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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

 

Meet Shermie Rayne, 2nd Place Winner in WOW's Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest

Shermie Rayne writes a gamut of fiction, and sometimes even happenstance poetry. Several of her stories have found publication homes here and there. In addition to excelling as a barely-functioning mom in suburbia, Rayne runs a local writing group for women. She resides in Virginia with her husband, three teenagers, an orange tabby, several tanks of fish, and a very mischievous pup.

Connect with her on Twitter @shermierayne. Visit her website at shermierayne.wordpress.com.

Read her winning entry here and return to learn more about what inspires Shermie's writing.

----------Interview by Renee Roberson

WOW: As a mother of two children who has spent a lot of time standing watch over my family (sometimes to a fault!), I could really resonate with your story. How did the idea for “Crooked Door Lullaby” first come to you?

Shermie: I lost several close relatives over the course of a few months, a couple of years back. Death itself has always been an unknown that I struggle to understand and accept. Yet, I’ve witnessed strong individuals, like my grandma, handle death with unbelievable grace. “Crooked Door Lullaby” came out of my need to comprehend both loss and the ability to go on afterward.

WOW: It is indeed a story of unwavering strength and grace. Does your past life as a pediatric nurse ever weave its way into your writing?

Shermie: Perhaps. It definitely has influenced how I mother. (Some would say I’m a bit overprotective.) I think all life experiences are filtered into writing, consciously or not.

WOW: You belong to a writing group for women that you help facilitate. How helpful has this group been to you in this stage of your life and writing?

Shermie: Yes, so, I started the group in January of 2014. At the time, my youngest was still in preschool and the older kids in after-school activities. I created what I needed, which was a supportive environment that met mid-morning. Our group is so important; it keeps me accountable to my writing. The group has evolved so much over the years. We now have monthly critique sessions as well, so I know I’ve got to put something together to submit. Deadlines are important! And having an understanding support group is immeasurable.

WOW: When you’re not taking care of your family and writing, what are some of your favorite pastimes?

Shermie: I (of course) love reading—and especially listening to audiobooks. We have a newish pup, so I’ve been walking and hiking more often and exploring nature . . . which means taking a lot more pictures—another passion.

WOW: You enjoy writing a variety of things. How do you toggle back and forth between different projects? Inquiring minds would like to know more about your writing process.

Shermie: Part of my group’s weekly meeting includes prompt-based writing. Someone pulls a writing prompt out and sets a timer, and we freewrite. I’ve started many stories during this time, as well as scenes for current projects. I get bored easily, so having several projects going at once allows me to work on something else when I get stuck. I do write flash, short story, and novel length fiction. It seems short story is the most difficult form of the three; I’m often reworking my short stories and never satisfied.

I wish I could say I have a solid writing schedule/process currently. Life seems to have gotten busier while the kids have grown older, so I’m squeezing in writing when and where I can. The last couple of months, I’ve been focused on editing (again, after a hiatus) a project that, I feel, is very important. Not my normal genre, it’s upper middle-grade and explores bullying/suicide through the eyes of a seventh grader. I hope to be querying agents soon.

WOW: We wish you the best of luck with your revision process and querying and we look forward to reading more of your powerful work. 

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