Ep.85 Going On A Word Journey (York - Novelist)
4:42AM Mar 20, 2020
Good day everyone, you're listening to Tom for your hobby. And this is Episode 85 going on a word journey. I'm your host Alex and today I have the honor to have your as my guest on the show. How are you doing today?
Hey, I'm doing great Alex, good to talk to
you. It was good to connect with you as well. York is also an auto podcaster which is a fantastic thing. I always love seeing local people starting podcasts and this is the first time we interact. We've connected on Twitter. And now we are speaking to each other as normal humans would usually do right yeah, that's right. That's right normal nor Earthlings eyes. speaking to each other. Exactly. Pun intended. Yes, Earthlings. Speaking of which, before we go into your social media links, who is York? Well, I am a writer, poet. I also dabble into some music as well been writing for for a past 25 years. And also, I'm the host of the poetic Earthlings podcast. And on that note, do you have any social media links or websites you'd like to share? And also podcast because you just mentioned poetic Earthlings? So you gotta tell me more about that. And where can people find you? Okay, well, I'm a host of the poetic Earthlings podcast, political earthlings.com. And so that's where you find me poetic. Earthlings is an audio drama slash short stories. And so, so the goal of it is to connect with people from all different walks of life on my on my site, or I say for, for the outcasts for the Misfits, for the for those type of people. So Peter Kurtzman comm that's the best place to reach me. I'm also on Twitter. I'm on Twitter right now. occur Earthlings. That's my Twitter handle. So you could you could get ahold of me on Twitter as well. That's perfect. I'll put all that information in the description below so people can come find you follow us support you. And I've listened to your podcast, you you put a lot of effort, like I've heard the mind like he put like sound effects and there's all these like, things that makes you involve into the podcast, I just have me talking to my wonderful guests who dominate the podcast episodes. Just I just cut my voice out. No, I mean, I mean, you're, you do what you do in such an incredible way. I mean, you bring you bring the best out of people, as I said to you in one of my one of my tweets, and you know, that's the magic of what you do. When I when I started off my show, I didn't have any special effects. Everything was just done on my iPhone. I mean, it was just me literally talking in a closet, on my iPhone on my iPhone, just just just shouting things. So, so So from there, I say, You know what? Right. Okay, how can I develop and so I got, I got some equipment, I took more notes than then then then then was warranted, I guess. And I just really honed in and crafted my skill over time. But it was just me and an iPhone. You know what you've grown so much. And it's such an enjoyable to listen to like you have a nice relaxing voice and your stories are so good and so captivating. I love it. Oh, thank you. Thank you very much for that. Yeah, again, it did definitely take a while to find the right angle to figure out how all this is going to work. And then when it all comes together, it's it's a good thing. And I just I just really want to I really want my stories to connect to people. And it definitely does. Now, today is not about your amazing podcast. It is about being a novelist. Oh, yes, that's right. We have to jump into that. So how did you actually get introduced to it because your podcast is related to that. So how did you get introduced to writing books or stories?
Yeah, wow. Well, to cut to the chase a little bit, I was in, I was in a mall. And there's these. There's these people next to me, senior citizens, a group of women talking about literature talking about writing and their love for books. So I heard them, and I said, you know, what, what about if I just joined their conversation, just to figure out what they're saying? And here I am. I mean, like, I mean, like, what do I have in association with these group of women? You know, I'm a black guy. Yeah, big black guy. And these are empty, sir group of senior citizens, white senior citizens, ladies just talking about their love of writing. But you know, then I said to myself, well, I belong into that conversation as well. Doesn't matter how I look like I'm a writer. I love writing. I love books, and they they're interested in books. So what I did is I, as I said, Excuse me, ladies, you guys are talking about writing so I just plopped myself right there. That's awesome. Yeah. And then and then, and then I started talking and then one of them one of these senior citizens. She says, Oh, she's also a writer. And she says, Well, what about if you just bring your manuscript the next day here into the mall? And I'll take a look at it. I have a publisher. And if he likes it, you could, he could probably publish it for you. So I said, Sure, why not? The next day or two days I met her. She read it. She says, Wow, I really love this. I think my publisher will like it as well. And so gave it to the gave it to her publisher. He liked it. We had a meeting. And then I guess the rest is history. The first book that was published was universe splendor. And so universe splendor bleeds into the podcast as well, because excerpts from that book is also included in my stories on the show. That is so dope. Yeah, thanks. So it's just a matter of just saying, you know, what, I these these group of women are talking. I had to go out of myself to say, you know what, if I make if I look foolish, or if I look awkward, that's okay. Because I Writing, they love writing. And so I plugged myself into the conversation
in that mindset, you probably had I have more to gain than to lose by just going into that conversation. That's pretty cool. And are you still in contact with these ladies? No, no, I'm not one of the ladies. She's an incredible, incredible artist. She designed the cover of my book, and also kind of have a poster of it as well. But no, unfortunately, no, I'm not in contact with a with with with that lady anymore. But, I mean, you know, everything that she that she's given to me, I always cherish. And so it was she was one of the biggest influences in terms of my writing. That's pretty cool. And hopefully, before you lost contact with her she knew about your podcast or just stumbled upon it and said, hey, yeah, I know that guy. Yeah, right here too. Cool. I hope so as well. You know, speaking about stumbling onto things how I got involved in writing was when I was when I was about nine or 10 years old. And I was writing stories in class. And my teacher at the time, she typed it up for me. So I wrote the stories and she typed it. I was like, So recently, that same teacher, for some reason, she got a hold of me on Facebook. And so, yeah, just to paint the picture. I mean, this has been, like over 30 years that I've been in contact with her out, but she but but she got a hold of me. And she says, Oh, yeah, I saw some of your stories online. And I'm glad to see that you're still writing. She's the same teacher that that typed up my stories and, and helped me out when I was, you know, when I was when I was very young. So that's, that's pretty amazing how things just come around. And I would imagine you went to school in Ottawa. And if that's the case that just goes to show how small the city is. It is But no, actually, I went I went to school in Toronto, even smaller, smaller, smaller as well.
