VAH: Jerad, when the blank page stares back at you, what gets you over writers block?
JWA: I rarely have a moment when I’m at a loss of words when writing. If I do get to that point, however, I’ll typically stop and go right to work on something else, and then take another look at what has jammed me up and see if I have unraveled any of it. Considering my need to be writing… if that piece doesn’t want to cooperate, then another piece will.
VAH: That’s a very effective redirection. Not giving in to the blank page but working on something else. How do you then track what you send out for consideration and keep up with the results of your submissions?
JWA: Along with sites that use Submittable, I track everything with Excel spreadsheets. It seems to work great!
VAH: Jerad, what little known fact about you will amaze and or amuse?
JWA: When Anthrax was delivered to the Capitol Hill mail facility and Longworth Hall just down from Congress, I was a sample gatherer and decontamination team member. While in Longworth Hall, which was a ghost town akin to The Andromeda Strain, a friend of mine smuggled out individually wrapped cigars from a senator aide’s office. We decontaminated them and my friends and I shared them in the shade of the capitol building.
JWE: Following a horrible fad at the time, I did the “Harlem Shake” with a full car of friends at a stoplight here in Atlanta at around 2:30 am. Drinks may or may not have been involved. The only regret I have is I did not have my horse mask at the time. Anything to expand on the already-stunned and horrified expressions on the older couple in the car next to us…
VAH: Jerad, thank you for your service and welcome home.
Do you have a favorite, inspiring quotation?
JWA: I’ll give you two that have struck me of late:
“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.” – Hunter Thompson
“All you have to do is write the one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” – Ernest Hemingway
VAH: Both excellent touchstones for any writer. Now, drawing our conversation to a close, what are three random non-writing related facts about you?
JWE: I love German cars, specifically Audi and older-model BMW’s and Mercedes. I’d love to one day own a late 80’s 560SL.
While I like spring and summer, autumn is my favorite time of year. It feels like I come alive more in the fall than any time of the year.
I have a huge love and respect for the art and craft of standup comedy. It is a jealous craft, and if I could devote more time and energy to it, I’d love to give that a serious go. But… writing is jealous enough.
Jerad W. Alexander – thanks for the insights and words of encouragement and spending a little with with Three by Five.
Jerad W. Alexander is a writer and the associate editor of the upcoming literary journal The Blue Falcon Review, an annual collection of military fiction. His novella, The Life of Ling Ling, was a finalist in the 2012 Serena McDonald Kennedy Prize for Fiction. His essay “On Our Next Stop in Modern War” was a finalist is the Narrative Magazine Spring 2013 Contest. From 1998 to 2006 he served as a U.S. Marine infantryman and combat correspondent, deploying to the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq. Since leaving the U.S. Marines he has earned a BA in English Literature from American Military University and is pursuing a Masters of Professional Studies in Strategic Public Relations at The George Washington University. He currently lives in Atlanta, Ga. His novella, The Life of Ling Ling, A Novella about Iraq, is available on Amazon.com. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
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