Ocean Springs, Mississippi, United States
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, "PROSIST OF THE ISSUE"?
Who in his right mind would deliberately become an English teacher? Teaching was the LAST career I had in mind when I began college as an art major. However, one Sunday evening, during my junior year, God asked me to be an English teacher, so I changed my major to education the next day. I mean, how can one disobey the Big Guy's call when it comes in so loudly and clearly?
Before burning out on writing decades ago, having studied under Dr. Gordon Weaver (author of Cadence and many other works), I earned my master's degree in English with emphasis on creative writing. My master's thesis was a collection of five original short stories with an introduction. Two of those stories were published in non-paying literary magazines (DARN!).
I tried to get job in another state--away from students who write sentences like, "I burrowed money from friends because I were in deck." Unfortunately, I ended up staying in my home state, one known for its high illiteracy rate--as well as the lowest teacher salaries in the entire country. (I am beginning my sixth year in a row with having had, during that time, only a one and a half percent pay raise from our state legislature.) Now, after years of teaching English--and raising two children, I have begun to write again.
Being only a couple of years away from retirement, I am looking to make some extra money with my writing, since I cannot live on the generous $20,000 a year I will receive (and since my children will be in college).
What do I write? Mainly, I write short fiction, but I have also written a one-act "melodramedy" that I am quite proud of. It may even be produced, by the drama department at the community college where I teach, sometime in the next year or so!
What are my short stories about? Well, the works that I have had published have been compared to those of Flannery O'Connor, who is easily my favorite author. One literary magazine, New South Writing, which I do not believe exists any longer, named me "Prosist of the Issue" way back when, for a short story entitled "Belverta's Nose." To say that all my stories are "O'Connorish," though, would be inaccurate. I have stories lying around that include romance and children's works, but most would probably be labeled as "women's" and/or “literary” since my protagonists are nearly always females (of all ages) and since I try not to be TOO commercial. Some have definite Southern/gothic/bizarre/O'Connor-like elements, while others are fairly "mild." Many satirize Southern, hypocritical Protestants. And one story I wrote recently could probably be considered somewhat experimental and was a "blast" to play with.
It is my fervent dream to publish enough works to earn money to help nurture my children's talents and interests (with which they have been richly blessed), as well as to help them get through the prestigious colleges they dream of attending. But most of all, I do not want to go to my grave with my passion, my writing, still inside me, my stories still untold, unread, unheard.
Interests: WRITING (DUH!), reading, art, theater, Southern Miss football
Published writer: Yes