Kerry Rawlinson left Zambia decades ago, exploring, landing in Canada. Fast forward: she’s barefoot again, chasing awards, eg. Edinburgh International FlashFiction; GlitteryLiterary. Recent acceptances: Event; PrairieFire; Sarasvati; Cagibi, Carousel; amongst others. You can find Kerry on twitter at @kerryrawli and on her website kerryrawlinson.com. Kerry’s piece, ‘The Garden Boy’, can be found in Epoch Press’ Autumn issue, ‘Transitions’, which you can purchase here.
‘Transitions’ is such an evocative theme, what compelled you to submit for this issue?
To be honest, I was reticent at first, as there must be many transitions more dramatic and revelatory than mine. However, after a few glasses of dutch courage, I thought perhaps my story might be interesting after all.
Do you have a routine for writing? If so, what is it and how has it evolved?
I was watching a talk by Lidia Yuknavitch on this topic, actually, and have to say my process is very similar to hers. The swell, building into a wave. While raising a family and clawing my way through a career, I had no time for artistic or literary expression. But the discipline has stood me well. Now that I’m retired, I’m able to sit outside with a mug of tea every day, rain, sleet, or shine, and cogitate/ meditate, then park at my laptop for a few hours. The daily slog is the thing: sometimes it’s the poetry that swells to the surface, sometimes the art photography, sometimes the flash fiction. Then I ride that wave. This is my first creative non-fiction.
Do you find that CNF comes easy to you as a writer and/or what is challenging about it?
It does not. Stories have always been in my head but I dismiss my personal life as being rather dull. Then I take a leaf from Alice Munro’s short fiction, which invokes the alternate dimension within her experiences of domesticity, and I try to imagine my contribution to the genre as relevant. For poets: What is most challenging and most rewarding about using real life in your poetry? It’s always a challenge to avoid life’s experiences coming across as maudlin and cliched. The moment you see how you’ve managed to express yourself in a fresh, new way is the ‘aha’ moment reward.
What is song is on repeat for you right now?
My kids always teased my husband that when he bought a new album he would play it on repeat for weeks, maybe months! But my methods are different. I’m a music addict and require different music fixes for different moods and inspirations. Right now my go-to’s are The Black Keys, Frank Morgan and Eric Satie.