another great interview, Bonnie!

    Brian - I am a great fan of yours! You are a very talented writer, and sound like a wonderful husband and father. I'm glad I'm a follower!

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  29. thanks bonnie for interviewing brian - you had clever questions for him - was great to get to know him a bit better
    i also like the poem - writing naked - yeah - most of us do i guess without a net to catch our fall..
    also like the pic brian with you and your boy - but the nose....joking ;=)

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  30. I too am a follower and reader of Brian's blog! I just love his words!!!!!! This is a great interview, Bonnie! Thanks so much for having Brian on. Very insightful!!
    Hugging you both
    SueAnn

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  31. haha claudia...what scares me is that the nose is one body part that is supposed to keep growing...smiles.

    there is always room to improve...particularly in my long form...i can lose cohesion when i get over the 1500-2000 word mark...

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  32. for those interested in the crit group...it is open to all genres...mainly if you are interested in ever getting published...

    email Jeff at IrreX2@aol.com for a free day pass...as it is all private...

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  33. Great interview, Bonnie!

    And, Brian, the way you answered the questions was so inspiring, as usual. I enjoyed learning more about what fuels your writing. And now I know why it's always like a breath of fresh air. I'm so glad I discovered your blog. Wishing you every success!

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  34. Great interview Bonnie. Actually came over from Waystation to read this so I'm new here.

    I love the questions you ask. Very thought-provoking and intense.

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  35. oh, Bonnie ~ thank you thank you.
    I heart Brian's blog .
    (and my husband has a similar charming profile :) )

    you are the real deal. hands down. and I'm honoured every time you visit my blog .

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  36. Hi Bonnie, as many others I came from over Brian's ... who doesn't want to check on Brian? (in NON stalking way!!!) ...lol ... thanks to you both, Bonnie and Brian, for doing this lovely interview, happy day!

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  37. Thank you, Bonnie and Brian, for this interview. It's been fun to learn a little more about one of my "bestest" blogging friends.

    I've been a big fan of Brian's writing since I discovered his blog shortly after I began blogging. He writes such accessible pieces. They are comfortable, direct, sometimes funny, sometimes incredibly romantic, sometimes a little (OK, a lot) scary, and always very entertaining.

    And since I've gotten to know him better, I've become a big fan of Brian the person. He has been so kind and supportive, and is a real inspiration to me and so many others.

    Thanks again!

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  38. aww...patti...i am smiling so wide my face hurts...

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  39. So nice of you to do these wonderful interviews. I will have to revisit and read more of them when time truly permits. I did read through Brian's.. he's a favourite for so many of us. Lovely to read more about you, Brian.

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Comments are always read and appreciated.

(I am grateful for all awards received. However, I ask that this be an "award-free zone" and meme-free zone. Thanks for understanding!)