Creative

Writing

About

I began telling stories to myself at a very young age, and as I grew into a reader then a writer I knew story telling would be a life long endeavor for me. Mostly I have concentrated on the comfortable serving of short stories, though sometimes I dabble in longer and shorter forms as well. I achieved my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2010 with a concentration in Fiction, and I still write and dream and create all these years later, with most of my efforts focused on a novel.

Publications

"Cecelia" flash fiction piece in Hello Horror July 2017

"Karook the Sword Armed" in Violet Windows July 2016

Guest blogger at Hack Library School March 2016

Publication in Haunt World Magazine for informative article about creating faux-brick walls 2014

Publication with Belle Journal for short story “God Bless Bon Bons” Feb 2013

Short story “Dead Hook” with Sibling Rivalry Press as a pay per copy Digital Single Oct 2012

Short story “Five Pixels” in SLAB Literary Magazine 2012

Photograph in Ellipsis 2009

Critical essay on Little Women in The Reader’s Response 2003

Writing Looking for Home

"A Stone Searching for Heat"

Gaelle refused to believe she had run out of Heat Shield condoms. She tossed aside a myriad of other brightly colored foil packets: Radioactive Block in green, Cold Shield in blue, Extra Strength in purple, Stretch Guard in yellow. Where was the little red packet?

"Copper Cabin"

...It was dark by the time he finally woke up from his slumber and his head pounded very badly. His hand had slipped into the water and he yanked it out quickly, wiping off the vile water on his flannel shirt. All his clothing was soaked through from rainwater and apparently the boat had run up on the mucky shore. He sat up and took a look around, suddenly realizing no one even knew where he was...

"Closet Kinky"

...Most of the other people around him drooled on their paperback copies or busied themselves turning off cellphones and digging through purses. Mark sat up straight and tall, his sandy hair fluffing against the cheap upholstery. He watched the flight attendants intently. An everyday routine for Vivian the flight attendant, a personal thrill for Mark...

"Bend Down to Hear What I Say"

Superman isn’t my favorite superhero, even though Mom thinks so. My favorite superhero is Mighty Mouse. I don’t like Superman or Batman or Spiderman because they’re bigger than me, and I don’t like guys bigger than me. I really don’t like the Hulk. Mighty Mouse is my favorite Superhero. Could I get a Mighty Mouse blanket for Christmas here?

I’m glad the monster from my closet isn’t here. I must have killed him...

"Filling Gaps"

...I miss the tattoos though. Scratch of needle over skin, permanently announcing to the world my loves, my hates. Putting on the outside what I feel and believe on the inside. I don’t regret any of my tattoos, even if I don’t believe in what they represent now, because I did when I got them. I can’t throw away my history—no one can—so I stamp it on my skin to remind me of where I’ve come from...

"Lilabel"

Marybel sat at the vanity station and continued adding layers of foundation. Another five minutes remained before show time. She held the beige bottle in her right hand and dumped the liquid into her left. The thick cover up rolled down her fingers. She then swished it between her hands and massaged it into the skin of her face. Her fingers rubbed and rubbed until her skin burned from the friction...

"To Raise a House"

- This is the house. This is the house I built. I built this house sturdy. This house is sturdy. This house is built, and it is sturdy. This is the house I built, and it is sturdy. It is sturdy because it is built by me with love. This is the house. This is the house I built. -

"Yiff"

...She pulled her earbuds out swiftly and looked at his face closely. “You okay?” she asked.

He felt clammy and light headed. He didn’t know what was happening. He wanted to bite her ankles, pull her hair, sniff her breasts. He wanted her long nails to scrape down his back, and her fisted hands to beat on his chest. Her sharp teeth digging holes in his shoulder. In his mind he heard cries and shouts—good ones...

"Barbie Cave"

...Now that they were serious, she must allow him into her home at some point. But she couldn’t stand the thought of Walter leaving her, and surely what was in her house, spread throughout all the rooms, covering every shelf and cranny, would drive him away...

"Secrets Inside the Shoebox"

...She sighed and smacked the mirror; the smooth glass felt icy under her hand. She bent to under the sink and brought out a saggy shoe box. It was plain, with a brown top and beige bottom; no markings or barcodes marred the exterior, only a hand-written twenty-two point fifty. While sitting on the closed toilet, she lifted the top off the box and looked at the inside of it. She kissed the photo taped to the lid. “I miss you.”...

"Quiet Soil"

...“Come here and feel. Wool is one of nature’s most flexible resources. Much heartier than cotton and much more eco-friendly, too.”

She crossed the cement floor to stand next to him. He stood a full twelve inches over her five foot three. She moved her fragile fingers toward the cuff of the jacket sleeve. The hem between her fingers felt pleasantly rough. She remembered petting the sheep next door to her parents’ land, and she remembered the braised shoulder they ate like a feast for her tenth birthday...

Questions and Answers

When did you begin writing?

Definitely before I knew how to read or write. It begins with creating stories. A lot of children re-enact the stories they are told, keeping the characters close to their predetermined story lines. Their Superman toy is Superman, man of steel, near indestructible, saving Louis Lane and the world from ruin. Me? I did not stick to these constructs. I created whole new stories, whole new worlds. The My Little Ponies I coveted so much each had a personality distinct from the others completely based on my own imagination and not the accompanying television show. Choosing creation over imitation, that's the beginning of any art. When was the first time I remember putting down words to create a story? Seventh grade; I showed it to my teacher, and with so much love, she corrected my grammar and made suggestions to improve it. You could say that was the beginning of my "writing" whereas the beginning of myself as an "artist" was long before.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere, everything. Memories and personal experiences rank high on the ideas list, but external life can also whisper ideas into my ear. Something simple: I was driving down a street I've driven down thousands of times, but suddenly it seemed so foreign and strange--use that sensation in a story, recapture the moment in words. Reading and talking with other writers is of course inspiring, and I am sad I do not have more time to do so.

How do you write?

Although every writing hand book will tell a writer not to, I struggle to find just the right word before putting it down to paper. It is often an arduous task and completely unnecessary because I'm going to revise the words over and over and over later. Each word is a struggle, a small battle between my brain and the fingertips itching to tap tap tap faster faster.

As far as physical mediums go, I switch between writing directly at the keyboard into Microsoft Word set to Draft View and 125% magnification and writing with a variety of pens in an old school composition notebook. I like computer writing because it's so easy to make changes quickly, but the blinking cursor can be a beast. I like notebook writing because it's so easy to fill a page with my large, rounded handwriting, but making changes is tough and creates an ugly page. Also, the handwritten stories must be typed eventually.

Do you revise?

Yes. I revise in my brain before I put down a word. I revise sentences before they are finished. I revise paragraphs before moving onto the next. I revise scenes before starting a new one. I revise pages before moving forward. Then, once all that is done and a story is completely typed up the real revision begins. Ripping a story into bits to make sure it is what it needs to be, taping it back together, starting again, going back to the original, brakes, gas, brakes, gas. When that's done, it's on to checking that each scene, paragraph, sentence, word is just what it needs to be. Typically I highlight every verb in a piece and analyze its validity which often leads to larger word choice revisions. After all that, you feel the story is "done" to only reconsider it yet again a month later. Revision never ends. Even after a piece is published I think: Could it be better?

Do you keep a journal/diary?

Yes and no. I keep what I like to call "thought books." It's not a daily record of my life like a typical journal or diary might be. It's a record of the thoughts that hit me during the day on a particular topic or event. I use a day planner for keeping record of what I need to reference in the future and the past. I also have a Happy Jar--a jar where I slip in a note with the date each time something wonderful happens.