It is my pleasure to introduce Kat Myrman, a very prolific and talented poet and, as I found out from this interview, an all around creative person. Kat is the host of the Twittering Tales prompt at Like Mercury Colliding , a fun weekly photo prompt for poetry or micro-prose.
Kat Myrman, “How D’Ya Do?”
What part of the world do you live in and what should the rest of the world know about your place?
Who am I? Well, that’s a loaded question! I suppose I could say that I am a daughter/sister/mother/grandmother/executive assistant/Marine Corps veteran who likes to write, paint and adopt rescue critters (as many as the city will allow me to have) on the side. My city is nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, USA, and I live in a century old house in the historic district. I’m a transplant here though, having been born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs. I’m happiest in the woods or near water, preferably moving water. And I collect heart shaped rocks and have a fairie garden in my front yard.
Tell your blog(s) and other other social media.
I have one blog: www.katmyrman.com that feeds into a Facebook page and a twitter account.
Describe your prompt. What prompted you to undertake this? When did you start Twittering Tales?
Soon after I started my blog, I discovered flash fiction! I loved the idea and enjoyed writing short stories of 100 words, or 52 words or even 6 words or less. A few years ago when tweets started to take off, I thought of trying to write a tweet sized story (at that time tweets could only be 140 characters long) and Twittering Tales was born! It’s a weekly challenge and we are in week 139. In other words it’s been going on for over two years now. New people are joining every week, so as long as people are joining in, I’ll keep hosting the challenge!
Do you tweet your twittering tales?
I do have a link to a dedicated twitter account, so yes I guess you could say I do. That said, I’m not what you would call a tweeter. I don’t generally tweet new comments, but rather use my twitter account as a forum where people can find my Twittering Tales and other posts.
There was that switch from 140 characters to 280 characters. Was that a good thing, a bad thing, or does it even matter much?
I remember when that happened. There are some Twittering Tales tweeters who are still participating in the challenge. At that time we had all gotten used to tweaking our stories down to only 140 characters, so when twitter changed the rules, it almost felt a bit intimidating. I’m happy to say we all got through those growing pains pretty quickly. I see it as a good thing. It allows us to develop our stories even more than before. If you’ve read the roundups, you know how fabulously creative these tiny tweet-sized tales are!
You also participate as a writer every week. What other writing do you do? Do you have a favorite poetic form to write? To read?
I try to write something everyday. I have found that challenges help with writer’s block, and I’m always challenging myself. A year or so ago, I started choosing a micropoetry form to feature each month. I also participate in NaPoWriMo each year, and when I have time and work is not too crazy I like to participate in other flash fiction challenges. Each week on Sundays I do a ReVerse (it’s a poetry form I came up with years ago). I take a line from each post I’ve written over the past week and create a new poem with them listed in chronological order. A few other forms I really like exploring are Blackout poems and magnetic poetry using an online app. If you visit my blog you will notice that I like to create artwork to go with each post. That is my other passion. These days I “paint” digitally. And all my writing and art is done on my iPhone. I work full time-plus so I don’t have near enough time to read, but when I do I love the classics. I have a small collection of century old books and yes, I do love reading them! I also try to read other bloggers on the weekends.
What have you enjoyed the most hosting and participating in Twittering Tales?
I love when Tuesday comes, after I’ve posted the roundup and a new challenge, seeing new tales link to my blog. Every tale is so creative and interesting! I make an effort to comment on each person’s blog. For me it is also about relationship and supporting other writers.
Do you have a dream for Twittering Tales?
I don’t really have a dream or goal for Twittering Tales. As long as there is an interest in the challenge, I’ll keep hosting, though as the number of participants has grown, I’ve had to adjust my schedule to put together the roundup. It’s important to me that everyone is featured in the roundup with a link to their blog. Networking is how we build readership and get exposure to our blogs, and challenges are a great way to do that.
How do you define its success?
Success for me is knowing that people are having fun doing the challenge and enjoy reading each other’s tales.
Was there life before your blog? How have things changed since then?
