It is my honor to introduce you to Justin Price otherwise known as PDX, a talented and gifted young man. I met Justin on Hubpages. There was one thing that stood out to me about Justin, besides his wonderful work, was his positive energy. His creativity is so diverse and takes him in so many directions. He has a way of drawing people to him. Justin was born in August of 1980 in Portland, Oregon and currently lives in a Portland Suburb (Hillsboro) with his wife and two dogs.
Justin admits to being a theologically liberal lover of Jesus, a musician, a writer, a thinker, a cook, and a lover. He is working on his first novel and a book of poetry. His hobbies include literature, music, history, theology, politics, food, beer, cooking, karaoke, movies, and animals.
Justin is currently an honors student, majoring in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. He also works as a freelance writer, editor, and as a tutor for the guitar and bass. When he graduates, with the goal of getting his PhD, he would like to continue his career as a freelance writer. Justin dreams big, which make him the positive person he is and would love to be a part time professor, novelist, and professional poet.
I took the time to ask Justin a few questions so that he could tell us about himself in his own words.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
This is always a hard question to answer. If you had asked me ten years ago where I wanted to be, if I was there now, I would not be happy now. Ten years ago, I wanted to be a rock star. Like my dad. Now, I am burned out on music. Therefore, in ten years, I would like to be happy in ten years. I would like to have a cool house in the city with tons of dogs. I’d like to have my PhD in English and be teaching part time at a college or university and be a successful poet and novelist (success doesn’t mean money to me, but rather, recognition and fulfillment, though it would be nice to win a writing grant.) I would like to be growing more in love with my wife and my Lord. I would like to be content. I would like to still have both my parents (and my step mom), my grandparents, all my siblings and my in-laws. I would like to be healthy in all ways. I would like you to check in with me again in ten years.
What is your favorite type of things to write about?
They say write what you know so, at least when it comes to poetry, I write a lot from memory or from what I observe. I also have strong interests in film, literature and music and I tend to have many of these elements in my work. I have been working on a novel for four years about a professional poker player. I also do not like sappy or sentimental so, you will not see any Danielle Steele or Stephanie Meyer tripe in my work.
Who is your favorite author?
I do not know if I could pick one, so, I will give you my favorites: Stephen King, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Salinger and Michael Lewis. As far as poets, I really do not like ole Bill Shakespeare at all. I do adore Ezra Pound, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, and my friend, slam poet, Peter Johnson.
How did your upbringing reflect who you are today?
I had an interesting upbringing. My dad was a professional speaker and musician who travelled a lot. I spent most of my summers on the road and by the time I was 16, I had been to every state except Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska along with parts of Mexico and Canada. When my dad was not on the road, he was a worship pastor in our local church, a real estate agent and investor and a singing waiter at a local German Restaurant. He is the reason I wanted to be a rock star. He made a living and a decent name for himself doing what he loved and I never saw him get up every day and go to an office. I have never wanted that. I have always wanted to embrace my creativity and forge that into a living. My parents always encouraged me to embrace my creativity. I write a lot about my parents, and specifically my dad, in my poetry. I am so much like my mom and dad in many ways. I see traits, good and bad, that they have passed down to me.
If you had a hero, who would it be?
I actually have three heroes. My dad is my hero, for one. I look just like him and I have always admired how hard he works, how kind and empathetic he is, and how he always followed his dreams but was also imminently practical. I have gotten those traits from him that I admire.
My mom is another one. We are both very stubborn and hardheaded and often do not get a long, but, after my parents divorced when I was 18, she was unskilled and had to put food on the table to supplement alimony and child support. She has done it, she excels in her work, and she has always been very skilled at stretching a dollar living on a budget. I picked that up from her and it is something that has proven helpful in my own life where, as anyone who is a writer knows, the money can be meager and very inconsistent.
The last person is my Uncle Dale. He passed away from lung cancer April 16th 2011 and he was an inspiration. He ran a Christian camp and even through his illness, he never let us feel sorry for him and was always interested in us and had his eyes on Christ. My faith is not that strong anymore, but when I read his words (I reviewed his book, Two Copper Coins, recently and am reading his second one, Embracing the Refiner’s Fire, as we speak) or remember conversations I’ve had with him, it just encourages me to grow as a person, as a husband and as a spiritual being. I miss him a lot and think about him often. I wrote a poem about his passing called Free Spirit.
What are your dog’s names?
My dogs are named Baby and Bella. Baby is a 12 and a half-year-old chow chow mix and I adopted her from the human society when she was one. She actually chose me, and maybe I will write about that someday. I wrote a poem about her called “Burial and Retrieval.” My wife has Bella. She’s a labra doodle and she will be three on April 5th. I also wrote a poem about her, the creatively titled, “Bella.” We are a blended family. I wrote about my experiences as a dog parent in my poem “Of Dogs.”
Tell us about the love of your life, your wife.
