Several people inspired me to be a writer. The three most important were teachers: Sister Carmelita in 3rd Grade, Mrs. Lannon in 6th, and Mr. Neminec in college. Sister Carmelita often gave the class story writing assignments. After one such assignment, I had to read my story in front of the class. I still remember the title, “Oops, Spilled Ink.” The class cheered and applauded my story, and Sister gave me an A+++ on my work. Mrs. Lannon made Fridays story day, where all students had to read a themed piece they had written. It was my favorite part of 6th grade. And in college, Mr. Neminec who taught a basic essay writing class, told me when reading and grading work, he always saved the best for last—my submissions. He had his students keep journals which I kept long after the class ended. I eventually earned a B.A. in English and went on for an M.S. in Journalism.
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
I write anything and everything—poetry, short stories, essays, novels, plays, book reviews, journalistic and technical writing. Flash fiction falls in there somewhere.
Describe your writing process.
I prefer to write when an irresistible idea strikes. Time of day makes no difference, though I prefer to be alone in my house, without distraction. Depending on the subject, research may be mandatory. And if a piece is long, outlines are helpful to keep my thoughts organized and logical.
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
Baby possums were in the basement window well. This story is true.
What are you working on now?
I am editing a novel I wrote a few years ago with the intent to self-publish. I also have the idea to put together a book of my short pieces, and another of my poetry. In the past year, I have had four book reviews published in Chicago Life magazine, seasonal advertising supplement to the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday New York Times.