Here are some answers to common questions I receive!
What made you start writing?
I’ve written in a journal for more than forty years. I started focusing more on personal essays and memoir after I retired. If all the pain I’ve endured for the past twenty years is to be worth something, I need to figure out how to talk about it in a way that helps others. Writing lets me do that, and editing lets me get it right, kind of like having built-in do-overs! When I hear readers say that they feel like I understand what they’ve gone through, I know I’ve succeeded in helping that person be seen.
Are all of your stories true?
Yes, except for the ones I made up – kidding! I have tried to be true to the overall emotional content of each anecdote and to each person’s character. Dialogue is true to the tone of the conversation, but is recreated and thus far from verbatim.
What have you done as a writer that you're glad you did?
I escaped the dreaded isolation that happens to practitioners of such a solitary pursuit as writing. I am a member of three writing groups, two of which are now meeting on Zoom because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. We provide each other support, critique and camaraderie.
How does writing change how you view your own past?
I’ve had to become more honest with myself. For instance, in re-reading my work, I tried to view a figure from my past as if that person were a character in a novel I was writing; this showed me I had drawn a two-dimensional character, a paper doll. In order to flesh out this character, I had to completely reconsider how the real person treated me.