Thanks to David Colin Carr for the invitation to take part in #MondayBlogs. I first met David in July 2011 in Bolinas, California at The Writer’s Retreat of Your Dreams, where he assists Laura Davis with this amazing six-day event. Since attending two more retreats with David present, we have shared writing, laughter and plotting mischief.
Here are my answers to the questions:
What am I working on?
Currently, I am writing a memoir called ‘That Terry’. This is my true-life story of surviving a violent, sadistic family who would have destroyed me if I did not run away with Police help at seventeen years old. I was smart and creative but depressed and suicidal. My all-or-nothing thinking took me from hospitals in Ontario to South Korea, from the fields of rural China, to the bustle of Tokyo streets and Parisian cafés. Finally, I landed in Sydney, Australia, where I lived and worked until the brutal murder of a young woman put me in danger of human trafficking and losing my life as well.
I am also in the midst of compiling ‘Traces of Silence’, a chapbook of poetry, and writing a novel tentatively called ‘Puffery Magazine Dishes On Wilbur’.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My writing is different because I am telling my unique tale. It is a story of survival, loss, and the effects of being poor and too afraid of more suffering and violence to ever speak or challenge authority. It is a journey toward self-discovery while living on the edge of a razor. It is my struggle to find my childhood, grow up and parent myself along the way. It is at once an exceptional rendering of an unlikely fight to defy suicide statistics for a child like me, and an awkward invite into my often confused and troubled process, and slightly warped humour.
Why do I write what I do?
I have been fascinated by words since I was a girl with only my imagination to keep me company while locked in the attic. I started writing poetry because I was passionate about life. I had so much empathy for other people people in pain; of course, I was far too isolated to know my life was not normal but I somehow sensed it was not. I was only eight or nine then but I knew that you do not continuously ridicule, humiliate, beat, berate and ostracize any child, let alone your pre-adolescent daughter.
I have an enormous debt of gratitude. The happiness and laughter I now enjoy is like a huge sack of presents dumped on my desk by a postie. I want to give back in a big way. Many good doctors, therapists, and friends gave me the tools not only to survive, but also to carve out my wee corner of the world. I want to reach out to other young women (and men) who are clawing for any groove into which to sink their bleeding fingertips. To those hardly hanging on and feeling suicidal.
Before I die, I want to look back on my long healing process and know I shared what I learned and helped in every way possible, within my means, to effect change.
How does your writing process work?
These days, my writing process involves waking up, stumbling to the coffeemaker, while trying to avoid my cat Paco’s tail, plunking down at my laptop, fumbling for a password, and buckling up for yet another adventure in #wordmongering. That is–joining a few friends who invited me to their timed writing practice on Twitter.
I am always inspired by reading fiction–with a penchant for Victorian novels thanks to Carleton U–memoirs and poetry. (There must always be poetry!) I love watching movies, attending live musical events and theater. Yes. I did see ‘Les Miserables’ three times and thoroughly enjoy Theatresports at the Arts Club.
People who impact the world affect me a lot. In fact, some of whom I want to hug so often, I tell them, “If you see me coming at you with my arms out, and it’s not a good day, just point me towards the nearest tree.” They need hugs too.
I have invited the following writers to blog on June 16th:
Marta Moran Bishop
Marta Moran Bishop is a versatile author and poet.
Her poetry books are for children as well as adults. ‘Wee Three: A Mother’s Love in Verse’ was a collaboration between the short verses her grandmother wrote in the late nineteen thirties and her own work.
Her adult poetry is an emotional journey through the human condition. Taking one to the heights and depths of the good, bad, and beautiful of being human.
Ms. Bishop layers her novels and short stories with the mythical, paranormal, fantasy, and from there into the mind and heart of her rescue horse (‘Dinky: The Nurse Mare’s Foal’).
She grew up the middle child in a large family and credits her parents for giving her the ability of imagination, empathy, and reading.
After multiple, failed bids at world domination, Lorna Suzuki was forced to create a fantasy world where she reigned supreme, until her characters orchestrated a military coup! She is a martial arts instructor with over 30 years experience in this field and a novelist, best known for the epic adult fantasy series, the Imago Chronicles as well as the YA fantasy series, The Dream Merchant Saga that she co-writes with her teenaged daughter, Nia. The first three novels of the Imago Chronicles have been optioned for a major motion picture trilogy for worldwide theatrical release in 2015. Film production is currently underway with an Oscar-winning producer at the creative helm! Visit the official Imago website here: http://www.newmobileme.com/imagochronicles9.
Susan Herman is an independent editor living in Northern California with her husband and two school-age kids. She loves to travel and observe those little quirks that make places and people special. She will imitate your accent without meaning to, but will stop if you buy her a beer.
Thanks to everyone for participating. Despite technical glitches with the site today, I still had fun and learned a lot.
Please note: I will be looking for guest posts starting two weeks from now. Leave me a comment here if you are interested or tweet me at @Bookmark_Terry.