Interview with “Dances with the Kachina” author The Dark One

I can’t think of many people that have been there for me as much as Wesley Attwood. Over the past 5 years, Wesley has supported me through my toughest days, stood alongside me during my happiest moments, given me countless hours of his time for advice, and has been the most loyal son of a bitch I know. I could go on for days about the person Wesley is, the things he’s done for me, and the times we’ve shared over the years, but I’d like to spotlight what I believe is his greatest accomplishment to date; his first book, “Dances with the Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts” published in August by Createspace.com and available NOW through Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/Dances-With-The-Kachina-Compendium/dp/149127381X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390453700&sr=8-1&keywords=dances+with+the+kachina

Under the pen name “The Dark One”, Wesley has crafted a true masterpiece of raw emotion, covering a wide range of topics that leave the reader both enjoying the simple things in life on its surface and looking at it a little more deeply. I’m proud to present to you my recent interview with The Dark One.

This book covers such a wide range of topics. Everything from love to self reflection to whacky college professors to elder abuse. When you come across these things in life, do you find it therapeutic to write about them? One of the reasons I started blogging so often was because it’s a calming feeling for me to let my thoughts run free on paper, so to speak.

I find it extremely therapeutic to write about things in my daily life. Writing allows me to express my emotions about certain topics or situations.

What got you into writing in the first place? When did you start?

I started writing poetry in middle school. During an English class, I was given an assignment to write five poems about various topics. Before this, I had always admired poetry for the feelings and emotions it can provoke, but I never really thought I had something good enough to write about. So after completing the project I found that poetry came very naturally as long as I had a feeling or subject that I was passionate enough to write about in mind. Also, my father, in his private life, is an excellent artist with a paint brush, a stanza or words, or even with models, so I was very inspired by him and his works over the years. After that middle school class, I didn’t really start writing too much until I met my first girlfriend. That is when I discovered the art of Romance in word form.

How many years worth of material is in this book?

There is three years’ worth of material in this book.

What made you decide to turn this material into a book?

Many of my friends proposed that I put some of my works into a book and publish it. People often see my notes on Facebook with my poems, so a lot of it was my friends’ suggestions, but the rest was a dedication to the Kachina and the inspiration that she is.

You told me when this book was coming out that these aren’t actually all of your works. Why not just publish everything and lay it all out there?

The reason I do not publish all my works is because there are many that are extremely personal to me. Many have a very deep and personal connection and I’d rather keep those to myself.

Where did you come up with the title Dances with Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts? Are these really just thoughts of yours that you write down onto paper and make them into a kind of story?

The title is directly taken from one of the poems titled “Dances With the Kachina”. The title refers to my encounters and experiences with the Kachina. The Kachina is not only a person whom which I have experienced a lot with, but the Kachina is also the idea of art and inspiration. You could say that the Kachina is the muse in my life. Some of the poems are just thoughts put down on paper, but most are about actual memories, emotions, dreams, or experiences I have.

What is your relationship like with your real life Kachina? It must be pretty special for you to have her on the cover of the book as well.

The real life Kachina is my best friend. She is the best friend anyone could ever hope for. She has been there with me through many things. We even traveled across the planet together one summer. So the Kachina is someone I truly love and am inspired by every day.

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How would you classify your style of writing? What are the main things you focus on as far as themes, messages, etc.?

For the most part, I would classify my poetry as free verse. There are occasions where I write sonnets or even other forms of poetry, but it all really depends on what I am writing about and how it comes out. In my poetry I focus mainly on life, love, and the state of mind. I enjoy writing about my own and others’ perspectives within life and daily life. Many of the topics recur through simple phrases or words within various poems.

What are some of your favorite pieces by other authors? Any favorite authors?

Some of my favorite authors would be Sara Teasdale, Alexander Pushkin, and of course Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. Many music artists such as Rodriguez, in my opinion, are poets and thus have my admiration as well for not only their music, but their words.

Do those said authors influence the way you write? If so, how?

Sara Teasdale has always inspired me to write about simplicity. Throughout my poems I mention the “cup of tea” or “the hands holding the cup”. This, to me, is a direct reference to the simplicity of life and the beauty within that simplicity. After reading Sara’s work throughout the years, I’ve been able to see and write about the small things in our day-to-day lives and how these small things hold so much beauty. Rodriguez has been a lifelong inspiration for just about everything. Rodriguez wrote and sang about life, poverty, love, injustice, and perspectives. Out of anyone’s words I’ve read in my life, he has to be the biggest inspiration I have. A lot of his work has contributed to my personal feelings about love and romance.

