Climbing aboard the Literary Blog Train

Thanks to the lovely Gordon Haber for tagging me on the “Literary Blog Train.” (And, consequently, causing me to revisit my poor neglected blog. Sigh.)

What am I working on?

Maintaining my sanity while my children are home from school/preschool for the summer.

Materials for an application that I’ll be submitting later this year. (Don’t ask. I don’t want to talk about it.)

Revisions to a short story about a teenage girl in a mining town in the 1950s.

Revisions to a short story about a family who loses a baby and then loses their binds to each other.

Drafting a short story about a woman whose estranged husband is trapped in a mine collapse.

Being okay with the fact that I clearly do not write uplifting stories (womp womp).

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I don’t think I have a “genre.” I write literary fiction. I like to think my work contributes to the literary realm by being somewhat different from what already exists, but I also know that while my voice is unique, my stories are the stories that people live. I’m a strong believer in the theory that there is only one story to be told, and it is simply told over and over and over again. John Steinbeck kind of said it best:

“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence.”

So, how’s that for a non-answer for this question?

Why do I write what I do?

To steal Gordon’s answer, “we write the kind of stories we want to read.”

For me, that’s stories that make you feel something. It’s stories that make you consider the human condition and how others minds’ and lives work. It’s stories that leave an impression on your senses. (Well, at least that’s what I try to write, anyway.)

How does my writing process work?

Ugh. My “process,” as it were, is pretty contemptible at present. Because the time I can sit down and focus and really write is so scarce, I do a lot of my writing “in my head.”

I mull over things forever and then beat the idea to death in my brain until it can’t possibly meet any of my expectations and then I give it up entirely. I sit down and end up writing something wholly different from what I’d intended.

Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes it leads to pages upon pages of infuriating crap. I’m told this is normal for a writer, but I still don’t like it.

Tag, You’re It!

Brianne Kohl, Amy Maddox, Sarah Turner, and Annie Noblin! Go forth and climb aboard the train! (You don’t even have to pack. I hate packing.)

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