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Sunday, September 30, 2018

 

Interview with Lynda Allison: Q3 2018 Creative Nonfiction Runner Up

Lynda's Bio:

Lynda’s uses her background in writing, drama, and teaching to create environments that inspire writers. Traveling with her husband and adult children in Panama prompted the idea for Tranquilo Retreat, a tropical writing space where she will facilitate writing workshops and retreats.

An AWA Affiliate, Lynda uses the Amherst Writers & Artists workshop method, where everyone is a writer and practiced and emerging voices receive support. She served several roles on the board for The Writers Community of Durham Region, co-founded a fundraiser writing challenge, and led a community writing circle.

Lynda’s short stories appeared in several anthologies and she’s published newspaper, magazine, and online articles and columns, children’s and adult fiction, and poetry.

Her favourite place to write is her poolside bohio in Coronado, Panama.

You’ll find her upcoming workshops/retreats at:

The Word Tour: www.facebook.com/thewordtour/
Tranquilo Retreat: www.facebook.com/tranquiloretreat/
Website: www.tranquiloretreat.com

If you haven't already done so, check out Lynda's award-winning story "You Kept Your Boots so Shiny" and then return here for a chat with the author.

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Creative Nonfiction Q3 Contest!   

I'm not sure how to start other than jumping right into this interview with a tough question. Was it difficult to share this particular story? How did you feel after getting it all down on paper?

Lynda: I rallied my courage and headed fearward to write this essay, especially since my assailant was known to me, was in a position of authority, and was never prosecuted. I haven’t shared this assault with many people. Given its sensitive subject matter, I considered re-writing this essay as a short story with a fictional character. It felt safer. But the beautiful women in my critique group encouraged me to submit it as it was written. And they were right to do so.

I felt empowered after writing and submitting the essay, although I did have concerns about the reactions of people who would be reminded of, or introduced to, my past should they see it online. Finding courage to write authentically is what I ask of writing workshop participants so this essay is me living out what I ask of others.

WOW: I'm so happy to hear the process was empowering. Thank you for your honesty. What’s next for you? What are your writing goals for 2018 and beyond?

Lynda: While on holiday in Panama the last few years, my husband and I studied the real estate market and conducted market research in Panama. We recently purchased a home in Coronado that suited his dream to live somewhere hot and my dream to open Tranquilo Retreat.

Here, under the business name The Word Tour, I conduct writing workshops and provide a safe, tropical space to write. My workshops support writers in the writing of their memoirs or use real life to create fiction.


I am currently writing a young adult science fiction/fantasy trilogy, flash fiction, short stories and children’s books.

WOW: We can't wait to hear more from you - glad to hear you are working on something new. Was it difficult coming up with a title for your essay? What came first, the essay or the title?

Lynda: The inspiration for this essay came after reading Pat Schneider’s book, Writing Alone and With Others. Schneider uses “The Tinder-Box,” a fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson as “a metaphor for the process of making art.” In this tale, the protagonist receives a magic apron that keeps him safe from the terrifying dogs he encounters as he explores rooms in which he finds copper, silver and gold. Schneider suggests, “The act of writing is a tremendous adventure into the unknown, always fraught with danger. But the deeper you go and the longer you work at your art, the greater will be your treasure.”

While out walking along my street I saw a rubber boot upside down on a post. I pondered various scenarios about how the boot got there and why it was left. Later, in a writing session the image of the boot came to mind. I wrote a few short vignettes about various times when I could picture boot images and ultimately I wrote about a sexual assault by a man who kept his boots so shiny. My essay title came from the first line of the essay written as a freefall exercise and stayed exactly as it arrived on the page.

WOW: Thank you for your wonderful writing and thoughtful and inspiring responses. Happy writing  and congratulations again as one of the runners up in the WOW! Women on Writing Q3 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest!


Check out the latest Contests:

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