“My Writing Process” is an ongoing series in which authors “tag” each other to answer some questions about their work. One question that arose spontaneously recalls the game Telephone… remember playing this as a child? One person comes up with a unique phrase or sentence, and passes it along, whispering it to the next person, who then does the same, and so on, and so on. Until you get to the very last person in the room, who then attempts to blurt the sentence, which of course, has morphed into some completely strange and laughable OTHER Phrase!!!
Gay Degani has asked me to participate:
This is Gay reading at the HEAT reading, AWP/ Seattle (and a mini-me in the doorway!)
For more information about how Gay keeps herself busy, and about her NEW NOVEL, the suspenseful What Came Before, check out Words in Place.
And now, the questions:
1) What am I working on?
My first full length collection, Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) officially launched at the AWP Conference in Seattle, February, 2014: Addicts & Basements: Robert Vaughan: 9781937865238
I’m currently working on a full length story collection, Departures Or Arrivals.
I also co-host a quarterly reading series called Middle Coast Poets: Middle Coast Poets Reading Series. We have our next reading on April 28 at the Riverwest Public House in Milwaukee, and the current poets are Brittany Cavallero, Larry O. Dean, John Walser, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Paul Scot August and me.
I will be teaching a workshop, Publishing Your First (or Next) Collection « Red Oak Writing for their Saturday workshop series.
And I’m teaching a week long workshop, Mixing Genres, at The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin: The Clearing Folk School::Classes
I’m conducting Interviews for the new site, ENTROPY!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I work as hard as I can to find the core of a poem or a prose piece. I hope that my work is the combination of heart and soul and fragments that make up a human being’s struggles to be alive, and possibly tumbling toward some other realm. I love words, and language, and for the most part, people. I’m unsure if it differs, yet I know I am the only me. So in that, somehow, there lies the answer.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I suppose I am trying to make sense of the world, and of life itself. Through other people, characters and their voices, senses, I get to experience the world around me repeatedly. I can do things I might never attempt, and take on new experiences through them. I’ve also sensed, from a young age, that if I did not write, I might not still be here. I like to attempt the genres that scare me the most. And I write for more than me, too. For my Mom and Dad, for James and Mel, for all of those no longer here on planet Earth.
4) How does my writing process work?
I’m not really sure, it morphs over time and depending upon each project. I try to stay as organized as I possibly can. Not an easy task! I used to submit a ton of writing, so that took more notebooks and jotting down submission data, keeping track of acceptances and rejections, especially those encouraging ones. I write best early in the day, just after coffee, before other items creep up, before social media is checked and instant messages and tweets are responded to. I also believe in my writing roundtable for solid feedback and work with two other writers in an online prompt writing weekly group.
I am tagging Michael Gillan Maxwell and Bud Smith:
Michael Maxwell (Michael Gillan Maxwell) is a Freelance Visual Artist, Writer, and Teacher. His work is award winning and heavily published and he is an all-around kickass fellow:
Bud Smith (Bud Smith) is the author of Tollbooth, Or Something Like That, and his just released full length poetry collection, Everything Neon. He also is the host of The Unknown Show: