Evan Sheldon, whose piece ‘My insides are burning’ is published in the third issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a junior editor and outreach assistant for F(r)iction. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and small horde of dachshunds. His work has appeared in CHEAP POP, Ghost City Review, Pithead Chapel, and Roanoke Review, among others.
What inspired your piece, ‘My insides are burning’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
I have a lot of tattoos and I’ve always been interested in what motivates a person to get a tattoo. People get work done for all sorts of reasons and this poem was a way for me to think about why I get mine. I was reading a children’s book about animals that glow and that really tied everything together. The form of this poem is something that I like to play with often to see what variations on meaning come about.
At the time I wrote this poem, I was working as an Outreach Assistant for Brink Literacy Project. There’s a lot of research involved in that position, not only looking at work from different writers in different genres, but also keeping an eye on the industry. I saw that a new-ish magazine was coming out that might be interested in publishing some work that dabbled with strangeness, and Lucent Dreaming seemed to be a perfect fit.
What does creating art mean to you?
There are a lot of words out there. Writing something new, entirely new and unheard of before is hard. When I think about making art, I think about diving deep, making something personal, and trusting in odd connections that may seem initially disparate. Dinoflagellates and mountaintops and tattoos and firmament don’t initially seem to go together, but in this poem they (hopefully) come together in an interesting way that means more than the sum of the parts.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I have a chapbook of poetry that I am constantly tweaking. I’ll write something new and like it better than something I’ve included and swap it out. I write a lot of short fiction, and I’m working on a collection of flash that is primarily literary but sprinkled with fairytale and surreal elements. And… I’m working on a couple of novels as well.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
I’m excited to be a part of a vibrant, diverse, and growing literary landscape. I’m an editor as well and I love getting to work with passionate writers. I think 2019 is going to be amazing, not only for the work I hope to produce myself, but also for collaborations in the editing process.
How and where do you find inspiration to do your craft?
I tend to have an image that I fixate on and I have to play around with it until I get it out of my system. Sometimes I’ll write a poem or story situated around that initial image, and then if that isn’t working I’ll switch to a different genre. I think that work leads to work. When I finish a piece, no matter what it is, that process leads me to something new, like my mind is trying to reward diligence.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
I would recommend reading as much as you can and writing as much as you can. I know that advice is spouted from every street corner, but it really is the best. Reading literary magazines is the best way to understand contemporary publishing and what editors are looking for. And then write as much as you can, finishing as much as you can. Don’t save your best line or phrase for some future story or poem. Put it in now. Your mind will refill that trough.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I’ll have a site up at evanjamessheldon.com with links to my work soon. For now, you can follow me on twitter @EvanJamesSheld1. If you don’t want to wait for the website, I have recent work in Levee, The Esthetic Apostle, South Broadway Ghost Society, Stain’d, Pithead Chapel, and CHEAP POP. I’m sure the publications would love it if you popped in!
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.