Writing Background

8 Nov

The following is the original version of my essay that I submitted to Portland State University in 2008, when I was applying for the graduate publishing program. The essay I actually sent didn’t include the stuff from my childhood (fortunately).

I have a B.A. in creative writing from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and since graduating I have continued to write many poems, stories, and essays. Almost a year after graduating, I returned to St. Louis and participated in a writer’s group. My story “Institute of the Dead” appeared in Aphelion Webzine, and “Havisham,” another story, appeared in the online magazine Augustcutter.com. Some of my poems have been published in The Midwest PoetryReview, The Green Fuse, The Circle, Salamander, Windows to Women, and Words Unlimited. At Archon in St. Louis, I once participated in Mickey Zucher Reichert’s fiction writing workshop.

When I was seven years old, I told my brother that I wanted to write a book. He sneeringly claimed that I couldn’t write a book and that I didn’t have a big enough vocabulary, and he demanded that I tell him every single word that I knew. I did not begin writing till I was eleven years old, and at first, except for a few poems, I focused on little books based on characters I made up while playing with a homemade dollhouse. When I was sixteen years old, the first person to tell me that I have a talent for writing was an English teacher, Pam Downard. She praised my writing assignments and published a couple of them in the school paper. After that, I regularly submitted short stories and occasionally poems to the school paper. I also wrote a young adult fantasy novel between the ages of sixteen and nineteen; in more recent years, I have revised and expanded that novel and am currently attempting to find an agent for it.             I mostly think of myself as a fiction and fantasy writer, but while dwelling in the rather alienating environment of Kansas I was compelled to write journals and create blogs. I was also compelled to travel and to write travel journals. During my first trip to India, a Buddhist pilgrimage, I was inspired to write a novel-like five hundred page travel memoir, excerpts of which are on my travel blog http://www.stumblingaroundthirdplanet.blogspot.com. I currently have countless ideas for short stories and am working on an autobiographical fantasy novel about my experience in Kansas.

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