Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?
I always carry a notebook with me, but I never write more than fragmented thoughts when I’m out and about. Most of my creating happens at home. I have notebooks all over those house, but most of my writing usually happens in the living room at my desk in the guest room.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?
All of the fragments and first drafts always happen in either a notebook or on some random scrap of paper, and I always use a pen (usually ballpoint, but sometimes fountain). All subsequent drafts happen on my computer.
What is your routine for writing?
My most productive time of writing is in the early morning when everything is quiet and feels fresh. My little dog usually lies next to my chair or at my feet when I write.
How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?
The earliest poem I saved was written in the third grade; it was about kit foxes. It wasn’t until undergrad, though, that I really began writing and started thinking of myself as a poet. Still, I didn’t submit anything and kept my poems basically to myself until I started my MFA over a decade later. It’s a little scary putting your heart out there for others, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize the sharing is what makes poetry powerful because it’s those deep feelings it contains that connect us all through the human experience.
Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?
My poetry often pulls from my life as a mother and Marine Corps spouse, so I suppose my writing speaks loudest to those audiences, but the themes also reach out to others who feel isolation, fear, worry, and all those other emotions we often feel we grapple with alone.
What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?
I’ve come to realize if I force myself to write what I want to write, I run into writers block more often. When I left what I need to write come out on the page, the poems come easily and plentifully. My inspiration comes from my day to day life. Prompts can help when the writing hits a wall, but the prompt only helps I think of it as a fluid thing that doesn’t bind my writing.
What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?
I love painting and dancing. My daughter is getting old enough to do more and more art projects and games, so those are becoming more frequent family activities in our home. I also do scent detection training and therapy dog volunteering with my dog.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
It’s a toss up between the exhilaration of seeing something in the process of creation and seeing something get shared with others.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
You are a unique individual who has a unique voice and experiences. If you write in your authentic style and voice about what matters most to you, all the deeper emotions within your writing will speak more clearly and connect with more people.