Like atoms or molecules, words for me as a writer are the building blocks of the living expression of my imagination. I say living because a poem or a piece of prose grows and changes over time as its meaning is shaped and reshaped, discovered and rediscovered by readers.
Since I wrote my first poem in elementary school, I have always had a fluid and intuitive relationship with words. The former has allowed me to navigate between poetry and prose, both long and short forms, with relative ease. Poetry took me from elementary to high school and then I delved into short storytelling between later adolescence and college, writing my first novel (yet unpublished) in my early 20s.
Intuition in my writing is both a blessing and a curse, because like a musician that plays by ear, I am able to write without outlines, and often without full awareness of the mechanics of fictional story structure. On the other hand, I wonder how much more effectively I could create leveraging these powerful writing tools.
Perhaps “writing by ear” was what delayed serious and consistent publication of my fiction, which didn’t happen until my early to mid-30s. It was worth the wait, however, as I’ve been honored subsequently by the publication of many of my short stories, a couple of novellas and even a novel and short story collection. More importantly, I’ve become a part of a community of writers who inspire on and off the page.
The other side of the creative coin is the promotion of my work. Most recently, I’ve extended these efforts to other authors/writers through my Twitter blog, “One Question.” Through One Question, I ask and get answers to one question per featured author. The questions are all related to the writing life and I post both questions and answers on my Twitter feed @JenLeeper1.
At all points of my writing journey I’ve been privileged to experience the world around me through the vehicle of words. I’ve come to see myself as not only an architect of storytelling, but a caretaker of these stories, protecting the living expressions of an imagination that seeks to not only create, but to connect with a planet of thinkers, dreamers and adventurers.
If you are interested in participating in One Question visit me on Twitter @JenLeeper1. My recently published works include Akyazı The Reiger File, a novella’s worth of crime and noir, published through Spider Road Press at http://spiderroadpress.com/book-store/. Additionally, you can find Border Run and Other Stories, a collection of stories, at http://barkingrainpress.org/jennifer-leeper/, beginning in early 2017.
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Buy her book: http://spiderroadpress.com/book-store/