We were unable to previously publish this Q&A with fllnthblnk as the log was not available, so here it is for your perusal. The Q&A was moderated by PunknEra, and the audience was asked to "raise their hand" if they had a question or comment to make (indicated by typing a ^). It's definately a worthwhile read, so enjoy!TRANSCRIPT OF Q&A WITH fllnthblnk
<PunknEra> So, fllnthblnk, I think a good place to start would be for you to tell us a little bit about yourself.
<fllnthblnk> Well, I'm a Filipino-American, currently a resident of Utah, 22 years old. I'm actually a very boring person: all I do is play the drums (7 years) and write poetry (9 years).
<PunknEra> Well, other than the drums, that probably describes the majority of us
<PunknEra> What inspired you to start writing poetry?
<fllnthblnk> Well, in my 9th grade English class, we were discussing poetry and the class had to offer up similes and metaphors. I raised my hand and said "Love is like an egg because an egg is easily broken." The class was in awe and everyone said I should write poetry--I had at it ever since.
<PunknEra> Have you branched into other areas of writing or is poetry your sole endeavour?
<fllnthblnk> Well, actually... I've always inspired to be a novelist since I was young, writing fantasy books and such... those dreams have died down greatly and now my focus is mostly just poetry.
<PunknEra> Are you published as a poetry writer, even if just in a small magazine or such?
<PunknEra> If not, do you aim to be?
<fllnthblnk> I've been published in two small-scale magazines: Read This Magazine published one poem on their online magazine and another in their print version: I was so excited to receive my contributor copies! I've also been published in Pens on Fire on-line magazine and I also just got an email this morning from CEllA's Round Trip magazine of an acceptance.
<PunknEra> What would you love to say to people who pursue publishing with poetry.com?
<fllnthblnk> That poetry.com is like bad cookies: nobody wants to eat 'em.
<PunknEra> Would you like to elaborate for those who might read this and take a place like poetry.com seriously?
<fllnthblnk> The thing about poetry.com is that they're extremely smart: smart in the sense that they understand the hopes of young writers and manipulate them to spending great amounts of money for a vanity publication. I've been there when I was younger and was excited to hear that my poem made it into the so-called "semi-finals." But it's all just a joke, even proven by the news media with their second grade class experiment. Do not take that place seriously!
<PunknEra> Feels nice to say all that huh?
<fllnthblnk> I mean...
<PunknEra> Well, it's my opinion, as well as several others I'm sure, that you are a rather accomplished poet. What can you attribute to your growth and success with poetry?
<fllnthblnk> Well, to be honest... and this isn't just brown-nosing... but I attribute my accomplishments so far to the great people of deviantArt. I learned so much in the year-and-a-half I've been here: there's so many great people on here offering feedback, support, and their own expertise that I learned greatly from. Basically, I was really a nobody struggling with his poetry before stumbling onto this site.
<PunknEra> Well that is really great to hear. But you haven't just taken, you've been giving a lot too. You do a lot of critiquing on dA. What inspired you to do so?
<fllnthblnk> Well, when I found the Literature Workshop Forum, I saw a great need for feedback and decided to give critiquing a try. Seeing as how my opinions really helped some people, I couldn't help but continue offering my insight with other deviants. I also noticed I was able to look at my own work more critically and objectively. Critiquing is really a loop that benefits everybody.
<PunknEra> like recycling
<inspiredimperfection> well said dudeness
<PunknEra> Your critiques are extremely thorough and also very technical. What do you think makes a truly good critique?
<fllnthblnk> Oh, this is the tricky part of critiques as it's very personal, like art. Some people like my thoroughness and others don't. The only thing I can really say about being a good critic is to study up the craft and be honest, but fair.
<PunknEra> Do you think it's more important to point out the technical aspects of poetry (such as grammar/punctuation) or the content or style?
<fllnthblnk> Everything. Poetry is like a still body of water that even the smallest stone could disturb: it's important that the ripples created are beautiful, purposeful. Sometimes the smallest punctuation error can change the dynamic of the poem and how the reader absorbs it. That goes without saying that content, form, style and all the "meatier" areas are important as well; but we shouldn't forget about grammar and punctuation.
<PunknEra> What would you say is not a good critique?
<fllnthblnk> Personally, too much sugar-coating and hand-holding bothers me. Probably one of my biggest weaknesses as a critic is that I can get too harsh... usually because I'm afraid of patronizing the writer by treating him or her like an infant. I think most people who ask for critique are ready for upfrontedness (is that a word?), and I don't think people improve with too much praise and only a little actual critique.
