A California kid, my heart still remains in Santa Barbara where we lived for 40 years. Some years back, after both my wife and I retired, we came up to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our son’s family (2 granddaughters). Our first home, though beautiful, was on a mountainside deep in the forest, so, needless to say, it didn’t take long for us to start missing the salt air. We began looking around for something more “us,” happening upon a tiny welcoming island in the Puget Sound that we now call home.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
We’re still close to our son’s family, but here we can walk to the beach, kayak in the bay, take a boat out into the Passage, or sit on the deck soaking in the view of the bay and the neighboring island. There are nearby hiking trails and wonderful parks, and the folks here couldn’t be friendlier and most are on “island time.”
What turns you on creatively?
A wide range of things. Reading is something that often gets me going, as I am always in awe of good writing or a good story, and that challenges me to come up with something new. Music, conversations, and just life, in general, can present things that offer up the tidbits to a story or character, and next thing you know you have a couple of lines down on the page, wondering where they are going to take you.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
Wow, several right up there competing for the top spot. Positive, perseverance, ocean, Santa Barbara – oh, wait, that’s two words – Hawaii, peace. Mostly, the word, when associated with its being, that makes me feel the best is SUN. The sun shining down is a heavenly thing, nothing like its warmth to make you all toasty inside and out. It can turn around a downright lowly day and put a little dance in your step.
Only love and the sun can truly warm the soul…
What is your pet peeve?
A couple really (okay, maybe more, but these two top the list). Negativity and arrogance (particularly in the form of greed). The headlines today, and so much in the fiction world, emphasize the negative. Politics, religion, social interactions, economics, the list goes on. Unless there’s some downer side to it, you’re not going to see it on the news. (Or often get your story published.) And, it’s not because the media forces it down our throats, but rather it’s because that’s what people click on. What they want to see. And that’s what drives the ads (aka, second peeve – greed). So guess what they’re going to go with! Maybe my other pet peeve (okay, frustration) is not knowing what can be done for either problem.
What defines Jim Bartlett?
Humor, perseverance, trying to stay laid back (as much as possible), and maybe holding on to a bit of the child we all let go too soon in life to get on with all this adulting nonsense. My opinion, having been one of those adult things for way too long now, is that it’s pretty much overrated and smiles and music and the sun and the sea and (most importantly) being with the someone you love, keep that playfulness in your soul, and thus make the days, no matter what may come along (and, believe me, it will) all the more bearable. And dogs. The smile in their eyes is worth the time we spend here on Earth.
After a long career of tinkering in telecommunications, Jim Bartlett switched to tinkering with words, both, of course, requiring a stretch of the imagination. He has since been fortunate to have a number of stories, ranging from flash to novella, featured in Fiction on the Web, CrimeSpree Magazine, Short-Story.me, Ontologica, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Fairlight Books and a number of other wonderful publications. Most recently one of his stories was featured in the print anthology, The Best of Fiction on the Web, 1996 – 2017. While mentally he strolls along a warm California beach with his wife and golden retriever (shhh, she doesn’t know she’s a dog), physically they reside on a special little island in the Pacific Northwest.