What got you into writing?

Jenny was the first journal to publish a short story of mine, “Rolls.” Now that Jenny is interviewing past contributors about their writing process, I am experiencing  a full-circle moment. In “Rolls” a young woman takes a road trip from Washington, DC to California and, when her car breaks down, learns a little about the kindness of strangers. In a few weeks, I am heading back the other way, back to DC. May the trip be free of mishap!

The car featured in the story is like this one.


Dear readers, I’d never write like this now, drawing so directly from my life–such is the innocence of youth, that burning desire to set down a story, every sentence an attempt to understand. Jenny published “Rolls” in 2012; it was drafted in about 1990. I am so grateful to the editors and staff of Jenny who are dedicated to creating a home for writers.

Here’s the interview, if you’re interested. Jenny asks things like, “What got you into writing?” and “How has your writing developed over time?”

If you read “Rolls,” please keep Emily Dickinson’s gentle appeal to readers in mind. Judge tenderly. ED says,

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,–
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!