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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cruel April?

On this, the last day of April, I need to post the following quote:

"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain." ~T.S. Eliot

April has not been cruel to me fortunately. It's been a cold and wintry month in upstate New York, despite it being technically spring. But I haven't minded this because May is on its way.

There's an ineffable sense of memory and desire that I feel in April. I don't know what it is, but at this time of year, I feel a yearning for something I can't quite name. It eludes me, but it isn't disheartening. I can explain it no more than this.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/18993#sthash.8MAeBWlt.dpuf
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/18993#sthash.8MAeBWlt.dpuf

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Work

I've written a story called "Granddaughter" which is in the working draft stage. I like it, but I feel it needs more to it plus a stronger ending. I also recently wrote part of a chapter of my memoir about life with bipolar disorder. That was hard to do, and it's in the very rough draft stage. The memoir is going along so slowly. Revisiting certain times in my life is not easy, but I find that writing about them is therapeutic and cathartic. However, I don't want this memoir to be just my own therapy. I'd like to think that it might reach a broader audience that it can enlighten, educate, and entertain. I have no idea when it will be done, though.

I find that when writing about difficult subjects, it helps to take frequent short breaks and do something fun while on those breaks. Maybe just watch a funny video on YouTube, or read a bit of a funny and/or lighthearted book. It's important for me to do these things so that I can stay balanced and not get so much into the moment I'm writing about that I trigger bad stuff (depression, hypomania, mania). I know what my limits are fortunately, and I work within them--most of the time. I can't say it goes along perfectly, but I try.

Meanwhile, I've got several stories out there submitted to journals, and I continue to submit queries about my novel. I just submit and forget about it until I hear something. This was some good advice given to me by my graduate school creative writing professor. He said to submit, forget it, and move on. Then when you get a rejection, you get a rejection, and you continue to move on. But when you get an acceptance, you're thrilled and you can celebrate the achievement!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Vacation from Writing

I recently spent ten days in Hawaii and, during that time, I took a vacation from writing. I missed it very much! That said, I think it's good every now and then to take a writing vacation because, let's face it, we writers, even when on a writing vacation, are still writing. We're just doing it in our minds. I've had new ideas come to me and solutions to problems with pieces of writing already written. It was good.

A writing vacation, in my opinion, is also rejuvenating and helps to bring new energy to projects both new and in progress. It's nothing I'd do often, but every now and then, it's nice.

I've missed my writers group, the CNY Creative Writers Cafe, very much, and I feel a renewed appreciation for the wonderful members of this group. I meet with them tonight and even have a story up for critique. I'm really looking forward to the meeting.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Snow

It's snowing today in Syracuse, New York, and we've got about four to five inches on the ground in my suburb! Ah, central New York and lake effect snow...

It's a good day to write, though I have some cleaning and laundry to do. I usually do chores first during the day so that sitting down to write is a reward for getting tasks I have to do out of the way. Of course, one can write while the laundry is going on. I just hate having to get up and fold clothes when I'm in the zone! One can write in one's head while doing chores such as cleaning. I think about my writing and mull over ideas and/or problems that I want to solve. It's a great way to pass the time while cleaning, and it helps to get the actual writing going. So really having to do chores isn't that bad for a writer. You can still get "writing" done in your mind.

As far as snow in April goes, I don't find it as inspiring as snow in December or January. I love winter and snow, but the operative word in this sentence is winter. Spring should be what inspires at this time of the year!