Mariah E. Wilson Part 3 – Writing Life

me2014

Mariah E. Wilson and the writing life will complete this month’s Three by Five interview.

VAH: Are you a full time writer?

MEW: I’m working my way toward being a full time writer. Currently I have three school aged children, so they do take up a lot of my time. My husband works full time out of the house and I have the immense luxury of being a stay at home mom. If I wasn’t writing, I’d be a stay at home mom that doesn’t write.

VAH: When the page is blank what gets you writing?

MEW: Songs. Sometimes songs can inspire me to get the juices flowing. But often, if I find myself stuck with my fiction, I switch to poetry (or the other way around) and the change is usually enough to get my brain into gear.

VAH: What is your “process” when working on a new piece of writing?

MEW: When I have a new idea I’m consumed by it. I’ll sit down and make a few notes, but then I dive right in and start writing it. And I keep going until I can’t. Then I toss it aside for a while, in some cases years, and I rewrite it. Sometimes it take a rewrite or two or four but eventually I get a good handle on what it is I’m really trying to say.

VAH: What does your typical writing day include?

MEW: My typical writing day involves coffee. I like to get up before the kids and have some quiet time, though it’s not necessary, I can write in any situation almost. I get up, I make a coffee, I check my social media while I wake up, then I open my word processor and try to get a good thirty minutes in. Like I said, I’m a stay at home mom so my writing comes in fits and starts all day long whether or not my kids are at home. If they’re not here, as soon as I drop them off at school I try to get another two hours of writing and writing related activities in before I have to come back to the real world and do things like cook and clean. Once the kids are in bed I can usually sneak in another thirty minutes to an hour of writing.

VAH: What words of wisdom do you have for the emerging writer?

MEW: Finish what you start. This is the number one most important thing you will learn how to do. Finishing projects not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, which is important any writer, but it also give you something to revise and edit. Which brings me to my second bit of advice. Don’t edit it until you’ve finished it. If you want to change something, make a note and do it after you’ve got the story down. You can fix anything except a blank page.

VAH: Mariah thanks for taking part in the Three by Five Interview Series.

 

Mariah Wilson Sampler:

The Echo Remains in the 2014 Best New Poem Contest

Sinkholes of Emptiness in GERM Magazine

Talking to Strangers in The Literati Quarterly

Saudade in The Steel Chisel

Kummerspeck and Retired Jesus in The Lake

Jellybean Jealousy in Walking is Still Honest

Connecting….in Luciferous

Mariah Wilson Social Media: Twitter  Facebook  Tsu  Website  Blog  Wattpad

Mariah E. Wilson’s contemporary romance, The Demon in Him will be released in 2015.

Harley Black is trapped in an impossible situation. Caught between love and family, between dreams and duty, Harley will have to decide if she’s willing to risk everything, including her father’s freedom, for the man she loves.

Mariah E. Wilson is a writer from beautiful British Columbia. She has been published in Thin Air Magazine, Every Day Poets, The Kitchen Poet, Literary Orphans and The Corner Club Press, for which she is also now the Poetry Editor. Her first poetry collection, We Walk Alone, was published by Writers AMuse Me Publishing. Her debut novel, The Demon in Him will be released in 2015.

Return next month on days that end in three for more featured authors and emerging writers.

Next month: Canadian poet Carol A. Stephen.

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Gone, Not Lost

Recently I surfed back to a journal where I was fortunate to have had some of my poetry published only to sadly find that last year the journal had ceased publication.

The journal was ditch where you find poetry that’s off the main road. In its own words:”Celebrating the innovative, the non-conforming, the radical, the alternative, the avant-garde, the non-linear, the abstract, the experimental.”

This Canadian poetry magazine ran from August 2007 to January 2014, and published not only numerous Canadian and International poets online, but also several chapbooks, and special commemorative pages. Entirely self-funded and supported by its editor, John C. Goodman, technology was unable to keep up with the creativity of work submitted. The web platform couldn’t meet the formatting demands. Sadly, this wonderful source of contemporary poetry was laid to rest.

The site remains up with the archive accessible. Visit and randomly click on names from the Canadian or International lists. There is a plethora of poetry still waiting for your discovery at ditch.

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Mariah Wilson Part 2 – Writers Read

me2014VAH: Mariah, who is your favorite literary character?

MW: Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I love her because she feels things deeply and because she’s strong and resilient.

VAH: What about a favorite author?

MW: Dean Koontz. I grew up watching my mom devour his books. It wasn’t until I was eleven years old that she finally let me read one. She selected The Voice in the Night and I’ve been hooked ever since. I haven’t read all of his books, but I have read a great many. He truly is the master of suspense.

VAH: Imagine you’re stranded in a snowstorm, stuck on a deserted island. What books would you hope to have with you or find?

MW: I would have Anne of Green Gables with me. I’ve read this book so many times it really is like an old friend. I would also have The Count of Monte Cristo because it’s another one of my favorites. I would also like to have an empty notebook with me. I really can’t live without at least one empty notebook.

VAH: What is the most memorable book, story or poem you’ve read? How so?

MW: The most memorable book I ever read is They Cage The Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch. It’s the true story of a boy who spends several years being bounced in and out of foster care. He goes through a lot and it’s really hard to read sometimes. It was the first book that made me cry.

VAH: Do you have a favorite book, poem, or story?

MH: My favorite poem is Just Think by Robert Service. I grew up reading him.

And I simply can’t choose just one favorite book. I’d have to give you a top ten list.

VAH: What author or books keep you up at night because you can’t put them down?

MW: Dean Koontz will keep me up late into the night, but so will any really good book. Most recently it was Penelope Douglas and her book Rival.

VAH: Which reader are you – always finish what you started or put it down and move on if you don’t like it?

MW: I used to be a finish what you start reader. But life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. So now I don’t finish books I can’t get into.

Mariah Wilson Sampler:

Jellybean Jealousy in Walking is Still Honest

Connecting….in Luciferous

Mariah Wilson Social Media: Twitter  Facebook  Tsu  Website  Blog  Wattpad

More with Mariah Wilson this month on days that end in three!

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Mariah Wilson

For May, Three by Five will be talking with poet and emerging novelist Mariah Wilson.

VAH: Mariah – So the first and my favorite question is why do you write?

MW:  I write because I have to. That’s the easy answer. I write because I feel that it’s the only thing I was ever any good at. It’s the only thing I ever imagined myself doing. I love it. It’s something that I can do myself, but there’s a really great community out there, and I love that too. I write because I want to connect to people. I want them to read my stuff and know exactly what I was feeling when I wrote it, because they felt it too.

VAH: Why did you become a writer and when did you know or feel like you were a writer?

MW: I became a writer because really, I could be nothing else. Sure, yes, for the sake of argument I could have been anything I wanted. An architect. A researcher. A marine biologist. Pretty much any career that doesn’t involve advanced mathematics, I could do. But I want to be a writer. I didn’t feel like I was a writer until my late twenties. Until then writing was a hobby, a passion yes, but it wasn’t anything I took seriously. That changed in mid-2012. I decided that I would make this my career. It’s been a long learning process, and I’ve taken many, many baby steps, but I’m a lot farther along this road than I used to be.

VAH: How about influences? What or who impacted your development as a writer?

MW: My writer friends. I have some great writing companions. Some I know in real life, others I only know online. Like Amber Skye Forbes and my writing guru, Mary Cote Walkden. Both of these ladies have taught me so much. I’ve learned a lot about the business and the craft from both of them. They’ve been invaluable to me.

VAH: What do you remember about your first story or poem?

MW: My first poem was written in grade four. This was when I discovered that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. We had to write a poem and I wrote one about a nun who failed at being a nun so she went to the bar. Somehow she ended up running into Al Capone. Obviously I was a strange 10 year old. I sadly don’t have the poem anymore, but I remember the opening lines.

Sister Mary was not a nun by far

So she took her sorrows to the bar.

VAH: HA! That is such an interesting opening! I’d love to know the rest if it ever resurfaces. What is the favorite piece you’ve written to date?

MW: I have so many poems that I absolutely love, but one of my favorites was published by Germ Magazine under the title Sinkholes of Emptiness. As for fiction, the book I’m working on now, There is Still Light. I’m absolutely in love with this story.

Mariah Wilson Sampler:

Jellybean Jealousy in Walking is Still Honest

Connecting….in Luciferous

Mariah Wilson Social Media: Twitter  Facebook  Tsu  Website  Blog  Wattpad

 

More with Mariah Wilson this month on days that end in three!

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Poetry Scouts

May Day has arrived and National Poetry Month comes to another conclusion. The Found Poetry Review once again sponsored a creative and challenging project for production of found poems during the entire month. This was my second time taking part. The concept of poetry “scout” badges was fun and tough at times. I did complete all 30, though more than half in the final hours due to an extremely challenging month in non-literary ways.

During the month of May, all the poems will be visible online. They will go dark come the end of this month. I hope you will check out a few of mine. I’m rather proud of them.

PoMoSco rocked.

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Rebecca Foust Part IV

Rebecca Foust and the writing life…

VAH: AreFrost Place-back porch you a full time writer?

RF: Yes.

VAH: Is writing vocation, occupation, or profession?

RF: Vocation because I do it for love, not money.

VAH: When the page is blank what gets you writing?

RF: Writing—anything—gets me writing.

VAH: What is your “process” when working on a new piece of writing?

RF: Right drunk and revise sober. Let it all out in the first draft and then pare back and revise.

VAH: Do you have a submission system or plan?

