Moira's Mountain, fiction, Issue 25, December 1, 2013
Birthdate? February 14, 1941
When did you start writing? In college in the sixties, first dark short stories and then poetry.
What themes do you like to write about? Most of my writing reflects the "wounded male" experience. I try to ask my protagonists questions that allow for some eventual healing and connection or at least a hope for these.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Besides Ursula LeGuinn and the canon of fantasy writers, I find greater and greater value in several of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, especially "The Juniper Tree," "The Devil with Three Golden Hairs," "The Water of Life," "Bearskin," "The Two Travelers," and "Iron Hans."
Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I am attracted to unembellished "folk wisdom." Set down in the Brothers Grimm collections, these tales might seem flat. But as an oral storyteller I keep finding bits of my own experience connecting to these narratives and so I have been working through my own versions of these stories that I learn to tell--and so internalize. As a result, the so-called "magic" in these tales is grounded in a long-standing folk wisdom that connects me to my life.
For the last twelve years I have been learning and growing in a men's group that explores story, myth and ritual on a path toward inner work. These men like my stories that come dark but with a measure of insight.
Before that I worked nights in a bakery--another kind of darkness and heat. I kept rewriting a novel about a Native American, with a working title of Broken Charlie. I have heard that the primary audience of a writer is the writer. In this way I learned a lot from old Charlie. And so these days I practice the sweat lodge tradition--I who was raised a good Catholic altar boy! Who could have guessed?
I have just completed a fantasy novel with a Brothers Grimm tale at the heart of it. And so my own work for personal change continues.