Saturday, March 31, 2007

Making Connections

I've been super busy. The end of my first year in grad school is coming up fast, so I have a lot of projects and papers to finish in a short period of time.

Last Friday night, March 23, my friend Sarah and I went to this place called Connections in Oakland for an opening of Sarah's friend Moshe's art show. They had delicious food, wine, and an open mic. Sarah and I were the only two people to read poetry. I must say, Sarah rocks at delivery. She really wants to get into slam poetry, and I can see why. She's a natural. I was nervous about going on after her, but things went pretty well. I read some old work, written for a poetry workshop last year, that I have already read in public, so it was the cliche piece of cake.

I'm not normally a public reader. This was the first time I have ever read to a room of almost complete strangers. But afterwards I had a guy come up to me and started talking to me about my poetry, and I started to think maybe I should go out and read more. Although I don't think my poems are meant for oral delivery as much as Sarah's are, just knowing that their are intellegent people out there who want to hear and discuss poetry is amazing, and Pittsburgh is a hub for poets. So, watch out! I may be coming to a venue in the Pittsburgh area near you sometime soon.

I've come to realize that making connections is a major part of being a writer. A lot of writers are, by nature, shy and reserved. But to really make it, one must break through that, travel outside their usual four walls, and take risks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

So, this is who I am. . .

Well, I thought it was about time I actually wrote something here. I'm always setting up websites and blogs and not writing in them. I think I'll start off with a little bit about me, since I'm procrastinating anyway. . .

My name is Crystalee and I am a 23-year-old native of Central Pennsylvania. I am currently living, attending school, and not working (long story) in Pittsburgh, PA. I am in my second semester as an MFA in Creative Writing student with a poetry emphasis at Chatham College. Looking back, I always knew that this is where I was going to end up. Maybe not in Pittsburgh, but definitely going to school to write. And I worked my butt off and went against my parents' well-meaning but bad advice to get here. Why? Because I love to write. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and reading even longer. I love the fact that I now live in an environment that encourages me and even requires me to write something new every day. The people here are just as passionate as I am about writing and, for the most part, welcome me into their worlds and allow me to learn from their work.

Poetry was my first love. My poetry tends to be free verse, personal, and unsensored. I am also currently working on my first Young Adult fantasy novel called Ice Girl. My horizons have expanded greatly from my time in the MFA program. I now have experience in writing for children and travel writing, two disciplines I had never considered before.

My first REAL romantic love is my boyfriend Mark Bradley. He's a poet and fantasy writer too, and we love to bounce ideas off each other and help each other with our projects. He's the one who pushes me to keep working on Ice Girl and I can always count on him to give me a confidence boost when I am in a slump. You'll hear more about Mark in this blog, I'm sure. I'll try to keep it writing related though. ;-)

That's me in a nutshell: writer, poet, professional student, lover of life, girlfriend and dreamer. Welcome to my world.