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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Haversville, New York

Many of my stories as well as my literary novel have something in common: the fictional town of Haversville, New York. There is no Haversville in reality--it's purely a place from my imagination. It sits on the edge of Seneca Lake in New York state's gorgeous Finger Lakes region that spans across western to central New York. The beauty of the area is breathtaking, and my town is just as breathtaking as any that are real towns.

In my literary novel, Purple Loosestife, my main characters Spencer MacGowan and Vincent Ravenaugh live in Haversville. Across town is the Haver Corners Bed and Breakfast, where Lee Mullens of "Honeymoon" winds up meeting Sanders Hamilton. In "Arthur Cleary", who lives on the outskirts of town, the inn he mentions to Jake McAdams is one and the same as the inn run by Sanders Hamilton from "Honeymoon". Another literary story of mine takes place in Haversville: "Shadow People". I have another work in progress that will take place in Haversville as well: my literary story "James".

I have maps drawn of Haversville, lists of businesses that exist there, and have even placed St. Padre Pio College, a fictional small liberal arts college, there. Haversville has become very real to me, and it's become something of my "home base". I've written stories that take place in Rochester, New York (my home city); Westchester County, New York; and intentionally unnamed places, representative of anywhere. But I so often come back to Haversville. There are so many stories in a single town.

I think it's good to have a "home base". Of course, it's not for everyone. Many people like to write stories and novels that take place all over the world (and even beyond!). But if you plan to write stories in a small town or city, consider using the same town or city from story to story. You'll really get attached to the place and come to know it as if you've lived there. And in a way, you have!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Story Availability

My stories "Honeymoon" and "Arthur Cleary" are not only available at Musa Publishing and on Amazon, but also at OmniLit and on Barnes and Noble. Just click on the links I've provided here to find the stories.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Beautiful Sadness

On an episode of South Park, Leopold "Butters" Stotch says the following:

"I'm sad, but at the same time, I'm really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It's like it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. The only way I can feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before, so I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I'm really feeling is like a beautiful sadness." ~Leopold "Butters" Stotch, South Park

This is one of the nicest things I've ever heard. Seriously. It seems weird coming from South Park and all, but it resonates with me. As a bipolar person, I sometimes feel sad for no particular reason, but the sadness makes me think about the happiness I feel otherwise, and I appreciate the happiness all the more. My sad times are being well controlled by medication and therapy, so I don't want anyone to think I go around feeling sad often. But sometimes I do feel sad, and this quote just sums up perfectly what I feel. When I feel well and happy, it's all the better and richer and more fulfilling than you can imagine. It comes from a beautiful sadness. Looking at life this way helps me a great deal to accept the condition of being bipolar.

Of course, I have to write about this in the memoir I'm working on about my experiences with bipolar disorder. The memoir is still very slow going--it's difficult to write--but it's cathartic and satisfying when I get bits of it written. I'm writing it mostly for myself, but I'm also hoping that it will be of a high enough quality to perchance get published so that it can educate, enlighten, and help remove the stigma associated with mental illness.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why My Master's Thesis Matters to Me

From 1991 to 1993, I attended the State University of New York College at Brockport for graduate school. I earned my master of arts degree in English in August of 1993. My master's thesis is entitled Weasels and Angels: Rhetorical and Communicative Strength and Weakness and Selected Women of the Canterbury Tales. Obviously it's about Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It concentrates on six tales in particular and six women within those tales.

Of course, my thesis matters to me because it was hard work and I accomplished it. I put a lot of time, research, and effort into it and am proud of it to this day. However, it holds importance to me in another way as well. It was 82 pages long, and up to that point in time, it was the longest work I had ever written. It showed me that I was capable of writing long works, that I had a novel or two or more within me. And indeed, I was right.

I've finished a draft of a literary novel called Purple Loosestrife. I'm currently editing and tweaking it and preparing for it to hopefully go out into the world. Without having written my thesis, would I have been able to have written and finished this novel? Perhaps, but I know that writing my thesis taught me a lot about discipline and perseverance. So I'm grateful for having written my thesis, not just for the work itself, but for the work within me that it helped develop and bring out.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Arthur Cleary and His Secret!

Arthur Cleary is hiding something. What is it and what can be done about it? If you're up for some paranormal romance, please do purchase my story, "Arthur Cleary". It's available through Musa Publishing, Amazon, and a few other outlets.

Darkness Falls Early

Well, now that we've set the clocks back an hour, it's not even 5 p.m. in central New York and it's already getting dark. It's dusk, one of my favorite times of day. I don't mind the early darkness for a few months. It doesn't last year round, and while it's here, there's a chance to be cozy inside, or to take a brisk walk outside, or simply to enjoy the atmosphere of winter coming on. It also gives me an impetus to write more because there's less to do outside and less daylight to do it in. So Happy Daylight Savings Time, everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Release of "Arthur Cleary"

My short story "Arthur Cleary" has been released today by Musa Publishing in their Erato (LGBT) imprint! It's available on Amazon and at Musa Publishing. Please do check it out and find out what secret Arthur Cleary is keeping. I had a lot fun writing it and hope you'll have fun reading it.