What was the first story you remember writing about?
I wrote poems when I was a kid. They were rhyming deals about people killing and telephone billing or looking up into the sky as people laughed their bellies off or ate peanut butter and bologna sandwiches. I must have been spinning myself into ecstasy. It was the only altered state I had found at age six. I got this exquisite old desk from my mom at a rummage sale and there was rich beauty in opening the top and putting paper and pencils in there, writing on top of etched initials and feeling dried up gum underneath. Mom asked if I was writing fiction. I was writing a novel about a girl who runs away. I believe it was CNF (creative non-fiction), even though I only got a few blocks from the house before sister dragged me back for dinner, not because she was worried about me, but because the discord might have created a scene without dessert.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My thoughts on that subject were probably lame. Now, my brother told his kindergarten teacher that he wanted to be an herpetologist. She had to look it up and then called my parents. I LOVE that! My family is amazing.
Do you think writing is an intuitive or taught skill, or both? Why?
I was never excited about school. I have to say that I learned much more sitting in the back of a library reading whatever the hell I wanted to read than following anyone’s curriculum. Some people are really drawn to reading and I believe that is what it’s all about. So the more you read, the more it penetrates the pores and quite possibly the brain and then maybe you decide to write because it is interesting to write what goes on inside a person’s head and the incredible chit-chat that spews out of the mouths.
What was your least favorite class at any point in your education? Why?
I do remember at one point I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist, until I took a class from this jackass who made it so incredibly boring and tedious that I never signed up for another class. Actually, he was probably brilliant and knew that we were all thinking Raiders of the Lost Ark and to dissuade us from our ridiculous fantasies, spent the entire class measuring out squares of ground footage and how to set up sticks and mark off terrain before digging.
Are you reading anything right now?
Oh, yes! Just started reading Will You Be My Mother by Jennifer Haupt, cutting teeth by Julia Fierro, Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, and a forthcoming novel by Timothy Gager. I just finished some beauties: Could You Be With Her Now by Jen Michalski, Out of Dublin, by Ethel Rohan, Don’t Tease the Elephants by Jen Knox, Message From a Blue Jay by Faye Rapoport DesPres, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and Inside Madeline by Paula Bomer. All exceptional and yes, yes, read them!
Are you writing anything right now?
I have pulled out a novel that sat in a box for a few years even after one of my cats pissed on it. That should have been an indicator to burn it, but no, I am attempting at a snail’s pace to rework it. I’m also writing some poetry and flash because because because….it’s a love thing.