RF: Yes, three times a year: fall, spring, summer.

VAH: What does your typical writing day include?

RF: Unfortunately it begins with answering  a ton of emails—the main reason I go on writing retreats is to get away from emails and social media.

VAH: That immersion into writing and the ability to turn off the tech is quite inviting.

Bonus:

VAH: If you had a super power, what would it be and why?

RF: Never have to sleep because I hate to sleep.

VAH: What is a little known fact about you that will amaze and/or amuse?

RF: I used to collect rocks.

VAH: How fun! I used to collect rocks too. In fact, I occasionally can’t resist picking up and stashing one away in my pocket.

Three random, non-writing facts about you?

RF: I love to cook. Have 3 kids. Am a pretty good snowboarder. Once was proficient on the stationary trapeze.

VAH: Who is your biggest fan?

RF: My sister Sandy Geimer.

 

Thank you Rebecca Foust, for taking the time to talk about your writing life.

Rebecca Foust Sampler:

Southern Indiana Review Spring 4014 Issue, “the fire is falling,” Jan 2014:

Dynamic Response of Multi-Layered Soil Media in the Frequency Domain,” featured on Poetry Daily, 2/1/15

“Biography,” “But What Can Wake You,” and “Eulogy,” published in OmniVerse, Fall 2014

Dream of the Rood” featured on Poetry Daily, 10/2/14

Prodigal,” Valparaiso Poetry Review, Volume XIV, Number 2 (Spring 2013)

Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry.  Molly Peacock calls it “jagged” and “fresh” and Thomas Lux says “There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not si

beck 2nce Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.”

Foust’s poems are widely published and appear in current or next issues of the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. Her book reviews and essays have published in American Book Review, Calyx, Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, and Rumpus, and her essay, “Venn Diagram” won the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award and appears in the current issue of Malahat Review.

Find Rebecca Foust on the web and social media: WebsiteTwitterFacebook.

Paradise Drive

Paradise_Drive_Cover_2-17-15

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Rebecca Foust Part III

April’s conversation with Poet Rebecca Foust continues. 

Part IIBecky_author photo_cropped_7-12-14I with Poet Rebecca Foust

VAH: What words of wisdom do you have for the emerging writer?

RF: Learn to accept rejection and to reject acceptance (Ray Bradbury). The writers who succeed are the ones who don’t give up. Do it for love, not money or fame because those things are not gonna happen. Enjoy the process. As Isak Dineson said, write every day with hope but without specific expectation.

VAH: What choices have you made regards to traditional or independent publishing and why?

RF: Traditional because with 5000 books of poetry a year getting published now, a writer has to do all she can to distinguish her work in the great wash.

VAH: What part does social media play in your writing career?

RF: Lately, more and more. FB is vastly more efficient than email for spreading the word. I am just learning twitter and the jury is out on whether this will be effective in helping to distribute my work.

VAH: Both can be useful marketing tools and just as effective time sucks.

Do you belong to writing or author organizations and what benefit have you found in doing so?

RF: Left Coast Writers at Book Passage in Marin is great. AWP conferences are great, too. And I love Marin Poetry Center, which offers so much for $25 a year: monthly readings by high profile poets, a monthly roundtable workshop, the chance to contribute to an annual anthology, and the opportunity to read in the summer traveling shows.

VAH: I’ll need to look into the Marin Poetry Center. Do you have any favorite online sites or blogs that you find useful or interesting?

RF: Narrative, Cortland Review, and the Best American Poetry and the North American and Mid-American Review Blogs.

More with Poet Rebecca Foust posting here on days that end in three (or occasionally begin with 3).

In the meantime, enjoy a sampling of her work:

Southern Indiana Review Spring 4014 Issue, “the fire is falling,” Jan 2014:

Dynamic Response of Multi-Layered Soil Media in the Frequency Domain,” featured on Poetry Daily, 2/1/15

“Biography,” “But What Can Wake You,” and “Eulogy,” published in OmniVerse, Fall 2014

Dream of the Rood” featured on Poetry Daily, 10/2/14

Prodigal,” Valparaiso Poetry Review, Volume XIV, Number 2 (Spring 2013)

Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry.  Molly Peacock calls it “jagged” and “fresh” and Thomas Lux says “There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not si

beck 2nce Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.”

Foust’s poems are widely published and appear in current or next issues of the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. Her book reviews and essays have published in American Book Review, Calyx, Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, and Rumpus, and her essay, “Venn Diagram” won the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award and appears in the current issue of Malahat Review.

Find Rebecca Foust on the web and social media: WebsiteTwitterFacebook.

Paradise Drive

Paradise_Drive_Cover_2-17-15

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Rebecca Foust Part II

April’s conversation with Poet Rebecca Foust continues. Today’s installment looks at what the writer reads.

