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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spotlight on Olivia Good and Rebecca Manning

Check out these interviews with Olivia Good and Rebecca Manning, two contributors to our anthology, "Joy, Interrupted."

Olivia Good

Olivia Good contributed the short story, “The Island” and can be reached at ogoody@windstream.net

What is your piece about?
The Island is an allegorical short story about the isolation one feels when mourning the loss of a child; the methods employed by those seeking to console the bereaved parent; and the promise of hope and strength, found in faith, to move forward with a life which is vastly different than the one previously anticipated.

What would you like to share about yourself?
I am the mother of two beautiful pre-schoolers, in addition to my daughter who inspired my anthology contribution. I have always been a writer. I am a firm believer in the power of creativity, and have always been a writer, even from a very young age. I love creativity in all forms--especially lyrically- and stylistically-interesting music, and well-structured writing. Dabbling in the world of academia, which I simultaneously love and loathe, I have presented at several international conferences on topics ranging from cultural preservation and identity to urban renewal and race relations. As a writer, I have an unfortunate propensity towards wordiness that I have thus far been unable to cure.

What inspired this piece?
My oldest daughter, Laurette, would be 5. She was stillborn on November 2, 2006. She taught me things about myself and spirituality that I had not previously realized, and for that, I am forever grateful to her.

Olivia also shares:
I believe in the power of creativity to soothe, communicate, teach, inspire, and heal. It is my hope that my contribution is able to do at least one of those things for someone else who is faced with the loss of a child.

Rebecca Manning

Rebecca Manning contributed the piece “The Sign” and can be reached at gochoroser@live.com

What is your piece about?
This piece is from a unique outside perspective. As a mother and random bystander presented with a tragic circumstance, I am forced to take a hard look at my own situation, as well as see it through the eyes of someone who has fallen to the depths of pain that only a mother could perceive.

Who are you?
To be honest, I am just a regular person, not particularly noteworthy, but I love writing and the art of written expression in every form. The two proudest accomplishments in my life are my daughters, Amanda and Justine. As for writing, even as a child, it has always been my outlet and expression of freedom that I never take for granted.

What else have you published?
I had a short anthology of poetry published in the 80's, but this is my first real run at putting a story out there for the world to embrace or analyze, whichever comes first.

What inspired your piece?
This particular story was actually inspired by a real event. After I eventually made it home that day I started the initial threads of what would become the basis for a mother's perspective on loss and general societal ignorance. Both are frightening and tragic and, I believe, emotionally haunting. I believe I found the perfect forum to share this unique story and my hope is that if it touches even just one person, it was worth every word.

What other representations of motherhood have you enjoyed?
I treasure the book (anthology) “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” and my favorite movie on motherhood is “Steel Magnolias.” Both are very real and touching representations of successes and failures that we, as women and daughters, experience.

Olivia also says:
I am a mother and daughter who has succeeded and failed and gotten back up again to do it all over. As long as I have breath within me, I hope that I will always find the strength to continue that path. I also hope my story gives you something to ponder and that it stays with you for a bit to absorb and share with other mothers.

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