Why did you become a writer? When did the writing bug first bite you?
I’ve been a writer since childhood. I wrote my first poem when I was 8 years old. Some of my favorite ideas for stories still come from old notebooks that I kept throughout my childhood and teenage years.
What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?
The best moment in writing happens in the middle of the night when I’ve just written a Thing, and at least for that moment, it’s the Best Thing Ever. The high of that creative satisfaction is wonderful. I pace around the house until I’m calm enough to go back to sleep.
The most frustrating?
The most frustrating part is when the Best Thing Ever turns out to be the Worst Thing Ever when I look at it again the next morning. Fortunately, the pendulum usually swings to the middle eventually.
Can you tell us about your latest release?
My newest chapbook of poetry is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, release date still undetermined. It’s called WATER STREET and reflects on the tension between freedom and domesticity.
What inspired it?
I lived for some years in a beautiful studio apartment on Water Street, overlooking the Mill River. The light and solitude were amazing. I’m a birdwatcher and naturalist, with a doctorate in geology, so I have a deep attachment to the natural world. The minks, bats, frogs, spiders, and wasps that kept me company, as well as the plants and trees and the river itself, appear throughout the poetry, each time carrying along a symbolic tail.
You’re sitting on the Submitting to Literary Journals panel at this year’s conference. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning?
Among other things, I’ll be describing resources available to encourage writers to get their work submitted, in particular the Submissions and Revisions group I’m running as Writer in Residence at the Forbes Library. We gather around the same table to work on submissions and to gain confidence from each other’s presence.
What are you working on now?
I’m in process on a children’s book about a young girl who is a naturalist against the odds. I’m also working on a book of thematically related adult short stories.
Read more at Naila’s blog.