Thursday, January 28, 2016

Exclusive Interview with A Bonafide Restless Writer

Some of you may have heard about Couchsurfing, a social network created to connect travelers with locals in the areas where they are traveling. It's a beautiful concept and I encourage you all to check it out! I have been participating in CS since 2007, mainly as a traveler, and I recently decided to open my home to couchsurfers coming through Tampa. My first surfer, Eagle Gamma, is an adventurer extraordinaire. He's spent the last 3 years of his life on his bike saddle, traveling all over Canada, the United States, and Mexico.  Not only is he a rider, but he's a great WRITER too! You can check out his blog here and this really cool interactive map of all the places he's biked!

How long have you been restless?
I have been restless my whole life. When I was a child, I liked to wander, a habit that I’ve carried with me to this very moment.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I learned to write at a young age which I forget the number. I have been writing consistently since I was a young child.

What sorts of things do you like to write about?
I like to write about the universe, imaginary universes, selves, and also anything and everything in between.

Eagle's Travels
What projects have you completed on the road?
I’ve completed an account of the astrophysical research happening at top locations around the world intermixed with my own outlandish adventures (Astrotripping: A Cosmic Journey, forthcoming). I’ve also completed an interactive work of science fiction which readers can play with and edit themselves, PhaseQ . And most recently I wrote a children’s adventure originally in Spanish and recently translated into English called El Burrito que Queria Volar. As well as several articles on the subject of astronomy.

How does being in motion factor into your writing process?                  
That’s a great question. The most immediate way is that I actually consider writing to be fundamentally a kind of motion so when I'm moving I am writing and the act of later putting those words to paper is almost an afterthought. So I consider the movement itself is actually the original source of stories and ideas and characters and I then translate that motion into a more conventional written word format. More specifically, while physically moving, I often consciously and subconsciously conceive of story elements and much of the inspiration comes from the environments thru which I move. Sometimes I daydream about a story while in motion and sometimes I think through the mechanics of the story. And sometimes I think about something else or nothing at all and let the story develop on its own.

So are you always working while riding your bike?
No, I think its important to take time off for a lot of reasons that can include safety, enjoyment, efficiency and other activities.

Why is the bicycle your preferred method of moving through the world?
A lot of reasons. I love bicycles. Bicycles are fun, efficient, good exercise, good for the environment, good for cultural travel and they help to form community.  Also they’re really cool and they can go anywhere. Being exposed to the world, you’re forced to experience it directly. You're thrust into the same space, forced to breath the same air. You basically have to interact immediately with the places and people instead of a car or plane where you’re shooting through obliviously to the location.

What are the challenges of being a restless writer?
There are many. The first challenge is to be a restless writer in the first place. It takes immense courage, effort and logistic prowess to be able to move around constantly and write. Psychologically, its extremely difficult because so much of life is rapidly changing all the time. lacking any type of solid or stable foundation, it becomes an extreme challenge to write consistently while living life on the road.

Given these challenges, why do you choose to live in this way?
Because, first and foremost, I love the freedom and joy and novel experiences and interactions with so many different people of so many different cultures. A lot of the things I get to do in the course of this life fulfill my lifelong dreams of exploring the world and writing about it and living an adventure.
The Riding Writer at Work!
What projects do you have coming up next?
My big project extends my existing Worlds O Wisdom project, adding a new world development concept that involves life itself. It’s educational and fun and revolutionary. Stay posted on these developments!

Anything else you want to add?
Really to me it’s a kind of liberation to go through these processes that constitute living as a restless writer. While I realize its much of a personal quest, I also believe that more generally its extremely valuable for people to each pursue their own quest and that whatever yours is, you give it a shot.