I started my website in 2002. A lot has changed since then, but I’m still here, so to speak. This is a site where I catalog much of my writing, in all its forms, as well as any other artistic ventures I undertake.

I began writing in 1988. For the first eight years, writing was never about books. It was never about print, publication, or achievement. Writing was therapy; it was escapism; it was salvation. Life was mostly “off grid,” which is incredibly conducive to writing, particularly because there’s little else to do. In adolescence, I was what would eventually become a “goth,” but there was no such term in the Appalachians, at that time, so I was just “weird.”

The only phone was a landline, that may or may not work, and “9-1-1” service wouldn’t be available for another decade. Electricity was unreliable, and a storm could knock out power for a month or longer. Water came from the earth, heat from the wood stove, and food from the land. Television consisted of one channel received via “rabbit ears” antenna, two if we were lucky. Our antiquated satellite rusted in place several years after installation, which meant sometimes we received a few channels from Canada, and one small station from a rural area in Oklahoma.

I merely dabbled in storytelling until my father died. I had just turned 13. Two weeks later, I wrote my first poem. After that, material came faster, with more substance and depth. I still didn’t actually consider attempting a career with it. At that time, I wanted to be a radiologist. My grandmother passed, unexpectedly, 18 months later, and that seemed to bring everything full circle. I knew what I was meant to do. I didn’t know how I would do it. I didn’t know why I had to do it. No one else did it. I just knew I was meant to write.

I was somewhat abreast of modern music, but through a Canadian filter that no other peer knew or understood. Our few neighbors were relatives, and there were only two houses visible from mine, although both were in opposite directions. Everyone lived on their own respective knoll. School, the grocery store, friends, and the rest of civilization, was around thirty minutes away.

My loves were books and music. I had shelves of both to keep me company. I grew up around more trees than people, and had more animal friends than human. During that time, I assumed my primary goal was to become a lyricist. I believed I lacked the attention, and ability, necessary to produce book-length material.

I was wrong.

Eight years after I began writing, I met my husband. Nine years after I began writing, I was married, and prepared to have a child. The tremendous life changes also changed my writing. I was no longer lost in my self-contained world. There was suddenly more to life than the characters I created, or their fascinating struggles.

There were apartments, neighbors, and all the modern amenities available. The avalanche of personal change did not leave the writing realm unscathed. I suddenly found I was able to produce book-length material. All of this came with a price. I found I am not made to live in apartments, with neighbors, and seldom use most modern amenities. So, I fled screaming back to my mountains. Well, not screaming, but I returned several years later.

The majority of works in this book hail from some period during those early eight years. It was not a clean break. Many times I still have a tendency to rhyme. I do still occasionally write verse. This is not a full or complete edition, because I have far too many works to compile in a single volume.

Any venture, if one exists, into the realm of symbolism, metaphor, or allegory is best left to you, friendly reader. It is a writer’s job to produce work. It is the reader’s privilege to interpret and find, if possible, any literary merit or significance.

 

-Laura

 

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