Linda C. Wisniewski shares an empty nest in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, the sculptor and potter Steve Wisniewski. She teaches memoir workshops at retirement centers, and writes features for a weekly newspaper. The Wisniewskis have two grown sons.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Off Kilter is a memoir using scoliosis as a metaphor for my life. Many of my struggles and challenges required adjusting my attitude, just like I adjust my body to the pain of a curved spine by practicing yoga stretches.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
The editor of an information trade newsletter asked me to write articles when I was a self-employed information researcher, before the Internet. Getting paid for my words inspired me to do more creative writing, and that became my new career.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Morning yoga practice and journaling. Then I turn on the spiritual/Native American music station on iTunes and work on a story for the paper, or my novel. I try not to check email or Facebook til after lunch but don’t always succeed! A walk outdoors at lunch time, then it’s back to the computer for a bit. Often I read in the afternoon as well, and edit book reviews for Story Circle Book Reviews, http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
An old, battered teacher’s desk I bought at a used furniture store 25 years ago and won’t part with. I love its gouged wood surface and deep drawers. It faces my wooded back yard, and sits in my study at the back of my house. Nearby are my sewing machine and quilting projects.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Unreliable Truth by Maureen Murdock.
Writing From Life by Susan Wittig Albert.
One Year to a Writing Life by Susan Tiberghien.
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
I’m a bleeding heart liberal Unitarian Universalist.
I love to knit scarves and afghans but gave up learning to make socks.
My husband does most of the cooking because he likes it more than I do.
7. Favorite quote
“Writing is one of the ways I participate in transformation.”
– Toni Cade Bambera
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Best – Crafting words into just the right form to express what’s in my heart is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.
Worst – It’s hard to make a living doing what I love, and it can be lonely as well.
9. Advice for other writers
Write the story that wants to be told. Don’t even think about what’s popular or marketable now until you’ve made your work the best it can be. That’s all that really matters.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
While covering a story about a gas line proposal for the local paper, I attended a presentation and interviewed state officials. The outfit of one of the female dignitaries intrigued me, and before I could stop myself, I had reached out to touch the lapel of her jacket. “Chico’s?” I asked. She stepped back quickly but must have decided I was harmless.
“No, QVC,” she replied. I’ve forgotten my follow-up questions, but I’ll never forget my embarrassment at being the reporter who was so inappropriate she touched the speaker’s clothing!
Where can people buy your book?
Off Kilter is available on order from any bookstore, and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from my publisher, http://www.pearlsong.com/offkilter.htm.
My website is http://www.lindawis.com.