This post is part of a virtual blog tour to which Patricia McGoldrick, an Ontario writer/poet, invited me. I’ve come to know and admire Patricia’s work and her enthusiasm over the past couple of years. She adopted a quote from Joan Miro for her own–“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music” She shares many a poem and photos on her blog at http://pm27.wordpress.com/. Drop by for a peak!
And now on to my questions and answers.
1) What am I working on?
The easy answer would be—a juggling act. At present I am writing the following:
- A sci-fi novella—to be ready for submission by June 30th
- The development stages of a fantasy series—1st book to be started in July
- A chapbook of Flash Fiction pieces on the theme “Careful what you wish for”
- A poetry chapbook—sorting through hundreds of contenders is a bear of a job
- A cookbook that I’d really like to complete and get out this summer. (This is my procrastination project that must find closure soon before I go mad.)
- A redesign of my author’s website
Yep, I’m keeping busy this summer.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
In poetry, I follow a lot of prompts and forms. I’ll try anything once—in writing, that is. I do a lot of free verse, but I’m moving into prose poetry too, now. I found a publisher who only works with prose poetry and found the challenge irresistible. Readers of my work soon notice that I don’t do a lot of rhyme or iambic work. I tend to be more an impromptu/accidental poet in that vein. If I have to think about it, I’m lost.
I tend to work with large themes, anchored in the philosophical frame of mind. I might write a piece of flash fiction around an early historical fact but frame it as a warning from the future about the disastrous aftermath of that event, invention, etc. As with my Flash Fiction Chapbook, the tiny stories twist in the middle to reveal the darker side of wish fulfillment.
I don’t often “go to the dark side,” but when I do, it stays with me for just a little while until it drains away and then sunshine and happier writing can return. I figure using the mood and getting it out is better than holding it in and letting it create a deeper pool.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I don’t know that I can answer that. I get inspiration from anything/everything. Sometimes it takes only a word from someone else and it sparks an entire scene in my mind. Sometimes it’s as simple as a memory from childhood—a person’s face or circumstance, for instance—which triggers a cascade of what-ifs.
Writing about things that hold no interest for me is nigh-on to impossible. I can’t write about things that bore me. In the end, I write because I can’t stop myself. I discovered Tennyson when I was ten. All bets were off after that.
4) How does my writing process work?
When an idea whizzes through my mind, it does a ricochet act until it’s gathered enough auxiliary details to fix itself into memory. That’s when I write it down in a notebook or .doc file of story ideas. (I’ve learned that distraction is my memory’s nemesis.)
Many times the poem or story writes itself, beginning to end, with little help from my conscious mind. I don’t know precisely how it works when it does that. It’s as if the whole piece was there, waiting for release, and my fingers just happened to be available for use.
When writing doesn’t come easy, more thoughtful and deliberate word work results—at least for me. I’m a better poet for the experience.
My fiction usually goes through my fabulous face-to-face critique group. We meet each Friday to go over everyone’s submission for review. I encourage every writer to join a critique group, in person or online. They’re well worth the time and effort. The learning potential is enormous.
I give most pieces time and distance between revision and final edit to ensure perspective. My articles are often done on a short deadline. I do initial quick and dirty writing, revise at least twice, and the editor who receives it has choice of final edit, as usual. It works well for me that way. It reduces the overthinking factor that could waylay the original article idea.
Brainstorming, mind-mapping, and careful editing are my best tools. Having honest critiques on rough drafts saves months of work. Otherwise, I allow the world around me to flash ideas in my face like neon signs.
Having said all that, I’d like again to thank Patricia McGoldrick for asking me to participate in this blog tour. It’s been fun.
Writer/poet Connie Peters will follow me on this blog tour. She’s one of those truly unique writers who don’t have an active blog. I do believe I’ll host her here and consider it an interview. In the meantime, I’ll give you a peek at her face so you can get a feel for this marvelous lady. You can find her work at Creative Bloomings and other poetry sites as well as many print venues.
I’ll be back in a day or so with more Haiga and another pep talk for those reluctant verse magicians out there. Until then, happy writing.
And don’t forget to stop in at the other blog venues on the tour, like: