Stacy Ericson [ithili]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first read Peter Pan, and read it again and again, leaving my window open until I was 12! I began to write but was always out of sync with the current style in poetry, and too easily distracted to finish a novel. A writer, who was a friend of my parents, first read what I was writing when I was about eight and encouraged me.
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?
I like to read historical novels about time that were difficult and people who endured or thrillers that reveal the complex and dark underside of life. For my own writing, I am mostly doing poetry right now. My current work can be found at www.theoldbouquet.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I turn ideas and images around in my mind before I sleep or when drifting and at ease mentally. Small tags or still live views arrive and then have inlaid guides to bigger themes. So a web of maybe is present before I write.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Dark and mysterious, imagistic, precise and evocative, haunting and exciting stories about the human adventure. No patience with self-involved writing.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Character and action
What well known writers do you admire most?
Allan Furst, the dark British mystery writers, Charles McCarrey, T.S. Eliot, Anna Akhmatova, the autobiographies of Arthur Koestler, a pretty eclectic group.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Writing, like photography, is a method of expression of a way of seeing. I have to see for myself, but without communication no human endeavor has much lasting meaning. Therefore I hope for, but do not expect an audience.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Writing, for me, is not a form of personal therapy. While personal angst and issues and feeling are addressed, the execution of the story or poem means the most to me. The usefulness as a personal outlet is not a reason or a method for creation.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Reader feedback is a rare and welcome occurrence. Even if I do not follow or agree with suggestions, the thoughts of others who have taken the time to read my, sometimes difficult work, is always welcome and appreciated.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I have mixed feelings about competitions in the more subjective arts. Often they tend to discourage those who I feel should be encouraged, and encourage those who should be discouraged! On the other hand juried competitions can be a great learning experience. So far I have steered clear of them, but I may change my mind as I become more confident and steady in my voice.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I think our "voice" or our style is always evolving, but I am much more certain about who I am and how I communicate in photo and in word than ever before. My voice may not have changed, but my comfort in that voice has emerged.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I usually write on a computer, though love pen on paper as well. I do not print frequently. I do not print until I am done. Every poem needs a "marinating" time, and none is finished for me before at least a 48 hour lemon/herb bath. After that time has passed I can usually see whether it is done or not.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Twitter is a ceaseless source of inspiration for me. The depth and breadth of knowledge and talent found in the amazing and generous fold I follow is a gift. Twitter is like reading one hundred books at the same time and talking with the authors.
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?
Rework, marinate, and share.... with as many people as possible, and then try not to be to daunted or encouraged by what they say.
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
my photos can be viewed at www.photoshelter.com/c/contrejour and www.theoldbouquet.com
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
I've been trying to take photographs that satisfy me since I was very young, but only in the last few years have I begun to take pleasure in the results.
What has been your education as a photographer?
self taught and son taught
What is your favourite type of photography?
I like most kinds of photography -- life is such a sensuous and perilous experience that I value the various ways of seeing and portraying its beauty.
What do you try to express through your photography?
In my photography I try to capture a specificity of subject and a timelessness in other aspects. I think beauty can be found anywhere and in anyone, and I challenge myself to find it. Though one cannot always succeed the struggle to see with beauty is a great help in living from day to day.
How do you choose your subjects?
My subjects choose me. I am caught and inebriated by light, pattern, shadow, color, skin, eyes, texture, ideas, garbage, and love.
What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
For a portrait session I prepare by listening to what the client wants and how they feel and see themselves--I try to hear beneath what is said to the way they long to be seen, to where they feel their real self and their real beauty lies. I like to surround the sitter with colors and textures they love, to work with natural light, and to infuse the time with a real joy. If I see with love, if I see beauty, it is reflected in the work.
Do you normally photograph with a purpose already in mind, or do you let yourself go with the flow?
For paid portrait sessions I try to both be prepared and yet ready to go with the flow and to feel the flow when it happens. For my "own" photography I am caught in moments of time and place and overcome an the ecstasy of the senses, pretty much lost to everything else while taking photos.