VAH: Rebecca, Do you have a favorite literary character?

RF: Boo Radley

VAH: Harper Lee’s characters are often mentioned in response to that question. First time for Boo Radley though.

Any favorite authors?

RF: No, I love so many.

VAH: You’re stranded in a snowstorm, stuck on a deserted island. What books would you hope to have with you or find?

RF: Shakespeare and the bible.

VAH: The gamut of emotion there. Love, pain, joy, anger, revenge, hope, redemption, drama, comedy… and would last a while.

What is the most memorable book, story or poem you’ve read?

RF: Well, I just wrote a piece for Poetry Daily on Yeats’s “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” and that is the only poem I have ever truly memorized, so let’s say that one.

VAH: I find hope that you’ve only memorized one poem, since I can’t memorize anything.

Do you have a favorite book, poem, or story?

RF: I love the poems of George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins and John Donne. My favorite book of poems is probably Ariel by Sylvia Plath, The House on the Marshland by Louise Gluck or Winter Stars by Larry Levis.

VAH: What author or books keep you up at night because you can’t put them down?

RF:  I recently loved The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch and The Secret History. I really loved The Old American by Ernest Hebert. Anything by Tobias Wolff is great. I love reading short stories too. Poems take more attention and work and it is hard for me to read them at night with the focus they require.

VAH: Reading poetry at night before bed would probably keep my mind awake, churning the images around. Which reader are you – always finish what you started or put it down and move on if you don’t like it?

RF: Always finish because I am stubborn and not a quitter.

More with Poet Rebecca Foust posting here on days that end in three (or occasionally begin with 3).

In the meantime, enjoy a sampling of her work:

 

Dynamic Response of Multi-Layered Soil Media in the Frequency Domain,” featured on Poetry Daily, 2/1/15

“Biography,” “But What Can Wake You,” and “Eulogy,” published in OmniVerse, Fall 2014

Dream of the Rood” featured on Poetry Daily, 10/2/14

Prodigal,” Valparaiso Poetry Review, Volume XIV, Number 2 (Spring 2013)

Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry.  Molly Peacock calls it “jagged” and “fresh” and Thomas Lux says “There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not si

beck 2nce Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.”

Foust’s poems are widely published and appear in current or next issues of the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. Her book reviews and essays have published in American Book Review, Calyx, Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, and Rumpus, and her essay, “Venn Diagram” won the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award and appears in the current issue of Malahat Review.

Find Rebecca Foust on the web and social media:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookParadise Drive

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Poetry Month Scouts

Today I earned my Haiku Anew badge. Source text used to create a new haiku was written by Amos White. Visit #PoMoSco for more.

 

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Rebecca Foust Part I

Three by Five welcomes Poet Rebecca Foust. This installment focuses on writer beginnings.

VAH: Welcome Rebecca Foust to Three by Five! The first question is always – why do you write?

RF: I am impelled to by a pressure from within.

VAH: Why writing and what led you to identify as a writer?

RF: I’ve always been a writer but did not know it till the year I turned 50 and published my first poem and book.

VAH: That certainly gives the many older, emerging writers hope. Any influences with your development as a writer?

RF: So many—women writers like Sharon Olds, Molly Peacock Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Gluck, and Gwendolyn were all important because in college we studied only Dead White Men and I needed role models to convince me that I could write, too. James Cummins’s book of hilarious and smart linked sestinas based on the Perry Mason TV series was a big source of inspiration for Paradise Drive.

VAH: I think that question is one of my favorites because it so often gives some back story to what the author is doing. For any difficult profession – seeing someone that looks like you that is successful makes such a huge contribution towards successful individual effort. Role models give hope.

What do you remember about your first story or poem?

RF: Don’t recall my first poem but “Mom’s Canoe,” my most widely anthologized poem was the first poem I published, in 2007 the year I turned 50.

VAH: I love the rhythm and music in that poem. Fifty is a milestone and Mom’s Canoe seems to have gotten you off to a fine beginning.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve written to date?

RF: A very short poem called “Only” written for my son who has Aspergers.

VAH: That poem must be particularly close to your heart.

More with Poet Rebecca Foust posting here on days that end in three.

In the meantime, enjoy a sampling of her work:

Dream of the Rood” featured on Poetry Daily, 10/2/14

Prodigal,” Valparaiso Poetry Review, Volume XIV, Number 2 (Spring 2013)

Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry.  Molly Peacock calls it “jagged” and “fresh” and Thomas Lux says “There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not si

beck 2nce Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.”

Foust’s poems are widely published and appear in current or next issues of the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and other journals. Her book reviews and essays have published in American Book Review, Calyx, Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, and Rumpus, and her essay, “Venn Diagram” won the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award and appears in the current issue of Malahat Review.

Find Rebecca Foust on the web and social media:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookParadise Drive

Leave a comment

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