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written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished.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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Speaking About Bipolar Disorder

Yesterday was World Bipolar Day and I spoke about my bipolar disorder on a little panel with my psychiatrist at a healthcare company (which will remain unnamed for the sake of privacy). There were approximately fifteen people who came to listen to us. We talked about my experiences with and thoughts about bipolar disorder. This was the first time I've ever done any public speaking about this topic, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed advocating for the illness and doing my part to educate people about it.

Perhaps most interesting about the event was that my psychiatrist took a wrong turn on the way to the company and therefore was running late, so I had to start the presentation on my own. Nerves! I held it together, however, and drew on my experience as a teacher. I introduced myself and offered some general impressions about my illness.

Once my doctor arrived, she led the discussion and essentially interviewed me. Several people had questions, which I answered to the best of my ability. I got quite personal about the topic but felt very comfortable. The audience was kind and receptive.

This experience has made me want to advocate more and perhaps speak more about bipolar disorder. I've had some very rough times and now I'm doing well so I feel I have a lot to say about the vagaries and management of this illness. I'd like to do my part in helping people reach an understanding about this disorder from the point of view of someone who has experienced it first hand.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dark and Bright

I've started the new novel I wrote about in my last post. It's called Dark and Bright (from Byron's poem "She Walks in Beauty"). It's the story of Curtis Stanford, a twenty-eight-year-old former model now living in his small hometown of (fictional) Lawrence located on the shore of Lake Ontario. Curtis is anxious, depressed, and lonely, and looking to amend this situation. Other characters are Curtis's neighbors, Melanie Knapp and her twelve-year-old son Everett, a pixie-faced, trouble-making wise-ass. And there are David and Jessica Knapp, Curtis's friends from Manhattan who move to nearby Rochester. This is a novel about people--their relationships, joys, fears.

One thing I should mention is that Jesus Christ is a character in this novel. He visits Curtis fairly regularly, and whether Curtis is delusional and Jesus is a hallucination, or whether this is really happening, we don't know. Curtis is an atheist who thinks he's losing his mind, and yet Jesus helps him come to terms with struggles and anxieties.

This is not in any way a religious novel, however. No. Jesus is pretty much just another character whom only Curtis sees. Maybe he is a delusion... we shall see.

I'm already working on chapter six and, at this point, I've introduced all the main characters and some of their issues. It's been fun to write and I look forward to letting it unfold.