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About Literature / Artist Member Ben DodgeMale/Canada Group :iconadepta-librica: Adepta-Librica
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SgtPossum tagged me.  Been told to pass this one on--answer if you like, ignore if you don't.  I'll be tagging a few of you at the bottom either way.  This one's to show anyone who still watches me that a) I'm alive, b) that this page is going to see more activity after Tuesday, and c) that I do respond to tags.

1.First off, what do you do on this website, exactly?
I post my work.  Most of it is scraps I can't or won't publish, and some of it is the stuff that's been flogged around a fair bit and can't seem to find a home.  Novel and story fragments of things I intend to publish go here as well to give any readers/watchers a taster, of sorts.  And for the record, this ain't the only place I post my work--you can find me on tumblr and my blog.

2.Seriously? Why would you do that?
Rejection notices rarely give feedback, and I don't have a railway spike driven into my desk to keep the lot of them (especially seeing as all thus far have been electronic) a la Stephen King.  So, this place provides a sounding board.  A workshop of sorts.  I like to think that readers might not give one allthe tools to create one's writing, but they do lend us a few.  I've also noticed that writers, like journalists and filmmakers and musicians (and other artists, I imagine) are being expected to create online portfolios and an Internet presence to draw attention to their work--be that a prolific Twitter account, a tumblr feed, or a homepage.  Or an art site like dA.  Some say it's cheapened art.  This is true, but it's also given exposure to writers and other artists who otherwise would never have seen their work released beyond the confines of their desk.  And patrons (in my case, editors) may look upon my work more favorably for publication if they see that my work has gotten attention.

3.Okay, whatever you say pal. Why do that here and not professionally?
I've tried.  And in four cases, I've succeeded.  All of these stories were originally works I posted in my gallery.  I was lucky enough to find a fiction website that accepted reprints, and fortunate to find an editor who liked my work.  My goal is to publish professionally--hell, my real goal is to live off of the avails of publication.  But I figure that I need the attention and the experience (and harsh critical analysis) before I'll be ready.  And this site gives that in spades.

4.Huh. For writers: make up a relatively coherent sentence you're positive no one has ever said before. For visual artists: Sketch something you're positive no one has ever sketched before.
Sweetmeats--Pandora's Box, delectable dessert, or all of the above?

5.You're a very bizarre individual, y'know that?
Take a number.

6.What's one work you really want to do, but aren't sure how to do it yet?
Few things.  One is a novel I'm thinking of writing that can best be described as a post-cyberpunk--meets--Beat Generation style work revolving around the character of an amnesiac.  A part-time amnesiac (as in, he can't remember anything for part of the time).  Work in progress.  I think the research for this novel involves several road trips, vagabonding, excessive possession of Gibson novels, and immersion in an economy where part-time labor without benefits or job security is the norm.  Or today's job market...

7.Yeah I don't know how anyone would manage that, either. Ever had an injury that stopped you from practising your craft?
Thankfully, no.  

8.What inspires you? I mean really makes you want to perform your art?
Short answer: Anything but reading.  Long answer:  Whole bunch of things.  Good books typically don't inspire me.  That's not to say I don't gobble them up and lick up the scrap paper shavings.  I do.  It's the moments between books, stories, films, albums, conversations, turns of phrase (a number of my works have originated from snatches of conversation I've heard out-of-context.  This is why I don't wear headphones in public) that give me the urge to face the keyboard  It's the...melting pot, the sum total of a bunch of ideas that itch at me like grains of sand in my boots.  I think of writing as impacting ideas.  Getting one idea or character, then hitting it from two or three different angles with conflicting ideas and watching the pieces fall into place.  So, as the short answer says: anything but reading.  It's what happens after reading that gets me to write.

9.On that same sort of track, are there any particular influences, such as musicians, artists, writers, or events that you put into your work?
Absolutely.  The writers that inspire me (with the addition of Mira Grant) are listed in my Interests section.  Particular ones include the worldbuilding of Neal Stephenson and S.M Stirling, the emotional twists of Mira Grant (read Feed, folks), the hazy prose of Tony Burgess, and the characters of Orson Scott Card.  I find music (both lyrics and melodies) to be very inspirational--"Drive", "Inked", "Walls", and "The Last Song" were inspired by the Gaslight Anthem, Horrible Crowes, The Riot Before and God Is An Astronaut respectively.  "Her Catalyst" was inspired by Taiwanese artist Chiu Chih.  And much of my other work is a combination of influences--a bar here, a shade there.  

10.So, assuming you haven't already told me you just do this for the hell of it, do you plan on living off your particular trade?
As stated before, yes.  Though I've done the research, and I'm pursuing a career in a (slightly) better-paying and secure occupation--namely, journalism.  If this doesn't pan out (and it might not), I figure I can flog my skills and resume around and find something to support myself while I write.

11.Do you drink, or use any drugs? If so, do they help you with your craft?
Caffeine, in excessive amounts, helps.  Alcoholic drinks of choice is ABW (anything but wine).  I don't use anything harder--my memory/cognition is already flighty enough as is.  

12.What's the most unfortunate name you can think of for a child, male or female?

Tags include:

  • Listening to: Traffic
  • Reading: "Aztec"--Gary Jennings
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: I wish.


DodgingTheBeat's Profile Picture
Ben Dodge
Artist | Literature
While not otherwise occupied, I splurge prose onto a page and worry afterwards about things like coherence or meaning. In short, I'm a writer and journalist hoping to make it as a professional novelist, screenwriter, graphic novel writer, or investigative reporter. If that means starving, so be it.

I've been published four times at The Story Shack (online flash-fiction website).

THINGS I ATTEMPT: Writing, music, occasional filming, devil's advocacy

GENRES I ATTEMPT: Sci-fi (trans-humanism, cyberpunk, military), low fantasy, contemporary fiction (punk especially), historical fiction, or anything rattling around in my skull or in my notebook.

THINGS I IDENTIFY WITH: Humanism, anti-capitalism, direct democracy, socialism, human rights/social justice. Add a pinch of punk, freelove, and free-thought.

THINGS I'M NOT A FAN OF: Capitalism, fascism, human rights abuses, hypocrisy, extreme ideologies, polemics, mass media (especially tabloids), empiricism, low pay for the arts, Stephen Harper, American politics, nukes, Starbucks coffee.

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Thank you for the favourite! 
PursuingTheCerberus Jan 27, 2014  Professional Writer
thank you SO MUCH for the watch!!
No problem- I'm not a big poetry guy, but I'll read Bukowski.   And you did him justice.   Will definitely be checking out your gallery in the next few days
PursuingTheCerberus Jan 27, 2014  Professional Writer
I appreciate that more than you can imagine, especially from a fellow fan of his. 

Bukowski is my biggest influence.  It wasn't until I found him that I knew poetry could be any other way than I remembered it from school. He loosened me up, taught me another way that poetry could be written that wasn't so heavy and constricted.  Since discovering him I've become a poet myself and put out two books.  I became friends his ex-girlfriend Pamela Wood (Cupcakes) infamously called 'Scarlet' in many poems of Love Is A Dog From Hell. She told me I should submit some poems to the Charles Bukowski Anthology and I did.  This poem along with two others got in.  It's very exciting for a fan like me to get recognized honoring him.   

To be 100% honest with you, my gallery on here doesn't represent my poetry in the greatest way.  My poetry books really do.  I hand select certain poems to put up here (almost like a band releasing three singles from an album) but I craft my books to be very cohesive and atmospheric throughout, with quite a lot of autobiographical stuff that people can relate to.  Perhaps I can send a few copies your way at some future point (?) I said all of this because I was not a poetry guy either, a mere eight years ago.  I hated it.  Because you like Bukowski, I think you will really enjoy my books. 

Thanks so much for the interest!
RavensScar Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, thanks for the fave. :D
No problem!  Great work!
Thank you for adding "Burn" to your favorites.  It means a lot.  
thank you for the :+devwatch:! i appreciate your interest in my work!
No problem!  
xbastex Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much for the fav
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