Baseball is prominent in your piece. Are you a fan?
I grew up in Wilkes-Barre, PA, listening joyfully to Yankees games in the Mantle-Maris years. When I moved to Chicago for graduate school, I became a Cubs fan and learned about pain.
You used to teach business writing. Where was that? Did you enjoy it?
I taught business writing at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Business writing tends to be formulaic, tedious, but the most imaginative students were the best business writers. They were fun.
Tell us a little bit about your feelings about Flash versus other writing forms.
Although I have a Ph.D. in English literature, I never wrote creatively until I tried kiddy lit. Oddly, publishers were indisposed to my stories featuring mischievous talking dogs that set bad examples. I turned to writing flash fiction after taking Pam Casto’s workshop. My 500-word capacity mind seems perfectly suited to Flash.
If your hands got auctioned off on eBay tomorrow, what would you do instead of writing?
Learn to play the didgeridoo, maybe put together a combo, take it on the road.
And the old chestnut: who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?
My favorite authors are Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; Don DeLillo, White Noise; and Ian McEwan, Enduring Love.