As for your own writing, what are some of your favorite entries in the book and why?

I cannot really pick one I like more than another because, for me, most of the poems I write pertain to my life or experiences/memories. But if I were to choose I would say that my favorite entries are “12:53”, “Absent Earth”, “Fond Memories of Days In Your Bliss”, and “Prison of Melody”. I pick these because they each signify a great or extraordinary experience in my life which has contributed to my development in my life. These instances have given me some kind of feelings or enlightenment which has aided me overall in my opinion.

How did you come up with the titles for each piece?

For each piece I generally use a word that sums up the poem unless I have a title in mind. For a lot of the poems it’s very difficult to give them a title so I often find the title the hardest part.

You mention in the foreword that the poems in the beginning of the book are “simple or silly at times” but as you keep reading the pieces “become deeper and more intense”. You mention that this is the result of a “personal change” in how you expressed yourself or even a change of your writing abilities. Can you elaborate on that?

I believe that over the years I have gained a lot of understanding for the world around me directly and how I perceive it. I believe that my perceptions are captured in my poetry by how simple life can be seen to how deep it can be at times.

Why do you call yourself The Dark One?

I use the Dark One as my pen name because that was the nickname I was always given by the Kachina since we first met. I don’t like to be melodramatic but I do like the idea of darkness and the mystery within it. As I may describe in some of my poems, darkness is a place of solace, reason, and understanding where one can reflect upon life. I feel as if I should be more in touch with any dark label than anything pertaining to light and completely seen.

What should people know about The Dark One and his poetic thoughts?

People should know that the Dark One writes about the things that are important to him. The poetic thoughts aren’t always straightforward and sometimes don’t have a meaning, but the meaning is in the eyes of the reader.

Music is such an important part of your life. You write about it quite a bit in the book and you’re also in a band called Losing Time as the percussionist.

Music is one of my biggest inspirations. I have played percussion and other various instruments for most of my life. I also love to sing. I find great relaxation and expression in music, which essentially is poetry in a different form. Music can define emotions or anything, and I like to reference it in my writings.

Any more books on the horizon? Are you still writing? What’s on your mind these days?

I was thinking about putting together another book if I really had the motivation to do so. I generally write a poem a day or more. I’m always writing and, regardless of any publishing, I believe I will always be writing. I still am writing about love, romance, life, and the mind these days.

You’re one of my best friends in the entire world. We’ve been close buddies for over 5 years now and I feel we just become closer over time. I enjoyed every page of this book and can’t wait for possible future tomes! Thanks for including me in the foreword!

You and I have been very close for the past years and I’m honored to have you as a friend. I really glad you enjoyed my book and I hope you enjoyed the writings within. Thank you for your friendship and for buying a copy.

“Dances with the Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts” is AVAILABLE NOW through Amazon for less than $6. I’ll give you the link AGAIN!

http://www.amazon.com/Dances-With-The-Kachina-Compendium/dp/149127381X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390456408&sr=8-1&keywords=dances+with+the+kachina

You all should definitely pick up a copy of The Dark One’s first book. Go ahead and squeak out a couple bucks. You won’t be disappointed! “Dances with the Kachina” is one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. I wouldn’t have dedicated an entire blog entry to this if I didn’t have the utmost faith in this man. Wesley is not only a fantastic writer, but a a brilliant, creative, loyal, and kind man with an endless amount of talent and heart.

Follow The Dark One on Twitter @JohanVanRiebeec

Follow me on Twitter @SullyShow17

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Kunitz, Crosby & Company

Since I said I was gunna try my best to do this weekly, I figure now is as good a time as any to start. There’s been a lot of talk over the past few weeks about the hockey rosters for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Seven players from the Pittsburgh Penguins made the Olympics. SEVEN! That’s a number to be proud of certainly and each one of those men richly deserves it. There were a couple players on the Penguins who did not make the Olympic cut, however. I’m gunna break this down for ya real good, and I’m gunna keep it short and simple since I’m running up against the midnight deadline here. Not gunna get into stats and in-depth analysis here. Just a general overview and my initial impressions.

