Friday Feature: @JayChimera
It’s Friday, a day when there is definitely nothing else of importance happening in the world. Not today. It’s all about Prose today. So let’s roll out the fabulous Feature Friday thang and get our noses into someone else’s business. We head for beautiful Scotland this week to meet and drink whisky with a bonnie wee lassie (and other lazy stereotypical imagery). Ladies, Gentlemen and those in between, meet @JayChimera
P: What, prey tell, is your name, Proser?
J: My name is Jackie but I do prefer Jay. My real full name has always bothered me. My Proser name is JayChimera. Not like the Greek mythical fire breathing beast. More like an illusion or a fabrication of the mind.
P: Where do you live?
J: I live in the centre of Edinburgh in Scotland in the U.K. (The Athens of the North) It's a very pretty city, there's so much history, a big castle and home to the Fringe festival which is the largest arts festival in the world.
P: What is your occupation?
J: I am an assistant manager/supervisor in a hotel/restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh. I look after guests as they arrive for breakfast and supply them with lots of tea and coffee. I have been in the hospitality industry for the best part of ten years now. I'm a qualified chef too.
P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
J: Well, the first time I ever put pen to paper was when I was 14 years old. It was a dark time in my life and I spent a lot of it on my own. I had to express myself, to let go of all my anger. So I would write. There's always been a dark emotional element to my writing, really deep and personal. I found that words can be an escape and can be used as a good therapy tool. Growing up, I knew I always wanted to write and to this day I'm still working on the relationship between me and words. I'm still improving myself as a writer.
P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?
J: For me, reading was never really my strong point. But over the past few years I've gained an understanding that reading is essential for a writer. Reading other works by similar authors and especially other Prosers has gave me so much inspiration and also motivation too. As a hobby I read about the Buddhist culture and mindfulness which I have read about for many years now. This helps me gain a healthy perspective on life and think about how writing is my path to a happy and healthy future.
P: Can you describe your current and future literary ventures?
J: So, right now I am trying to write every day. A hectic work schedule can mentally drain me so writing some days can be a struggle. Currently writing some poetry for an open mic competition I could be competing in at the end of the month and starting to get the ball rolling on my homemade project and self-publish my own poetry. An idea for a novel is brewing but idle in my mind and I'm keeping an eye out for those prose challenges.
P: What do you love about Prose?
J: The Prosers are an incredible bunch of people. I've never felt more accepted and honoured to be part of a writing community that doesn't judge or hate. It's a beautiful place to be and for that I am truly grateful for the creators and the work they've put into making this a wonderful place.
P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
J: This is quite tough. It's either Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig or Love is Not Enough by Tom Weaver. Matt's book is about the struggles with depression and anxiety but it's light-hearted and can help a person understand what it's like for another person to deal with these kind of situations. As dealing with these situations myself it's a very important book in my life. Tom's book is one that isn't sitting on a shelf in Waterstones but rather a small book of song lyrics and spoken word full of heartbreak and anger. He is the lead singer of a band called Casey and has been a big inspiration to me. His first song Hell was astoundingly beautiful. At the time of it's release I found myself heartbroken and stumped for words to express the way I felt. As soon as I heard that song I was floored. The way he writes is emotionally moving and still he continues to impress and inspire me.
P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
J: Not particularly. I'm the writer of the family and hadn't ever looked up to any type of writer or idol when I was younger. My words were mine and I had always been proud of that. My muses are the people in and out of my life, my heart and my own mind.
P: Describe yourself in three words!
J: Reserved, mindful, lonely.
P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
J: This doesn't necessarily sum me up but it's my favourite quote by the Buddha himself.
"We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
P: Favourite music to write and/or read to?
J: I have a few artists that are so inspiring.
Ludovico Einaudi - A pianist. A modern twist on classical music.
Slow Meadow - Incredible instrumental music, orchestra, violin, piano. I recommend you just sit back and listen.
I listen to a lot of meditation/ambient/chillout music which can help your mind, body and soul relax which leads to a better outcome when writing.
Music is a massive part of my life. I'm a bit of a hardcore emo kid if you will. Heavy rock and metal is my go to for when I feel the need to let go. Most people don't know it but when those men jump around on a stage and scream into a microphone they are exposing their deepest self. Their souls are laid bare within their words and their minds are just like any other writers. Their art is music and when they write it is as much as a part of the listener as it is them. A lot of my inspiration comes from lyrics and emotional guitars.
P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
J: Take this pen and this piece of paper.
How do you feel? Write it down. Write from the heart. Write about what's real.
P: Do you have a local Indie Bookstore we could approach for our ongoing feature?
J: I live five minutes from the Scottish Poetry Library in the centre of Edinburgh. It's such a niche little place and is full of wonderful poetry books by old and new authors. They have event nights which can see published writers and non-published writers come together to listen to spoken word or poetry. They hold evenings where you can speak to published authors about their work, classes on writing your own poetry. They sometimes have live music, free wine and local poets mic nights. At the moment they are getting ready to celebrate burns night where writers will come together to celebrate the works of Robert Burns.
P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?
J: I promote my work on twitter. @JayChimeraWrite
Peace and love. X
Awesome stuff, once again. Thanks to JayChimera for her answers. You know what happens now. Follow her, interact, like and all that business. Do YOU want to be featured? Do you want to find out about another Proser and wish to volunteer them? Then send us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org