Mary-Lee Blemings is an author who is new to calling herself a writer, but not new to writing itself. Blemings is a retired English teacher, who used her writing to help teach her students literary devices in poetry, short stories, plays. Blemings started writing more frequently and starting some of her bigger projects after retiring. She joined the Writers Guild to connect with writers, find potential role-models and learn tips for entering the published world. I framed my questions in an effort find out more about Mary-Lee’s process and who she is as a writer.
Q: What types of genres do you prefer to write the most? Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet that you’re interested in?
A: My favourite genre is memoir/ biography. I like to record those memorable moments and milestones in someone’s life that capture the essence of that person. I enjoy the research and piecing it all together. A genre I want to pursue is adult fiction (mystery), and I have an idea that I am just beginning to explore.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from for your current works? Do you still write poetry? If so, does your source of inspiration for poetry differ from your other works?
A: Typically, the inspiration for my more successful pieces have come from my life experiences, and from the unique ‘characters’ I have encountered in my life. I am a real people person. I love to hear their stories. I love to share stories aloud and remember so many funny, clever, poignant, ironic, touching situations.
I still write poetry, often to express an emotion. I will come across a scene in nature that lifts me; I will write poetry to help me in tough times, such as the sudden death of my sister; I have written when I am moved from reading an article; I have written from my own experiences to share with my high school and junior high school classes. I don’t sit down and say, “Now I will write a poem.” The idea often comes to me when I’m driving or trying to go to sleep. Much of my poetry at one time was about individual students who had unique situations that touched my heart. I have never tried to publish my poetry. I feel it is such a personal thing.
Q: How long have you been a part of the Writer’s Guild, and have you found it has helped with your writing and confidence?
A: I have been a part of the Writers’ Guild for about a year. Must say I haven’t found it useful for my purposes at this point. I find it interesting. I find it inspiring sometimes. I’m not sure it is for writers like me who are not published. Perhaps I am not mentally ready to really call myself ‘a writer’, though it is something I love to do. I really need a real live author to say, “This is what you do!”
Blemings is currently waiting for illustrations to be finished for her children’s novel that she is looking to self-publish. She is also working on a historical novel about pioneer life and WWI, continuing to educate through literature by including valuable lessons about family, gratitude and sacrifice. It was a privilege to be able to find out more about the author Mary-Lee Blemings. She is kind and talented, and I look forward to reading her published works.