In this week’s interview, we are featuring the super awesome Miss Macross (AKA Sheena Carroll). Her poem “False Cognates” was featured in June on DDR. Her book Miss Macross Vs. Batman was published recently by the CWP Collective Press.
What inspires you the most?
I find inspiration through connecting the alien to the deeply personal. Everyone finds their own ways to cope with trauma, mental health problems, and hard-to-process emotions. One of my coping mechanisms is to immerse myself in the strange and the unexplained (I’m especially influenced by unsolved mysteries). When I experience intense feelings (be it abuse flashbacks, grief, or crushing unrequited feelings), it best manifests in writing as a reflection of something bizarre with which I share no concrete connection. It reveals those feelings in a more novel way.
I also like looking for connections to the personal with nature and ritual; in particular, through tarot. I take a lot of inspiration from the imagery of the tarot (which more or less follow the tropes of the Hero’s Journey).
Who are your favorite women writers?
My favorite writers include Anna Akhmatova, Nnedi Okorafor, Banana Yoshimoto, Roxane Gay, Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Han Kang, and Kim Yideum.
I especially love and am influenced by women graphic novelists and manga-ka. Hagio Moto, Marjorie Liu, Rumiko Takahashi, and Riyoko Ikeda regularly inspire my poetry and writing with their engaging storytelling and beautiful art.
What does your writing process look like?
I write a little bit every day; I keep a daily poem journal on Google Docs so I can access it anywhere. I’d say maybe 10% of that writing goes into poems that I submit for publication. Most of the time it is incomprehensible rambles about my day, but sometimes there’s a gem of a line that I pull out and turn into something else.
I also write fiction, and am in the middle of developing a new routine of writing 3,000 words per week. That has been much more challenging and unpredictable.
What advice do you have for fellow women writers?
It’s normal to feel self-conscious about your work. Submit it to that lit mag you really like, anyway. As a creative writing workshop facilitator, I’ve worked with writers of many genders and the majority have shared similar levels of self-consciousness about their work. But I feel that women writers can be less likely to submit their work because of those feelings. I’ve certainly dealt with that block – it took me almost ten years to start submitting my poems and stories to magazines.
What are you currently working on?
Because I like to torture myself, I’m working on three separate projects. One is another short poetry collection, which I’m almost finished editing. I also have a short story collection. I’ve already submitted it to some presses that I love, but have recently considered expanding it from a chapbook to a full-length collection. The biggest goal I have the remainder of 2018 is completing the initial draft of my first novella, which combines my loves of sci-fi and unsolved mysteries.
Be sure to check out her book Miss Macross Vs. Batman! and follow her on Twitter @MissMacross.