Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Sunday Roast

Zen And The Art Of Razor-Sharp Writing

This week's interview is with Charles Gramlich,
who writes the blog Razored Zen.

The first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I started out blogging mainly to see if it would help support my writing and to spread the word about my novels. Since then I’ve found many other reasons to blog. I’ve found that it often stimulates my writing itself, especially giving me ideas for the nonfiction column on writing that I do for The Illuminati. I’ve also been surprised, although I probably shouldn’t have beem, at the wonderful community I’ve found here in the blogosphere. I’ve made good friends, and have come to cheer on their dreams, applaud their successes, and commiserate with their sorrows.

What's the story behind your blog name?

You know, I’m not even sure when I came up with the name "Razored Zen". I think I was considering names for a small press publisher that I once considered starting up. Since then I’ve used it in a lot of places. If I ever do self publish anything I’ll say it’s from Razored Zen press. As for the name itself, I think of Zen as a peaceful and enlightened state, but in the world we live in, with constant news and our ability to follow events worldwide, too often that state of being is razored open by our experiences and our knowledge. Not very profound, I know, but that’s how I see the name today.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

There are many things. I’ve always been the type to think best when I’m writing those thoughts down, and blogging lets me do that and get feedback on them before I might develop a more formal piece. I just also really enjoy learning about humanity. My blog colleagues have taught me a lot about themselves, and I’ve come to appreciate my fellow humans more than I used to.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Well, my rules of blogging would be something like: 1) respect your audience. They’re people just like you. 2) be open-minded and accepting of disagreement. 3) do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, which means that if you want comments on your blog you need to comment on other folks’ blogs regularly and seriously. 4) Have fun.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Well, just recently I read a four part series of posts by Travis Erwin that brought me to the edge of tears, and maybe a bit over that edge. It was about the struggle he and his wife went through when their baby was born with a heart problem. Incredible writing. You can find links to all four parts of the post here.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I think significance is in large part in the reader instead of the writer. I hope some of my posts have touched a few others, made them think, or made them laugh, or just made them contemplate their world for a moment. But since people are so different, I don’t know which ones others might find significant. As for personal significance, perhaps the poem I wrote to my father in memory of his life, his love, and his death. It was called "April Again". Since it’s short, here it is again.....

David, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

April Again

One day before
Gray sky turns April
The weight is already here
Gathered like flood waters
Black behind my eyes

Memories press down
Like tombstones
Like leaves piled by wind
In a hollow

How many miles
From here to there
How many years
And no bridges between

Within lies the dust
Of faded roses
A cracked smile
A whisper of prayer

Eyes of fair blue
Smokey with the past
Still he waits
A ghost in rosary

I cannot reach
No hand can grasp
But yet I wave
Once more in passing
April again

Today's Sunday Roast with Charles Gramlich is the 54th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.


katherine. said...

your interviews are always interesting.

I'll be sure to surf over. smile.

RiverPoet said...

Great interview. I now have yet one more blog to dive into!

Peace - D

Charles Gramlich said...

David, thanks much. I enjoyed this and appreciate you doing it.

Akelamalu said...

Your interveiws have brought yet another interesting blog to my attention David, thankyou.x

Lorna said...

David, im this blog world, you are doing a beautiful thing for all of us. Thank you so much.

Artist Unplugged said...

Interesting interview, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Another new one for would I cope if I had to work? Thank you David.

Merisi said...

This is a great interview,
thank you both, Charles and David!

Somehow I had this incredible luck of stumbling over CG's blog some time ago and I am enjoying his posts ever since.

Willow said...

Thanks for introducing me to the razored zen author. I'll pop over there for a visit.

Poutalicious said...

What a great interview; he looks like an Arizonan cowboy pointing that gun, and they all traded their horses for Harleys here!

Poutalicious said...

OK, I'm back from Charles's blog and he is Arkansas Slim in that gunman photo. Cool.

CrazyCath said...

An accomplished and (by me anyway) respected writer. Brilliant interview and so glad you captured him.

Craig Glenn said...

How sad is this, I woke up this morning and actually thought, YAY, it's Saturday, time for "The Sunday Roast"! I am so addicted to bloggin!

I look forward to learning all about Charles and his blog...


Shrinky said...

Charles is new to me, I've just come back from a vist, thanks for the intro. As you know, the Sunday roast is always a favourite of mine.

Lana Gramlich said...

Very kind of you to interview Charles on your blog, David.
That poem always makes me cry...

Daryl said...

Another good interview ...and a poem to touch the heart

David Cranmer said...

Charles has one of the finest blogs... Informative interview. Thanks.

H.E.Eigler said...

Charles's Razored Zen is one of the best blogs in my reader. I always look forward to his insights.

He's someone I feel like I've gotten to know through blogging and I'm a better blogger for it. Great interview!

Miladysa said...

Interesting interview - Thank you :D

It is always a delight to learn more about Charles Gramlich - a true Gentleman of Blogging if ever there was one.

April Again is an awesome poem!

Murph said...

As a recent graduate with a major in Journalism, I must say that was a great interview.

faryana said...

this poerty touched...:) i love that sound