Cynthia Page

Location Sacramento, CA
Occupation Graduate Student
Website http://

About Me

I’m terribly verbose. TMI.

I am a graduate English student in California. My concentration is creative writing, with a minor in geology. All the sciences peak my interest. Poetry is my favorite writing venue right now, but I also write flash fiction and short stories; free-write word lists are fun, and I am working on a few longer stories. I’m a voracious reader of fresh or well-crafted stories, but dry non-fiction bores me. I will never read another romance, but detective and fantasy are still good genres. I’m working through the classics slowly. I also read the news, because it leads me toward plots I may not have thought of otherwise. TV news is too short and bland, though.

I love my cat and I'm a bit of a recluse, but trying to change. I have family in Texas, and I grew up in west Houston and Lubbock. I lived in the N.W. Chicago suburbs in the 70s, all over the Los Angeles metropolis, and recently in northern California. I like to fish, camp out, rock-hunt, and play poker, dice, and backgammon. Skunks and raccoons know I'm a chicken at heart, and cats take advantage of me. Small towns and country life suit me, but academia fascinates my brain. If I could teach a few high school kids how to write coherent sentences I would feel I’d accomplished something. (I’m appalled at how college freshmen write these days.) But my passion (after writing) is editing. I enjoy helping writers express themselves better.

Why do you write?

I write because I must, to get it all out of my head and into a form that feels pleasing. Then I fix it. Inspiration hits when I see, or hear of, an interesting person or situation. Sometimes it is something overheard from passers-by, or gossip around town (the small mountain town where I live in the summer.) Sometimes I find a person interesting enough that I want to put him or her into a situation and see what they can accomplish under duress. Occasionally a story comes to mind complete with beginning, middle, and end and I have to write it, but at some point I have to go back and let the characters be themselves. That is the hard part. But I'm still learning, too.

Poetry also inspires me. I write poetry that is a-little-bit-off-normal, and I try to capture strangeness. But I was told I use too much abstract language, not enough meaning or insight, too much narrative, not enough background info, too much imagery, too much nature, not enough imagery, not enough scene, not enough emotion, too much emotion … ad infinitum. I can’t please everyone, so I try to write what feels good then edit to anticipate response. The ratio of responses so far stands at about: 4 ‘Wow’; 4 ‘I think I get it’; 1 ‘Huh?’ I think 4 – 3 – 1 is on the plus side, but I’m working toward that one guy who always says ‘Huh?’ If I get his agreement, then others are likely to understand. But I love it when even one person gets what the poem says in its entirety. That is what keeps me writing poetry, that aha moment from a reader.

Any favorite authors? Books?

Robert A. Heinlein: Time Enough for Love, I Will Fear No Evil, and Stranger in a Strange Land; Mark Twain, everything he wrote; Emily Dickinson; Shakespeare, everything "he" wrote; Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark. E.E. Cummings; James Joyce Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, Dubliners; Cormac McCarthy, all of his books; Frank O'Connor’s short story collection (“A Good Man is Hard to Find” and many others); F. Scott Fitzgerald – too many to name; Tim O'Brien The Things They Carried; Joyce Carol Oats, many and more to come; D.H. Lawrence, “Women in Love”; Henry James; Edgar Allan Poe, especially "The Cask of Amontillado" and “MS Found in a Bottle”; Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Maypole of Merry Mount,” “The Birthmark” “Rappaccini's Daughter,” “ Feathertop,” “The Scarlett Letter,” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”; Raymond Carver short stories; John Updike, Run Rabbit Run; William Faulkner “The Sound and the Fury”; Anne McCaffrey, “The Dragonriders of Pern” Series; Mercedes Lackey, the “Valdemar” “Freebards” and “Elemental Masters” series among many others; Jane Austin; Charlotte Bronte; J.K. Rowling; Anne Rice; Amy Tan; Pearl S, Buck, “The Good Earth” and lots more.

Cynthia Page's Wall

Darryl Price – Jul 03, 2012

Hi Cynthia--glad to have you with us!

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