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 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!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Next Novel

I've started my next novel, a literary novel, and so far, though I haven't written much, it's going well. I have notes, outlines, lists, and research material, and now I have actual text. It has no title as of yet. It's the story of a young man named Matthew Holman, a Mormon who gives up his mission and his faith and moves across the country. It will be sort of a coming of age story, but more than that. Matthew will have all kinds of adventures and meet various people, some of whom will have their own stories as subplots. Some of these characters already have names and fleshed-out identities: Gil and Sadie Egan, Jessica Porter. In this novel, I'd like to explore love, relationships, identity, the questioning of faith, family, isolation, and depression since Matthew suffers from episodes of it.

In my first novel, Purple Loosestrife, Spencer MacGowan has schizoaffective disorder. Now in my next novel, I'm writing about a young man who suffers from depression. It must sound weird to say that I enjoy writing about mental illness, but I do. It's something I understand so intimately that it seems second-nature to give my characters mental illnesses. I know what it's like to have one, to take meds, to learn to accept and cope (or not), to be in the hospital, to suffer episodes that can feel like sheer madness, and to experience times of calm and balance amidst the storms.

So I've started this next novel, but I am continuing to write memoir essays and short stories (absolutely short stories... I can't not write them!). I've included with this blog post a picture of Honeoye Lake from my uncle's cottage. Honeoye is one of New York's Finger Lakes. Matthew doesn't move there, but he does move to a Finger Lake--Seneca Lake and the town of Haversville, which is the same fictional town in which Purple Loosestrife takes place.

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