Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?
I don’t really know when I started writing, because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I think the first time I remember writing something I really enjoyed was in 2nd grade, when I wrote a poem about a groundhog that came up to see his shadows and froze to death—but it was funny/tragic, not gross. I remember watching seeing kids coming back from reading my poem with big grins on their faces, and telling their friends to come back and read my poem. Being a new kid at this particular school, it meant a lot to me to be accepted so quickly because of my writing. So far as favorite poets go, I’m pretty boring in that they’re mostly classic poets, like Stafford and Yeats and Plath etc.
How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?
I try to set aside every day to write, but I’ve always got so many projects going on, and a family to take care of, that it doesn’t always happen. However, while sometimes it’s spontaneous, it does mostly happen when I sit down and decide to start writing. So far as an idea of what poetry is—I guess when I was younger, I tried to rhyme things, but I find free verse more flexible for communicating ideas (for me) than form poetry.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
I spend too much time on Facebook, but it’s because I work at home in a teeny tiny office in the basement. Other than my pets and the chipmunks and sparrows in the yard, I don’t get to talk to anybody until my daughter gets home from school, and later, when my husband gets home from work, so Facebook is a good way for me to pretend to still have some sort of social life. I still haven’t figured out how to Twitter, or what good it would do me if I did.
Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?
I wish! But no. So far as what I’m reading right now—lots of tattoo-related material for a book I’m researching.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Keep trying! That’s all. Even after 28 years of seeing my work in print, I don’t get noticed much, so you have to do it because you enjoy it and expect nothing else.