A Writing Life Update
It’s been a busy summer. The first half was devoted to the production of my literary magazine, Shetland Create, and our little launch up on the Shetland Islands. Suffice to say, it all turned out beautifully! I met some warm and welcoming northerly writers and saw myself a good share of puffins. What more could I ask for?
I made a book. It feels awesome. (P.S. Everything looks better with a succulent.)
Then I threw myself into finishing my Masters dissertation, what I’ve (perhaps ineloquently) dubbed a ‘poetic memoir.’ But it’s not really about me, to be honest. It’s the story of my family, who immigrated from Sicily over 100 years ago and how our faith has shifted from Catholicism to cars. Yes, we’re obsessed with cars. I wrote a whole book about it.
My sisters and I just casually hanging with our Go-Kart (which I now realize my parents somehow lugged to a photo studio…). Short hair, et al.
But now the Masters dissertation is behind me, and it’s time to get back into the swing of ‘writing for fun.’ In the intensity of writing my dissertation, I nearly forgot why I write to begin with. I write because it’s fun, and I just feel unfinished when I don’t.
With impeccable timing, I attended a poetry workshop hosted by Jeanette Lynes, a Canadia poet, at Glasgow Uni (where, by the way, I start my PhD this September). Her workshop focused on ‘jaggedness.’ That is: spontaneity, quirkiness, fun. She allowed us to set aside aestheticism and formality and write with an eye toward the unexpected. The workshop was exactly what I needed to get back into the groove of writing. I wrote three poems that day (and they didn’t suck!). So now I’m jazzed, sending my work off to competitions, and dredging up old work and injecting some much-needed jaggedness into them.
Oh, and a poem of mine called ‘After Betty Davis’ will be published in SWAMP, a magazine by and for postgrads. I’m honored they saw something in my quirky, weird words.
You haven’t heard of Betty Davis? Go look her up. Now!
Okay, I’m off to go ruminate about my next writing project. Probably a crime novel. With faeries.
Angie Spoto is an American fiction writer and poet. She holds a dual-Bachelors degree in creative writing and business management from Lake Forest College and is completing a doctoral degree in creative writing at the University of Glasgow. She has lived in Austria, the Netherlands, and now lives in the UK.