Amanda R. Morningstar is Alien Buddha Press’ Featured Artist for November 2020

ABP– Thank you for taking this interview, Amanda. Back in July of this year, I was lucky to have been able to publish and do the cover art for your chapbook “In The Space Between Universes”. One Amazon reviewer said “….. Her poetry is personal and thought provoking. I reread every one and will reread again. Her stories are fun and memorable. Recommend.”.

What was your experience like in writing this wonderful collection? Did you write all of the poems together as intended to be a book, or did you compile them?

ARM– It is definitely a compilation of poems and stories. It covers the span of my writing career. I have a wide range of styles and topics I enjoy, so it’s quite eclectic. At this point, writing is self-care for me. It’s been a journey.

ABP– You have also been a part of some of our anthologies such as The Rocketman: Spurious Conversations With Kim Jong-un, The Alien Buddha’s House of Horrors 3, and The Alien Buddha Wears a Black Bandanna. In each of these books you added a very unique and cathartic voice to the overall collection. What was your experience like in writing themed poetry, particularly with such a specific topic like Kim Jong-un?

ARM– Hank Green recently talked about how having restrictions can benefit creativity. That idea really resonates with me because I regularly try and use restrictions to use help me create my work, so it was really fun for me to create specifically for those topics. I try to look at things from different perspectives. The Kim Jong Un poem was a kind of mental health piece: normalizing his behaviors with the understanding that he wouldn’t like that.

ABP– What are you working on right now?

ARM– I have a really good piece that I don’t have a title for yet. I wrote it for a workshop. It’s just based on an old family story and is kind of cool, I think. I also have a half-written flash fiction that I started a year and a half ago that I need to finish. Funny enough, it’s also partially based on an idea from Hank Green. I write here and there when I get a chance. I’m a mom and a counselor, so it’s something I do when I have free time.

ABP– Who are some of your biggest influences as a writer?

ARM– I read a lot as a kid, but I don’t read as much now. I’ve always loved Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and Charles Dickens. However, I am mostly inspired by concepts in philosophy and finding new perspectives. And like I said, I enjoy using restrictions for inspiration as well.

ABP– You live with a vision impairment. Can you tell us how that effects your process as a writer? Is there certain technology that helps?

ARM– First, it means that I do a lot of revising in my head. I might write down a couple of really good lines and work around them in my head. When I do put them down on paper, well, in my phone, I use the accessibility options already available. I use to talk-to-text, talkback, and a magnifier. My husband is kind enough to edit my work for me.

ABP– Thank you again for taking this interview, Amanda. The floor is all yours to share anything announcements or anything you’d like with our WordPress audience.

& if you don’t mind, can you leave us with a poem?

ARM–  Well, since I’ve been talking a lot about perspectives, I’ll choose to share “My Perspective.”

My Perspective

We huddled on the tiny porch

staring into the backyard sky

“Is that the moon?”

“Nah, it’s a star.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“Noooo, it’s still a star”

We pulled ourselves up the old tree

where he had broken his arm,

and whose branches I used to sweep

on the playhouse dirt floors

to try from a different perspective.

“Is it the moon, now?”

“Yeah, Amanda, it is.”


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