Welcome to ‘Beyond The Ink’ an Original series where we explore our writers beyond the ink-side that we’ve gotten to know. A series that delves deeper into the personal and everyday lives of our poets and writers.
Beth, many readers and writers will recognize your published work on Spillwords.com as you’ve been a collaborator for quite a while already, including your Voices on Skin series, in addition to your previous recognition of being an Author of The Month.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and could you share what it is that you do outside of writing?
I am 48 yrs old and not aging gracefully. Apart from writing I work as a nurses aide, rock climber, and I have recently taken up slack-lining which is proving to be as difficult as climbing. I primarily free solo, heights vary.
What does a day in your life look like, and how do you find time to write?
I enjoy rising early in the morning, breakfast with a cup of coffee, some reading, house work and two dogs to entertain before my evening work shift.
How do your career and hobbies affect your writing and/or vice versa?
In the mountains, life and social issues have always made the most sense, being unable to see has helped me to see best. Inspiration from nature is most generous during the most chaotic of times. Climbing has helped me clear through the chaos of self to see the laws of nature make perfect sense. There is a season for all, an end, a beginning, and nature never seems to break or argue herself to produce life. Nature only produces accordingly to its own seed and never overreaches herself, she is true and her truth inspires words, discovery of old and new philosophies, rhymes and stanzas.
Working the 8 hour grind shows that we fight against nature and so nature fights us. These moments produce philosophies more complex, rhymes that are tattered and stanzas stained with imperfections just as inspiring and thought provoking. One thing that both have in common, they are always producing fertile ground to write upon and about.
What creative challenges do you face?
The biggest challenge creatively is learning to allow the flow of creativity to be the perfect work without me defining or adding to that work.
What role do social issues play in your life?
Social issues play a great role, for I believe as individuals we have a great impact on unity, and divisions.
The current social climates have a great impact on our personal lives, fear to speak, to hear, and to see. The harder the truth is to find the greater social lie we create not just for us but for our children. In a sense, we all conform to what is happening socially whether it be thoughts, words, beliefs or pen to paper social issues influence the writer.
What advice would you give others that are pursuing a career in your field?
My advice to those pursuing a career in the field of writing, learn to let the words find you. Understand that there is a place for your voice, your words and your thoughts. Allow yourself to grow, to find your own style and voice. Self promote your work and take risks. Never give up. When you look around you, look for the words, listen to all stories and let the pen flow unapologetically.
What advice would you give to other writers out there?
My personal advice to other writers: what is important to understand, a poem or story will find you and in a sense chase you, those are the moments you must write and not stop until the flow stops. Every thought must be written down and the rest of the poem or story may come months later. Words are hidden everywhere. The ground is always fertile searching for the right pen holder to tell the story through. Keep a pen and paper ready, ideas come at noon and 3am equally. Write everything down, I’ve lost many words thinking I would recall later and never have.
What adjective best describes you and why?
Discoverable would best describe me. Nothing including self is fully discoverable in a single frame of time but we are not beyond discoverable either. There is always that one stone left unturned, a stone evident but fear and denial has kept us from. Sometimes it is that one stone that offers the redemption we seek.
None or nothing is ever full beyond being discoverable. Evidences are all around us, the traces of his or her pen are readily discoverable through what is unspoken just as through what is spoken. All that is lost can be found. I had considered myself to be undiscovered, feeling I never was but I understand now I always was just not to myself.
What’s a fun fact about you that would surprise many that know you?
I love pranking people and have a few on my list who are long over due. I hate spiders, absolutely hate them and will come to a dead stop on a highway if one is on the dash, even if the spider is across from me on the passenger side. Before a climb that’s the first thing I check for, spiders on the rocks. I have had them on my fall on my neck and go full ninja.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write is other people. Being a voice for those that feel voiceless.
What are the things on your bucket list?
1- to do what I’ve always feared and never had time for.
2- to not keep any more lists and just do.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I would like for people to look back and see, inspiration.
Words that never stop telling the story and questions that never stop asking until answered.
Someone who spoke when no one else did despite any censorships.
A voice for the voiceless.