<PunknEra> Does it bother you when someone responds unfavourably to one or your critiques, or makes excuses for why their poem is written how it's written?
<fllnthblnk> Opinions are opinions and can be disagreed with... people disagree with my opinions all the time, which is fine. What bothers me is when they offer up excuse after excuse instead of just a simple "Thanks, but no thanks" and perhaps a modest reason why.
<PunknEra> Do you think more people should be utilizing the "Discourage critique" option?
<fllnthblnk> I think most people should utilize the "Advanced Critique Encourage" option more honestly/seriously. When I just see "Your comment," that's usually a general indicator that a full-fledged critique is not welcome anyway...
<PunknEra> So, moving on from the critique aspect, how do you feel about DailyDeviations and the importance that many deviants place on them (as well as pageviews)?
<fllnthblnk> I think DDs are really a wonderful thing: they shed some light on deviants who would otherwise receive no attention, the positive comments and the affirmations of favorites really boost people's self-esteems, and it showcases the talents on dA that people would otherwise have missed without a DD. There are many wonderful things I've discovered through DDs that I wouldn't have had time to look for just by browsing!
<fllnthblnk> Personally, when I received my first DD, all the postive comments I got was a great incentive to write.
<PunknEra> Do you think some people place too much importance on pageviews? Or do you think pageviews are a marker, to show not just how much time people are spending on your page, but also how much time you're spending on theirs?
<fllnthblnk> Well, there are a few people whom I think hold pageviews to a much higher regard than needed... generally speaking, however, I think no. In the literature community especially, it shows how much one participates with the community. I like to see pageviews as a marker to, I guess, track one's progress on dA.
<fllnthblnk> It's also nice to know that people actually pay attention to you.
<PunknEra> In what ways would you encourage others to get involved in the dA community (specifically lit community)?
<fllnthblnk> The literature community needs the biggest support as opposed to the other forms of art on the site, so I think it's important to knock down those barriers and the clever one-liners in the forums and really outreach a helping hand to one another. Writing is the most basic (but not simple!) form of art because it's a method of communication almost everyone learns, as opposed to painting, drawing, etc.,--it's the easiest form to immerse ourselves in and it's a shame to see young writers snubbed away because of whatever reason. We need to read more of each other's works, discuss literature in the forums and in chat without the browbeating, give and receive critique with open minds.
<fllnthblnk> Basically, be friendly people.
<fllnthblnk> I think the rest would follow...
<PunknEra> I think some people might feel overwhelmed when trying to find out where to start. Do you have a particular way you go about browsing for poetry to critique?
<fllnthblnk> I stop by the Literature Workshop Forum from time to time, but generally I check out the deviants I see commenting and participating in the community and peruse their stuff. I also have a little announcement on my journal that says to note me for critiques and I get enough notes to keep me very busy... I'm actually behind!
<PunknEra> So, we've been at this for over an hour, do you have more time or should we wrap things up?
<fllnthblnk> I'm good if you are!
<PunknEra> Ok, well now would be a good time for me to ask if there's anything you'd just like to say? I mean, I have dozens of questions I could ask you, but maybe there was something you'd hope I'd touch on that I haven't gotten to yet.
<fllnthblnk> I'm pretty focused on your questions, actually!
<PunknEra> Ok, my next question is about clubs and projects on dA. Are there any particular ones you participate in or are particularly fond of?
<fllnthblnk> Unfortunately, I don't participate in clubs as much as I could be... I wish LineCount
would go up and running again as it kind of fell apart. I was staff on their looking for awesome works to showcase! Right now, I've been trying to get myself working on the Challenges that PoetryPlease
offers. I love prompts!
<PunknEra> hey, thanks for that unsolicited plug!
<fllnthblnk> *on there (I hate the "there" errors).
<PunknEra> Actually, right after this Q&A, I'd like to have a prompt. Would you like the honours of choosing the topic when we're done?
<fllnthblnk> Ooohhh... that sounds like fun. Hopefully I can think of something interesting!
<PunknEra> Well, you've got a little bit of time between questions
<fllnthblnk> I'll think of something.
<PunknEra> Have you ever considered or applied for an admin position with dA?
<fllnthblnk> I've considered it, but I don't think I would be right for the job. I have that free-lancer spirit, so I just do what I can on my own time.
<PunknEra> Are you working on any new poems right now?
<fllnthblnk> I'm always working on poems. Always.
<fllnthblnk> New and old alike.
<PunknEra> what would you like to ask rebelmorphthepoet?
<RebelMorphThePoet> do you get frustrated with the Lit scene ob Da (and elsewhere) in terms of views and critiques?
