I get interviewed all the time–by myself–in my car–so I was excited when a writing friend invited me to “officially” publish one of those interviews online; and even more delighted when she provided “official” questions. (Click here for some of the story behind this interview and blog tour .)
Poet and fiction writer, Jodi Paloni, at Rigamarole, was the one to include me in this “tag game” among writers. She’s thoughtful like that, always coaxing me out of my writing-hiding place into the world of connections, conferences, contests and collaborations. Jodi is also an editor and a gifted coach, as well as a prize winning author. Her short story “Deep End” won first place in The Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction (2013) while her short-story “The Third Element” won 2nd place in the 2012 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.
Now it’s my turn to tag some other writer/bloggers who will post their own “interviews” on April 14th, 2014. I’m supposed to wait until tomorrow to go “live” with mine, but I cant wait to introduce these two artists, Jess Weitz and Rebekah Burcham, who, despite their age difference, both explore body image with honest angles.
Jess Weitz grew up in DC, but now lives on “Tiny Farm” in Southern Vermont with dwarf goats and giant rabbits and lots of family, inside and right next door. She studied photography at Bard College, and then went on to pursue a Masters in Library Science. “Writing as an art form is a newer endeavor,” she says, “though as a librarian, I am surrounded by words.” Jess writes poetry and explores collage and encaustic on her blog: Seams~a joining of word/image, animal/human, dirt/pavement.
Here is a line from one of her poems:
…how can we share the unanswered questions of life,
avoid the deep waters of judgment,
how do i undress
in front of my daughter
and say it is okay not to know
Rebekah Burcham, almost 20, and newly arrived in Portland Oregon, has been a lifetime writer, and began publishing fiction and poetry as a young teen. Some of that work is featured on the site: Figment; but what Bekah is really excited about now is a collection of personal writing. I’m not sure what is more impressive on her blog Big Fat Juicy/unashamed: her bold voice, her transparency (especially as a young Christian woman) or her craft: both with the words and with the blog itself.
Here’s an excerpt from Big Fat Juicy/unashamed:
I exist. I exist in the world of buttered toast, home-brewed coffee, blustery sundays, and flamenco music. I exist and take up space, I influence and am influenced by a universe of gravity and rainstorms and people; I exist and make noise, my breath rushing in and out of my body, my footsteps hitting concrete sidewalks.
And now for my “official” interview (drum roll, please):
1. Kelly, what are you working on right now?
THIS (Goddess help me):
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.”
Native American Proverb
I am one of those voices.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Because I must.
4. What is your writing process?
I pay attention. I listen. I wait.
I follow the tiniest of breadcrumbs (even when they don’t make sense.)
I return with my brain, and wreak havoc, until I can no longer take it
or until I arrive at the balancing point
(whichever comes first.)
5. What didn’t we ask that we should have?
(Note: this is not one of the official questions. I added it myself.)
You didn’t ask about the purpose of my work.
And that is something I’m still uncovering.
It has something to do with voice.
Not just mine, but others too.
I think Terry Tempest Williams expressed it best in her beautiful book, When Women Were Birds:
“In a voiced community, we all flourish.”
I’d like to help with the flourishing.
ps. You can find more of my work on the blogs below (where I’ve taken up more than my share of the web):