I’m a Texas girl, but I live in Tennessee now. I wasn’t one of those kids who knew in kindergarten that I wanted to be a writer. I liked art, but I didn’t draw that well. Soon I was painting pictures with words instead of crayons. I mixed up shades and textures. I blended facts with fiction, and drew people and places with the stroke of a typewriter. I wrote poetry because I liked rhymes, and poetry was short. It didn’t take forever to finish a poem.
My best gig in middle school was interpreting poetry at forensic tournaments. I read aloud a combination of works by e.e. cummings, T. S. Eliot, and Lawrence Feringhetti. Turns out, Feringhetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind is still one of my favorite books.
I wasn’t the coolest kid in high school, so reading was a great escape. I loved Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in Tom Wolf’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, as well as Kesey’s books One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion. I read Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and anything and everything to do with King Arthur’s Camelot. My taste in books still includes a lot of different perspectives—just like art!
Now, I’m a word artist. I love writing as a practice and as a product. I love great quotes and strong stories. I love word play and puzzles. A good thing for me is that I still love reading. Reading probably got me writing, and writing keeps me reading. I still love art too, but I still can’t draw well. But I’ve found words are an art all their own, and with practice and patience, a word artist can draw anything!