Interview with Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Q: When did you start writing?

A: Once upon a time…

That statement is both sarcastic and true. Humor can help provide a bit of sweetness sometimes when one is busy biting into the bitter realities of this world. I’ve been oh so serious of late, but am now beginning to work (diligently) to regain the shape of my aw-shucks smirk. The ability to shrug shoulders when things turn sour will not be far behind. For sure.

But I’ve danced around this opening question for long enough. Now it is time to let my bird loose from the cage so as to sing. Thankfully, spring is the perfect season for just such an action.

I began writing as a child, inspired by Nintendo characters. Stories about Mario, Luigi, and Link battling the rotten villains that weaved their wicked spells of bad mojo on every level of the game. Trying to save the Princess is essentially a metaphor for returning divine feminine energy to its proper balance so the dualistic nature of life isn’t all out of whack. I think I knew from an early age that there was something strange about the way the scales were being weighed out. I’d have to say that certain things still seem pretty fishy. Answers dwell beneath the sea. We must evolve our fins and dive deep.

Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: I’ve been considering how to approach this question for a few days. Wondering what a unique answer might look like on the page. But suddenly it arrived in the air instead. A bright red cardinal flew in front of me on the walking path, landed on a low branch, and placed a kiss on the beak of his mate, then they both flew away. Presumably in search of worms; or sticks and feathers with which to build their nest so spring can serve its fruitful purpose. These sorts of surprising scenes are what keep me inspired. Present moment miracles in the making. The amazing grace of nature as events continually unfold. After the fact, all these words used to try and describe the past pale in comparison to what actually happened. But they also point toward how cool life can be when eyes are kept open and focused on the beauty all around.

Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: In a certain sense, writing is one of those habits/hobbies (compulsions/lifestyles) that is always taking place even when it’s not. Every thought, dream, conversation, and idea that rolls around in the head is helping to fashion the words that will eventually land on paper. It also makes it sound like a really cool and important occupation that one is dedicating their time toward. Always on the clock as it were. Of course, it’s quite preposterous (and a bit pretentious). But living in illusion and imagination is also a calling card of poets.

To actually answer this question, I write at random moments throughout the day whenever inspiration might happen to surface. I also have several routines that come out to play during different seasons. One that always seems to bring me the most satisfaction is sitting on a bench in the woods at my favorite park and scribbling out things such as this answer.

Q:  Why do you write?

A: To fill the hours with words between this life and the next. In the blink of an eye, these karmic cycles shift and turn. The moments are fleeting. I write to capture them in crystalized sap so they might stand the test of time. Though one hell-bent fire or heaven-sent flood can erase every letter of every language in a flash. So actions do speak louder in the end.                                        

Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: The quote that helped inspire me most when I first began to submit my work was from Hunter S. Thompson. I am most likely paraphrasing because I don’t remember where I read or saw it originally:

“If it isn’t published, it doesn’t exist.”

It was a necessary way of thinking for me at the time in order to spark motivation and get this journey underway. It still serves a purpose in my understanding the business side of affairs, though I trust that making a positive impact by inspiring other people is more important than the bottom line of finances.

Which brings me to this second quote. It is from the Gospel of Thomas in the Gnostic texts. I believe it encapsulates the most important message any human being can meditate on:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Take deep breaths. Spend ample time in nature unplugged from all electronic gadgets. Realize that even if you think your writing is what matters most in life, it isn’t. Your relationships are what define you. With yourself. With family. With friends. With lovers. With strangers you meet. With God. When your priorities are put in place, your truest voice will then be expressed much more effortlessly on the page.

Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to answer these questions. It’s been a pleasure. Yes, I have four collections available at the moment, and I’m currently working on two other nearly completed manuscripts set for future release through Alien Buddha Press.

Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015)

Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016)

Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016)

Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017)

Calm (2)

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