Oyster River Pages: What’s your favorite thing that you’ve created? (line, image, story, etc.)
Cree Pettaway: A new favorite of mine is a story I'm working on about a stranger's funeral I attended on a service trip in South Dakota. The story is my attempt at imagining the boisterous character I believe him to have been. It's probably the piece of writing I've enjoyed creating the most.
ORP: What do you want to read more of in the world?
CP: I want to read things that scare me. That keep me up at night. Novels, news articles, interviews that pull me out of my chair and my own way of thinking, and force me to connect emotionally to something I never have before.
ORP: How do you pay it forward?
CP: I always say that travel is the best way to cure ignorance about the world outside of one's own community. I believe the best thing anyone can do for themselves and for the future of humanity is to step into the life of someone else and force themselves to be open to all that experience has to offer. This means taking the depressing with the inspiring, as everyone's life is guaranteed to be an intermingling of the two. This helps generate a compassion for other human beings, something I believe is very much lacking in the world. I'm aware that not everyone has had the opportunities I've had to travel, so I do my best to explore what I can, and share the stories of those who have influenced me on my journeys.
ORP: You’ve just written your autobiography. What’s the title?
CP: Late to the Party. I have an unhealthy habit at times of living in my own bubble, to sometimes escape from it and realize I'm completely out of touch with everyone around me.
Cree Pettaway is a first year MFA student at Louisiana State University. She is a graduate of Spring Hill College, where she had several poems published in their online literary magazine, The Motley. Find more of Cree’s work on her website, creepettaway.com. Read her short story "Why We're Not Married" from Issue 1.