Q: Do you write things other than speculative fiction?
A: I do! While writing fiction—especially speculative fiction—always feels most natural to me, the first formal creative writing instruction I received was in poetry. The attention to sound and the specificity of word choice that’s required in poetry is something that I try to practice when revising my fiction. Whenever I’m feeling stuck on a story, I find that writing a short poem is the best way to get me focused on the fundamentals of craft.
Poetry and fiction tend to feel like very independent endeavors, so every now and then I like to explore more collaborative forms. I find playwriting particularly exciting, because the piece really only comes to life when the actors add their own voices to it. My senior year of college, I wrote and directed a full-length play about the heroines of Shakespeare’s three Verona plays (Taming Of The Shrew, Romeo And Juliet, and Two Gentlemen Of Verona).
Most recently, I’ve been trying my hand at songwriting. My husband is a musician and we’ve been passing pieces back and forth—I’ll give him lyrics to set music to, and he’ll give me music to add words to. It’s been a really fun process!