Joseph Grammer is a writer and editor who lives in Alexandria, VA. He currently serves as a Curriculum and Technical Report Writer for the Suicide CPR Initiative and Managing Editor for NOVADog Magazine, Northern Virginia’s main canine publication. He also works in a freelance capacity with different clients, helping them refine message strategies, edit articles, and other linguistic business like that.
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Read Interviews with Joe
On reaching the reader:
To me, directly attempting to teach the reader is heavy-handed. It’s too close to moralizing, and I think one of my criticisms about myself is that I unconsciously do this from time to time. At best, I hope to show readers a glimmer of what is possible through the lens of another person—often someone who appears different from them.
→ Read the rest on Strand’s Simply Tips
On forming characters:
I tried to take characters who were similar to me and characters who were very different from me and force them to interact. My opinion is that diversity breeds peace and love, but there is almost always an initial friction or awkwardness when individuals of different mindsets, worldviews, or backgrounds come into contact with one another.
→ Read the rest on Missy Writes
Why I Write
I write to push myself to connect. It’s not an easy business for me—not in a whining, self-pity way, but realistically. My hardware has issues with it. I also write to give others a worthy sense of participation with something that breathes and moves in their head. It’s fun to imagine and follow a plot, and my goal is to give you that experience.
The stories I make can seem weird, or disturbing. I’d like to qualify those perceptions by saying I strive for satisfaction and inner peace on a daily basis. I cook food with real nutrients, talk to random people on the subway, identify what I’m feeling and why. When my brain says, “Do this, it’ll make you happy,” I ask it questions.
My basic purpose in breathing and moving is to forge healthy relationships, and to help others do so, too. That said, some of the things I write deal with unhealthy aspects of connecting and being alive. I dislike bland optimism, and I enjoy a full portrait of the human crapshoot.
Is this a lame way of justifying why I might offend someone? Hopefully not. But to write is to divide, in many ways, and it can only be helped to some extent. I ask you to remember that, at heart, I’m coming from a goal of peace and other passé notions from Earth’s major religions.
The author is indebted to Anna Tulchinskaya, for her artistic skills, devotion, and patient mind; his family, for their unconditional support; and to his friends, who accept his odd ways and only occasionally heckle him.