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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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, May 26, 2016

The Importance of Animals

I have two cats, Gretchen (the grey tiger) and William (the black cat). William loves everyone. Gretchen loves all of us in the family, but she's very much my cat. She's with me most of the time.

I think that having an animal is a wonderful thing. Gretchen is my little love and she also functions as a therapy animal when it comes to my bipolar disorder. She calms and soothes and loves me and brings me such happiness, even when I'm feeling really depressed. I don't think I'd handle my disorder as well without her, and I just love cats so much and, for me, they make life so much richer.

Gretchen and William are both twelve years old, and I know they're not going to be around forever, but while I have them, I will love, care for, and enjoy them. When they're gone, I will have more cats because I can't imagine life without a cat. No cat will ever replace the cats I have now, and these cats don't replace cats I've had prior to them, but I believe we all have enough love in our hearts to have many animals throughout our lives.

I know that many people must feel this way about their dogs. I've never had a dog--I'm very much a cat person--but I can imagine that a dog must be an excellent companion, too. I feel that animals are very good writing companions. I love having Gretchen sleeping next to me or near me while I'm writing. I can pet her and give her hugs and feel better about everything, including my writing. When I'm thinking about what to do next with a scene or story, I can pet Gretchen while I think. She's my little writing companion and she's very good at what she does!

Friday, May 13, 2016

First Draft!

Well, I have finished giving birth to the first draft of Hoping It Might Be So. It is now present in the world at twenty-eight chapters; 107,000 words; and 421 double-spaced pages. Welcome to the world, little one. Now I must raise it...or should I say, work on revisions. I really love the revision process because it's when you take the whole story and make it work well, flow well, read well. I know there are a few things I want to cut. Some things that need to be changed. Some necessary additions that might crop up. And I have to work on continuity; I have to make sure the whole thing goes along well without any hiccups.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cruising to the End...

...of the first draft of my novel, Hoping It Might Be So. I've got one chapter left to write, then I'll have a complete draft to revise. Because my main character Matthew is a Mormon, I'm currently doing more research on Mormons to be sure that I have everything right now that everything is written.

This picture of a road (which is public domain, as is the case with all my blog pictures to the best of my knowledge) is a good representation of finishing a draft of a novel. Because the road goes on. Once you have a draft, you have to revise. And not just proofread, but perhaps do some wide scale revision. I know there are a few scenes I want to remove, and some stuff that I've got to pare down, and there's some stuff I want to add. Now that I've almost written two novels, I've realized that it never feels as if they're done. I wonder if when I (hopefully) get a novel published, I'll still look at it and think, "Oh, I should have changed that!" or "Wow, I could have used a better word there." Probably.

I've tried working on my memoir a bit lately, Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. It's been hard to do. There are times that are simply difficult to write about, things I don't want to remember and, in a sense, relive. But I'm determined to write this book. I think I just need to keep working on it slowly and steadily.

Monday, May 2, 2016

In the Pouring Rain

It's pouring right now. I love rain. I love the smell of it, and the smell of ozone when a rainstorm is happening. I walked outside yesterday while it was drizzling and actually enjoyed it. There's something peaceful and yet wistful about rain. Something ineffable.

Today makes me feel like writing a story that takes place in the rain, but I have no firm ideas at this point. I'm so immersed in finishing up this draft of my novel that no short story ideas leap to mind. I do believe that it's good to write short stories while you're working on a novel. Just to take little breaks from novel writing to finish something smaller and to think about other places, characters, and themes. I think it's good for a writer and keeps you in good shape mentally.

I think it's especially good to write a short story after working on an intense scene or chapter. I just wrote an intense chapter which is why I must be finding this rain so wistful and why I'm thinking of writing a story. I don't know what it is--I guess it just gets your mind working in a different way, a different direction, which is refreshing.