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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

As a writer, I'm an avid people watcher and listener. I also pay close attention to the little things that happen in life that could possibly trigger stories. Sometimes things happen that are just so brilliant, so awesome, I feel I couldn't even have made them up, because in addition to being brilliant and awesome, they're really weird.

One such thing happened to me and my son. We went into a gas station/convenience store to pay for gas. The man working was probably in his thirties, tall, with hair that looked vaguely 1970s. A Bryan Adams song was playing in the store, and when I went to the register to pay for gas, the man said, "How are you doing?" in an eastern European accent, and then nodded to nothing in particular, smiled, and said, "Bryan Adams." He said it as though it were a secret between us, something only we knew the true meaning of. I've filed this incident away and hope to one day use the eastern European Bryan Adams man somewhere, somehow.

Another thing happened on a recent Fourth of July when my son, husband, and I were sitting in a crowd of people by the river that runs through our village, waiting to watch fireworks. We heard a man nearby say, "I seen her taking shit that don't belong to her." It sounded funny to me, and it made me think, who is she and what is her relationship to this man? What is the shit that she's taking?  Where was this man when he saw her taking the shit that didn't belong to her? Incidents such as this trigger thoughts in me that might lead to stories. I've remembered this man and his statement and periodically ask myself these questions. Perhaps one day in my fiction, I'll answer them.

If you're a writer, I feel you have to be a close watcher and listener of people. And you have to pay attention to the little weird things in life. Sometimes all it takes is one odd moment to come up with something fabulous.

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