One of the frustrating things about discovering new Hubbers is that there is so little information about them! Most have only written a couple of Hubs, many haven’t yet filled out their profile bios, and some even don’t have a profile photo!
Charged with the nobile task of making new Hubbers feel at Home, our special team of Greeters is often frustrated by the enigma new Hubbers present, which is one reason why we’re launching the Discovered by a Greeter series. Over the course of this series we will interview intriguing new Hubbers identified by Greeters to get to know them better.
Our first Hubber to be featured in the series is Sphinxs Sanctum, who was discovered by Haunty. We can only learn so much from the small handful of Hubs she has published so far, but her interview with Haunty below offers a sneak peek of an abundance of fascinating Hubs to come.
Could you tell us a bit more about yourself without blowing your cover as a Sphinx, that is? What are your key features? What do you do and enjoy most about it?
My life is rather mundane, for the moment. I am your average American woman of my mid-thirties, living in the south. I live alone, never having had children and am newly single. I’m a country-girl, at heart, as I’ve lived partly in the country and partly in the city over my years. I greatly prefer the solitude, beauty and open space, that country living provides, to the busy, traffic-heavy, crime-laden city. Most people think I’m just crazy to want to live high atop a mountain, alone, with bears for neighbors, yet it’s my dream. Someday it will come true. In my perfect world, I wouldn’t hope for a private island or to travel the globe, just some beautiful farm-land in the hills where I could keep horses and take-in abandoned and injured creatures to rehome.
I live in a small home with a decent sized backyard affording me the ability to keep my animal companions happy. They are like my children and my best friends wrapped-up together and I simply couldn’t imagine living without them. They are another reason that I dream of having property. I’d like more room for my pack to run! I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember and they’ve been a constant in my life; perhaps because I relate more to, and trust them before humans. Today I work in the animal / medical field and my hope is to return to college to move higher within the field. I was a “slow-starter” toward my career path for I was discouraged by family from following my heart. But now I think, I’m on the right track. Then again, who knows? I may change course again, as I learn something new about myself each and every day.
The answers I leave here, may in-fact, “blow my cover” to anyone that is trying to find me on HubPages; but that’s okay. There is only one person I know who also writes here and was the one who introduced me to HP. I’ve been wondering if they’ll be able to identify me by my writings alone, as I didn’t inform them that I’d joined the party. It’s my secret game.
I’m curious about your Hubber name, Sphinx’s Sanctum, which has an air of such mystery about it. May I ask why you chose it?
I chose the name, “Sphinx’s Sanctum” for I felt an affinity with it. The Sphinx, of Greek mythology, was known as the great riddler. Where I have much to say, I sometimes hide my true meaning asking the reader to interpret the words for themselves. The Sphinx demanded a correct answer to her riddles and if not given, the one questioned was promptly and efficiently, strangled. While I don’t really wish to strangle anyone who doesn’t grasp what I’ve conveyed, I have been frustrated on occasion by those that have not taken the time to understand me.
For readers here who enjoy and know much of Greek Mythology, you’ll remember that the Sphinx, when she finally received a correct answer from Oedipus, threw herself from her perch, to her death. Does that mean if you don’t get the meaning behind what I’m trying to say that I’ll jump to my death? Of course not! Like the Sphinx, I do not wish for anyone to completely understand what I’ve put to paper for then I’d be far too vulnerable. Heart splayed open, waiting for the autopsy.
I am exceptionally protective of my mysteries, and I want each reader to take something away from my words that makes them feel exactly what’s taking place inside of me without revealing it. The Sphinx was said to have the head and breasts of a woman, the wings of an eagle, and the body and feet of a lion. She was a beast; a demon of arcane wisdom. I should only hope to someday possess some degree of wisdom, but like the Sphinx, I am made of many parts; as we all are. Wouldn’t it be a wondrous thing to have the physical power of the lion, the mystery of a woman and the ability to fly?
Writing takes me to a safe, secure, inviolable place; hence the second half of the pseudonym “Sanctum.” Also, what would the Sphinx’s Sanctum be? I believe it would have been a safe haven which contained an atmosphere, a barrier – preventing anyone from ever guessing the correct answers to her riddles. This haven would have protected her life; and now, my soul.
When did you start writing and what inspired you to do so?
