I was born and grew up in Boise, Idaho, attended Boise State University, graduated with a BA in political science and went on to Colorado State University to pursue my MFA degree in creative writing (fiction). I graduated from the MFA in 2018, and have lived in in Garden Valley, Idaho since July 2019.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?
I would say the several Pushcart nominations I’ve received. I greatly moves me that others see something special in my work, in my craft. So, it’s certainly a good signpost for me moving forward!
Why do you write?
I write because I feel an impulse to write, to create worlds on the page and release my wild imagination. I also write to dissect human behaviors and social conventions.
What is your writing process? (Any favorite places to write? Any interesting quirks, traditions, or rituals you may have? How many times might you revise something before being satisfied with it? Besides you, does anyone else edit your work? Etc.)
I try to write in the morning if I can. Sometimes, I’ll listen to classical music, especially Debussy or Tchaikovsky to provide that needed emotional wellspring to produce. With flash fiction pieces, I can often write and rework a piece in a single setting and send things out the same day. Of course, I probably should let some pieces percolate a bit, which is something I’m trying to do more.
In terms of rituals, I like to try to submit to at least six literary journals a day (and often many more). I like to keep up the habit and submit constantly! I’m addicted to submission! I also seek inspiration from my 3-4 daily walks, whether it’s in shadows, Ponderosas swaying, or a butter-colored light glowing at dusk.
Do you have anyone (friends, relatives, etc.) review your works before you publish them?
I’m a member of a writing group, so with longer stories I do tend to get them workshopped. I also occasionally send poems to friends here and there.
Could you give us an idea of your upcoming works without spoiling anything?
I’m always working on something! I am specifically considering writing a novel set in an MFA program, about legacies and egos (with considerable comic elements). I know writing about writing and writing programs is often verboten, but I’d like to challenge that convention.
Do you have any writing events coming up? For example: something being published/released? A reading of one of your works? Interviews? Any speeches or talks?
I’ve just had a flash fiction piece accepted at SmokeLong Quarterly, which is a real thrill for me! Otherwise, I’m just submitting away!
What do you hope to achieve as a writer?
I’d ideally like to get a short story collection published. Possibly a flash fiction collection. And hopefully a novel. But I really believe the short story collection has been overlooked too frequently and flash fiction even more so.
What do you think of bad reviews? Are they helpful or harmful to you?
I haven’t received bad reviews per se, but I have received constructive critiques of some submissions. And I think they can be helpful. In particular, I think they signal that someone was attracted to a piece and it’s worth continuing to pursue.
What advice do you have for novice writers?
I’d say try to write daily, if possible. Even if it’s a mere 50 words. I’d also say don’t be afraid to submit. Yes, it can be frightening, but having a rejection is proof that you put your work out there. And if you keep submitting and really targeting your submissions, you have a great shot at getting work published!
What do you feel are the most important resources a writer can use?
Duotrope has been particularly helpful, due to its wide database of lit mags and various metrics, including journals with fast response times, most approachable, etc. It also gives you a sense of response trends at certain venues, given that so many post their responses.
I’d also say joining a writing group can be helpful. It gives you an impetus to write and submit by deadlines and, best case scenario, offers a range of voices and opinions. It’s especially helpful when multiple group members point out certain issues with a piece, as well as calling out the piece’s strengths.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing? (websites, social media, etc.)
I don’t have a website at the present and I tend to avoid social media when possible, but much of my work can be found online!
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
I’m a self-proclaimed Romantic and a lover of Coen Brothers movies, especially The Big Lebowski. I wish I could abide like the Dude. But I tend to see travesties all around me like Walter Sobchak!