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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting Inside a Story

I'm working on a new story about a washed-up, formerly addicted rock star named Jimmy Gemini. The story has a working title of "Jimmy Gemini", though I think I'm going to want to change that. There's another problem with the story: I haven't yet been able to get inside of it.
What I mean by this is a bit hard to explain. When I'm writing a story, it really takes off once I'm inside of it. I imagine a hole in the fabric of spacetime, or a little tiny wooden door, and I have to find this hole or this door and climb inside to get into the world of the story. The hole or the door might be just one word, or a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, a description, and suddenly something opens up and I'm there... I'm able to write the story and feel in sync with it. This opening and getting inside is an elusive thing. I can't force it. It just has to happen.

So what do I do before this happens? I write and keep writing. And sometimes I feel like what I'm writing is forced crap, but I keep at it anyhow because the right word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, or description always comes to let me inside.

I guess what it all comes down to is that you have to write in order to have something to write. You have to keep going until something forms and takes on life and a story is there. People here in central New York have complained a lot about the winter we had this year. It was harsh, but I kept saying to myself, "Spring will come. It always does." And it has. Likewise, even when I'm struggling with finding that hole in the fabric of spacetime or that little tiny wooden door, a story will come. It always does. Because once I have an idea for a story, I don't give up until I have a story. Sometimes the story is radically different from the initial idea, but still it exists. Jimmy Gemini will get his story.

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