Yeah, that's right. That's right.
And, well, I'm glad there's all these like little stories or throwing in how it actually just kept you going like the teacher. You see. Your citizens at the mall and it's just like it's sillens in a way that it's destiny. Yeah, yeah, it is. It is you never you never know what's going to happen how will conversations going to go from one place to another place? And you know that in itself is a story. I write stories but that's also but that's also a story and it's an it's an it's an adventure, because you never know the type of people that you're that you're going to impact with what with whatever hobby with whatever interest you're going to do, and how that's going to come come back to you in the future. So I think that's pretty amazing. Kind of like this conversation we're having right now in this whole charade or whatever this show I'm doing.
Yeah, yeah, that's right. That's right.
Exactly. For you will kind of like novels. Do you prefer to create the prefer to create sci fi or more real stories or historic What is your style? Well, I prefer to create. I prefer to create stories that that delves into Who are interactions as people know what I mean by that, just to be more specific, I wrote a story the universe splendor that's, that's, that's a book that I wrote. And that deal that goes into sci fi here and there it goes into romance that goes into it goes into human connection. But so it doesn't really for me, it doesn't really matter, the AI the setting, necessarily just as long as I could tell it really, really good stories. Some of some of the hurts that I write are, are really bizarre really out there like sci fi, sci fi, but I could take that same the same element into a Western, I could take the same element into it into whatever genre it's it's really the people that brings out the story. So so that's what I like to write about. It's the characters and for the stories that you do create, how much is it influenced by real life? Let's say you have friends and family that are inspired and put into the stories or is it more like just Imagination no one is related to the story at all. Or no, it's inspired by friends inspired by family, by him. In fact, everything that I write now when I sit down, I don't intentionally say, Okay, I am going to write about this, but my neighbor and he's going to be included in the story, or about my wife because she does this and she does that. So I'm going to write about her and But no, when I finish it, when I finish writing it, I look back and say, Oh, wait a second. I was speaking about my son, I was speaking about my wife or I was speaking about myself I am I'm sort of the villain in the story. Because now this sound this may be a little bit meta, and I'll try not to make it too meta. But when I when I write the villains and the so called heroes, I'm really talking about myself because sometimes I do as we all do villainous things or shady things we don't mean to but that's just a part of what we do. And then also we are the hero in our own way. stories. And so so after I write this particular stories or books, I could see myself included in some of those characters. You know, I just the stories are a little bit more illustrious in terms of in terms of what the villain, what the villains are pursuing and the heroes are pursuing. But part of them is also in me as a writer. The only exception probably is one of the books that I wrote is a thriller story. It's not published yet, but it's a thriller that takes place in 1984 or 1983. In in the south, it's a whole bunch of rednecks. So pretty much everyone in the story is rednecks. And but that story was a little bit more outside of my comfort zone. That's so interesting. And look, I just had a random question, how many stories have you created and out of those stories? How many times have you included yourself in that story, whether it's consciously or subconsciously like, Oh,
that's me. I wrote over 1000 stories this
Yeah, I wrote over 1000 and probably, if I were to go back on them, 99% of them I could find traces of me in it. I, you know, it's even even if it's a diabolical character or the most loving character, there's traces of me somewhere in there. I think it's hard for a writer and author to not include that it's some some do it intentionally and that's fine. You know, that's great if they do that, but for my myself, I do it unintentionally. And it's there. It's it's there in a lot of other people's stories, but they could find themselves they could find their family and everyone else playing different roles. They, some people could find their wife or their husband playing the villain. You know, because somewhere because buried somewhere deep down to the subconscious that's how they feel or you know, but we but we're all shades of light and shades of of darkness at the same time, I could imagine that with all these novels or stories, you've created 1000, if you were to click put them all together, it would give you all of you. 100% you, right? You probably saw Yeah, I think so you could, you could find a trace here and the trace there and then, and then then put them all together. So sort of like sort like a jigsaw puzzle. It'll put them all together, and to form to form one person. And I always like to say that every every person doesn't matter if you're a writer or not. We are we're all autobiographies where everyone is everyone has an interesting life to tell. Yeah, so the best stories they come from, from us just observing people, and really paying attention, being very honest with ourselves. You know, where Where else? Yeah, that's, that's how you get the best stories from the genuine conversations is the genuine real self reflection as well. Yeah, I completely agree with you. Yeah, that's right. And for you, so you, you read the stories and nowadays, some people Which is where the store is on the computer but some people prefer writing either on paper and by paper they can be like typewriters. So what is your preferred method for creating these stories? Most of my stories I wrote by hand I I feel that I'm more connected. When I'm when I'm writing on pen and paper I there's some of them that I've that I've typed up the thriller novel that I did, but a lot of them is just it just by hand because I, it's it I remember the stories better I remember the characters, I feel is more of an effort for me to to write it out, and then cross out my mistakes and I could see that okay, I made a mistake here. What did I cross out? Oh, I crossed out this word across now this sentence so I that's probably a good sentence. I may use that again. When you're typing, you don't really see you don't really see your mistakes. You don't see your train of thought. Everything is clean. But when you're writing, things are messy. Just like life is messy. You understand? Your emotions better, like wow, I was in a really dark place there. Look at all those errors. And I could probably use them again so So in a nutshell are writing for me is, is better overall writing on pen and paper than it is typing things down? And if you don't mind me asking could you walk me through the process of how you would come up with a say with a paragraph or a story? In other words, how many times would you retain a line or remove a line? And how long would it take you to complete
