What are you working on?
I’ve got 4 projects at this time. My primary focus at this time is my first stage play titled “Behind My Enemy’s Eyes.” Following that in “energy investment” is the publishing of a non-fiction book on a topic I’ll share at a later time. *wink* Finally, I’m piecing together poems into 2 short books of poetry. One is titled “Real Life is a Battlefield,” and the other is at titled “To Men.”
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
With my stage plays (I have 3 written), I write with a focus on story-telling that creates unexpected feelings in the audience. I don’t seek to follow the standard path of story-telling that is insistent on “happy endings.” I develop stories that are genuine and hopefully captivating for the audiences receiving them.
With my poetry, my words seem to take on a musical quality. It wasn’t something I did intentionally; it was pointed out to me over the years, and I realized that when I performed them, I had a sing-song sound to them. With my poetry, I tend to grab at the emotions, and the road may take the reader on a winding path, yet typically I end leaving a positive swing to the path we’ve taken.
Why do you write what you do?
I write because it’s like breathing. The stories or poems spontaneously emerge like flower seeds planted that I wasn’t aware were in my garden, and giving life to them is a beautiful and unavoidable process.
I share the words because I hope that they inspire others to see the world in a way they may not have before, OR perhaps they were unsure of before. I think sometimes people want to see the truth of how beautiful and powerful we are capable of being, but they’re afraid of believing in it, and then having the “rug pulled out from under them.” I hope that my words give them a little more courage to believe in themselves and the possibility that this life offers us.
How does your writing process work?
With my poetry, I don’t usually start it; something outside of me typically does, and I almost feel like a willing servant to it, because even if I’m busy with some other task, I respond to the inspiration as if it were a lover I refuse to deny. 🙂 hehehehe. Poetry could be sparked by a line in a song, the sight of waves kissing the shore, a rumble of thunder, or even things like the expression on the faces of a couple, or children playing. I never can predict it, but I don’t mind the randomness of it; it keeps me on my toes.
For my plays, the ideas for the stories occur over time. For example, the play that is coming this summer actually started in my mind when I heard India Arie’s song “Good Man.” I had a vision of a soldier who had died and his wife singing this song about him. Over the years, I’d hear of news from Iraq and Afghanistan, speak to soldier friends of mine, and scenes popped into my mind. Then I’d hear India’s song again, and I’d write a poem or a few lines.
By 2013, inspiration came to me as I read reports from Afghanistan. Once I was actively writing, I sought out information on soldiers and the people of Afghanistan. I researched the Taliban to get a better understanding of who were its members and what motivated them to join.
In this research I feel that God directed my path to accidentally finding the perfect book in the “Clearance” bin at Barne’s & Noble. It was just there staring at me, “The Wandering Falcon.” If you look it up, you’ll see why I felt God’s direction in locating it. This book guided a lot of what I wrote about the Afghan characters in the play.
*Thanks Clare Martin for sharing your answers with me and for tagging me in it. This was refreshing, and I greatly enjoyed your answers. I’m sure those who received your letters were uplifted as much as you were by the exchange. Also I completely know all too well about those random voices that seem to speak in poetry that we then document into the physical world. It’s … just … an experience that feels me with energy and excitement.
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