This is a question that I fear cannot answer. I have been writing for so many years, off and on, that I could not begin to nail down a year, a specific time or age. If I were to guess, I’d say I have loved stories and the written word in general since I was very little; maybe one and a half or two years old. I was read to every single night, without fail. By the time I was three years old, I could recite every word, from every book, in perfect order. The family thought I was a genius because I would hold the book in front of me, know which page to look at while reciting and turned the pages with perfect timing. I fooled them – Haha! As for the start of my writing, all I can say is that I’ve put words to paper forever. Any time I had trouble communicating anything to family or had an overflow of emotion, the notebook came out. My family members used to make fun of the fact that if I was truly angry at one of them, they knew they’d be getting a letter. I had a turbulent childhood and needed the outlet that writing provided; so, I used it frequently. Other than my letters to family, until HubPages, I had never shared my writing with others; especially not perfect strangers.
Judging by the three poems you already have published on HubPages, you are incredibly talented. What sort of poetry do you enjoy? Can you teach me how to write a poem?
Wow, what a question! Since I’m not anywhere close to a “studied writer,” I’m really not familiar with the many different styles of poetry. Honestly, I must admit that the many types I’ve read, I’m not fond of. My “poetry” is no more than the way my brain translates what’s stirring inside my heart. It is not overly calculated and when I write, it flies forth like a bat out of hell. I don’t know that I have a particular style of writing, but if someone out there does know, I’d appreciate their insight!
What sort of poetry do I enjoy? Well, since I’ve already admitted that I’m completely oblivious to the many styles of poetry, I can only say that the writing I enjoy most is the kind that is honest-to-the-bone and paints me an undeniable picture; one saturated with imagery. I think that’s why I’m troubled by some forms of poetry. You’re offered a stanza full of words that don’t necessarily go-together and then expected to know their collective meaning. Sometimes if you contemplate long enough, you can find something about your life or experiences that the words remind you of; but certainly not always. Often times, they’ve just been a cluster of words; for me anyway. Then the readers’ talk of how deep, moving and beautiful the poem was and I’m left thinking, “Huh, just pull your head from the dictionary long enough to say what you mean.” “To each their own” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Maybe if I were a studied writer, I’d understand and find the beauty behind those “clusters.” But mostly, I think it’s a problem where writers are just trying too hard and forcing the words to come, rather than allowing an organic flow.
On your profile you mention that you have kept a journal off and on for some time. What is your dirtiest secret in the journal that you would never tell anyone?
Well, if I would “never tell, anyone,” what on earth would make me divulge the secret here? Remember – the one you’re asking is exceedingly protective of her mysteries. Sorry to disappoint you, I’m not that easy!
As a fairly new Hubber, could you share your impression of HubPages? Have you set any specific goals?
I view HubPages as a bottomless reservoir, providing sustenance to writers of all distinction; allowing them freedom of expression, creativity, knowledge, growth and camaraderie. Some are there strictly to create and grow as writers while others seem to be at the other end of the spectrum, trying to pump-out Hubs as quickly as possible, to make money. Many fall somewhere in between.
I joined HubPages to allow myself an outlet, where I no longer totally hide. I didn’t come to make money, although I’d love to; and I’m not here to find out if I “have what it takes,” to be a respected writer. My intentions are to do some self-reflection, grow as a human being, and see if others relate to my inner workings. If they don’t relate that’s okay, because I’m greatly interested in the way that others’ minds work and the way in which they experience and see the world.
I have not set any specific goals for my time at HubPages. I’m still so very new and trying to understand the ins and outs of it all. There is much to learn here! Really, I’m just thrilled to have been accepted by the many wonderful people who have welcomed me, taken the time to read my Hubs, and advised me. There’s so much wisdom within the pool of writers that I’d be insane not to follow them and their works.
HubPages might just be a wonderland for the imaginative mind. I’m going to enjoy watching the growth of HP and any additions to their already impressive format!
What would you advise prospective writers just getting started with HubPages to do first?
That would depend upon their motives for taking part in HubPages. In general though, I’d advise any prospective Hubber to read, read, and read some more! Review every piece of information within the Learning Center and if you don’t find your answers there, don’t be afraid to ask the old-timers. Most are more than willing to offer assistance.
When you’re primed to write and publish your first Hub, don’t! It can be very enticing and exciting when you have something to share, but hold yourself back. Edit, spellcheck, review your phrasing, and if you’re in it for money then you had better know a thing or two about creating search-friendly Hubs, for this is how you will draw visitors to them. I did everything backwards where I published my first Hub, knowing nothing about any of these things. I am now back-tracking, trying to read everything I can find related to SEO. Don’t make my mistake!
What was the best or most curious thing that has happened to you and you want to brag about?
This is not a question that I’m finding easy to answer, only because I’m just learning to be open with people; and while what I’m about to write will seem absolutely bonkers to some, every bit I swear is true. But, as far as bragging about it, that’s not really something I do and doesn’t apply here; this is just the first and some of the most curious things that have happened to me. I’m giving you more than one because it’s all of the same realm.
