Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Voima Oy

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

flashdogs anthology

Voima Oy

lives on the western rim of Chicago, near the expressway and the Blue Line trains. Her writing can be found online at VERStype, Paragraph Planet, 101 Fiction, Unbroken Journal, Vignette Review, Molotov Cocktail–Flash Worlds, Burning House Press, and The Cabinet of Heed.

Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy and #vss365.

The Interview

Attached is the cover photo of the first FlashDogs anthology released in December, 2014. This book is a true labor of love and community.
Here is the link to the FlashDogs anthologies on Amazon.

1. What inspired you to write?

My brother and I used to make up rhymes and stories, inspired by cartoons and TV shows. Stories came first, writing later.

2. Who introduced you to books and poetry?

My mom and dad loved books and reading–I remember The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. In elementary school we learned more about poetry and memorized poems, too–One of them was Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. One boy forgot the words and improvised. It was great!

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older writers?

In high school you learn about the masters, like Shakespeare and Keats, Whitman and TS Eliot. We traded copies of Rimbaud and Baudelaire. I discovered science-fiction–writers like J.G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delaney and Ursula LeGuin. In college, I felt a kinship with Dante and the surrealists. They were my teachers, too.

Years later, I joined Twitter and found other writers who were working in short forms. Twitter appealed to me for its brevity–like haiku or telegrams.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I try to write every day. #vss365 is a good way to start the day. I also keep a journal and many spiral notebooks, nothing fancy.

5. What motivates you to write?

Writing has always been a part of my life, good times and bad. I want to keep learning and growing as an artist and a human being. All kinds of things inspire me–headlines, the weather, a conversation, stones, trees, the moon, rock music, a face on a passing train….

6. What is your work ethic?

Trust the process, and respect the work. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Always be polite and thank people for their time and trouble. Keep sending stuff out. Keep writing and creating.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

I am still inspired by Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling. The brevity and humanity and wonder.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

I admire the writers of #vss365, the talent, the encouragement, the community.

I am inspired by Mark A. King @Making_Fiction who started #vss365, and David Shakes @TheShakes72. Both excellent writers, and founders of FlashDogs.

I will read anything by Sal Paige @SalnPage , Chris Milam @Blukris and FE Clark @feclarkart. Their writing is always wonderful. AJ Walker @Zevonesque is so talented and a generous writer, too. I love the work of Mary Frances, @maryfrancesness a poet in images and stones. Pleasant Street’s @AreYouThrilled poetry is beautiful and true.

I am in awe of the work of Sean Fraser, @TheatreSean creator of VERStype and author of Zoë. It is a symphony of language, ideas and images.

Mr.John Trefry, @trefryesque an extraordinary writer and founder of Inside the Castle Press.

David Southwell, @cultauthor wonderful writer and guide to Hookland @HooklandGuide

James Knight @badbadpoet His writing and artwork astonish me.

There are publishers and magazines–Burning House Press, Influx Press, Inside the Castle.

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

Writing is freedom to me. Stories are a form of resistance in a way, to imagine possibilities, and create new realities.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Just write. Twitter is a good place to start. The #vss365 community is very encouraging and supportive. You can learn from them. You can find many places to send your writing on Twitter, too.

Don’t be discouraged or intimidated. Read all kinds of things. Pay attention. Be part of the world and other people. Keep writing and creating.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

I’m doing a continuing story on #vss365 every day for over 2 years. It’s like a comic strip with a large cast of characters. Maybe I’ll collect all the different characters into Twitter Moments one of these days. I’m also working on flash fiction, and thinking about stories without word limits or deadlines. We’ll see…

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