Writer’s Words: Missy Marston

Today we have a guest post from author Missy Marston. Missy shares her experience at The Word On The Street and gives hope to those of us who fear we’ll never find the time to write something substantial.

Missy appeared at The Great Books Marquee during the “Short but Sweet” segment, along with two other debut authors, Mathew Henderson and Stacey Madden.

There are some things that you dream of so hard and for so long that when they happen they cannot possibly feel real.

I appeared at The Great Books Marquee at The Word on the Street in Toronto three days before my 45th birthday. I read from my first book, The Love Monster. It is a story about a sad middle-aged woman named Margaret H. Atwood who is visited by a lovelorn alien from outer space who speaks in the voice of Donald Sutherland. Understandably, I never dreamed it would be published. Frankly, I had stopped believing it would ever be written at all.

Though I always fancied myself a writer and produced pages and pages of what I hoped was poetry for the first half of my life, when I gave birth to my first son, production came screeching to a halt. I have heard that there are women who write novels, knit sweaters, build the Taj Mahal while their babies are napping. I was not one of these women. I couldn’t even keep the house plants alive.

I stopped writing for eight years.  Then, one bright day, when the kids were old enough to get their own breakfast and turn on the television, ideas started creeping in to my head. A woman. A bitter, bitter woman. An alien. Motherhood. I started chipping away at it in spare minutes. A novel. Of course, it took forever.

During questions and answers at The Word On The Street, someone asked what it was like to have your first book published. Was it everything you expected? My answer was: I am 44. I thought my first book would never happen. It all feels like a crazy dream.

Missy Marston‘s writing has appeared in various publications, including Grain and Arc Poetry Magazine. She was the winner of the Lillian I. Found Award for her poem, “Jesus Christ came from my home town.” The Love Monster is her first novel. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

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3 thoughts on “Writer’s Words: Missy Marston

  1. Awww – I loved The Love Monster and am very glad it was published (I think of it as your Edible Woman. I see the same sense of humour that infused your novel in this blog post – am sitting here at my computer giggling at your line about writing novels, building the Taj Mahal and knitting a sweater while babies are napping. I have a male friend who’s the primary caregiver for two children, neither of whom are babies any more. I see him trying to juggle a supposedly part-time job and the sheer volume of running around (karate, math tutoring, getting kids two and from two different schools, meals) and I don’t know how he doesn’t go out of his ever-loving mind. I’d say required reading for all female writers trying to juggle motherhood and writing has to be both Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and more important, Tillie Olsen’s Silences.

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