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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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

Monday, April 20, 2015

"The Tiger Earring" Now Available

My short story "The Tiger Earring" is now available in Sliver of Stone Magazine. I'm particularly fond of this story and like its structure... it's all told in reverse. We start with the main character Elsa in 2067 and end with her in 1985. It's a love story, but what happens in it? You'll have to read it to find out!

Even though the story starts in the future, it's not science fiction. It's very much a story about people, relationships, choices, and consequences. It has what I think is a wistful, reflective tone. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On Edge in the Spring

I may have mentioned in a previous post that I feel on edge, bipolar-wise, in the spring--at the beginning in the spring--and then at the beginning of the summer. There seems to be too much light, too much brightness; the days are longer, which puts me in a quandary. I usually go up to bed to read and write there at about 8 p.m. (I need a lot of sleep--nine hours is my ideal). But when it's still light out then, I feel as though I have to do something different. And yet I really like my routine (I sleep from about 9 or 10 p.m. to 5 or 6 a.m.). So it just makes things feel difficult.

A lot of people with bipolar disorder have trouble in the winter and with the coming of the early darkness and the cold and the shorter days. But not me. I get edgy and sometimes hypomanic (a lesser form of mania) or manic in the spring and summer. I have to really watch how I feel so that I don't run into trouble. I use my dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) skills to keep myself as balanced as possible.

Don't misunderstand me--I love spring and summer just as much as I love fall and winter. I just have a harder time navigating them.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Trouble with Memoir

I have a few projects going currently. Just yesterday, I wrote a flash fiction piece called "The Other Side of the Wall". It's about a man dealing with some noisy, angry neighbors in his brick apartment building.

I've also been working on the same chapter of my memoir, which I'm calling (at this point) "Bouquet". I'm getting frustrated with the memoir, however, because of the things I don't want to write about. I'm still seriously thinking about calling it "Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life". Then I could write what would be stand-alone essays about my experiences and about various aspects of living with bipolar disorder. I realize that with memoir, the idea is to dig deep and write about all sorts of things, including painful or unpleasant things, and I definitely do that when I write about severe episodes I've had, and hospitalizations, group therapy, things I did during bad episodes, etc. What I don't want to write about is my first marriage. Many of the events I'll cover (and have covered) happened during those fifteen years, but I don't want to write about the marriage itself or my ex-husband. I don't want to give these things my time and effort.

This reasoning is probably a violation of the whole concept of memoir, but I don't care. I've reached a point with it where I feel indifferent, and I see this as a good and positive development. So writing a series of essays instead of a linear memoir would give me the ability to pick and choose what I feel is relevant from the time of my first marriage. For example, I've written a chapter/essay called "Manic Summer". It's about the summer leading up to the day when I told my ex-husband that I wanted a divorce. This is relevant. But my wedding day in 1989? Not relevant, at least not in my vision for what this book might be.

I don't know. I don't have all the answers about this. I'm just going on gut feelings as I write and when deciding what to write about.