The words ring clear and true as they hit the page. Most often I have mulled over the piece for weeks, if not months. I know the story intimately, but I work on finding the right place to open it for the reader. The place that will pitch them into the scene and keep them reading. This mulling is not a conscious process; it's more like a saucepan on the back burner kept at a low simmer. When I finally put pen to paper the tale is ready to be told. It will always require editing, but rarely rewriting.
I suspect I learnt this approach to storytelling as part of my English school education. Born to British parents in Canada during WWII, I grew up in Bromley, Kent, England. My childhood chest illnesses pushed my parents to take me abroad to heal. Three years in Ismailia, near Cairo in Egypt, certainly cured me and brought many exciting adventures some of which I have told in Spare Scenes.
Writing memoir started for me in 2008 when I took a weekend course on Writing Personal Essays. This led me to join a writing group which kept me on task and on time I had to submit a piece every two weeks! By 2012 Spare Scenes was ready for publication. To do this I founded Word Project Press, with the intent to serve the writing community in the foothills of the Sierras. It is with much pride and gratitude I have watched WPP become well established, publishing fifteen books to date, with four more authors under contract.
Release reading of Spare scenes at Sonora Joe's, Sonora, CA
Photo by Cindy Dixon
Photo by Joan Bobkoff
“Life is really too short
for everything I want to accomplish!”
"Writing creative non-fiction – memoir – is natural for me. It is what I know."
Stark Truths, my latest memoir collection which will be published in October 2017, tells of the cost an individual pays when living outside societal norms. At 17, in England in 1958, I knew I was a lesbian. But I didn't know that would entail learning to hide, dissemble and be frightened for my physical safety on a daily basis, for the rest of my life. In 2010 I spent time in Canada and was stunned to experience total acceptance. To receive the respect and recognition my straight friends have always known. I could stand up, name my spouse, laugh with less reserve, chatter without censor. My scarred soul could breathe.
Since coming to the States in 1978, I lived in California for thirty-five years before moving to Portland, Oregon with my partner. When not writing, I enjoy travel, and exploring theatre, music and art galleries. I experience great joy and peace when working in my glass studio creating fused glass bowls and platters and restoring arts and crafts stained glass windows.