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, 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!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"The Pattersons"

My short story "The Pattersons" is out in Postscripts to Darkness, Volume 5! You can also get it on Amazon. I'm particularly fond of this story and I'm so glad it's appearing in this anthology.

Please do pick up a copy and read about the all-American Pattersons and their lives.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July's Blog Article for River Ram Press

My River Ram Press blog article for July has been posted! You can see it here. It's about the bipolar states of mind and how they can affect writing. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

At the Edges of My Mind

It's time to write a new short story. I've been working on editing and submitting ones I've already written, and I've been working on my memoir, but I know it's time for a story when ideas, images, people, conversations, and descriptions start playing around at the edges of my mind. This has been happening for a few days now, and it's part of my writing process.

I think I know what I want to write about. I think I want to write a ghost story, only the ghost is that of a living woman who's haunting a man who let her go. But I want to make it eerie and dark, the way a good ghost story should be.

I love the idea of being haunted by the living. Like really haunted. This is what's compelling me right now. The idea of sensing, seeing, feeling, and hearing someone who isn't dead and gone, but who is a manifestation of what... Guilt? Wistfulness? Despair? It could get dark and drive a person mad, I think. Perhaps that's what I want to do with this story idea.

I'll have to start out with a few sentences, a few paragraphs, maybe a scene, and see where it goes. It's all part of the process, which is a process I love.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Two Acceptances!

I've recently gotten work accepted twice. My memoir piece "Jenga" will be published in a mental health anthology by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective, and my story "Under the Bookcase" will be published in a journal called The Outrider Review.

The title for "Under the Bookcase" came to me from the Shirley Jackson novel The Sundial. In it, at the very beginning of the book, a snake slithers under a bookcase. That's the last the reader sees of the snake, and throughout the entire novel, I wondered about that snake. So in the beginning of my story, a snake is spotted in the living room of a house owned by a married couple, and they watch in horror as the snake slithers under a bookcase. The snake appears again in my story--it comes out and is seen again--so in a way, I answered my own question about what happened to the snake under the bookcase in Jackson's novel! It came into my story... and I suppose you'll have to read the story to find out what happens to it.

Dreaming of a Ph.D.

I have my B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and my M.A. in English from the State University of New York College at Brockport. Getting these degrees in English was always my dream, and it's a dream I've accomplished. While I did teach at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York for ten years, I got these degrees primarily for what they would teach me about literature and writing. I've always been a writer, and I felt that having a bachelor's and master's in English would be beneficial to me.

Now I have a new dream: to get my Ph.D. in English. I've got my eye on the State University of New York Binghamton University. Binghamton has a Ph.D. in English in which you can either do a research dissertation or a creative dissertation. I'm interested in the latter. I imagine that one's dissertation in this track would be either the writing of a novel or a collection of short stories or perhaps both (it is a Ph.D. dissertation after all). Binghamton is not that far from Syracuse, so it's worth looking into.

I wouldn't do this immediately or even in the near future. I'm helping to put my son through college at the present time--he's in his first two years and plans to transfer for the next two or three years to a nursing program. At least, that's his plan at the time. But whatever he ends up doing, he's doing it now, and there just aren't the means for me to go after my Ph.D. while he's working on his bachelor's degree.

But maybe when my son is set and there's an empty nest, I can think seriously about getting my Ph.D. It's a dream but I think a worthwhile one. I would love to be Dr. Emily Glossner Johnson, but more than that, I would love to gain the knowledge that a Ph.D. would provide for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy July!

It's July 1st and it's brought a heat wave to central New York. The humidity is oppressive which is what's making it so hard to handle, at least for those of us without central air conditioning. I have a pool, however, and I like having the windows open. We have fans around the house as well.

My cats are very hot. William, my black cat, likes to put his head under pieces of furniture when it's really hot.

It's kind of hard to concentrate on writing when the weather is like this, though I do find that I get things done. Everything just seems to be slowed down. Even reading in this weather seems to take me longer than usual. But it's summer, and this is the kind of summer we get here in central New York. Happy July!