For the Nocturne issue (Fall 2014), I interviewed Courtney Denning, a native Ohioan who finds all kinds of things to love about her home state and who writes fun flash fiction that inverts classic stories. You’ll see what I mean when you read her work in the issue.
In fact, we have a treat for you: in addition to the interview, we have a piece of hers available for download on this page: read “The Master Botanist”, then leave a comment telling us and Courtney what you think!
Why do you write? What makes your writing sing?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little kid (after I wanted to be an astronaut, of course). I’ve always enjoyed writing – even writing essays in school was fun, or at least it was more fun than geometry, chemistry or gym.
Having my writing read and appreciated by others makes it sing. One of my favorite activities is getting lost in a good book. To be the author of a book, even if it is read and enjoyed only by a small audience, would make my heart sing. I’m not there yet, but someday I will write that book!
Do you have any weird writing habits?
I try not to leave home without a notebook or at least a scrap of paper, just in case inspiration strikes. This makes for a really unorganized desk because I have all of these scraps of papers with ideas for short stories or blog posts mixed in with grocery and to-do lists!
Where is your favorite place to write?
I prefer writing at my computer, with a regular keyboard. I type faster than I write (and type much more legibly). As it often seems to go with writing, I find that my best ideas occur when I am nowhere near my desk, hence the scraps of paper I make sure to keep with me.
What other artsy pursuits do you undertake?
I’m all over the place with my creative endeavors! I want to be a writer, a painter, a photographer, a gluten-free baker, a fabric artist… I sometimes get exhausted by my ideas for projects. I dabble for a bit in each area. Right now I am pursuing blogging, writing short stories and baking for fun. I also have a children’s book I am writing and illustrating about my cat, Olivia and am re-purposing half a dozen of my dad’s dress pants into yoga mat bags. This summer I focused on a public art project called Art. Love. Rocks. where I painted small pebbles, numbered and photographed them and then hid them in public places for people to find. My next public art project will feature gnomes!
Coffee or tea?
Both! I’m actually a coffee fiend, addict and lover. The smell, taste, jolt of the caffeine, all of it is wonderful, which makes it my go-to beverage. I also adore rooibos (red) and green tea. One of my favorite book characters, Mma Ramotswe of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, is a big tea drinker. When I drink rooibos, which Mma Ramotswe calls redbush tea, I think of her and her wisdom. She feels a good cup of tea can help you solve just about any problem and I think she’s right!
Where can we find more of your work (writing, photography, or otherwise)?
I keep a blog called This Ohio Life where I write reviews of Ohio parks, restaurants, museums and events. I also am a DIY blogger for Mother Earth News. I have two blogs on Tumblr dedicated to creative projects, one for my Love Rocks project and another for my book, Olivia’s Garden.
There you have it, folks! Go check out Courtney’s websites, and don’t forget to read her work in our Fall 2014 issue.