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So, I’m back in New York City this weekend for the first time since 2009. This time it’s to look at potential colleges for one of the kids, but not really. It’s just an excuse to take a little mini-vacation and stretch our legs out on the streets of Manhattan. This was an excellent comparison point for me in my discussion for Perdido Street Station, coming up on the same weekend.

This is the most recent exploration of my creative crossroads. Collaboration and discussion over books I’ve read on a schedule with other people. It was one thing to work on artistic projects with my family and friends in the past, or work by myself when writing solo, but quite another to talk to total strangers who I have only typed out a relatively few numbers of words to.

The recent live discussion about Perdido Street Station was the culmination of recent commitments I’ve made to other people to talk about. My first collaboration was born when I did a review of Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts. Varsha from Reading by the Rainy Mountain invited me to join this unique and fascinating website community called Page Chewing. From there, I participated in chapter section discussions on Curse with Janny Wurts being in on the final discussion for that book. I was very excited to be a part of this, but also very nervous. This was new for me, and I had visions of verbal bumbling and stuttering.

I shouldn’t have worried that much. Steve and the rest of the folks at Page Chewing are very welcoming and fun to talk with about all this nerdy stuff we like. Being the introvert I am, there will always be that nagging doubt in the back of my mind, no matter how much fun these discussions are or how creatively rewarding they are. But the kind and welcoming people I’ve met online have helped to suppress the doubt.

Next, I had a discussion on my channel with A Critical Dragon about how Dungeons & Dragons is intertwined with fantasy literature and how they influenced each other. I was a nervous wreck. Fortunately, my guest took on most of the talking duties and made me look good. Thank you AP.

Some of my new friends have made very nice comments that I don’t look nervous when participating in these discussions, and that I add a lot to them. I cannot thank them enough for such kind words. I tend to suppress nervousness with an intense focus on what others are saying or on the notes I had previously written in front of me. I’m happy that no one seems to notice this, or they forgive the shortcoming. Their kindness and acceptance are just a couple of reasons among many that I continue to do this and what makes it even more exciting and fun to venture into more.

This is truly, a new CREATIVE CROSSROAD.

Thanks to the fun and creative fulfillment I’ve had so far, I’m looking forward to many more. So stayed tuned to my channel and the page chewing website for lots of cool stuff!!!

Next: I revisit the past once again…

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Author: Jarrod

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