I am excited to introduce you to some fabulous writers in a series called “Where Rye Writers Write.” They have all captured my attention with wonderful novels, memoirs and poetry. I thought it would be fun to find out where these writers like to write in their home and what inspires them. I am going to kick off the series with my friend and poet, Kristina Bicher and the rooms where she writes in her beautiful home.
I received a master’s in writing from Manhattanville and I’m half-way through the MFA in Poetry program at Sarah Lawrence. But the best, best, best training for writing is READING. That’s how you develop your ear for language, expand your range, grasp the possibilities.
I guess I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. I think I was a very big talker as a child and I exhausted my poor mother… it was probably she who first put a pen in my hand. Verbal children often gravitate to writing. I remember once I asked her about why there hadn’t been any female presidents. Before I knew it, I had written a letter to the President of the US! She was always one to encourage people to use the power of the pen. In high school and college, I was on the newspaper or magazine staffs.
I kept journals as a teenager and especially during college as a way of sorting out my thoughts. I always liked writing essays for school but had never tried my hand at fiction or poetry until much later.
I’m a bit of a writing nomad… it depends on my mood. If I really need to buckle down and revise lots of pages, I need a room with little distraction and a big table to spread out on, so that would be the dining room. If it’s a gray day, I have a sunny yellow “meditation room” that instantly perks me up. In the morning, I like to sit by the window and look at the garden.
Natural light, colors, patterns and view are all important.
I try to write at least every other day. Or I will revise existing work. Or at the very, very least, I try to write down little tidbits: ideas, phrases, and other things that come to me. I don’t think you need to write every single day, but every day you should have your eyes and ears open – that will become your material.
I have read so widely it’s hard to know. When I was younger, I would be reading Hardy, Vonnegut and Solzhenitsyn at the same time. I always loved the Russian novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky), the French (Balzac and Hugo) and also Garcia Marquez. Stylistically, I was very influenced by Virginia Woolf. That’s all fiction… in terms of poetry, I guess I haven’t figured that out yet! Dickinson, Rilke, William Carlos Williams…
I’m mostly reading now for school. Just finished “Some Ether” by Nick Flynn which was incredible.
Who is your favorite up and coming writer?
For poetry, I really admire the work of Natalie Diaz: her book “When My Brother Was an Aztec” is amazing to me.
In Provincetown, there are old writer’s shacks among the dunes. I haven’t seen them, but they sound so romantic. Closer to home, I have a little garden shed I’ve been eyeing, but first I have to clear out the bikes and rakes….
Well, I wouldn’t call it reading, but I’ve been known to waste time with Angry Birds…
Dream accomplishment or project?
I’m writing a full-length manuscript now so I would be thrilled to get that published. I’d also like to explore a collaborative project with a visual artist.