a story in a problem I write I write short stories as well. And also, and also full length full length novels. But if it's for a short story doesn't matter what it is I, I, I go into it and I think Well, what do I want to get out of this story? What do I want to put into it? First of all, I think have I written a story like this before heard a story like this? And if I have that's okay. I don't say Well, I've already heard it before. I try to give it a different spin. I try to put myself into the story in a way like what can How can I see different? How can I How can I tell a simple story but make it in a completely different way. Now, when I went to actually sit down to write it, some writers they could, they could write really, really fast. I'm not one of those I envy those type of writers that they could just type up the story really, really quickly. For me, everything is a thought process. It's it takes, it takes very long at times to write a paragraph because I don't want to just throw any words out there. I'm very meticulous. I look at different dictionaries as well. And I think okay, am I being Am I using the right word in the right context? I also I think about the honesty, am I being honest, as a writer, even if I'm writing about a fictional world, even if it's, even if it's a love story, whatever, whatever it is, am I being honest? Am I being naked? Am I it? Are people seeing the story for what it is? So there is different checks and balances that goes on. If I write poetry, I write a lot of poetry as well as the POM sounds too good to clean what I do. Yeah. And sometimes that's happened where I write something and everything, everything works. Everything is just on point, but it's just too onpoint. It's too crisp. I so I go back in and I intentionally mess it up, I change the writing structure. And I sometimes I just don't make it rhyme. Or if or if it's free verse and it's hitting all the points, I make a go a little bit off balance. So as you're reading and you go, okay, everything's happening, everything's off. Everything's on point, then I just, I intentionally throw myself for a loop, because I don't like when it's too clean. I like sometimes when I get a little bit confused, and then not sure where I'm going. And then all of a sudden, I find the right door like, Oh, I go through this way. So it so what I do is I mess up the story. I break it down. I throw something that's very, very difficult, even if I'm writing a novel if things are going by too smooth and too predictable for me. It's kind of boring. Throw in a villain, I throw in something that that almost doesn't relate to the story and you're thinking, how does this relate to the main story? What's going on here? Did the writer totally screw up? And then No, I didn't totally screw up, but you just have to pay attention to it and it kind of makes sense. So if it's getting too boring, I create an explosion, you know, something happens out of the blue. And, but I don't I don't do it for the right. I don't do it for the reader necessarily. I do it for me, because I when I write my stories, I feel like I'm a field that I'm reading somebody else's story and I want to be entertained. I want to be blown away or even lost it at times. That is so cool. That's an interesting perspective. It's kind of like the imperfect perfectionist method. I don't know if that is an actual method, but I just made it up.
No, no, no, that's That is so true. I there's this one music artist. I think I spoke with him or any of us, but he but he intentionally at something is too smooth on the keyboard or too slow. While he's recording a song, he goes in, and he messes it up, he breaks it down. And he says, Well, no, I don't want it to, I don't want the beats. If he's rapping or whatever he's doing, he doesn't want it to be too precise. Or if he's singing, he doesn't want it to flow all that well. So that might sound kind of counterintuitive to a lot of people. And they think, well, that's kind of crazy. But it kind of makes sense. It makes sense. Because you don't want to you don't want to just see smooth lines on a paper you want. You want lines to, you know, if you're looking at a work of art, why did the artists do this? I was gonna say in a way it it's good that you do these exercises to force yourself to step out of your box or your boundaries because I would imagine, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would imagine sometimes as an novelists or a story creator, it can be very easy to fall into a pattern. Yeah, it definitely is easy. And it's comfortable to fall into a pattern. I mean, I have to I go through different Levels I don't want as a writer and so and some people to stay at one level and that's okay they can alright this is not me telling other writers what to do they're at their if they're comfortable and writing boy meets girl type of story and you know boy nice girl then they're in love with each other boy doesn't tell the girl about his dark secret girl breaks up Oh, something bad happened then boy and girl back together again at the end of the story. That's a beautiful story. And people should write those stories and that's okay, if that's all. That's all they want to write. But if you want to go a little bit deeper, you have to you have to say okay, I'm telling a conventional story of romance story. How can I change this? How could it be different and, and that requires a lot more time it requires you just brainstorming, putting down the pen and paper or the keyboard breaking conventional, predictable patterns and going in a different route. And that's that's uncomfortable for us. I think for a lot of people, but the the people that could do that, hats off to them because they're there, they're making something that's, that's a little bit different. And every now and then it's good to try something new. And speaking about trying something new and just like developing your writing style. Have you noticed how you've changed over the year? So when you first started writing how you told the story to what it is now, what would you say are the major differences? I see the major difference is being honest. Now, when I started off writing, things were fanciful things were I explored a lot, but I didn't. I wasn't as honest as I am right now. And that is very, very, very scary for a lot of writers. They, they don't want everything to be exposed, even if they're writing a fictional story. The good stories is when you kind of you know, are emotional here in touch with your emotions and you put yourself into it. If it's a poem if it's a love story or a science fiction, my my forte is science fiction. It doesn't matter what you write, but as long as you put yourself in, but if you if you guard and you protect yourself, then you're going to come up with a guarded and protect a story. It may do very well, but it is guarded and protected. What I what I've learned to do is I learned to, to take off the mask, metaphorically speaking, allow people to come in and allow people to see things that may not be all that all that right, or all that politically correct, or all that comfortable, but at least they get to know me as a person. And so I think I think that's, that's the biggest The biggest change from how it was before and how I am right now. And hopefully those things are reflective on on the political lens podcast. And I would also imagine that it's a learning experience. You can only grow by learning and yeah, if you and it sounds like you are very passionate enough to force yourself to learn even if let's say, I'm not saying that you do fail, but let's say you don't succeed in something you Take it as a learning opportunity. Oh, yeah,
