Sunday, September 7, 2014

Picking Up Food is Good for My Muse

You can find Part One by clicking HERE.

4. Who taught you how to perform your art or craft?

It would be unfair to attribute this to one person. My brother taught me my alphabet, so he gave me my first tools. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Degnan, built up my confidence when she gave me harder work and alerted my parents to my advanced reading skills. Mrs. Holmes gave me my first writing assignments and my first experiences with critiques and rewrites. My 8th grade English teacher, Ms. Robertson, actually read my sequel to Rebecca and praised my writing. The list goes on and on. Most people on the list are teachers.

But I would be remiss if I didn't tell you who most encouraged my reading and writing, growing up. That would be my father. I can't picture my dad without a book in his hands. Now it's a Kindle. We have always talked about books and shared writing. We were once members of a poets' group together, back in the early days of Internet forums, before blogging was a thing. He pushed my reading boundaries and was never too busy for a trip to the library.

5. What are common responses you get from people about your work?

I'm often told my work is lyrical. Even my fiction is most often called poetic.

6. What life experiences shaped you as an artist?

All of them.

Okay, a few that stand out:

My first love/relationship and all of the surrounding drama in high school. I never wrote so much poetry (most of it bad). That boy brought out parts of my soul I never knew existed. He made me question who I was. He hurt me, yes, but he also filled me up and made me feel beautiful and alive.

Marriage and motherhood. Both are the most amazing things I've ever done. They also require the most from me. Every day I learn what I am capable of and also where my limits lie.

Natalie's death. Also, Patrick and Lynn and my Uncle Greg and so many others. Death brings me face to face with fears and dreams.

7. When do you feel most inspired?

When I am driving. Especially if I am on a long car trip and can't possible stop to write. I have been known to pull over and scribble down a poem. I often tell Siri, "Email Heather Truett," and she opens an email and I tell her my idea and have it sent to myself. I have all sorts of notes saved that way. My last novel was just loose bits until I drove to pick up pizza and had an epiphany. And my new novel found its main character when I was driving to Firehouse Subs to pick up dinner. Apparently, picking up food is good for my muse.

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