THE LUCKY 7 & WHY THEY MADE IT:

Sidney Crosby (Canada) – He’s only the face of the NHL, the best overall player in the league, and quite possibly the world.

Jussi Jokinen (Finland) - It seems like he makes every goal he scores look phenomenal. It does seem like he isn’t as effective when he plays with third and fourth liners, but when he’s on the top two lines…watch out.

Chris Kunitz (Canada) – “Oh, but he plays on the same line as Crosby. Sid just makes him look good.” I’m here to call bullshit on that one, ladies and gentlemen. Chris Kunitz, aka the Honey Badger, is an outstanding hockey player. When he’s not scoring goals (and trust me, he scores his share) he’s doing all the little things right to not only make himself better, but his teammates too (yes, including Sidney Crosby, who will tell you that Kunitz makes him better too). If he wasn’t chosen for Team Canada, I would have been bummed. Great move by Yzerman and Co. Well earned by Kunitz.

Olli Maata (Finland) - This 19-year-old has just blown me and pretty much everyone else away by his play since moving up to the NHL. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he is much better than Kris Letang (I’ll get to him later). I can’t wait to see how much better he becomes as he gains more experience at the NHL level. GREAT move by the Pens keeping him out of training camp.

Evgeni Malkin (Russia) - What can I say? Just a monster on the ice. Yes, he has his lapses, but doesn’t every player at times? I can’t see any NHL team ever turning down an opportunity to have this All-Star/Olympian superstar on their team.

Paul Martin (USA) – Remember him? He’s been out awhile due to injury, but he’s really come on strong since joining the Pens. He was pretty bad when he first started out here in the ‘Burgh (I think more than anything he just didn’t pick up the system as quick as people hoped..remember he came from Snooze Jersey), but he’s really turned his game around and consistently shows why he’s paired with Brooks Orpik in the top 4.

Brooks Orpik (USA) - Crazy Eyes himself. The longest tenured Penguin proudly represents Team USA as an at-times physical, shutdown force on the blue line, just like he does here in Pittsburgh. He’s such an honest guy, too. I always love listening to him talk to the media. He never gives you that run-of-the-mill, sports cliche bullshit. He tells it like it is, and backs up his words with his play on the ice.

THE UNLUCKY 4 and WHY THEY DIDN’T

Marc-Andre Fleury (Canada) - We all know he’s an amazing goaltender. He just needs to show that consistently in the playoffs, and let’s face it: he hasn’t. I think that’s why he didn’t make the cut, but if he keeps playing the way he’s playing now (beautifully) and brings that same level in the playoffs to possibly lead the Pens to another Cup, many should think differently.

Kris Letang (Canada) - This is a no brainer. He sucks! Makes countless mistakes on the ice, and the team always seems to play better without him. Bad move by Shero signing him to another deal. That money should have been used on a winger. Thank you, Jussi Jokinen, for seeming to click so well with Malkin and Neal. I love those three together. But Letang? Yeah, not a fan. When he’s injured (and that’s plenty often) I don’t miss him one bit, and I know Team Canada won’t either.

James Neal (Canada) - I’ve read in the papers that he may be having his finest season, but I think there’s some character issues here along with limited space on Team Canada’s star-studded roster. I think he has a better chance of making it next time around, and the suspension earlier this season didn’t help his case either. It’s never a good idea to skate into someone’s head, and it’s an even worse idea to say you didn’t mean to do it afterward. Watch the replay of Neal’s knee to the head on Brad Marchand. You’ll see what I mean. I still think he’s a great hockey player with one of the best shots I’ve ever seen and he should definitely make it next time, assuming he keeps up this high level of play.

Rob Scuderi (USA) – I’m putting him on this list because I think the guy is a great NHL defenseman. Scuds has won 2 Cups already, is steady, consistent, solid, and brilliant defensively. My mind harkens back to Game 6 against Detroit at Mellon Arena during the ’09 Cup Finals when he became Fleury for a second and kept that puck outta the net. HUGE moment. Staal couldn’t have been more right. He’s The Piece!

So there ya have it. Just kind of a brief overview of the Pens that made the cut this year, and the Pens that didn’t. I could get WAAAAAYYYY more in-depth about each player with stats and all that jazz, but I’ll save that for a rainy day. I’m looking forward to rooting for Team USA, although I don’t think they’re a match for Team Canada. Ryan Kesler and David Backes look to contain Crosby? Yeah, about that…

 

2014, Here I Come!