I mean, I I take it as definitely a learning opportunity. I don't even if I'm writing something and the story is just not going anywhere. And that's this happened before, some people will just get really upset and they say, Wow, look at that I wasted so much time with this story. I don't I I don't think of that as a waste of time. I think about well, you know, if even if the story is broken, and you can't really go that far in it, you've you've learned you know, you've learned your skills, you learn how to characters work a little bit better how plot twists, work, what plots work for a story, and what doesn't, then the different foreshadowing that you do and everything. Everything is a matter of learning. I wrote something the other day ago it when I was working on a particular podcast just wasn't really going all that well. Is the sound quality and everything and how it was put together wasn't going now some people will look at that. say, Wow, that was a waste of eight or two s well actually was about eight hours. Somebody say, well, that's a waste of eight hours. And I say no, it wasn't it was I practiced for eight hours. That's the difference. So it's just a just a mentality. I, it wasn't a waste because I practice for those eight hours. Yeah. And then I could take what I've learned from those eight hours into something else. No, I was just I'm just impressed by the way you approach this. It's very similar to how I do this, and I appreciate it. And it's very admirable. Thanks. And for for I don't know if this is a tough question, but I feel like you know what, you should be able to answer it. What would you say is the best part about being a novelist? I would imagine you'd say everything, but I'm sure you have more specific details as well. Yeah, no, no, yeah. The best part for me of being a novelist is to create characters that I love and fear that I could associate with that I could relate to. I even I don't even like calling them characters. I'm calling them that. Just for the sake of the people listening because I don't want to, I don't want to go too deep and lose everyone I, but I call them my calling people. You know, I call them people, I write all different types of characters, all different races, all different backgrounds, and they feel a part of my life. Even when I wrote the Redneck book, as I refer to earlier, I love those people. Those people are amazing. They're, they're people that I'm not a part of that culture whatsoever. But I love them, the people that I wrote in that story, the villains and the heroes, all of it, every one of them. So I feel a deep attachment. So I think that's what that's primarily what I get out of it. I could look at these people and I could learn from them. And I could figure out how I could grow as a human being, how I could love more deep, how I could be more passionate. And so from the villains and the heroes I have learned from both now this random question popped up in my head. But are many of your stories connected by connected? I mean are they based in the same universes and you would have an element from one story that would appear in another one that say oh, they're not part of the same story but they have Oh that one thing that is connected showing like a hint. Yeah, there is I especially in the podcast episodes, and the ones that the ones that are going to be produced later on this year, there is a connective thread. I try to do it in a subtle way. I at least I believe I think it's subtle, but if you pay attention if you are a few are fabulous Earthlings I like to say a time so if you if you really pay attention, then you could hear the threats. You could hear the beats from one story to the other overall, though, what occurred Earthlings itself it's there is a thread involved in all the stories. But yes, but to answer your question, yeah, I do like to carry on certain certain elements and even some some sort of inside jokes. So if you if you were to pay attention with with the stories that I write about The stories that you listen to there is some things that I may say intentionally again in another story. So yeah, there is a thread. So in other words, people have to listen to every single episode to truly enjoy all the stories. Yeah All right, there we go. There you have it. Listen to this every single episode he has. Yes, this is a this is an order now. Pause this episode, go listen to all his episodes and then come back to this. Yeah, yeah, that's right. That's right. And, and in that and, and that way, they'll get the full idea of everything else. Exactly. And then they come back to this like, where was I? Oh, yes, this part?
Yeah. For you. Is there a novelist that inspires you the mark of the lion series, Francine rivers, it's, she's an incredible writer. that inspires me. It's it's historical, historical fiction, who really enjoy her stories and ran. She's incredible may not agree to her philosophy. I I'm not really I don't really agree to her philosophies, but I enjoy Her stories, the fountainhead atlas shrugged. She's an she's an incredible writer. So those two ladies as far as I could, as far as I could think of right now, with their novels, those novels has inspired me as a writer. Well shout out to them for bringing your here and making him follow his passion, which I asik No thanks. And on a darker note or darker side, oh, what are some misconceptions? Oh, what are some misconceptions about people who are novelists? I think the misconception of a novelist is that they're, they're wrapped in their own world, their own Fortress of Solitude, and that there are they're not very sociable. They have thoughts and things that they've built around and they built a wall around them. I think that's a I think that's a misconception that there's there. You know, some, there is a lot of writers that are they're not as assert of access or not as, as sociable, I guess, but there, but in order I think to be an exceptional writer is one that is sociable is the one that goes out and, and sparks conversations and that involves him or herself into the larger group. So the misconception I guess, is the, the isolationist, or the poet, if you will, because I know you talked about a novelist but but but the poet that that goes out on his on his own, and he is alone with the spots, looking at the mountains, and writing beautiful works as he's sipping on on a vintage wine. It's a romantic view of writing. I wouldn't mind that kind of romantic view in real life. You know, the vintage wine thing, looking at a beautiful horizon and just writing in it, but it's just not reality, but yeah, so That's that's some of the misconceptions. It might be hard to look on a beautiful horizon right now in Ottawa because of all the snow. All you see is white everywhere.