Blogging is currently my hobby, so I guess you could say I’m still living my before life! I wrote before blogging, of course. I have journals and notebooks and even scraps of paper filled with words collecting dust in my attic. Blogging has given me a place to put my writing…and for the first time allowed me a forum to share my writing with others (not just a few close friends or my cats!)
When or how did you first become a writer?
I’ve been writing since…I could write. I remember when I was 6 or 7 my uncle took all my poetry with the intent of publishing them. It didn’t happen, and I no longer have those poems but I do still remember one … I’ve never seen a purple cow, I never hope to see one, but I can tell you anyhow, I’d rather see, than be one. Haha!
One thing that I enjoy about your blog is learning new forms of poetry. You mention ReVerse and a couple other favorite forms. Have you created other original forms besides ReVerse?
I have. I created a short version of a Horatio-styled Ode that I call the Horatiodet (My micro-version is 5 lines in all with a syllable count of 5-7-7-5-9 and a rhyme scheme of ababb) that I featured as my daily poem for the month of February 2019. Another form I crafted was an Inverted Limerick:
Line 1 – 5-7 syllables
Line 2 – 5-7 syllables
Line 3 – 7-10 syllables
Line 4 – 7-10 syllables
Line 5 – 5-7 syllables
Rhyme pattern: A-a-bb-A (line one is repeated on the last line)
What have been some favorite new forms that you have discovered and tried?
I have tried dozens of forms. I really like the villanelle and the cinquain. I find myself really letting loose though, in free verse. I suppose that is the nature of the form.
A favorite poem:
she is like a penny, face up, begging
to be lifted from the asphalt, treasure
promised if I dare give her a moment’s
thought, a hint of blush dusts her cheeks,
eyes, dark, translucent blue, cerulean really,
that pierce my soul, first glance, drawing
me deeper… she likes shadowy places,
nooks, crannies, pre-dawn and gloaming,
alcoves and hollows, her scent is musk, with
undertones of moss, earth and ink waiting for the
quill’s long, lingering dip, pale skin like velvet,
cool to the touch, covered in baby fine hair that
glistens in the light, her hair, fiery red, long,
wavy, cascading softly past her shoulders…
she is not the life of the party, but her words,
softly spoken, draw select clusters of seekers, like
me, who have grown to appreciate her wisdom
and honesty…fools vex her…she has been known
to slay them with a single line, but mostly
she ignores them, pearls and swine, you know,
for those of us who are privileged to call
her friend, to see the world through her
eyes is like peeking through a forbidden
keyhole, Valhalla waiting on the other side
A favorite twittering tale:
Rain or shine Granny cooked her kettles of soup. The hungry came. She fed them all. It was against the law to feed the poor where Granny lived. It wasn’t long before the city shut her down. “Don’t you worry,” she shouted as they led her away. “I’ll be back. People gots to eat.”
And the very first one that started it all October 17, 2016:
It was a grim sight. The first victims of the plague had turned to stone, ghosts who held too tightly to the past, now doomed to repeat it.
Some art…here’s a link to a post featuring some of my actual paintings. Mediums: Watercolor and Acrylic:
You are a Marine veteran! Did you write when you were actively serving? How has that part of your life, being a Marine, impacted your creative life?
I didn’t do a lot of writing while I was in the service. I don’t remember a lot of it actually. I think I’ve blotted out memories from that time. I’m sure it has affected me though. More than anything being a Marine taught me discipline and focus. As an artist and a free spirit, that was a very foreign concept to me.
Describe or list any publications of yours.
I have been featured in several online publications and digests, a few anthologies in print and a self-published cd of original songs:
Poets For Peace 2016 – Praxis Magazine Online
Women’s Spiritual Poetry Blogspot: http://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/search?q=Myrman&m=1
“The Circle Continues”
“Dreams for our Daughters”
Album: “Coming Home” (correct title), “Daddy’s Arms” is a favorite song) Words and Music by Kathy (Myrman) Hurt, produced in 1998 at Broken Records Studio.
It’s on SoundCloud: Coming Home
I enjoyed this interview, Kat. What a creative person you are! Thank you for sharing.