Tonight I am delighted to be joined for my Friday Night Drinks session by poet… Jim Miller.
Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening, Jim. First things first, what are you drinking?
Jameson with a Dr Pepper back.
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
We’d be downtown Nashville catching some of the local music at the Exit/Inn, one of my favourite venues down there. Awesome vibes, great music and great people.
Fabulous choice, I love Nashville. Looking forward to the day I can go back. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
It depends, everything in general, or just the writing and personal sides of the coin? At the moment I have 15 different business ventures and/or projects that I’m financially and deep time invested in. Writing-wise though I’m finishing up a few extra manuscripts I somehow managed to pour out of my soul so far this year beyond the one I promised myself I would create. I got bored, laughing, really bored, so I continued to add more and more to my plate like a selfish beast until it was over-pouring and I was staring at myself in the mirror’s reflection thinking to myself what the hell were you thinking, laughing, I tend to do everything in life the most difficult manner possible. I love the challenge. I’m in the midst of the second issue of my literary journal Belladonna Literary Arts Magazine, we’re hoping to move from just digital to print and several other ambitious goals by the years end. I’m in the building and buying stages of a recording studio to begin using some of my degrees for something and making high quality audio books at a better price than I found while shopping around during my last two books. I’ve also been working on finding the missing writers for a chapbook series that we plan to launch in January.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment to date has been Ghost in the Reflection. It was the first writing I had done in over twenty years and it came out and found itself on paper so naturally that I knew it was right. Unfortunately, I pushed it out too soon and didn’t take advantage of that time in between to try to get the individual pieces out and published elsewhere which never hurts to make sales down the road with, I accept those learning errors and can only hope to not repeat the mistakes. My biggest challenge hands down is to get read and outsell my ambition, like so many other writers. I struggle to find my target audience and really struggle to find anyone whom I write similar enough to.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
To simply write my words and they be read and remembered by a few. I’ve no super goals or expectations as a writer especially as one joining in the charade so late into their venture. A few more individual pieces published maybe another collection or two. What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
I have several manuscripts that I am currently working on and a few business projects, but my favourite would be my next full-length manuscript, A Lesser Man.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
Hands down my favourite spot of all my travels has been Sedona, Arizona. There is a metaphysical pull/gravitation to the place that draws one there and makes them not want to leave. Besides the local stories, it’s just a marvellous sight for the eyes. Top of my bucket list is to somehow get across this giant ocean and see Great Britain and Ireland where the bulk of my heritage is rooted.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
I have an intelligent and mature side, seems most everyone pretty much assumes I’m a nonstop party beast.
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
This is a difficult one, only one? If I only have one choice, then I am going to recommend On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream. A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac’s exhilarating novel swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and autobiographical passion. One of the most influential and important novels of the 20th century, On the Road is the book that launched the Beat Generation and remains the bible of that literary movement.
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
Only failsafe plan that seems to work is to just not stop til you fall out but if I do and get starting to feel like death, then hair of the dog is the best prescription, alcohol.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
Lost in the woods, backpacking some trail or kayak down a cool stream with my notebook and pen. Maybe even my acoustic guitar.
That sounds wonderful. Jim, thanks so much for joining me on the blog, it’s been a fascinating evening.
Jim’s latest book, a chapbook called Bottom Feeder will be released on Friday, November 13 and is available for pre-order here. Ghost in the Reflection-Letters to Erin is available and anyone who purchases Ghost and leaves a verifiable review can have a free e-book copy of Bottom Feeder. Verify by following Jim somewhere and emailing or instant message the link to the review and a pic of the review.
Despair, paranoia, defeat, depression, anxiety. These describe the descent to the bottom one endures in their fall. This short collection of poetry depicts that fall and realization and the hopelessness that swallows one leaving them almost paralized. Its a sink or swim kind of world with no mercy. This is an unique portrait painted in the words of experience.
James (Jim) Miller was born in the late 1970s in a rural northern Indiana farm community. He grew up between Indiana, Florida and a short stint in the New York area. He attended Vincennes University (Indiana) where he majored in English-Creative Writing, Journalism and Music-Audio Recording. During his time as a student he held an editor position for 4 semesters at the university newspaper, The Trailblazer.
James is a lifelong writer, a lover of new experiences, people, music and travel. After college, he took a few years to find himself traveling the states penniless with a notebook scribbling the images in words that filled his eyes and with working around in the various music scenes around the country. Currently he is self employed and running his family’s garage door installation business and a small indie publishing press that publishes chapbooks and magazines. A couple earlier poems of his were published in The Tecumseh Review (Vincennes University) in 2000 as well as various anthologies between 1997 and 2000, also he has released two full legnth collections, A Footnote for Tomorrow (2019) and Ghost in the Reflection-Letters to Erin (2020).