I wrote the story of how Andrea and I met on my hub page, a story called One Tremendous Year. I do not want to repeat what I wrote there but I will say that Andrea is the most beautiful, kind, supportive, loving, and hard working woman I know. She works a full time job at an engineering firm, often 10 or more hours a day, and she is supportive of my writing. She believes in it and she works and lets me go to school and take care of the house and the dogs. I do most of the cooking and I love having her come home to a nice hot meal prepared with love. She works and I get to write and, when I get discouraged about the lack of income I bring in, she just encourages me that I provide for the family in many ways and that she believes in my writing and my future. It is nice to have someone fully support and understand you. She even understands that, as a writer, when the inspiration strikes, whether that is at 2 am or 8 pm, you have to write. It cannot be easy to live with an eccentric writer; yet, she fills me with so much love and support. I have never felt more loved.
What is your favorite song
I cannot answer this question with any certainty. I listen to so much music and my tastes and collection are so diverse. I will say, at the moment, I am on a 70’s kick. Lots of Queen, Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder, early Elton, and Billy Joel. I will pop those guys in and then the next hour I will be grooving to Akon or David Guetta or banging my head to some heavy stuff, like the Chariot or Mortification and then relaxing to some Johnny Cash or Frank Sinatra. If you held my feet to the fire, at the moment, my favorite song is Somebody to Love, by Queen.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
To make enough money as a writer to be able to have a nice home and all my basic needs cared for. I am not greedy, and I do not like stuffy rich people stuff, but I would love a nice big house overlooking the city. Also, if my dogs did not have to die someday, that would be great. I hate outliving them.
What are some of your favorite books?
My favorite book of all time is Catcher in the Rye. I also recently read a book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas recently that I adored and, the Bible is always hanging around.
What are a few things that get on your last nerve?
Oh, you do not want to go down this road! So many things and most of them involve my time being disrespected. People who drive too slow, people who walk too slow, people who cross the cross walk too slow (note, I do give grace to the elderly. It’s the able bodied or those who are oblivious to anyone but themselves that bother me), people who use the cellphone in line at the grocery store or use too many coupons, crying babies in stores, shallowness, people who aren’t genuine, people who are mean, especially to animals or the elderly. People who think they are better than others are. People who criticize writing anonymously or unconstructively. In my poetry class last term, there was a girl who say nothing in class but when she returned your poem that she’d critiqued, it always had insulting comments that, perhaps could have been clarified or, at least confronted, had she spoken up. That kind of stuff really makes me mad and it helps no one. I am also greatly annoyed by Madonna, Jay Leno., nu metal, and Shia Lebouf.
What makes you happy?
My wife, my dogs, good food, writing something that I think is good (which is not often), good music, and the beach. My wife’s laugh. Being recognized for my writing, whether that is through comments, relationships, or paychecks. All three would be nice…
What makes you sad?
Outliving my dogs makes me sadder than anything else, even more than losing loved ones. I do not have or want kids so; my dogs are my world and losing them sucks. I am also sad if I am rude or mean to someone else. It really wounds my spirit and I usually cannot eat or sleep until I apologize for it or, if apology is not possible, write or journal about it, and pray.
How would you change the world?
Well, when I do more social writing, I tend to cover topics on the elderly, animal welfare and blood diamonds. I could give the standard Christian answer and say “winning souls for Christ” but that is not my job. My job is to be a good person and good example and let people see my lifestyle. People who take advantage or abuse animals and the elderly make me very sad and I have no respect for those behaviors. I also do not buy diamonds and want to bring attention to the corrupt diamond trade. I have written a couple of poems (I have published one, Nice Rock) and some reviews on books and films covering the topic. Every once in a while, when I write an article exposing one of these three things, I will get a response like, “I was not aware of this.” Thanks for bringing this to my attention.” And that makes me happy. It makes me feel like my writing has the power to do more than entertain. Though, entertainment value itself has an intrinsic value.
Justins poem, ‘Hot Pink Lipstick’ will be featured in the March 2012 edition of efiction magazine.
Justin has several quotes that he enjoys!
He has made us competent as ministers of as new covenant- not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life- 2 Corinthians 3:6
For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.-Colossians 3:3
Do or do not there is no try- Yoda
Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks- Forrest Gump
Greater is He who is in me then he who is in the world- the Apostle Paul
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I am not – Kurt Cobain
Christianity conceals within itself a germ hostile to the church – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
******Please enjoy some of Justin’s work******
Empty Capillaries Fail
You were there from birth,
Passed down from father to son,
Waltzing through my veins. My muse.
We embraced, perfectly on pitch,
A song, and then I found
And I left you.
Still I see you
Tattooed on my wrists. Thick
Black lines, a G
And an F. Permanent,
My former muse, over my veins,
Under my skin,
A perpetual reminder.
I stare at you, remembering.
To create with you. After all,
You are in still in my blood,
But you’ve left my heart.
Empty capillaries flail
Like strings waiting to be plucked,
Longing to be played once again,
But I’ve forgotten the tune.
All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price Jan 3rd, 2012.
You prop yourself up
Higher and higher and higher
And I stand below
Watching you scowl when I don’t bow
From the apex of your hubris, you cast your stones
Don’t do this
Don’t do that
I don’t you say
You follow the laws like a remedy
You cast your stones and breathe your praises
Your love letter
You seem to have forgotten you’re human still
You’re pushing me down lower and lower and lower
You’re looking down
The weight of your halo
Wounding you fatal
From the cushiness of your throne you cast your stones
All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price 2011.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this creative young man who has such a zest for life. Remember that name Justin Price…I think we are sure to see it time and again. Thank you Justin for allowing me to make you shine!