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Sunday, March 03, 2019

 

Interview with Sandra Blair: Q1 2018 Creative Nonfiction Third Place Winner

Sandra’s Bio:

Sandra Kay Blair fell in love with writing after a failed attempt at the National Novel Writing Month. She writes a variety of pieces from twisted adult flash to lighthearted children’s books. Her adult story placed tenth and her children’s story received an honorable mention in the 2016 Atlantis Short Story Contest. Three of her stories have been finalists in the WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. Her published books include Alphabet Animals: I Spy My ABCs (illustrator and author) and Funny Texas Sayings (illustrator). She’s working on Alphabet Animals Book 2. She lives in Austin with her husband, her son, her daughter, and two dogs. Visit her website at sandrablairproductions.com.

If you haven't done so already, check out Sandra's award-winning story "Raw Chicken" and then return here for a chat with the author.

WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Creative Nonfiction Contest! How did you begin writing this piece and how did it and your writing evolve as you wrote?

Sandra: I originally wrote it in less detail but was given the advice to enlarge on the topic. I wrote this piece while waiting for a tango class. Luckily the instructor was late.

WOW: That’s an efficient use of your time! What did you learn about yourself or your writing by creating this essay?

Sandra: I learned that memories of medical school do exist there beneath the surface. Most of my experiences were happy, some were frustrating or anger inducing, and some were just plain heartbreaking.

WOW: What prompted you to try your first NaNoWriMo, and what about that experience helped you to fall in love with writing?

Sandra: My sister encouraged me to enter NaNoWriMo. She flippantly asked, “Will you enter with me?” My reply was something like “I guess so. It sounds hard.” I didn’t write a novel that month, but did finish a very short novella. What helped me fall in love with writing was that feeling when the words would just flow. Sometimes I’d look up and say ‘wow’ I’ve been writing a long time. It’s that warm feeling from writing a good page, or a good paragraph, or even a good sentence.

WOW: The positive effects of peer pressure! If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Sandra: Do it!

WOW: Anything else you’d like to add?

Sandra: My ideas for a piece just hit me, unfortunately. I can sit in front of the computer for hours just staring at a black page. (I’m also checking email and seeing what’s on sale at Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth.) I have writers’ block a lot. My dream is to learn to write whenever I want. I’m hoping that a journalist class I’m about to take will help. So, if you’re the type of person who can write on demand, I admire you.

WOW: Good luck with your writing class, and thanks so much for your thoughtful responses and for sharing your writing with us. Happy writing!

Interviewed by Anne Greenawalt, who keeps a blog of journal entries, memoir snippets, interviews, training logs, and profiles of writers and competitive sportswomen.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

Anne--Thanks for doing this interview and for providing the link to Sandra's story.

Sandra--My son graduated from med school almost two years ago, and your details about the cadaver (especially the bit of dried fat that got stuck in your hair) made his past experience come alive for me.

I've joked many times about first NaNoWriMo attempt. I refused to use any contractions (because "do not" is two words but "don't" is only one and I was desperate to add to my word count). NaNo can result in a hot mess of a manuscript... It can also result in a first draft that is revised and edited and eventually--is a piece that is shopped around to agents and publishers.

Good luck with your future writing endeavors. I enjoyed reading "Raw Chicken."

8:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you Sioux for your kind words. My NaNoWriMo is a “hot mess” too. I love how you put that. My novella is about the plague but I put the mortality rate so high that I keep knocking my characters off.
Take care,
Sandra :)

9:43 AM  

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