Mark Hastings: “My Writing Journey”

My Poem “Story of a writer’s life”

Whenever you ask a writer
what the hardest thing to do
when writing anything is
they will most likely tell you
that the same thing that is
the hardest thing to do is also
one of the most essential,
one of the most fundamental,
one of the most amazing
and one of the most fulfilling
things that a writer can do:
to finish things, to end things,
to conclude things, to write a definitive
and effective last verse that defines,
underlines, and gives a new insight into
what the meaning of a work
of literature might be,
why its underlying message
might be enlightening,
and also the reason why an author
chose to explore a particular story
or subject matter in the first place.

It is always good to restart a story
the minute after you have just read
a particular book. Why?
Because no matter how much you think
you know about the story
that you have just read
there is always more to be found
within the lines of text,
especially with a god-like insight into
what is going to happen before
the characters do,
because by restarting the story again
you are turning back the clock
and resetting an entire world
of characters whom you know more about
than they know about themselves –
which gives everything
a fresh new perspective.

Stories and storytellers
are to what, and they are to whom,
everybody turns to when they want to be
entertained, enchanted, educated,
and illuminated about something
or someone that has a tale to be told
about the what, the when, the why,
and how so much of life
revolves around and is built upon
stories told by storytellers
who might have spent countless hours
retelling, building, understanding,
and trying to capture
a sometimes indefinable magic
that they once found themselves
inspired by and compelled to grasp
the ball of entangled threads
that combine to create every single
word, of every single line,
of every story, of every writer,
of every creator since
the beginning to time.

My Poem “Walkie Talkie”

Talking while you are walking,
walking while you are talking,
is a skill that not everybody
is able to perform both simultaneously
as well as effectively –
but there are of course some people
who do speak before they think
and before they are able to consider
how what they want to say
will be interpreted, internalized,
and how what they want to say
will impact whomever they
want to tell what is on their mind –
and not everybody at every time
of the day is fully capable
of performing the same multiple tasks,
at the same time, in exactly the same way.

Thinking and walking
go hand in hand…
daydreaming while watching
something exciting is
something we can all understand…
trying to do things that
are at complete opposite ends
of the spectrum of what is possible
can be more demanding than
at first thought…
acting on instinct can be exhilarating,
but at some point everyone and everything
has to take the time to think about
if what they are telling themselves
they want to do is truly something
that is achievable.

There is an old saying
involving the combination
of both talking and eating
that says that if you attempt
to do both at the same time
then you will ultimately end up
“doing neither very well”;
however, people naturally
tend to do certain things
that might not seem like
they would jive with one another
when they are first acted up –
say listening to something
while talking at the same time –
but it is entirely possible,
with as much time and practice
as you can commit to doing something,
for anybody to become a professional
at doing two things at once:
like listening and writing,
singing and dancing,
saying and doing,
reading while watching,
and of course walking
while they are talking.

My Poem “The Eyes of a Poet”

As the rain lashed down
on a cloudy day
I looked out the window
of the Diplomat café,
as a bright blue tram car
glided passed upon the rails
of the tram railway –
and as I did I immediately
found myself experiencing
a wave of inspiration grow within me,
which I knew almost instantly
that I wanted to savour,
to save, and to capture
so that it may endure
in some profound way.

Writers and artists are always looking
for a place where they can create
unimpeded by the distractions
of the outside world –
especially when they are first
starting out upon their artistic journey;
personally, I try not to box myself
into the corner of a particular room
and declare that there is only
one place and one way,
where, when, and how,
I can express what I want to say.

Writers and artists are constantly
finding themselves creating art
at every time of the day
and wherever they find themselves
caught in the shower of
shooting stars of inspiration,
because what artists become inspired by
is ultimately in the hands of fate,
and over the years I have
randomly found myself –
while staring at a sunset,
while sitting in a movie theatre,
while staring at a masterpiece of art
by Vincent van Gogh or Leonardo da Vinci –
absolutely and unfathomably
in a state of complete mesmerism
in which I felt like I could access
deeper layers of connection, life,
and an understanding about the art
that I saw and the artist
responsible for creating
what ultimately turned out to be
that something that would inspire me.

