Angela’s Turn: The Baton Blog Hop.
The baton was passed to me by author Cindy Zelman, author of What’s in a Butch’s Purse and Other Humorous Essays. The book includes seven short essays that can be read in less than an hour. Most of them have been published online, but now they are available as a collection. Hopefully, the writing will make you laugh. Cindy has found that both men and women, straight or gay, enjoy these pieces, because really, relationships are relationships. A dysfunctional romantic interlude always leads to disaster no matter who you are. You can find more information about Cindy Zelman at www.cindyzelman.com.
The chapbook is available for pre-order as a print book and available immediately as an e-Book. If you want to order Cindy’s book, please see www.wingedcitychapbooks.com.
And now, for my contribution to the “Follow the Baton Blog Hop.” Writers are asked to answer questions about their writing lives:
1. What am I working on?
Since the publication last year of our book, Farm Girls, co-written with my sister, Candace Simar, I’ve been busy promoting. The stories and poetry in Farm Girls share the experience of growing up on a Minnesota farm. Working with my sister has been a fun process, although at times I resorted to name calling, just as I had done in childhood. Candace is more organized and a dedicated writer, so often she would prod a little too forcefully, causing me to call her the “poetry police.” In the end, I was glad that she had pushed me on because the book turned out very well and people have loved it. Candace and I enjoyed the experience so much that we are now attempting to co-write a YA novel about the Minnesota Sioux uprising of 1862.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Farm Girls is not your typical poetry book. Most of the poems in the book are narrative poems and are very approachable. There are also short stories about life and the loss of the family farm. Our publisher, RiverPlace Press of Brainerd, MN, encouraged us to add family photos to the book. We struggled with that, wondering who would care about our relatives, but people have loved the pictures, often saying they could easily be their own relatives. Candace and I laugh together when we think about our Grandma Inga who would be amazed if she could know her photos are in our book!
Another thing that readers may find different about my work is that I write almost everything in present tense. As a memoir writer I should probably write in past tense, but I just can’t make it work for me. My memories are so vivid that I feel as if they are happening again as I write.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I love to explore my life through writing. As I look back over my fifty plus years of living, I realize there were so many experiences in my life that have shaped me. I like to give my readers the story and let them sort out the feelings for themselves. If I am able to make some meaning from it, that’s even better.
4. How does your writing process work?
I work best when I have a deadline. I tend to write in spurts, but once I get involved in a project, it takes over and everything I read, everything I see on television, and every conversation I have becomes about the project I am working on. Since I also work as a free-lance editor, I tend to get caught up in my clients’ projects and then it is difficult for me to pull away and get back to my own work. I wish I could say that I write every day and I have a strict schedule, but life doesn’t work that way for me. I have a teenager at home and a busy life. My dream vacation involves uninterrupted time to write and read. A little sunshine wouldn’t be too bad either.