What’s happenin’, y’all? It’s been awhile. I’m attempting this blog entry on my home computer, so wish me luck. If you see any weird spaces and/or your laptop/iPhone/Mac/PC starts to burn up, well…sorry about that. I can’t believe 2013 is history already. Seems like every year goes by so quickly, but 2013 shot by like a ROCKET. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, productive 2014. There were some things I could have done differently, and I still have LOTS to work on (including, but not limited to, updating this website more often and finding a FULL-TIME job!) but one thing won’t change: I’m very grateful for the life I have. Could it be better? Always. Am I in control of it? No question about it. I am the captain of my own ship. I decide where it sails from here on out. Here’s to clearer waters and brighter skies!

Here was the scene at Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh when midnight arrived to ring in 2014. Notice the couple at the very bottom of the photo. What a passionate smooch, right? Thing is, this cougar kept looking at me the whole night, so could I have been on her mind at the time? We’ll never know. Her interaction toward him seemed force, but they both had wedding rings on, so I’m going out on a limb to assume they’re married to EACH OTHER. Maybe it was my fantasy with her that was forced. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I wish my tongue was in her mouth rather than Waldo Goes Corporate.

Hard Rock

What I hope will be the last chapter to “I’m With You, Kinda Sorta” will be released this month. The one-year anniversary of this site is January 16, so I may shoot for that as a release date. I’ve always wanted this to be a WEEKLY, entertaining blog about anything and everything. I want people guessing as to what the topic is going to be about. Sometimes the topics are a hit (see any story about my personal life), and sometimes they’re not (see any story that’s NOT about my personal life). It’s just what’s on my mind at the time. It is about anything and everything, but I’m lacking on the weekly part. I hope to at least get somewhat on board with that in 2014.

I have so many ideas floating around in my head it’s disgusting. The challenging part for me is actually carrying out those ideas. I want to start a band (the only thing I could offer is my beautiful shower voice), a podcasting network (to cover the major areas of life in general: politics, sports, movies, music), write a fiction piece (since all my material so far has been non-fiction) and even expand this blog to maybe someday include some other voices besides my own. Notice I said MAYBE. It’s a thought, but since it IS sullyshow.com and titled “Sully Says” and since I pay to maintain the domain name, I might just stick with my words. Not sure yet, but it’s something to think about. I’m in the beginning planning stages of Sully’s Totally-Not-Winter Classic 3. Get ready Black Attack and Green Machine, it’s gunna be another great series! Let’s win at least one this year, Machine. I love you guys.

I’m certainly all over the map with my thoughts and actions and who knows if any of those ideas I rattled off above will come to fruition, but I definitely wanna find at least some direction in 2014. I can’t say I’m unhappy with my life, but I definitely could be a whole lot happier. And more productive. An old friend posted this ancient photo on Facebook recently and it brought a smile to my face:

Childhood

No, I’m not the one in the middle. I’m actually the one on the right. I was around 6 years old and thought I was a ladies man. Okay, maybe I was. Probably the only 6-year-old kid in the entire Catholic school system that wasn’t a virgin when it came to an actual makeout sesh. I swear I was attacked in the backseat on the way to kindergarten (or was it preschool?) one morning by an eager lady friend. So happy, so full of life, so innocent. I want to get back to those days. Well, I guess we can forget about the innocent part, but the happy and full of life part needs to come back. I think it will. It takes time, but each day I try to figure out a tiny bit more about myself and where I’m going.

Growing up sucks, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun every day doing at least one thing that you love. Life is entirely too short to not be happy. If you’re doing something just for the money, but you’re a miserable bitch, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re doing something you love and not making that much money, but you’re entirely happy, who’s to judge that? In this day and age, it’s all about being better than and having more money than the next guy. I hope to have millions one day, but it has to come along with doing something I’m in love with. That’s why I’m taking my time and seeing what’s out there FOR ME. I’m not gunna take a job and make a couple more bucks an hour just to say I have full-time work, and then be miserable. I work part-time right now making decent money at a job I really like and certainly don’t wanna lose it, so I wanna play my cards right.

Don’t worry, I’m not gunna suddenly start charging for this blog…

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