Artists and writers
are always chasing that once
in a lifetime spark
of artistic creativity
that will excite and unify
every one of their senses
and their instincts
and that will perfectly combine
to make something special
that people will never forget –
and being an artist is sometimes
like walking a line,
like crossing borders,
and like discovering
and delivering a message…
being an artist and a writer
is sometimes like being some kind
of an envoy, a peacemaker, a diplomat,
and someone who can occasionally see –
when they can look at all
the multiple possibilities
of something simultaneously –
that things become increasingly
more clearer when you
take a step back from something,
while still looking at it
and while still internalizing it,
however while secretly interpreting it
by using the eyes of a poet.

My Poem “The Wolf Within Me”

It was about three years ago,
around this exact same day
and month of the year,
when I decided to write a poem
for Halloween called “The Wolf In Me”;
however, to my amazement, what was
supposed to be a poem slowly but surely
grew into becoming a short story,
a novella, and then ultimately
a short novel capable of standing
on its own and filling an entire book –
and this story was the first chapter
in the tale of Olivia Hunter:
a young woman burdened with a curse,
a secret, a gift, a spirit within her
capable of transforming her into a Wolf,
because the secret that she lived with,
alone, was that she was a werewolf.

When I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I had no idea that it would ultimately be what it became…
when I first began Olivia Hunter‘s journey
with her I was just as in the dark about
where her story would take her,
because there was no plan as to the direction
of every twist and turn…
when I first began writing, imagining,
and bringing to life the world,
the characters, and the story of
“The Wolf In Me” I felt myself
be carried away and compelled
to write more, to know more,
and to find out more about
what was going to happen
and where Olivia’s story felt like
it was telling me – the writer – to take it…
when I first began writing “The Wolf In Me”
I began to feel more and more –
the more that I wrote –
that I could be a writer
who explored and exposed different worlds
and different depths of life, of people,
and fully investigate subjects like
identity, change, life, loss,
and those things that are important
to everybody’s daily lives
and their state of mind.

Since I finished writing “The Wolf In Me”
I have written many other things –
short stories, poems – and I even wrote
and published a sequel to “The Wolf In Me”
called “The Wolf In You”;
however, for some reason, from time to time,
in my mind I am drawn back to the thought
of the character whom I imagined,
thought about, lived, breathed,
and wrote about, every day until
I had to say goodbye to her
and let her story speak for itself –
and I silently wonder how she is,
where she is, what she is doing,
and if one day Olivia Hunter may choose
to inspire another story about her
that speaks to the spirit of The Wolf
who I believe resides within me.

My books “The Wolf In Me” and “The Wolf In You”,
as well as all my other books of poetry and stories
are available to buy online from Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository
in Paperback and as an eBook.

Happy National Storyteller Day!

Happy National Read A Book Day!

Happy National Read A Book Day! I happen to have written and had published 9 books in paperback and as an ebook – ranging from poetry to short-stories to short novels – and every time I have it has been a phenomenally fulfilling and a thrilling experience; however, nothing could ever compare to the experience of writing, reading, living, dreaming, and breathing every moment of every word of every poem or sentence that has made it into one of my books! Books of all kinds are like children – and they can change you and the way that you look at the world, as well as yourself… and some books can also change the way that you live your life, and the way that you read some books can change over time – depending on where and when you are in your life. Books are doorways through time and space… books are gateways to different worlds… books can talk to the person within each of us and compel us to do the impossible… books are incredible, books are vital, books are phenomenal, books are magical! I would implore everybody who is anybody to daily pick up a book and read something they have never read before – or perhaps something they have read a million times before – and especially today on National Read A Book Day, and it would be amazing if one of the books that people chose to pick up and read were one written by my own hand and with the power of my own limitless imagination! All my books are available online from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and The Book Depository right now in paperback and as an ebook – so what better day than today to check one out and read the wonder of what can be found inside each and every one of them! 😊📖📚