INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FROM LAURA LEHEW, EDITOR
AND PUBLISHER OF UTTERED CHAOS PRESS
1. CAN YOU TELL A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am a retired teacher, always a bit on the adventurous
side. After college, I taught overseas for five years; in
England, Germany, Okinawa, and Puerto Rico. Following that,
I drove up the Alcan Highway to Alaska where I put down
new roots, taught, married, and lived for the next twenty
years. I retired to Eugene, Oregon.
2. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING?
When I’m not writing I’m reading. Still, I’m
always writing, so they go together. I travel. France is
coming up next spring. I play a little golf in the summer.
In winter, I make pots and pots of soup. I meet friends
for coffee or breakfast, my favorite meal out. It’s
that first cup of coffee, I’m sure.
3. WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS? DO YOU FOLLOW A REGULAR
I have a regular routine in the morning. I write from around
eight in the morning until ten-thirty or eleven. Then I
head to a local coffee shop with my laptop or a book to
read. Sometimes I take my fountain pen and a box of stationary.
I write on and off throughout the day, but from noon on
there is no routine. I wrote a favorite poem riding my bicycle
from Eugene to Harrisburg. I always have a small notebook
and the stub of a pencil with me.
4. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT TOOLS ARE MUST-HAVES FOR WRITERS?
The most important thing for me is having my own writing
room. I took over a spare bedroom, emptied it of bed and
dresser, and moved in the essentials; a desk for my computer,
a comfortable hardback desk chair, a bookshelf, a file cabinet,
and an old cushioned chair of my mother’s that goes
back to my childhood. Plus, I need good lighting. When I
write I like silence and I need to be alone.
5. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WRITE?
Different things motivate me to write. A mood. A memory.
The smell of cooking. Burning leaves. A windy day. Rain.
Fog. Music. Someone or something I observe. An event. I
think all of my senses are involved in putting pen to paper.
I can’t write on call. I never know what will be coming
next. I can’t write for a specific purpose. It’s
all attuned to memory and emotion. From my upstairs office
window, I look out on tall oaks. The trees and the changing
seasons create a kind of peace that makes writing possible.
6. DO YOU EVER SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK? IF SO,
WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Writer’s block happens. I don’t worry. I find
there’s nothing I can do. I simply continue on with
life…and the words will flow again.
7. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS
The most important thing for me is to have a weekly writing
group. Find one that is supportive. Have the other poets
sitting at a table. A serious atmosphere is important. Get
oral and written feedback. Find a group that encourages
the poet in you. Take workshops. Don’t try and make
your voice like others. Be yourself.
8. WHAT ARE THE MESSAGES IN YOUR BOOKS? WHAT ARE YOUR
READERS’ REACTIONS TO IT?
My poems inform, recount, evolve. I write narratives about
what I see, remember, and feel. I write stories of life.
I write about the world around me. The letters, emails,
and calls I receive give me pause. They make me appreciative
of the audience I have. I try to be objective in my writing.
I write from the heart.
9. WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT/FUTURE PROJECTS?
My chapbook, “Stillness Settles Down the Lane”,
was published in 2010 by Uttered Chaos. It’s huge
success gave me the pluck to send out a full-length collection
of poetry to Blue Light Press. Things build upon each other.
My full-length book of poems will be out shortly. I continue
to write daily. I love what I do. Whatever happens next
will be what’s supposed to happen. I keep all options