The Process…

I have been writing for a long time, I started with poetry and short stories in high school and have written for local magazines and newspapers, but mostly just for myself. I always considered it a hobby a way to infuse some artistic expression into what was and still is a very structured industry that I work in. My “day job” if you will, is providing executive management consulting to healthcare companies; everything from technology integration to revenue cycle management. I’ve spent thirty years in the industry and now have the luxury, really the privilege of working for myself. As much as I love what I do it wasn’t enough, two years ago I decided to get serious about my writing; I published my first novel last spring and my second this summer. It’s been a learning experience and like with most things I feel the more I invest in it the better I am becoming at it, imagine that right.

One of the very first things I realized writing longer works, 70,000 plus words for the average novel, is that it’s a significant investment in both time and energy. More than that it demands, at least for me, an emotional engagement that I hadn’t honestly expected and was initially a bit overwhelmed by. I drew from my personal experiences, from literally thousands of people I have met over the years, places I have lived – my life – and I infused all of that into my writing. I don’t write in a structured or templated fashion; my stories are not all planned out – no I learn what is going to happen as the characters do! The story happens as I type and damn if it isn’t exciting as hell and well sometimes frustrating, painful, surprising, but never boring. The other thing I learned early in the process is that music makes all the difference for me, maybe it’s the memories each tune triggers – I think the real key is it lets me melt into my own world – it blocks everything else out and I write, by God I write.

Today I was writing a couple of difficult chapters, I lost a character today – it happens – not everyone makes it in this life or in a good story for that matter. It can be a melancholy experience when a character turns left instead of right, when their choices lead to an inevitable tragic end, but then again doesn’t good writing reflect the realities of the world around us? I think it does…

A young new artist Michael McArthur just released an album – it’s excellent, I mean really good. Played it all the way through and enjoyed every track – doesn’t happen very often anymore. Anyway, these tunes were my companion today and helped lift me up a bit during a couple of hours of tough writing… If you enjoy good music give him a listen definitely worth your time –

What I love about art is how its many forms capture and express what is inside all of us – it illuminates that common filament we all share…

iTunes​ – Smarturl.it/ForElaineiTunes
Apple Music – Smarturl.it/ForElaineAppleMusic
Spotify – Smarturl.it/ForElaineSpotify
Amazon Music – Smarturl.it/ForElaineAmazon
Google Play​ – Smarturl.it/ForElaineGooglePlay

https://www.facebook.com/McArthurMusic/

About the Author

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Born in Manhattan in 1965 Joseph Castagno is the son of a second generation Italian American father. His mother’s family were mixed heritage people: Indigenous Haudenosaunee, French, some of the earliest Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. Growing up with such a multicultural heritage provided him with a view of both the immigrant experience, a perspective on the founding principles and ideals of the United States as well as the original teachings and ways of Northeastern Indigenous people. Having lived all over the United States Joseph has a broad perspective on US society and the variety of social values and customs that make up this great country. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Tammy, having raised four children they are now enjoying their grandchildren. Joseph has always had a passion for reading and writing and has published a number of articles in local papers and magazines. After a long career in healthcare he published his first novel “Jake” in 2016 drawing on his experiences and observations living in the Southeast and Florida. His current novel “Traffic” has just been published and he is currently working on his next novel and spoiling his granddaughters!

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Ramblings & Stuff

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