Featured Author: Stephanie Falkowski
Why do you write? What purpose does writing serve for you currently?
I write because I always have. As a child my mind was constantly full of ideas and I was influenced by everything I saw. I would create these "stories" but being the Gemini I was (and am) I would never finish any because a new fascination was always taking place. I felt and still feel there is so much to be discovered - to be told in this world, this life - that writing was a way - aside from dancing - to get it out there. As a dancer, I spent my whole life channeling my creativity and ideas through movement. When I suffered a traumatic physical debilitation a few years back, and I could not release my pain through dance, I decided to return to the written word. Writing became a way for me to express myself when movement was not available. Whenever I had a "flareup" where I could not access the physical space, I would turn to my fingers to orchestrate what thoughts were going on inside my mind. And almost always, what would happen after I wrote about my pain, a day or two later, it was gone. The writing literally was a freeing of the toxins in me, a way to wash them away. So from then on, and now whenever I have pain, an anxiety attack, panic and struggles, I write. It also serves as a recording process for me. I love to try to document encounters I experience with people and things, and most of my work is usually about a situation or someone I am dealing with. Record and release is the best way to summarize.
How do you usually start a poem, story, etc?
My writing style is super stream of consciousness. I usually just start typing or writing out the words and go from there. I don't really think about any poetic or literary devices, rules, what have you. I try to be as real as can be in my work. Sometimes I like to go with a rhyming flow, sometimes I like to have separate ideas mixed together, sometimes blocks of stanzas. I like to keep my poems as raw to the core as possible, so usually whenever the certain experience or influence occurs, I like to write in the moment to not let the truth fade and fizzle.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
I usually know I'm finished with a piece when the big sigh of relief and burden of the beast is out of my psyche and body. I don't like to have a piece of work linger, because then it becomes almost like a task, rather than a pleasurable hobby/passion I have. Some pieces take longer than others to get just right and Lord knows I'm a perfectionist. But in all honesty, I consider myself a writer, not an editor. Most of my work is complete rough drafts, and I send to my editor or a friend to look over. For me the editing process ruins the beauty of such an organic process and I would rather not stray into that zone and let others do the dirty work ;)
What writers/artists are influencing you right now?
One of my biggest influences is music itself - it's the reason I live, breathe, and chose a path in the artistic universe. I write to music, I think to music, I work to music - it is truly a huge inspiration to me. If I had to name some current artists I'm obsessed with right now, I'd have to say Caspian, Max Richter (lots of instruments, euphoric melodic sound). As for writers, I'd go with Mary Oliver first - she is one of my favorite poets and I think her body of work is utterly majestic and captivating - I hang on every word she writes. Cheryl Strayed I feel a huge connection to, Sylvia Plath for her pure genuineness.
What do you want people to know about your work?
What I want people to know about my work is it is ALL TRUE. Every word. Every phrase. Every paragraph. All of my poetry is past experiences I have gone through, current ones I am hobbling my way through now, and future foes/friends I foresee myself with. Every person, relationship, place and thing in my work is real, and I think I strive to get across that I am in fact a real and raw person. I have no problem vomiting vulnerability, because I am not ashamed of who I am. I think when writing comes from a place of authenticity, you can't correct it. A teacher once told me your best writing comes from your life - your reality. Because no one else can take that from you or polish it. I want people to know that each of their lives are so unique, and individual, and if we delve into the depths of our imagination, we'll find the most bittersweet nectar of magic that is our true self.
What question do you wish I asked you?
Hm... Perhaps I wish you asked me random get-to-know-me generic insights.. A little weird fact/quirk about myself (I would answer I am a huge glutton for ketchup), favorite color (green... sometimes purple), most extravagant place I've visited (haven't been there yet because I'm poor), and where I see myself in ten years (and to answer that I would say I have absolutely no idea where my life's path is leading me but I would hope married to my soul mate, financially more stable, living in a Victorian cottage by the sea in the forest where I could write, do yoga, and play with my child(ren). Maybe. Maybe?