Emily Boswell, whose story ‘The Cat in the Garden’ was published in issue 5 of Lucent Dreaming, is from Grand Rapids, Michigan where she resides with her husband and two pet rats. She’s a proud alumna of Grand Valley State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Writing. Her short stories have appeared in Leopard Skin and Limes and The Remington Review. She has a passion for short fiction, and hopes her stories stick in the minds of readers. Someday in the near future she hopes to earn an MFA in fiction, and begin a career in teaching creative writing.
So, what inspired your piece ‘The Cat in the Garden’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
I have Lucent Dreaming itself to thank for the inspiration for, “The Cat in the Garden.” I found their flash fiction contest on Twitter with the prompt “lead.” My imagination took off and before I knew it I was writing, “The Cat in the Garden.” I submitted to the contest and although I did not win, I’m still grateful it found a home in Lucent Dreaming.
What does writing and art mean to you?
Writing and art bring joy and beauty into the human experience. It helps us express ourselves, and it helps us understand ourselves. It can both distract us from our pain, and give us tools to cope with it. Writing is my way of giving that joy and beauty to others.
What are you most excited about right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I’m most excited right now about applying to Master of Fine Arts programs in Fiction. An MFA program would allow me to grow even more as a writer. It would also give me the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience, which would be a huge step towards my dream of being a creative writing professor. Creatively, I hope to begin work on turning a short story into my first novel. After the story hit 30 pages, I realized these characters have greater adventures to go on.
Tell us about some of your favourite books or art you’ve experienced – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
A book that will always have a special place in my heart is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I read it for the first time at 11 years old after finding it in my dads collection. I had never read anything like it before, and still have yet to. It was a profound adventure, and a beautiful tale. It wove together two tales and two protagonists seamlessly, which is not an easy task. The movie truly doesn’t do it justice.
A more recent favorite is God Bless you Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. It was my first Vonnegut novel and I immediately fell in love with his writing and humor. As I was greatly enjoying the story itself, I was also using it as a teaching tool to help improve my own writing. I truly believe any genre and style can offer us something to learn as writers. As writers we should strive to read a great variety of novels, short stories, flash fictions, memoirs, etc, not only things in our preferred form and genres.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep revising, but don’t put yourself through a guilt trip if you fail to do either. Sometimes we have to give ourselves time to find that spark again. It took me around a year to write anything new after graduating college, and I did myself no favors by feeling guilty about it.
If you want to pursue publishing, don’t take the rejections personally. Brush yourself off, revise your work if it needs it, and move onto the next submission. It does get easier. That being said, seek out the indie journals when you’re fist starting. They’re usually seeking new writers to publish, compared to some of the more famous literary journals.
Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. You are as much a writer as someone like Neil Gaiman is. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
If you’d like to see more of my work please check out my publications page on my website here: https://emilyboswellwriter.weebly.com/publications.html
You can also follow me on Twitter @EmilyBWriter