A few FAQs.
Q. How do you say Tzynya?
It’s not as difficult as it appears, really. it is pronounced, tuh-zeen-yah. begin here: divorce your tongue from the notion of the english language and it will be fine. and if you still mispronounce it, that too will be fine. we are going to work together to make sure things are as close to fine as possible, here, on this blog space. do you feel better?
Q. Are you really a mermaid?
Yes. No, I will not show you my tail.
Q. Do you consider yourself a poet or a writer first?
I consider myself a storyteller. From there it’s just a matter of listening to the narrative. Sometimes I force it, strong-arm a prose into a poetry – especially when I haven’t written any new poetry in a good while – it never works. I have folders, thumb drives and cloud storage full of poems that should have been prose (and vice versa). Lately, I’ve been taking photographs – I am literally hoarding hundreds of photographs on my Android phone! – that spin a nice narrative. See, this is storytelling too. Check out my little gallery.
Q. You’ve published two chapbooks and working on a third. Whatchu got against large books of poetry?
Nothing. I like them, when others write them. I think my work best lends itself to the chapbook. It’s not about creating a pamphlet-sized work (I spent six months selecting/arranging the 12 poems in How to Make Pink Confetti, years writing them, and a lot of poems didn’t make the cut), it’s about the craft of handmade books. Imagine: this diminutive creature, the chapbook – with its staples, string, and rough-trimmed pages – among a chorus of giants, but it makes no apology. Like an overstuffed bra, the chapbook is hopeful, romantic, and a little bawdy. And I am all those things, and my work is all those things
Q. Do you write erotica, if so, will you publish a collection of erotic stories?
If a poem says to me, “hey girl, this lyric can only travel its intended road if allowed to pin metaphor to its lace panty line,” then I do it, but I don’t find writing about sex so urgent that I would create a mountain of sex poems (and that is by no means a commentary on erotica or writers of erotica). Come on, really, most erotica bores me (including my own) and it bores you too. Sex is simple and base as waking up with bad breath. There’s only so much you can do with it – especially on paper – without coming off as pedestrian and formulaic and just a bit needy. I don’t want to spend too much time writing about something I’d rather be doing. I will, however, recite dirty limericks until my tongue goes limp. By the by, Rumi, Anais Nin, and Erica Jong are my favorite writers of erotica.
Q. Do you write about God?
Q. Since you believe in God, why don’t you write Christian fiction?
I don’t write Christian fiction, or women’s fiction, or African-American fiction, or fiction by short people under 5’4″ tall.
Q. Why don’t you have an MFA in writing?
Because I didn’t attend graduate school.
Q. Who are your favorite writers?
Come on, you can do better than that.
Q. What advice would you give to writers starting out?
Find and make a life worthy of bouncing stories against.