I haven’t written any books yet, but I have 2 blogs. One of them is poetry and the others flash fiction. I am just starting out. For most of my life, I wasted my time and talent (for messy personal reasons I won’t go into here). I worked a variety of jobs: restaurant, pet store, bar, and home health care. I was always told “writing is a waste of time and too hard to get into.”
At the age of 50, I decided to go for it. My body and mind were permanently damaged by my life of hard labor. I could not work anymore outside my home, and I was tired of killing myself to make others rich.
At this point, I am not concerned about money. I want to share my talent with the world. My teachers in the past said I had the potential to be a good writer. I still have a lot to learn, and I am studying writing books and reading blogs by more experienced writers. This is something I must do for me.
My life is rather quiet now. I have a husband and four cats. I am interested in a lot of things, but, due to health problems, I don’t go out much. I read almost anything, but my favorites are Sci-fi, fantasy, poetry, and non-fiction (history, science, and biographies.) And I cannot live without coffee!
MM: What do you love most about writing? What speaks to you?
MM2: I love language, and how it’s put together. In school, I think I was the only one who liked diagraming sentences. I draw too, and that is how I see writing. You put the words together to create art, only with words, it’s much more difficult. I don’t just want to entertain, I want to challenge the status quo and make people think twice about the things we all take for granted.
MM: So, what have you written?
MM2: I have written many poems for my poetry blog on WordPress, and I have one story on Blogspot. I also have poems on Scriggler. I know it does not seem like much, but for me, this was a big accomplishment. I also have various micro poems on Twitter.
MM: When did you know writing was for you?
MM2: I always knew it was for me, but I let others talk me out of it.
MM: What are you working on at this minute? What was the inspiration for it?
MM2: I’m working on a short story now, plus some poems. The story is a little bit Sci-fi, with some street drama mixed in.
MM: Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? Plotter or Pantser?
MM2: I used to be a panster, but now I am attempting to work with an outline. This is for stories; for poems, I just put the images down, and then rework them until I feel it’s finished. The wonderful thing about poetry is the fact that it seems to write itself sometimes.
MM: How do you find #FP helps your writing?
MM2: I really love #FP. It’s a challenge to come up with something in so short a space and word limit. I don’t use writing prompts, but #FP works for me.
MM: What draws you to flash-fiction, to #FP? What do you love and hate about it?
MM2: I like flash fiction because it can get to the point quickly. More words are not always better. On the other hand, sometimes I do not get the point of what the author is trying to say.
MM: What inspires you most about writing?
MM2: What inspires me most about words, whether it be poetry, fiction, or songs, is that they can change the world. Not always in a grand, earth-shaking fashion, but in the fact that you can make someone’s day better or inspire others to strive for their own success. Many a writer of books and songs have lifted me from a bad place and kept me going.
MM: Who are your writing inspirations? How do they influence your creativity?
MM2: In the past, my inspirations were the old masters: Tolstoy, Burns, T.S. Eliot. Now I am strongly influenced by Alice Walker, Rudolfo Anaya, Langston Hughes, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. Growing up as an Hispanic in the 1970‘s, I got no exposure to any writers who were not white Americans or Europeans. I love to read writers from other cultural backgrounds. I am particularly inspired by writers who do not sugarcoat society’s problems, but tell the truth, even if it’s ugly and painful. I want to be that kind of writer, not to hurt or start fights, but to stick up for the underdog.
MM: What is your favorite motivational phrase or musing on writing, and why?
MM2: To be honest, I am kind of a cynic and pessimist, so I don’t have any one thing to motivate me. Writing is a frustrating, difficult, and painful practice at times. I credit the writers on Twitter for keeping me going. They have been quite supportive.
MM: What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
MM2: The hardest part is my health. I cannot use my hands too long, or they spasm and shake. I have no short term memory anymore; some days I forget things in mid-sentence. Some days my mind won’t work at all. My attention span is getting shorter. I get ill very easy and catch every bug going around, which wipes me out for days. This makes my writing go extremely slow. On a good day, I can work for hours and forget the time. On a bad day, I might work for an hour. On a horrible day, forget it.
MM: What do you tell yourself every time it gets hard? Every time the stars stop aligning? What do you do when writer’s block knocks on your creative door?
MM2: I have never had writer’s block. I am full of ideas, but it takes me a long time to get them out. I get frustrated by my poor health. On those days, I remind myself I will regret it if I don’t try. Even if I make no money, I want to finish the work for myself.
MM: Do you have any secret and wacky writing rituals that help the words flow
MM2: No, I don’t have any rituals. I do start everything in notebooks with either pen or pencil. It helps me to slow down and focus, plus staring at a screen too long gives me a headache. I only type when it’s time to show it to others.
MM: What advice would you give to aspiring writers and poets, anyone who wants to free the art within? What helped you make it to this point?
MM2: My advice would be:
1. Don’t think you’re too old to start writing. I have known many people who died sad because of the “I should have’s…”
2. Don’t censor yourself before you begin. I don’t mean sex, violence, or bad language. I mean the people telling you to not even try, or that you must conform to whatever’s popular at the moment or to the status quo. Or that your style or ideas are too weird. The wonderful thing today is the Internet. You can appeal to people the mainstream publishers ignored in the past. Experiment, and if it fails, learn from it and move on.
3. Learn, learn, learn! Be honest if you are still learning (say writer, not author). There are lots of great writing books and videos, use them. There are many great writers on Twitter that help new writers learn; seek them out.
It was the writing community on Twitter that finally motivated me to try. I’m glad I did.
MM: What genres do you find yourself most drawn to? In your books and in your #FP’s?
MM2: I am drawn to Sci-fi and fantasy. I am also drawn to stories about people overcoming abuse, since my childhood was difficult. The #FP’s I do best at are the ones dealing with secrets, darkness, and scary stuff. I don’t do well at happy, motivational things because most of my life was not happy, and darkness has become part of my character. It’s not a bad thing. I am learning to use it for my work.
MM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
A single red rose.
How kind of you to draw my
attention to you!
Dew lies on a rose-
crimson red and crystal clear.
A perfect union.
The soft, crimson rose.
To be that much alive, and
yet not disruptive.
Nothing There for Me:
If I must go to heaven
when I die,
there had better be pizza
and Key Lime pie.
If I must go to heaven
when I’m gone,
there should be kittens
on a lush green lawn.
If I must go to heaven
when I expire,
I want marshmallows and
hotdogs over a campfire.
If heaven does not have
any of these,
I don’t want heaven,
I’ll rot in the leaves.
Shades of Gray:
I am a spiritual skeptic,
while happily being a cynic.
I am an optimist who snarls
like a pessimist.
I strive to be a saint; it
doesn’t work when I’m sinning.
I fight to be ethical, but
it’s hard to resist cheating.
Inwardly, I’m lustful; to
the world at large a prude.
My tasks are completed somehow,
despite my lazy mood.
I am a human being, flawed
in many ways.
A wonderful fluke of the
Universe; my purpose