Oh, I know. I know.
Yeah, there's so right now. Yeah, it's in the middle of January right now, while we're recording this, and there's a lot of snow. We just had a heavy snowfall yesterday. So,
the horizon is hidden.
It definitely is my son looked at and there's a huge there's tons and tons of snow just outside of where we live like a huge bike is boulder snow, and hard to see the fresh code department store where we're close to where we live. So yeah, there's a lot, a lot of snow over here. So it's a perfect time to record this podcast and also listen to podcasts. It is it is everyone should be listening to podcast, especially your podcast as well. Thank you. Remember the have to listen to half of mine. Then go listen to all of yours and then come back to finish this one. Oh, that's good. That's right. That's what everyone's do for you How did being a novelist slash writer have an impact on your perspective on life, understanding people better, not being judgmental or not being not accusing, stepping back and seeing things from different points of view, I harken back to the story that I that I wrote about in the thriller that takes place in the south in the US in a southern state. And when when you hear that story, when you probably on the podcast or what you read it, it's really easy to pass judgment and to say, well, these people are narrow minded. And they're a bunch of rednecks, and they don't know anything. And then you just kind of discard them, you discard all of them. And I don't think that's right. So I think the the best thing, the best approach from what I learned as being a writer is to is to hear them out, even if it's ideas that the goal that goes against the grain of your own ideas to hear them out and to see where they're coming from. I wrote this one story and it will be in the podcast. And it's, it's about, it's about a neighbor who's who's a racist. And then all of a sudden you think, Well, I'm not going to listen to anything that a racist says, okay? And if you want to throw him away than you, then you can, but you're doing it, you're doing a disservice. When you get into into his background. You think, Okay, he's a farmer, and he's afraid because other people from the are moving into his area. He's afraid of losing out on on his culture. He's afraid of losing out on income and different things. So he's protective. And so we understand why we don't agree to it, obviously not. But we understand why he's that he's that protective. He doesn't want anyone else in his area. He's afraid of outsiders. He sees them as a threat. He sees that as a threat to his family, as to his family lineage as well. So the best thing that I've learned is understanding, even if you disagree with somebody, just the idea of understanding where they're coming from, can actually help make let's say a conversation smoother. You don't like you say, you don't have to agree with everything that everybody says You don't even have to agree with me right now, you could disagree with everything I say, as long as we listen to each other, as you said, it is the important thing. And this is how we come together. See, I okay, I don't like what you do. But there's certain things like the author, you're saying that you don't necessarily agree with her philosophy. But you do enjoy her books, which is perfectly fine. Yeah. And today, it's hard to it's hard for people to do that. It takes a lot. I mean, there's certain f if I listen to a particular artists or particular rapper or particular, whoever it is, I'm not necessarily going to like everything that that person does. I'm still able to say I like these things, and I don't like these things. But now when I guess they cancel culture, if somebody does That's one wrong thing, then they just and they then they throw that person away. You almost have to be a heavenly Angel cannot do anything wrong cannot make any any kind of mistake whatsoever, in order for you to be included in a particular group. And but if you make a mistake, then then you're gone. So people goes back to what I said, we have our good, we have our we have her bad and there's light and darkness. And we just need to we just need to understand that not everyone is going to be doing things in the right way. All the time. There needs to be a level of grace, there needs to be a level of tolerance. And I think in our current society, that's what we're lacking from both political sides from all different from all different groups. we're lacking that understanding
Come on world, let's come together and understand.
Yeah, that's right.
