So-Not-Journals, False-Starts, & Short-Stories
How did you first start writing?
I have an old notebook from Jr. High filled with poems and little stories. My best friend and I used to write all kinds of things. I distinctly remember writing a story when I was a young teen that included some less than savory elements. My mother, also a writer, found it and freaked out. She thought it was my journal and not fiction. Looking back on it now, it surprises me that she didn’t realize it was fiction—I was a bit of a goody two-shoes—but I’ve learned that one never truly knows another person.
I have a large pile of story-starts dating back decades from my many false-starts at writing. It wasn’t until 2013, after I’d retired from AT&T, that the bug bit seriously and I began my first novel,
The Art of Healing. Since that time, I’ve completed one novel and started two, have written, and won awards for, numerous short stories, and set off on a path as a writing professional. I now serve on the board of the Missouri Writers Guild (MWG) and Saturday Writers, which is a chapter of MWG. And I’m a participant in several critique groups.
Why do you love it?
There are many reasons, but much of it has to be with staying sane. I inherited my mother’s propensity toward depression and rumination on the negative. I’ve found that if I transfer that energy into creating characters and stories, the depression and stress are diminished. Plus, I love seeing where a story idea will take me as it unfolds. I don’t outline and tend to write scenes out of order. Often, the dialogue comes first, with various characters carrying on conversations at different times. I use the energy of those to write. I usually have a flash of the beginning and end, but beyond that, it’s a total surprise to me how any given story turns out.
Jeanne Felfe is a Texan by birth and currently lives in the St. Charles, MO area with her perpetual fiancé and two dogs who think they are tiny humans.
Besides writing, her passions include growing canna lilies, banana trees, elephant ears and Hibiscus. Notice a trend? Yes, she loves trying to grow tropical plants in the weird weather of St. Louis. During the winter, the inside of her home looks like a scene out of Jumanji. In addition to her debut novel, many of Jeanne’s short stories have won awards and been published, and her essay “Amidst The Weeds” recently won first place on fiftiness.com.
You can learn more about Jeanne Felfe on her website.
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