<fllnthblnk> I think everyone gets frustrated with some aspect or another, dA or elsewhere. As far as critiques, what frustrates me is when people ask for it, but then turn around and mouth-off to the very people they were asking help from! This happens more often than not on dA, unfortunately... I've seen deviants with the best intentions get treated like garbage for their honesty.
<fllnthblnk> When you say "views," what do you mean exactly?
<RebelMorphThePoet> several things I suppose, one that lit deviations get considerably fewer viewings than visual ones
<RebelMorphThePoet> then there's the issue of content, it seems to me that certain topics will get a disproportionate amount of views, regardless of quality...
<fllnthblnk> Oh, yes... people don't read as much nowadays with the advent of technology... not to mention that us writers must compete with such fantastic visual works! Reading takes time and some people are just too busy or not interested in taking the time to find interesting works of literature.
<RebelMorphThePoet> i suppose, I'm expressing my own frustration with critiques that extend to "good..."
<RebelMorphThePoet> Does that not rankle, as a writer? For me, as a poet and a teacher, it annoys interminably
<fllnthblnk> I've noticed the "topics" issue, too. Usually, anything to do with "love" and "heart-ache" will get more attention than other topics. Take a look at my poem! It's certainly not my best, but it defintely got a lot of attention just for the topic! fllnthblnk.deviantart.com/art/…
<PunknEra> Nice plug
<PunknEra> If certain topics are overdone, does that mean they should be avoided altogether?
<fllnthblnk> No, no, no... any topic is fair game, in my opinion. I think the general populace on dA prefers more relatable pieces--and that usually involves love.
<RebelMorphThePoet> I wrote some smutty prose and got a million more views than anything else I've written, most of which is way better. The critique thing though, I'd rather have a poem ripped apart, than a vague "good", how do you think critical thinking can be encouraged?
<synapticattack> physical threats
<fllnthblnk> Practically, probably in the author's notes. If you make it clear that you're interested in more thought out comments, some people are more willing to offer it.
<fllnthblnk> RebelMorphThePoet: Have you also tried the Literature Workshop Forum?
<RebelMorphThePoet> I haven't, thanks for the suggestion
<PunknEra> Do you feel that sometimes prose is even less viewed than poetry, as it takes even longer to read?
<fllnthblnk> Definitely yes.
<AngelofGod87> I think so too....
<PunknEra> Do you spend much time reading prose on dA, or mostly poetry?
<fllnthblnk> Mostly poetry, as that's my focus. Honestly, if the prose piece doesn't grab my attention in the first few lines, I skip it. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but I'm only one person and would rather focus my energies where I feel I can benefit others more.
<PunknEra> Well, I think the room is getting restless, so perhaps we should wrap this up. Did you come up with a prompt topic for us?
<fllnthblnk> Ah, yes:
<fllnthblnk> Look out your front door and write about the memories or happenings that have happened there (in the front yard, busy street, hallway of an apartment, etc.), then write what would've happened instead if the outcome of that memory were opposite/different (a fight in the front yard ended happily instead, etc.).
<fllnthblnk> Sorry... long-winded.
<fllnthblnk> Just thought it would be interesting.
** Topic changed by PunknEra
<PunknEra> fllnthblnk: summarized a little, that ok?
<fllnthblnk> Sounds great!
<PunknEra> well, there's plenty of people in the room. Get to writin'!
<AngelofGod87> I just got home from my last day at college... and my brain is still recovering from those finals
<fllnthblnk> Yay! Thanks for the Q&A, PunknEra. It was fun.
<PunknEra> You guys have 25 minutes to write for this one
<PunknEra> Thank you too, fllnthblnk
<PunknEra> Can I ask you one more question?
<fllnthblnk> Go ahead.
<PunknEra> How the hell did you come up with a username like that??? It's a bitch to type
<fllnthblnk> Well, dA doesn't allow underscores. If allowed, it would be this: f_ll_nth_bl_nk
<fllnthblnk> Get it?
<PunknEra> ahhh, yes
<PunknEra> I get it now. Took a sec, but I get it
<PunknEra> anybody writing for the prompt?
<fllnthblnk> I am...
<PunknEra> haha, cool
<PunknEra> we can all critique your poem
<AngelofGod87> fill in the blank?!?
<AngelofGod87> thats your user name!!
<PunknEra> lol, now she gets it
<AngelofGod87> Ive been trying to figure out all this time what it means
And there you have it folks! From there, we went on with the prompt, the results of which can be read in our <a href="news.deviantart.com/article/48…>Chat Week: Day 6 Report</a>. Thanks for reading!