And now talking about like disagreement, or just the idea of something that's not necessarily pleasant. It has writing novels or stories or does being a writer ever stressed you out? And if so, what do you do? To relax, I think the biggest stress factor, not just writing but people that are involved in music as well in the arts, is when the art form starts to control the artist. It's a really dangerous I think it's really dangerous that you catch your feeling of accomplishment or a feeling of self esteem, self worth, from your art. And that if you're not continuously working on your costs, I mean work being being like a Picasso working on things drawing. If you're not in the studio recording, recording the number one hit song through not in your writing cave, pulling out the number one best selling book, then your self worth is depleted. And that's not and that's not right. Sometimes the art form could control the writer could control the artist, and sometimes I I struggle with that I have to say to myself, well, I'm not getting This is not, I'm writing and this I enjoy the stories that I do. But this is not who I am, there still has to be a separation. And it's dangerous. There's not as dangerous if you feel that you always have to be doing your art form. If you're if you're not doing it, then you are that you are not fulfilling your your goal in life. So that's the danger. It just answer your question, I guess. Yeah, that is the danger when you feel that the art form is controlling the artist. And there's no there's no no separation, I feel that the artists all this has to be has to has to be somewhat in control of the art form that he or she is putting out into the world. I couldn't agree with you more because it's so easy for it to just dominate your life. So you'll have to understand, alright, I have to put limits and boundaries or this is what I'm doing. Don't let it just control me. And actually speaking of controlling and having some takeaways your mindset, as other people's opinions or criticism have an impact on how you write your novels. I think it does. I like to say other people's criticism episode if you're talking about a negative criticism, I like to, you know, say to them say to the people listening to podcast, no, it doesn't have it doesn't affect me. It does. It does. It does affect you. Because when you're putting out when I'm putting up my, my, my stories, and I tend to connect with people, I like people to hear it. negative criticism criticism itself is fine. But it's that depends on how that criticism is. If it's, if it's something that's extremely negative, where they say that you are a horrible human being because you wrote this. I'll give you a better example. I wrote a book a while, a while back, and I gave it or to a friend to a friend of mine and an older lady that I respect a lot. She read the book and the following She was offended. She didn't tell me what she was offended about. She says, I read your book and I am offended. As she said, I am offended. And then she handed me back the book. And I said to her, Well, what were you offended that she said, I don't want to talk about I am offended. And so that hurt because it hurt. It's okay if she doesn't like the book, but it would have been great from this older lady that I respect and it would be it would have been amazing as she would have said, Okay, these are the parts that I disagree with. How come you mention this person? How can you mention how can you mention this situation? I'm offended that you that you that you said this in this part. But she she didn't articulate anything. So I was left with a person that was that was outraged about something that I wrote something that I wrote. So what I did is I went through the book and and I was figuring out I wonder what part she disagreed with? Was it this character was it this setting? And I said to myself, you know what, this is just not worth it. She's not telling me the parts that she was offended about. I'm assuming she's probably offended about this character or this situation, I'm not going to do that. I get it. It's not it's not constructive. She didn't give me constructive criticism to go on. She was offended. And she handed me back the book. So I'm just gonna leave it as that. So yeah, that's what I thought was unfortunate. Yeah, it is. Definitely. I was just gonna say now hopefully next time that somebody does take a look at your stuff, they do give like constructive feedback, constructive, constructive feedback, whether it's good or bad. It's just an idea to just for you to get an general perspective on how other people perceive your book. And they just say, I don't like it, why I don't want to talk about it's kind of like,
well, then I won't necessarily take that to improve later on. So for you, what would you say was your biggest challenge when you first started your hobby? My biggest challenge when I started off, is having things that I could say that would that would help me to grow as a person now Started started writing when I was when I was really, really, really young. I started writing stories when I was when I was about eight years old, seven or eight years old. I didn't I didn't really, ever really know much back then. And so I wrote a lot of science fiction, a lot of interesting, quirky stories. But that was, I guess, later on, it was, how does this relate to me? And how can I grow as a person? That was a challenge? And do you currently have somewhat of the same challenge today? Or is it changed? I think it's changed. I feel I feel whenever whenever I write a story, I check off all the boxes. Why am I writing the story? For what what is this about? Is there a different angle? If even if it's the same story, is there a different angle that I could work on? So know that that particular struggle of, of how, how would this relate to me or how can it change as a person that's not that's not there anymore? I guess the other challenge would be is to get rid of The negative voices in my mind, and we all go through that we go through voices of like, Well, you know, what your writing is, is not very good or you're wasting your time and, and who is going to read your work who's going to listen to your material anyways, we go through some sort of imposter syndrome here and there and so so that could be I could definitely be a struggle that the struggle is you overcoming your yourself. You're not not listening to the negative stories because sometimes we have negative stories, not stories on paper, but stories that we've concocted. And we go into a belief system belief system that okay, well, this is who I am, but not necessarily. This is what you have. This is what you've pieced together, the negative story that you piece together about yourself, and that that holds us back and it's in and when I sit down, it's just and write a story. I can't listen to a whole to all the The negative stories in my head, pulling me down to saying, well, no one's gonna listen to you. This is not very good. So I guess that's the biggest challenge. Biggest challenge is to just overcome the negative voices. And of course, yeah, you gotta just go Life Life is about highs and lows. You can't always have highs and you don't necessarily always have lows. It's about just understanding that there's things that they're gonna there are things that are going to happen, I can't speak right now. There are things that are going to happen and you have to just learn how to react. It's adapt and survive.
Yeah, yeah, it is.
And on this idea of highs and lows, what would you say? What not what would you say boat? Do you have any word of advice for anybody who might be interested in this hobby? My word of advice, if you're interested in writing novels, is to be extremely, extremely honest, and ask good questions. Some people just go into writing and they say, Well, I just want to write a story and I just want to write how I feel and which is fine. If they want Do that. There's nothing wrong with doing that. But I but I always think it's good to ask questions first and just say, why am I Why am I doing what I'm doing? Am I doing this? My writing this because I'm seeking approval I'm seeking approval from from other people is because something is broken inside of me and I want people to accept me that goes into our life story if we feel that we weren't very good at a certain thing, my my writing because I want other people to say Oh, you know what you wrote a good story you're you're doing a very good job. So the motivation or the you have to write with intention, you have to figure out why am I doing this? I think that's that's the biggest advice that I would that I would give somebody and also, as I said, to make the story in a way that's personal to you, and that's very honest, even if it's just a love story, even if it's just a sci fi story as well. It's Just Just make it personal, put yourself into it. And then you'll come out on the other side with something that that you could be proud of, even if even if you don't get the the Canadian best on the Canadian bestseller list or international bestseller just just as long as you like the story, as long as you go back to the story and you say, yeah, you know what? I can identify with this character I can identify with this home that I wrote or this or this situation. And then and this is a benefit to me. And then that's fine. I think that's, I think that's, that's an accomplishment right there. And it goes back to the idea that you're never going to satisfy every single person. Kind of like this podcast. I know, every single episode. No one's going to listen to every episode because some person might like being writing novels while they don't like let's say pole dancing, or walking or equestrianism. Like those are episodes I had and I know they're heavy metal that just goes on like people like different things. And that's the idea that you make what makes you happy and whether you get $1,000 million people listening or watching or reading, or just one person or no one at all, as long as you enjoyed doing it. Yes. Stephanie was important. I mean, some, some people may skip on your pole dancing episode definitely because they say what pole dancing, this is outrageous. I'm not gonna listen to something about pole dancing,
and then they secretly Listen to me like, right?
