Tell someone you’re a writer, then watch their expression change. The potential reactions are many, everything from envy, through fascination, perhaps pity, and on downward to disgust. But no matter what the reaction, the response offered in the form of a question is almost universal ... “so what do you write?” For most writers, that's an infinitely more layered question than it appears.
Consider the following: A masters of fine arts is not neccisarily a mandatory benchmark for narrative talent. Nor does popular writing, by nature, equal literary skill. And, literary skill alone does not equal a lucrative pay stub. And lucrative pay stubs, no matter how high the figure, will at some point fail to feed a writers need to pen our One Great Literary Treasure. There's also the pesky issue of what one may want to write, yet for whatever reason still hasn't written. That's not even mentioning the soul crushing topic of the click bait crap that we loathe putting effort into, but often have no other choice, as the bills won't pay themselves. These dilemmas, well, these dilemmas never end.
So, having said all that, my short answer is that I write a bit of everything. Strictly speaking, my declared focus during the MFA was creative nonfiction for social change. Quite the mouthful, I know. What does that looks like in practical terms? Often it takes the form of nonfiction essays and articles that explore the intersections between human, political, and social ideologies. My work is almost always anchored in a personal or community context. Stylistically, I tend to veer decidedly off the traditional format in favor of non linear, mixed or combined genre, and multiple narratives told in the first person or third person omniscient. I also enjoy writing more philosophically on social themes, using insights I have garnered from my work in qualitative research; however, I will usually experiment with form by fusing academic writing with a creative nonfiction thrust or poetic stylings. My poetry is of the free flowing prose variety, favoring unstructured verse over formulated constraints. While I do enjoy writing fiction, it's the form I write least often. When I do, my preference is toward ultra short, flash fiction, thematically focused narratives, often poetic in style.
The quote below is from an essay I wrote entitled The Challenge Of Memoir, and it's the central theme and philosophy that underscores my writing process.
The following is an introductory exercise I have given to all the writing group students I have facilitated. Meant to function as an introduction to the writer, the student is tasked with imparting who they are in just one paragraph. The serious, the quirky, the heartbreaking, and the revealing. It's a balance exercise, one that requires skill to achieve a cohesive structure that can inform, entertain, and often move their peers. I've found it can do double duty as work equally as the about me page blurb on an author web site.
For more of my writing you can browse the archive, a collection of what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and flash fiction work, all accessible from the button below.
My written work has been published in a number of journals and publications, both online and in print, including Literati, Indigo & Stone Quarterly, A Different Perspective, The Synapse, Endless Magazine, This Glorious Mess, Due East, The Coffelicious, Literally Literary, Toronto Life, Direct Mail, Matters Of The Art, and both the UCLA, and University of Toronto student press. For a complete listing of where my work has been published, including links to specific pieces, please click the button below.