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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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 8, 2014

What I'm Currently Reading and Writing...

Well, I'm still reading Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety because it's 485 pages long and I'm not that fast of a reader. I absolutely love to read and it's imperative to do as a writer, but I've never read very rapidly. Anyhow, I'm also reading Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (I loved the movie--the book is already better) and fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science.

I wish I could read a bit faster because there are so many books I want to read, but instead I read like the English major I was: very carefully and thoroughly. I also like to savor a book that's really good. You know, the kind of book that you're sad to see end.

As far as writing goes, I've just started a new short story called (at this point) "Jimmy Gemini". Jimmy Gemini is the washed-up rock star who appears in "Mr. Gribbles Eats a Beetle" (Literary Brushstrokes, Volume 1, Number 1, June 2012). I feel that he needs his own story. I'm not sure what it is exactly yet, but I'm having fun discovering it. I've also been working on my memoir about bipolar disorder. Just recently I finished a draft of a chapter called "Flowers and Psychosis" and I'm working on a draft of another chapter called "Pity Party".

My memoir continues to be difficult to write. Revisiting parts of the past is hard, and yet it almost seems like a cliche to say that it's cathartic. Of course it's cathartic. What I really want it to be is something that others can relate to--both those with mental illness and those without. While my experiences may be unique to me, I'm hoping that there's a certain universality to the experiences that enables readers to step into my shoes. Then of course there's the challenge of keeping the memoir from being maudlin, melodramatic, or sensationalized. I try to write in a direct, matter-of-fact way that effectively conveys the truth. And then I must admit that, through it all, it can be fun to write at times. For example, I've used Puddles Pity Party (Puddles is "the clown with the golden voice") to get into the chapter entitled "Pity Party". And I've used wonderful memories from very early childhood of roses and violets to get into "Flowers and Psychosis". These bits were fun to write--to fit Puddles into what I was going to describe, and to remember the roses and violets of my childhood.

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