That's right. But you know, you know, sometimes I think we, I think we box ourselves in a little bit too much. And we and we're all about the algorithm. What I mean by this is when I started off with poetic Earthlings with the Twitter, Twitter Earthling, I was caught in an algorithm not of my own choosing, I typed in because I wanted to reach out to people because I had zero people, obviously, you know, you started off you have 01 or whatever. You're trying to build an audience. They're always coming back to me as people of my of my own ethnicity. I'm like, No, the Twitter, Twitter catches you in an algorithm. And so I said, I'm going to intentionally break it out. have that. So I typed in Chinese poets, Aboriginal writers, you know, I typed in any, any group that you could imagine any group that you could imagine I typed it in to break out of the algorithm, because I don't want to just hear from black authors and black poets. So now if you look at my Twitter, it's from everyone. It's from from even from political parties that I totally disagree with. I go out of my way and reach out to political parties here in Canada and also in the US that that I that I disagree with. I do that intentionally, intentionally because I do not want to be in a bubble. Now I don't want to have the the echo chamber where you just, you're hearing your own opinions back at you. So I think it's important not everyone is comfortable in doing that. And if you're not comfortable, then that's fine. But I think it's I think it's a lot more interesting world when you when you break out of the algorithm that even Netflix puts you on Netflix also puts you in an allegory. If you like this particular movie, like this particular show where we're going to show you more of that, just say, No, I'm going to type in something that is completely weird. I'm going to type in only Korean only Korean movies. I'm going to type in Korean movies. And you know, and then that breaks you out. And then you say, Okay, well, Korean TV shows and movies are pretty good, just as an example. And then and then you say, Well, I'm going to try this, this other this other type of movie or another show. And if you do that consistently, then I believe if you're a writer, that would be novelists you become more creative. Speaking about the Korean TV shows I wouldn't be too weird in our house because my wife is Korean, so that would be like and I didn't I didn't know that. Yeah, well, I i've never mentioned like never took a picture of her so no one knows what she looks like. She's a mystery. And in regards to staying out of the bubble, I completely agree with you. So I'm half black, half white and growing up I was always Oh, you're white to the black people are black. The white people never really fit in. So that was like my life algorithm trying to cast me into a box in what this podcast is that idea that you know what, I'm just gonna talk to everybody, anybody and basically, it's whoever sends me a message like, Alright, cool. Let's do a podcast I don't ask of their political background, where they're like, where they stand on religion or anything like that. You have a hobby. you're passionate about it. Let's talk Oh, that's good. That's, that's that's great as well. I mean, I try and I do the same thing. Also in in terms of even being black. Some people say well, you're not you know, you're not black enough. And and I always have to say, Well, what is what does that mean to be black enough? Because I don't speak the the lingo necessarily, and I don't have the you know, what they may perceive as a swagger. But that's just a stereotype. It's important to understand it and the stereotype that is and two if you want to break out of it. Yeah, I know. I'm half black. I can play basketball, right? Yeah, that's SolidWorks right? Yeah, yeah. We can go on this is becoming a political podcast about, Oh, no, no, no, there's nothing wrong with this podcast is open to anything. But once again, it's all about you and your experience. And this played an important role on how you became a writer. Yes. And how you share your story with people, which is always important to share. Because I know there's a lot of people out there listening saying, Okay, well, I don't fit in the mold of leather, whether it's my own ethnicity, my own religion, my own community, I want to see because people are allowed to have different interests. Just because you're from a certain area you are a certain ethnicity doesn't mean you're restricted to like that. The only things that are stereotypical from that group of people, you're allowed to like everything you're human, like whatever you like, do what you want, whatever you want to do. Do things that make you happy. This sounds like a p like a, an announcement like yes, this is a school education program, do what you need to do to make you happy. But yes, back to you and your novelists and your writing. We talked about At the beginning, do you have any websites or social media links that you'd like to share so people can come see your amazing story and your storytelling ability, your podcast and everything?
