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First-hand experience fuels imagination

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By John Waterman

Shedding insight (Martin Iniguez Jr.)

By John Waterman

Writing is indeed an interesting medium. It is a means of realization, of discovery. It is a journey that transcends thoughts and ideas, which in turn, empowers the writer and reader alike to discover something about themselves and the world in which they live. Or at least that’s the opinion of ascribed authors Duff Brenna and Thomas E. Kennedy.These authors co-hosted a seminar at Riverside City College on Oct. 14, sharing with their audience a sample of their writings as well as some insight into the world of professional writing.

Fueled by first-hand experience and imagination, both writers agree that there is no substitution for being there at that moment in time to observe people and situations reacting to situations.

“No matter how good your imagination is, it’s never as good as reality,” Kennedy said.Whatever the occasion, the question of, “Why do you write?”

always seems to arise. The common consensus is to obtain answers and explanations. “I want to know as much as I can about what it means to be a human being, and I want to know as much as I can about the experiences I’ve had in this life. So almost everything I write about comes from experience,” Brenna said.

Kennedy went on to explain, “I write simply to try to explain the mysterious fact that I exist.”

One of the main conflicts of today’s writer is to determine who the target audience is, or if the author simply writes for his or herself.

“I try to write for someone who is neither a child nor an adult, neither a man nor a woman, and is a little bit smarter than I am,” Kennedy said.

Writing is their passion. Like songs composed by ensembles of virtuosos, these lyrical truth-seekers understand the natural splendor of the written word and language alike.

“Language is a dimension in which we live. It’s a mysterious dimension . . . A sacred dimension,” Kennedy said. “When you think about the way an idea you have finds words, you have some kind of an impulse somewhere in your being, whether it’s your mind, or your soul, or your heart; it seems to be deeper than yourself. At some point this impulse begins to rise through you, and accumulates words. Then you write them down and the words become physical.”

Kennedy and Brenna have both mastered the art of generalization in hopes that everyone who might skim through any number of their published works will be able to relate.

“It’s the world; it’s being able to live vicarious lives. I can’t go and do everything, but because of reading . . . I can learn more and more about this unfathomable world around me, so I’m obsessed with reading,” Brenna said. “It helps you to understand that you’re not alone in this world, that we really are all the same we’re all brothers and sisters. It allows you to connect with all humanity.”

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