Welcome to Meet The Poet Wednesday! A weekly interview with one of the writers / poets / bloggers who make up the Jingle Poetry Community! This week we get to learn more about Charles L. Mashburn!
Tell us about yourself
Who me? I’m just a redneck guy from Texas who spent most of my working life traveling around the country building commercial buildings. I’m retired now, living in College Station, Texas, loving life, and doing what I’ve always wanted to do: write. I have no formal education or training in the field of writing, but I don’t let that little bit of nothing slow me down. I feel, I write. You like, you read. Nuff said!
Tell me about your blog, about the name and what it means to you?
My blog has no name other than the official blog of Charles L. Mashburn. I might name it one of these days, but right now I’m just learning how to do this blogging thang, and to be perfectly honest, I am loving the heck out of it. I seem to meet a new friend every day, and if even half the comments I get are honest, folks are digging what I do.
When did you start blogging?
I finally started blogging about three months ago. I say finally, because I fought off suggestions to do so for a long time. I didn’t know anything about it, and that coupled with the fact I’m kind of old and set in my ways kept me away. It’s definitely one of those things that now that I’m doing it makes me say, “DOH!” I love it!
Your first poem, do you remember it?
My first poem was probably written when I was in high school, but I really took off writing poetry when I met my wife, Sherry, in 1995. She was my inspiration, and I’ve probably written a hundred poems—maybe more—for her. I went crazy writing poems in the mid-nineties, then got into writing novels and short stories. My poetry writing is sporadic these days, but when the mood and subject hit me just right, I can crank out some readable stuff.
Is there a style of writing you prefer? Do you write only poetry?
I’m partial to the old fashion rhyming style of poems, but some of my best ones have been non-rhyming. It really depends on the subject and how it wants to come out. I’m never bossy when it comes to any of my writing. I’m the kind of writer who just lets it fly then fixes it if it needs fixing.
What inspires you the most to write?
Everything inspires me. Life, love, sadness, despair. My best writing comes when I am moved by something, and it can be the past, the present, or something I foresee in the future. I bare my soul to the world when I write, and I’m not afraid to let people see who I am. To me, that is the essence of poetry—writing in general—to throw oneself at the mercy of the world, and deal with whatever might come of it. In my opinion, a writer must be fearless.
Favorite books, authors?
Stephen King and Robert McCammon are, hands down, my favorites. I read their novels with a sense of awe at their talent. I have no favorite poet, though I am reading some of those on this site and might just make one of them my favorite. I loved Poe when I was in high school, but haven’t read him since.
If you could be the writer of a famous best seller book which one would that be?
Mine—Be Still… and know that I am God. I want to help people, and there is no other book I would rather see atop the best seller list than this one. It is a simple and timeless book, and I believe it will outlive its author. My cousin says I’ll probably be famous after I die, and that’s okay with me. If a book that helps people is my legacy, I can live with that. No wait… that ain’t gonna work. Y’all know what I mean!
“I’m your huckleberry.” ~~ Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in the movie Tombstone
Hey, you want something heavy, pick the other guy! I told you I was a redneck from Texas!
What are the benefits of being part of Jingle poetry community?
No question about it; meeting new people. I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I’m starting to recognize some of the names, and have even begun to remember which ones I like the best. There is a lot of talent and good feeling on this site. I’ve been involved with some other poetry sites over the years, and so far this one is far and away the most enjoyable.
Any advice for people who like to write?
Just do it! No fear! Let ‘er rip! And let the story be the boss. I don’t care if it’s a poem, short story, article or novel; when you sit down to write, let it come out the way it comes out. Spelling, punctuation, and all that good stuff are for after the stories been told. Just get comfy, let your fingers fly and gitter done!