20 questions and a selfie: A day in the life of reclusive writer C.G. Ayling

For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with C.G. Ayling, reclusive writer of fantasy.

We know little of Ayling aside from the fantasy world he created, Malmaxa, and a bit of biographical information he posted on his Amazon author page. But from his writing, we gather he is a man of the world, a man of principles, a man of integrity.

“With children African, English and American, myself born and raised in a country of five names, living in another for ten, before finally moving to the USA,” Ayling considers himself “a citizen of the world.”

A man of both tolerance and intolerance, because “In life, there are invariably two sides to every conflict, if not more,” he says, “The most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind.”

You can connect with Ayling on Twitter @cgayling and on his website, cgayling.com.

Our 20 questions with C.G. start now:

1) What is your full name (middle name optional)?

C.G. Ayling

2) What is your professional job title?

Reclusive Writer

3) Describe your organization.

I write for myself, not for an organization. This allows me a freedom of expression unattainable when constrained by an employer.

4) Describe your surroundings right now.

A wrap around desk, two high def flat panels, a stack of books on my left, a stack of notepads to my right. Multiple pens and pencils.

5) What was your first paid writing gig?

I’ve never been paid to write, however I guess my books might count.

6) What was the last thing you wrote?

A blog post about personal and living space that investigates how much we have, use, and think we need.

7) What is the next thing you plan to write?

A blog post about the impact of a mandatory vaccine on my son.

8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

by remembering my dreams, followed by quiet contemplation, along with a large mug of coffee, caffeinated.

9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?

A stack of CDs, about two dozen partially filled notebooks, a rotation of flash drives for backups, four books, and some snail mail.

10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?

I’ve never suffered from writer’s block; there’s far too much inspiration everywhere to worry about things that are more fanciful than real.

11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …

opinions stated as though they are facts, facts that are treated as more truthful than feelings, and leading questions.

12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

The internet, hands down. A physical pen and paper notepads. Two voice recorders. A word processor.

13) First book that comes to mind? Go!

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?

Google, because I won’t tolerate multiple animated entities all vying for my attention.

15) What have you always wanted to write?

The other side of truth, the one so few seem to see.

16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?

Write for yourself, even when you write for someone else.

17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!

Dr. Seuss

18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …

that in my imagination I am free.

19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?

Pen. Because one of the worst things writers can do is erase their inspirations.

20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …

nothing, for there is truth in everything, and truth deserves everyone’s attention.

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February 25, 2015
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