Guest Blog with Author Dave Canty
I would like to introduce my friend and fellow author, Dave Canty. Now here's a guy who can write short stories and they're quite funny, too. Dave is a self-published author and to date he has pubished 5 books of short stories and his kind of poetry. So without further ado, here's Dave.
My Creative Journey
I am relatively new to the writing world, at least in the published sense. Two years ago a dear friend of mine passed away and that was the catalyst or the proverbial kick in the writing butt that pushed me forward. After years of hiding my writing away, I decided on the self-publishing route with the help of an online resource a friend of mine had utilized and recommended. I realize that this approach may not sit well with the purists out there but I’m not here to argue that. My point being, I finally set my words free thus setting in motion or better put, re-setting in motion my creative and true self. For years prior to my friend’s passing I kept daily journals and wrote scores of short stories but none of that ever saw the light of day despite my lifelong passion for writing. As a young boy I loved to write stories and draw pictures but suddenly one day without warning I woke up and was a twenty-four year old police officer. A grown man with a grown up career and though I was and will always be the class clown, I just didn’t feel that my demented brand of short story humour would go over well with certain elements within my work environment and members of the public alike so I went into a sort of writing witness protection program. Along the way, I have had people say to me “…and you’re a cop?” after reading something of mine and it has been those comments that always held me back. My humour is bizarre and off the wall but harmless just the same. The more bizarre I can make a story the better. I have seen a good deal of bizarre things through the course of my career and I can tell you, truth is stranger than fiction so I don’t know what I was really worried about! The ironic thing is that some of the funniest people I have ever met are police officers. Extremely funny human beings they are! In hindsight I really feel that it was more me and not so much my career that held me back as a writer. Any writer, I don’t care how old or how experienced and established they might be will at some point, doubt their confidence and writing ability. That was true for me as well and the fact that I was in the position I was, I withdrew even further. For years I always told myself that in my retirement I could write those books and not worry about how I would be perceived by the public or my colleagues but that was all nonsense. I started with one little short story book and I haven’t looked back since! It is amazing how my life changed the minute I set my words free!
So, where am I going with this?
When I was asked to be a guest writer on this blog (thank you Sandra!), I immediately thought that I would write about writing and my writing journey but as I started clumsily hitting my keyboard I changed my tune a bit. Writing is just a part of my forty-nine year and counting creative journey. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and believe me, as a twenty-five year police officer, I have had to be creative in some of the oddest and most perilous situations but again, this isn’t about my police career. It’s about allowing yourself to be creative regardless of who you are and what you do! It is my belief that we all possess a creative flair but that flair can be illustrated in so many different and wonderful ways. In my case writing is my creative outlet. I don’t claim to be the next anything and though I look for success as a writer, I do believe that I already have achieved success simply because I am allowing myself to be openly and passionately creative. The days of hiding my creative works away in a basement filing cabinet are over! So, in regards to my creative journey, it really all began with Elvis Presley sometime in 1971…
I was a boy of five in 1971 and it was around that time when it dawned on me that there was something extremely special and gratifying about being a creative human being. Of course at that age I didn’t put it in that context. It was more of a feeling than a word. I had quite the vivid imagination as a child and did not know the meaning of the word shy nor was I concerned with opinions about my said creativity. First of all, I had an imaginary friend named Mackie Joe who came to me in 1968 or so I have been told which was around the same time I came into possession of my teddy bear Ricky. Between the three of us we had such a fun time together. I was never bored and even now, I don’t know the meaning of the word boredom. No, I don’t hang out with Ricky anymore (I still have him though) nor do I talk to Mackie Joe either (at least not out loud) but as a creative soul, I’m always in a creative mode and mood. All around me I see stories just begging to be written. There is simply no time or space in my brain to be bored! Anyway, I think I was a five year old when my creative soul really started to flourish and this is where Elvis came into the picture. Around that age, I began giving Elvis concerts from my front step and the curious neighbourhood kids would gather around in front of me. They would often laugh at me but for all the right reasons though. First of all, I wasn’t a bad singer and I had a certain stage presence. Ask anyone who has ever gone to a wedding or a social function with me but I digress! Anyway, it was during this period of my young life when I recognized that I was creative and that I really loved being in that head space. I would take up singing lessons a few years later and I absolutely loved to get on stage. I still do as I just mentioned! As an eight-year old, I would be asked what I was going to sing at this recital or that recital and my response was always the same. Whatever was on the program! I could have been asked to sing the alphabet backwards in the key of C and that would have suited me just fine because I was in my creative glory but back to Elvis. My neighbourhood audience laughed and sang along with me and at first you might think that the laughter was mean spirited but with every pelvic shake and hand movement, I got laughs and yes, applause! I’d like to thank Elvis for helping me unearth my creative soul that made others laugh and dance and boy, it felt good! I admit freely that I loved the attention but even today as I hear the laughter as a result of anything I have done, said or written I am truly thankful that my creativity is the cause for even a glint of positivity in this world. It feels good to be liked and applauded but it feels even better to make others feel better simply out of one’s creativity. I am truly thankful that I have the capacity to create and to share my creativity.
I am in the early stages of my next life chapter which makes for a great pun but in all serious (don’t you hate it when people say that?) I look to my future with unparalleled excitement and enthusiasm about those things I am about to create and share with the world. I can’t emphasize it enough how important and necessary it is for those of us who possess that creative pull to give life to it! I read somewhere once that in life when you are faced with easy decisions or hard decisions, they are actually the opposite of what you think they are. On the surface it is so easy NOT to do something which actually over time, is really an extremely hard thing to do and it will grate on your soul to the point of physical discomfort. I chose not to give my writing passion its true due for decades because it was “easy” not to and it ate away at my soul. In my case, it took the passing of the best friend I have ever had to pursue my passion when in reality it didn’t have to be that way. Yes, sharing your creative soul can be “hard” but I’m reminded of that old adage, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I have spent hours upon hours at my keyboard grinding out my stories but not once did I ever have the feeling that it was hard. Sure, there were and are those moments when the words don’t come but when they do, it’s an unbelievable feeling! On a creative soul level, doing the “hard” thing is not hard at all, at least not to me. I don’t care if I ever sell one more book but I will tell you this, I will keep writing them! Set your creative and true self free! In my case, the reality of being a writer as opposed to the romantic notion of being one is beyond all comparison. Feed your creative soul!
My creative journey continues…
You can find Dave at: www.facebook.com/dacanty
books: Pipe Dreams - a short story collection
Poetry is Dum
The Nothingness of Everything...more of Dave's shorts. What?
Tales from the Park - short story picnic
More Dum Poetry
Dave's books can be found on Amazon,