Well, the biggest way to get a hold of me is political earthlings.com. I kept it very simple because I have ADHD. I didn't tell you that before. And so I try to keep my life in a simple way. So poetic Earthlings comm or you can get ahold of me on twitter at politic Earthling. Very simple. I returned all of your messages. If you friend me on Twitter, I will. I will follow up follow you as well. You follow me? I'll follow you back. Definitely. So that's the best way to get ahold of me. My show is bi weekly. So every two weeks, you're going to receive a brand brand new episode of white Earthlings. We're in rare. I mean, I'm in the new season right now. Who perfect but by the time this comes out, you must be like in the third and the next season after this. Is this coming out in a few months? Oh,
yeah. Yeah, yeah, probably by then. But yes,
I'll put all that information in the description below. So everybody can go check that out support York and just follow his podcast, follow his stories. He's a very friendly person. And I completely agree that if you connect with him on Twitter, he will get back to you have a friendly conversation. And it's all about the community aspect, not just because you and I are in the same city, even online. He's very friendly. Thank you very much. Now for the last question. Do you have any questions for me about being a writer or novelist? Yeah, for yourself. I really wanted to ask you questions about your music. And you know, this is a little bit off topic, but you're you're you are, you write songs or you're into music as well. Is that correct? Yeah, yeah. I've taken a break for now for doing this podcast. But yeah, I've been doing it for 10 years. And I would walk I started back in high school, and I would walk around with a book and just write whenever it was inspired, like, Oh, I'm inspired by this. And then he raised and I still have the book here. It's dated Actually, it's more than 10 years from 2008. But it was just dated. And I'm like, Oh, cool. I'm looking back. And it's, it's cringy. But fun to read thinking, this is where it all started. Yeah. Are you going to get back into that into music and what kind of music so I ever known then I do open up my program to create some instrumentals. And I do right. I try to record a song. I think a month ago or so, where I did three verses. I'm bad at making courses, but I did three verses in the end of each line and rhymes with the word nation. Oh, so kinda like why do we? So it's like three verses of that. And there's a lot of words that rhyme with nation. Yeah, there is and I like to challenge myself whether it's doing that like wordplay with words that rhyme constantly throughout the entire song, or I try to do it fast. The type of music I do. I like to do uplifting music, the ones that like keep you going and the ones that make you feel like you're on top of the world or on top of Mountain spread. And for the instrumentals, I do I do hip hop, I try to do like hip hop with like, classical or orchestra like scores and movies like that as well. And that's, that's, that's definitely my style and no like for me for the inspiration for how I wrote it just randomly Eric, let's do this and actually a question for you how many of your things that you let's say you've started and then left in the bank, and then came back to it maybe less A month later or a year later. So a lot of things I don't destroy anything, I I keep everything, even even the writing that's embarrassing. I used to write a whole bunch of rap songs back in the day back in back in Toronto, on ck ln radio, the Fantastic Voyage show that's really really old school. I'm one of the pioneers of, of hip hop music in Toronto. But all all of my early early songs, all of my early stories as well, I keep them and I come back I come back to it. I say, you know what, this was really weird or this didn't go anywhere. But now I have the capability of making it into something better. There's some ideas that I have where it's a good idea. I'm just not ready yet, as a writer, I'd haven't trained yet. I'm not there. And but I know that I'm going to be there eventually. And it's going to be back on the show, or it's going to be on the podcast, or it's going to be in a book form. And I just have to dust it off, take it off the shelf, repair, whatever, whatever is broken. Make it make it a little make it a little bit better than how it was. So a lot of them. I have a lot of stories that like that. So I don't want to step in the boundaries here. But is there anywhere where people can find your music? I wish I still had I was so happy music I wrote and wrote and produced I was a part of a group back back in the day. And when when hip hop was very, very young in Toronto, very, very young. Everyone knew New Maestro for SLS. I knew everyone knew everyone because things were were things that were not like how it is today. But I kept those songs on I didn't. It was it was played on the radio on CLN and there's another radio station in Toronto forgot what that one is right now. But no, I don't have them online. You know, I, I'm not I guess I'm not up with a new technology of putting out my songs and mine. So no, I don't I don't have any of those. But that could be easily accessed on my website or any or anywhere else. Well, if he does, if he does decided to make some new music and put it on the website, and between now and when this episode's gonna be released, if he's up to it, I'll share it with you guys. If he's not then you don't have you heard nothing. I said nothing at all. This is this is a figment of your imagination. What are you talking about? But so yeah,
there you have it. Another body with a hobby. Thank you so much York for coming on, Aleksandr very much. You you do an amazing job here with your show and I don't this is my first time on an interview. And this is, and I'm glad that I chose yours. I wouldn't choose that if I didn't like the show, if I didn't like the the host as well. And so it's a winning combination. I like the show. And I like you, you. You're the reason that I listened to the show. If it wasn't, if it wasn't for if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't I would definitely not be listening. So, so. So thank you very much. So in that case, we definitely have to meet now there's probably just I think there's a bunch of like new podcasts events happening in audio in the future where there's like meetups and stuff like that. And you know what, we're friends now it's official, you can't take a bath. That's right. That's right. And yeah, you're very friendly to and I just love the energy you brought in. So I'm like, you know what, I need this guy on the podcast. And I'm always here to support other podcasters and other people who are passionate about their hobbies and of course, as well, people from Ottawa so you checked off all those so it was perfect. Okay, that's great.
Yeah, thank you very much.
So if you guys want to learn more about You're go check them out in the description below. I'll put all the links there so you can support him and follow his journey. Now if you'd like to be on this podcast or have any questions at all, you could send me an email at Tom for your hobby at gmail. com. And of course if you really enjoy this podcast, you can leave a like review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser anywhere that it's applicable because those really do help. And just recently, I say this recently but it came out a few months ago when you're listening to this I am selling some merchandise now for Tom bureau hobby logo on things you didn't know you didn't need. like pretty much everything shower curtains and bath mats. Why not? But there's more appropriate things like t shirts and stuff like that. So you can go check that out the link it will be in the description below on my main website, it will be a merge section so you can go check that out. But if you don't want it, don't buy it. The podcast is still free, no need to worry about that. So once again, thank you so much York tell you about kind of thanks a lot outs. So Until the next episode. Make some time for your hobby. Take care