About Me

My photo
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 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!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"The Pattersons"

I recently had my short story "The Pattersons" accepted for publication by the anthology Postscripts to Darkness. My story will be in Volume 5 in the spring of 2014.

Postscripts to Darkness Volume 3 is available now, and Volume 4 will be available in fall of 2013. Check it out, especially if you enjoy weird, marvelous, uncanny, or horrific fiction!

Check out this fabulous publication by clicking here!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Favorite Flowers

Among my favorite flowers are lilacs, lily of the valley, peonies, and wild violets. I am deeply inspired by flowers and blessed to have all but peonies growing in my yard. But I will change this--I plan to look for peonies to plant this year.

I have purple lilacs on my kitchen table right now.

I don't bring lily of the valley into my house because I have a cat who might try to eat it and it's poisonous (at least it is to humans, but I'm not going to take any chances).
Peonies are so lush and gorgeous. They make me think of frosting. I'm determined to get some for my yard this year.
Wild violets grow all over my yard. I guess they could be considered weeds since they just pop up on their own, but I absolutely adore them.

I think of other flowers that could be placed in the "my favorite flowers" category, but these ones rank at the top of the list.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chocolate!

I can't imagine writing without the reward of chocolate! To keep from binging, I often have little chocolates around the house. You can eat one such small chocolate, a Hershey's Kiss for example, and keep the calories down while still getting that chocolate fix. Not that I don't binge on occasion... How can one help oneself? But I recommend to writers who love chocolate to keep a little around and use it as a reward for a good session of writing. Or as a prompt to start writing. Or for any other reason at all!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A New Story and Current Work

I wrote the story "Granddaughter" and am now awaiting its review by my writers group. Once I get their feedback and sage advice, I can make any changes I feel it needs and then begin submitting it to journals.

I have begun work on a new short story that is as yet untitled. It involves a 174-year-old woman, a college kid who drives an ice cream truck, and a man who may or may not be Jesus (it's not a Christian story, however). This mysterious Jesus goes by the name Kevin. The story is coming along well so far. It'll be another weird one like so many that I write.

I'm a bit distracted from my writing by the beautiful spring weather we've been having here in central New York. I've been doing extra tasks--specifically, gardening. It takes a little time away from writing, but I manage to get work in, and I think a lot about my writing while I'm doing a task such as gardening.

Today I finished Thich Nhat Hanh's book Being Peace. It's a lovely book, and it taught me more about mindfulness and mindful meditation, which I try to do daily. It helps to keep my bipolar brain calm and balanced, and it helps keep me as organized as I can be as I try to keep my days mindful. Once again, I recommend meditation to writers... and to anybody really. It's a great practice to learn and do. In fact, I've gotten to the point at which I can't imagine not doing it. It's helped me tremendously and I know it helps my writing.

Speaking of my bipolar brain, I'm still struggling to work on my memoir about my bipolar disorder and it continues to go along slowly. It's just hard to delve in and work on it for long periods of time. It seems I have to be in the right state of mind. But I will carry on and try to complete it.


Friday, May 3, 2013

The CNY Creative Writers Cafe

My writers group, the CNY Creative Writers Cafe, of which I am the Organizer (with three fabulous Assistant Organizers, including my critique partner, Michael Canavan), just had its 200th meeting! And we turned five on April 13, 2013! Quite the milestones, and it's thanks to the wonderful people who make up the group.

The group started in 2008 as the Maxwell Writers Group because it met at a library called the Maxwell Memorial Library. Soon we stopped meeting at this and other libraries (not enough time to meet) and started meeting at the Wegmans Market Cafe. Wegmans is the most wonderful regional grocery store on earth and we are blessed to be near its epicenter of Rochester, New York. Many Wegmans stores have Market Cafes and they're perfect for writers groups meetings. We have all the time we need, plus any food and beverages our hearts could desire (Wegmans contains many in-store eateries, a coffee shop, and a bakery to boggle the mind). We changed our name shortly after we began meeting at Wegmans (The "CNY" stands for central New York).

We currently have 48 members, though fortunately not all of them attend meetings at the same time. Our meetings recently have been fairly large--maybe 12 to 19 people. It's a little cumbersome to critique the works on the agenda, but we manage and I think we do quite well.

The CNY Creative Writers Cafe is a fantastic group that I'm so honored to be a part of. The members have helped me a lot with my writing, and I hope I have returned the favor.