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, and several other journals. I have 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. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. 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!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Killing My Darlings

I've killed some of my darlings in my novel, and I think it will be better for it. When you go back into a finished draft, you usually have to kill some darlings to really make the writing effective.

I often think of "my darlings" as baby chicks. I just can't help it! Naturally, it's hard to kill them (my written darlings, I mean), just as it would be horrible to kill baby chicks, but it's something that just must be done during the editing process. Thank God I'm only killing baby chicks figuratively because obviously I could never do it for real. Still, I just imagine those extra phrases and passages and sections that I may love but that are ultimately unnecessary as baby chicks. My darlings.

I think this image is rather gruesome and that it might be a good idea to think of "my darlings" as something other than baby chicks, but I just can't get the image out of my mind. Oh, well. Maybe it will help if I write a horror story and have to kill some darlings in that.

Inspiration from the Colder Weather

I don't believe in waiting for inspiration in order to write. I believe that a writer has to write all the time, as much as possible, even when it feels as though there's no inspiration to be had. Sure, I might generate stuff that I end up sticking in a drawer, but I might also generate just what I need, and I will definitely move ahead on projects. And the thing to remember is, even if I write what I think is awful, I can go back and work on it, revise it, edit it, and make it into what I want. For as all writers know (or should know), writing is rewriting.

This all said, I do believe that a writer can find inspiration as an impetus to get moving. I often find inspiration in the weather. Today in central New York, for example, it's pouring out, and not only are raindrops falling, but colorful leaves are falling as well. It's truly a beautiful day. It makes me want to write because it feels so cozy inside, and I almost feel as though I'm "curled up" with my laptop the way one curls up with a good book. It's a day for tea or hot cocoa, perhaps soup, a warm cat or two beside me, pillows and blankets surrounding me as I write while sitting on my couch.

And then there's winter, the season loathed and dreaded by so many central New Yorkers. It's long and very snowy (except for the strange winter we had last year), but it's cozy to me, much like fall. I happen to love winter. It demands tea, hot cocoa, and soup, and curling up warmly with my laptop. I love a day in winter when I have nothing else to do but write. I love when it's as silent inside as it is outside--the only sound being the clicking of my keyboard.


So waiting for inspiration is not something I recommend, but looking for inspiration... definitely! And look for it in the weather. It's not only a perfect day when it's 80 degrees and sunny... it might be a perfect day today.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prioritizing

I find prioritizing to be so very hard to do. I have so many things I'm working on, so many things I want to do... how do I organize them into some sort of order and coherency?

First of all, there's my literary novel, Purple Loosestrife, that I'm editing, proofing, tweaking, and doing a little reorganizing on. This is very important to me since I want to start sending it out. But I get sidetracked by stories I'm writing or working on editing. There's "James", "The Pattersons", "Carlsbad Caverns", and even "The Tiger Earring", which I may not dump but rather revise and finish.

Then there's my memoir about my life with bipolar disorder. This is slow-going, understandably I think, because I'm dealing with many different emotions and memories while I'm writing it. But I do want to write and finish it.

So how do I make it all work together? Aaaahhhh! I feel I'm being torn in different directions and need a plan. Perhaps I should make one: days and times when I work on certain projects. That might help and keep me from just bouncing around from piece to piece. I'll have to think more about this. I'll keep you, my readers, updated on my progress. And I will finish my works in progress! This I am determined to do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Look for "Arthur Cleary" on November 2nd!

My next short story with Musa Publishing in their Erato (GLBT) imprint is "Arthur Cleary". It's coming out on November 2nd. Here's the tagline:

Past and present meet. Can one man find the redemption that will free him while another man finds true and lasting happiness?

"Arthur Cleary" is a paranormal romance that takes place in New York's gorgeous Finger Lakes region where I was born and raised. Who is Arthur Cleary, a man living in a beautiful lakeside Victorian home, and what is his shocking secret? Find out in November!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Arthur Cleary" Coming Out in November!

I hope it's okay to show the final cover art for my story, "Arthur Cleary", that's coming out on November 2nd. I'm excited and I love the cover!

Please note the blog hop information in the blog post directly below this one and hop away! You have the chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes!

On October 7th, I'm going to give away a free copy of my story "Honeymoon" to a winner chosen at random who has commented on my blog hop post entry. So leave a comment in the post directly below this one to be eligible for this prize. I hope you will enjoy reading "Honeymoon" as much as I enjoyed writing it!