THOUGH RAMBLINGS TAKEN FROM AN OLD blog I’ve long since deleted … and adding a few more, this helps explain who I am, both my Writerly and Painterly Sides …
WRITER, STORYTELLER, WORDSMITH … those are only a few words one could use to describe someone that is obsessed with putting words to paper — or in this day and age, to electronic ‘paper’ …
But I have another word: word weaving, which I like immensely because it describes me perfectly when I do storytelling with children. It’s an interactive form of storytelling, where, most of the time, I have a very basic story line in mind. I glean names, descriptive words, sounds and animal characters from my young audience, then the magic of a new story begins. I take those words and ideas, creating threads and weave them through the warp of an invisible loom, producing a visibly textured story, with the children providing sound effects, such as screaming in fear, growling, running, laughing — whatever the story requires.
They love it — especially if we are in a library, where they’ve been taught to “use your inside (whispering) voices, please”. Loud talking, let alone screaming, is “verboten!” (except, I let the librarian know ahead of time & receive permission for boisterous participation). Always, I feed off of their enthusiasm, wanting to draw the story out longer, but am usually limited to about twenty or thirty minutes from start to finish because of time constraints in the school schedule.
We are all sad when it’s over, but their imaginations have been given a magical jump start. Now, they see that they can create their very own stories. Of course, it certainly helps to have thousands of stories crammed into your brain from years and years of reading and experiencing life. But they can use what reading and life experiences they’ve crammed into their short lives and create something amazing, too.
That’s my lesson for these brilliantly pliable, open young minds. As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh, the places you’ll go! … And the magical things you can do …” I’m just there to open the doors for them to go through.
I AM A WRITER BY NATURE. I think in word groupings, lines and paragraphs, pages that flip in my head, back and forth, being edited constantly. Everything I see elicits an idea.
But, when I’m not thinking of words, I am trying to convert all that I see into visual art. I am an artist and photographer, using different printing mediums via digital means and etching plates. I have a very, very small studio, with an equally small printing press at home. I can play with many forms of my art there. But, if I want to really learn something, or work on a project requiring any kind of space, I turn to my home away from home, at Open Ground Studios in Seaside California. There, I can expand my knowledge with classes and workshops, spread out and get messy, to work on a project.
WHEN I TRAVEL, I COMBINE both Writerly and Painterly sides to create a travel blog, exploring the different aspects of travel (sometimes in a rather humorous way) and collect photographs for ‘play’ when I get home. You will seldom find me in my photographs. And my photographs are not much like those of the average tourist. I hone in on shapes, textures of objects, take in the grandeur of buildings and landscapes or the minute bits of things I might come across. It’s more for me, but I put it out there for anyone that is interested also.
Don’t get too confused about my name. I’ll answer to any of these! As an artist, I am Debra Smith, but sign my work djamesonsmith, as a blogger DJ Jameson Smith. My pen name for my YA fantasy, Secrets Beyond Scymaria series is dj jameson smith. People have begun calling me DJ … and Deej (I kinda like that one —insert grin …) And once I start publishing my children’s books (they may come out as early as 2017) another pen name will pop up: Darby Joy (Smith …maybe).
If you have any questions or want to know more about me, please feel free to contact me through this link, or at my business email address: firstname.lastname@example.org