Kimberly Lawrence Kol

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Oyster River Pages: How has your writing changed over time?
Kimberly Lawrence Kol: I used to think of myself as a person with good technical writing skills but no ideas. I viewed the occasional writing I’d produce not as proof that I was a writer with ideas, but as proof that I was not writing enough. It was a defensive strategy that kept me from risking too much. But I got older—wiser, but also more aware that I’m going to be dead soon. A few years ago an idea occurred to me and for the first time I saw it instantly as an idea. I took it seriously, and it turned out to be a novel. After that I took all of my ideas seriously.

ORP: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
KLK: When my husband and I were engaged, we were on our way to the airport. An older woman shared the car with us, and I was more than happy to tell her all about our upcoming wedding, which of course she had not asked about. When I had finished my chattering, she became serious. “Marriage has its ups and its downs,” she said. “Don’t panic in the downs.”

ORP: Do you consider your writing time to be work or play?
KLK: I consider my writing time to be time I use to connect to myself. I am often resistant to knowing my true experience, because like most of us I forget that I am an adult now and fully capable of managing my environment or soothing myself if that experience turns out to be uncomfortable. That resistance makes it work. But then, once I submit to the act of connecting to myself, I am contented. Amazed at where my mind wants to go. Happy to follow it there. That joy makes it play.

ORP: How does writing change you?
KLK: Writing does not change me; reading does. Writing solidifies the changes that are already in progress.

ORP: What’s next for you artistically?
KLK: This seems like a trick question, either to taunt the universe into thwarting me or to reveal some aspect of my personality I’d prefer to keep hidden. I refuse to answer.

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Kimberly Lawrence Kol is a psychologist in private practice in Vermont. She lives with two boys, two pitbulls, and a husband who is considerably less relaxed since reading "The Lost Place." Her work has appeared in Prick of the Spindleand The Northville Review. Listen to Kimberly read a selection of her work here.

Jonathan Freeman-Coppadge