My job as a writer comes in many forms. I write (hopefully) action-packed sci-fi middle grade novels in prose. I write (hopefully) funny and heartfelt contemporary middle grade novels in verse. I write humor essays for a parenting website. Sometimes I pretend to be Geoffrey Chaucer confused by modern technology. I also write as part of Typewriter Rodeo, a quartet of poets who create spontaneous poems on vintage typewriters.
Each one of these jobs informs the other, bleeding into each other like watercolors. Sometimes you don’t actually want the pink and green to mix, but they do anyway. More times than not, this blending is a good thing.
I often spend my days working on a draft of a verse novel – struggling with character creation and plot development, making sure the imagery is appropriate for the audience, and that I’m showing and not telling the actions of the moment. It’s something I love to do, and it’s something that can be so, so hard. After a day spent beating myself up over clichéd metaphors and half-developed characters, sometimes the best thing to do is to sit in front of the TV and allow myself to go braindead. But often, the best medicine is a Typewriter Rodeo gig.
My fellow poets and I meet at the gig (maybe a wedding or a corporate party) and we set up our typewriters. People don’t know what to expect from us, and we don’t always know what to expect from ourselves, or from them. A person in line will give us a word or a phrase and we will then write a poem – on the spot – and deliver it within minutes. It’s a crazy thing to try to do. And it’s wonderful.~ read more ~