When Did You First Feel Like a Writer?
When I was in grade school there was a poetry contest. Several of my friends knew I wrote poetry so they asked me to write all their poems for them. I did. I remember NOT winning the contest and one of my friends taking first prize with a poem I wrote for her. She stood up in front of a large group to read the poem and accept her 1st place certificate. I remember sitting in the audience thinking: Well, that was really stupid of me. I will NEVER ever do that again.
What is your philosophy for teaching a writing class?
Teaching is fluid and I try to structure a class which will adapt to the needs of each student. I don't actually think you can teach writing, you can break aspects of it down and teach the craft of it, but to me writing is more like a bad habit you pick up that you can't get rid of, or a like a virus that never goes away.
If you could meet any fictional character who would it be?
I don't really have a fictional character I'd like to meet. But if I could meet anyone at all who is not actually here now it would be my great -great grandmother on my mother's side. She was the second wife of a Mormon polygamist. She kept a journal. She wrote recipes in this journal but little else, the only thing she said about my great-great grandfather was that each morning he would put his feet up on the stove when he KNEW she was making potato bread and she would have to ask him to move his feet so she could cook. She also cut off a finger during canning one year and canned the finger. I'd like to ask her why she did that and how the heck she dealt with living a polygamist lifestyle.