About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From the End to the Beginning...

My novel, Purple Loosestrife, is finished, but I'm still editing it. Mainly, I need to go back to the beginning to be sure that it fits with the end--to see that all the threads weave through properly and tie up at the end. I also want to have the early chapters really shine in the event that someone should want to see a partial (or full, for that matter) manuscript.

Writing never feels like it's done. I could keep editing and editing this novel, but eventually, I've got to start sending it out into the world. That said, even with my published work, I still look at it with a discerning and critical eye and think, "Oh, I could have done that better..." or "That word just doesn't fit very well there..." It's a never-ending process, but eventually you have to let works live and breathe on their own. It's like giving birth--a baby can only be in a womb for a certain amount of time, and then the time comes for it to enter the world.

So I'll start to seriously work on my early chapters, and then all my chapters again, and get this novel into the sort of shape I want it to be in as I send queries out about it to agents/editors/publishers. It's a somewhat intimidating and scary prospect--scarier, in my opinion, than sending out short fiction. But it has to be done. I didn't write this novel only to have it sit in a binder in my study!


  1. Absolutely agree with you that it's NEVER finished! One of the reasons I can barely go back and read something of mine once it's published, lol. Good for you, though (:

    1. Thanks, Clarissa! I think it's just part of being a writer. We never really feel as though we're done! :)

  2. I'm experiencing this right now. I read the published version of "Love by Number" and there are a few places where I wish I could go back and change a word or rearrange a sentence. I think I'm going to be one of those authors who can never read her published works for this very reason. lol.

    Purple Loosestrife is a good novel, Em and it deserves to be read by the masses. =)

  3. Love the analogy between a book going into the world and birthing a baby. It really is true. And yes, no book is ever quite right in its author's eyes.:) Good luck with Purple Loosestrife. Here's to a smart agent snapping it up!