I write fiction, poetry, book reviews and nonfiction.
Bird by Bird as Anne LaMott says. When I am writing, I just keep forging ahead until I have something I like. In the case of “Garden for the Blind” for years I thought I was writing eleven separate stories about people who had nothing to do with one another, but then one day it occurred to me that they were really the same people with different names. That was a weird moment! I put the stories together and they formed a novel-in-stories and I could not have told you that would happen until eight years into the project. Some people would find that depressing (eight years!), but clearly they are not writers, and they don’t understand how much fun it is to turn the corner and happen upon a Cheshire Cat.
I write because I enjoy it. If I didn’t enjoy it and need to do it, I would have stopped a long time ago, for the same reason that for years when I had small children, I stopped doing everything else including exercising and eating right and even, for a short time, combing my hair. No matter what disheveled state I was in, I felt compelled to write. It was a solace to me and I would wake up to do it at 5am the way that some people wake up to squeeze in a good workout or go birding before taking on the obligations of the day. There are many good writers out there. I try to stay focused on doing it for myself and then when I receive a rejection it feels like junk mail and I can toss it in the recycling bin and move forward relatively unscathed. Given the ratio of acceptances to rejections one receives, that is a very practical approach!
Prior to writing fiction and poetry, Kelly Fordon worked at the NPR member station in Detroit and for National Geographic magazine. Her fiction, poetry and book reviews have appeared in The Boston Review, The Florida Review, Flashquake, The Kenyon Review (KRO), The Montreal Review, Rattle, Red Wheelbarrow, The Windsor Review and various other journals. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, On The Street Where We Live, which won the 2011 Standing Rock Chapbook Contest and Tell Me When it Starts to Hurt, which was published by Kattywompus Press in May 2013. Her short story collection, Garden for the Blind, is published by Wayne State University Press. Kelly received her MFA in fiction writing from Queens University of Charlotte in 2013. She works for Inside Out Literary Arts in Detroit as a writer-in-residence.