I adopted this moniker from my puppy, Abigail, when she went off to the Happy Hunting Ground. In high school, my bestest friend Jill declared that Abby was the Grand Emperor of the Universe. (Yes, I tried to explain that it should have been empreESS, but she didnt care!) When Abby departed, I feared the universe would descend into chaos without a new leader, so I have succeeded my dog to the position of Grand Emperor of the Universe. Or something like that. Hey, we all need some sort of fantasy life, right?
Of course, somewhere along the lines I decided I sucked at poetry, so I gave that up
pretty completely. I wandered around the writing planet for a while in search of a
genre. I wrote the better part of a novel while I was substitute teaching after college, but I
decided that sucked, too. Actually, what I decided was that writing fiction just felt wrong to me.
I didn't like it at all. The novel was based on my second year in college, the year my mom died.
I realized I wanted to tell the story as it really was, using elegant prose to tell a compelling true
story. Eventually my dearest friend Kris turned me on to the idea of creative nonfiction. Creative
nonfiction is essentially using the devices of fiction to tell true stories. It is way cool.
I think I have found my genre. Now I just gotta do some writing in that there genre. If I write anything
cool, maybe I will post it. I am attending a creative nonfiction workshop at Iowa this summer, though,
so maybe I will come up with something. Despite my desire to write cool nonfiction,
I am also a journalling junkie. I am a compulsive journal writer. I have done a really
good job of documenting my life. Might be interesting to read someday. If I should die,
check with my friend Kris, as the publishing rights will be passed on to her.
My favorite living American author is Kurt Vonnegut, hands down. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Mr. Vonnegut last year and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I felt deeply enriched. I very highly recommend reading some Vonnegut if you haven't, or haven't for a while. He is definitely worth some rereading if it has been a while.
A Top 10 List I feel I must. I do not have the energy to rank them in any order, though.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solhenitsyn
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I'm in love with Atticus and looking for his living embodiment to marry.)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (yes, 1500 pages and a bit thick, but worth the read!)
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Breakfast of Champions By Kurt Vonnegut
Living Up the Street by Gary Soto
The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard (Rocked my world--made creative nonfiction a reality for me)
Sudden Fiction Eds. Robert Shapiro and James Thomas (no story over 4 pages need apply)