Carlos Navarro [carlos]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
My first readings were nursery rhymes and adventure stories in my native Spanish. According to my parents, I learned to read on my own at age 4 or 5.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genres are the classic short story and the one-act play. The link to all my fiction and nonfiction works: http://www.geocities.com/cfnavarro26/navarro.html
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process, if one may call it that, is spontaneous. I may be atop a house repairing a roof – (I’m a self-employed handyman) when an idea for a story, out of the blue, hits me. That evening I sit down to write my story, and often I’m up all night working on it.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Any kind of well-written material inspires me—short stories, plays, poetry, novels, essays, newspaper editorials, philosophical commentary (on the body-mind question, for example) scientific articles (mainly on physics), and even legal documents (like the U.S. Constitution).
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
By my lights, the basic ingredients of a good story include a realistic plot and setting with a surreal undertone and a tinge of humor.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Either, depending on the story.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I admire and draw inspiration from all great Western writers, modern and ancient: —Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Horace, Vergil, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Milton, Donne, Blake, Goethe, Moliere, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, Whitman, Dickens, Dickinson, Emerson, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Cather, Borges, García Márquez, Vargas-Llosa, Helprin, to name some. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with writers in non-Western cultures.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
To be believable, a character must have both a social and an inner self, the two in harmonoy or conflict with each other, in various modes and degree.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes, I’m equally good at telling stories orally. Back in the old days in my native Cuba, before the advent of TV, story-telling among family and friends was a main form of entertainment. I grew up in that tradition.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
For kindred souls only. I do not try to instruct, sway, shock or impress readers in general.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Definitely. Although I try to maintain on an objective detachment, all my stories are at bottom based on troubling personal experiences and unresolved inner conflicts. (Some harking back to the Vietnam War) Hence the tile of my short story collection: Catharsis--Tales of Vengeance, Irreverence, Self-Righteous Justice and Madness.
( http://www.geocities.com/cfnavarro26/catharsis.html )
Does reader feed-back help you?
No. Just as a good public speaker addresses some real or imaginary listener in the back row of the auditorium, I write for any living or yet-to-be born reader in Cyberspace who happens upon my works. Whether such readers are many or few, whether they comment or not, in the fullness of time, after I’m long dead, it doesn’t really matter to me. See my surreal story, The Plagiarist:
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No, I have never participated in competitions nor received any awards. Some of those competitions announced on the Internet, I suppose, are legitimate, but others, clearly, are scams.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Now and then, I show a rough draft to my wife, a retired U.N. editor with a keen eye for typos and grammatical errors, but I do not consult with anyone else. As in the case of the aforementioned “contests,” I strongly suspect may of the editorial services offered on the Internet are a sham.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
For the most part, yes, I have finally found my voice, my true voice, though I’m sure there are overtones that I’ve missed.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
None. I rely on my inner angel, or demon, as the case may be, to impose the necessary discipline. Sometimes I go weeks without writing a word. Other times I write non-stop, when my handyman business allows, for days at a time.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
The only working environment I require is a small, quiet room.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write on a computer and correct as I go along, so by the time I finish the story, it's 90% edited. Then I go back over it several times to make minor changes and correct any errors I might have missed. I do not own or use printer.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
None. I cruise the Internet for news, ideas, and information, but not to seek advice or share experiences.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Some of the fiction and nonfiction I've submitted to on-line journals was accepted, some rejected. But as I’m not at all interested in compensation, recognition or fame (My humble employment as a handyman is all the reward I need) I no longer waste my time making submissions. Instead, I have copyrighted all my works and put them up on web pages, available, at no charge, to anyone interested, the only proviso being that none of it can be published without my permission.
What are you working on now?
Presently, I’m working on one-act plays dealing with religious, moral and philosophical issues. Examples:
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
I recommend that you edit those old works and publish them yourself on your own blog or web page. If you deem them too controversial or embarrassing, use a pseudonym. Even if only one person ever reads them, and even if that one person doesn’t appreciated them, it would be wrong, not to say criminal, to condemn them to oblivion. Think of them as the offspring of your soul. A variant of the adage “Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” would apply here.
Davidson, NC. USA