I have always been a fairly open-minded person with an extremely sensitive nature. My Grandmother used to say that she could look at me the wrong way and it would hurt my feelings. My Grandfather says that my heart is so big it’s dangerous; that it gets me in trouble. As a people watcher by both nature and nurture, I’ve learned to read people well and have always been empathetic. Now with that prelude, I’ll go into the meat of my story.
When I was about seven years old, I was asleep on the family room couch which oversees a back porch through sliding glass doors. At approximately 1:00 a.m., something gently rustled me from my sleep. As I slowly opened my eyes and looked through the glass to the porch, I saw a man! I shrank further into the cushions, pulling the blanket tight to me, with eyes wide and wondering; yet not truly scared. This man was tall, thin, dressed in a grey, pin-striped suit and he had a wool fedora atop his head. He had recognizable, rust-colored, suspenders beneath his jacket. This man looked so very familiar to me but odd. He was nearly translucent. Not glowing, not see-through, nearly-translucent, cloudy, opaque. He knew I was watching, then smiled and waved. This gave me comfort and allowed me to realize that I was looking directly at my Great-Grandfather, whom I hadn’t seen in some time as he’d passed-on. I was hurried to get to my feet and run out the doors to him, but my feet became tangled in the blanket. As I was trying to free them, I looked up to make sure he hadn’t gone and then I saw him put his fingers to his lips and motion as if to say, “Shh.” With that he turned away, and disappeared. I wasn’t saddened by his departure for I understood that he had loved me enough to come say good-bye; the chance we didn’t get before he died.
About now, most of you are saying, “She was a young child, asleep and this was clearly, a dream.” Well this was what my family thought too; but I knew better. I always felt different, somehow.
Five years later, my Great-Grandmother did come to me in a dream. She walked up to my bed, appearing with that same near-translucency, then, pushed the hair from my forehead to kiss it. She whispered, “Don’t you forget, your Granny Loves you.” I awoke the next morning with her scent still fresh in the room. She always smelled of roses and baking. I thought it strange to have had the dream as I never had dreamt of her before; but I was quite content for my Great-Grandmother was the purest-hearted, dearest woman I’ve ever known. I pulled myself together and went on to school. Somewhere after lunch-time, my Grandmother (not my Great-Grandma), came to the school. When my name was called over the loud-speaker to come to the office, I turned to my friend and said, “I won’t be here for a while. We’re going up north to bury my Great-Grandma. She died last night.” I went to the front office and as soon as my eyes met my Grandmother’s, I said, “I’m so sorry your momma died. When will be leaving?” This shocked her to her core! I reminded her that before I left for school, I had told her that I dreamt of Granny last night. She began to cry and said that she should have known the terrible news right then. After that, my family began to believe that maybe I saw more than they were able to see.
Are you waiting for me to say that now-famous line, “I See Dead People?” Nah. Two years later, this happened again with the passing of my father, whom I hadn’t seen in seven years; and only three or four times ever. But that time, I was scared by it. He wasn’t standing upright, but instead seemed as though he had roller-skates on his knees, rolling up along-side, the length of my bed from the end. That incident haunts me to this day. It felt – supernatural, otherworldly and eerie.
Lastly, I’ve had many “psychic occurrences” over the years. I have foreseen events to come and found many a lost item. The greatest “find” was a good friend’s rather large diamond engagement ring she was given a few days prior. She called me crying hysterically to say the ring was missing! I hopped in my car and went straight to her apartment to help her look. On the way over, I got an impression that directed me to look near the kitchen, behind something dark. When she opened the door, I walked straight in, directly toward the kitchen and stopped at the end of her counter-top. There was a large, black waste-basket; and behind it, her ring! Her jaw dropped and then she began to jump and scream with joy! She couldn’t believe that I found her ring after she had searched for hours.
This type of “psychic experience” doesn’t happen as often to me as it once did. The mind of a child is far more open than that of an adult. I think I’ve had too many obstructions in my mind and spirit over the last ten years. I do still get “warnings” of sorts that others may simply call instinct, but the two feelings are separate for me. So, call it Heightened Intuition, Psychic Ability, Clairvoyance, Extrasensory Perception or whatever you like, I’ve experienced something of that realm.
Is there anything else that I left out and you would like to share with us?
No. I think I’ve said and revealed more than enough here for now! I’ve never been a woman of few words, when it comes to writing anyhow. I’m my worst editor. I wouldn’t know where to begin to cut this down so I’ll leave that to you, if it’s needed.