Why do you write?

I write for many reasons: for validation, for therapy, to solve problems, to inspire myself and others. I often relate to the young Samuel Clemens who tried many things and failed at everything. Then one day, he began telling stories and left the world a legacy of important literature.

I tend to get myself into verbal quicksand as all writers and thinkers do. I believe in expressing oneself within the appropriate bubble, as parameters and boundaries are paramount in all forms of communication. However, being appropriate is restricting.

There are a handful of people I can go beyond appropriateness, turn up the soil of the darkest parts of the mind; get a little dirty, tear apart, break up and analyze the raw realities of life. I desire to get to deep layers of meaning hidden beneath our institutions, in the pockets of rich men and go all the places where women historically are kept out. As a children’s book writer, I work on another level with deep compassion and humanity only learned in the larger context of the adult world.

Unfortunately, I am a product of my environment, which often means I subconsciously reflect the chauvinism we all swim in and often, I hate myself for it. It’s a constant existential battle. So much of my identity is abhorrence to the ”shallow Princess waiting for her Prince to come rescue her” message (no little girl starts out thinking this way) and yet, I am a girl who likes strong men who read profusely, advocate for me and desire my mind as sensuously as my body.

The only way women can make change is to dive into the nasty, swamp waters of human experience and bring back that which is useful to educate and empower all of us to improve our cognitive function, our communication, our mutual respect, our dignity, and shed the primal parts of ourselves that are damaging all of us. This is why I write.

What is Your Favorite Book?

That’s a tough one. My earliest book I recall having a big impact was Ferdinand The Bull. I was a quiet, timid child, preferring the company of my Siamese cat with a book in my hand. Ferdinand gave me permission to be the somewhat reclusive, contemplative person that I would eventually become. Where the Red Fern Grows was another influential book growing up and I read Marguerite Henry, The Black Stallion series, Encyclopedia Brown, Judy Blume, etc.

As a teenager, I got into the dark stuff: Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe (a huge influence on my interest in poetry) and true crime novels. I began to write poetry in my early high school years to get out of my head things that bothered me about life, parents, school, the larger meaning of it all and death. I wrote a lot about death. I am currently in the process of publishing a poetry collection due to come out in March of 2019. Stay tuned!

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