(Photo by Valorie Luhr)
It's been three years since I first met Glenda Beall. We submitted one of Chitter's poems to a Poetry Contest for children-Chitter didn't win a prize-but through the contest we won a friend for life-Glenda Beall. From the first time I heard Glenda read one of her poems-I was hooked on her writing. It resonates with me in a way that's hard to describe-her poems weave their way into my mind and come back to me at the oddest moments-always comforting me with the knowledge that she's walked many of the same roads of life I have.
When did you start writing?
I began writing when I was very young. I always loved opening a pack of Blue Horse paper and sharpening my pencils for school. I can still remember the thrill of having a fresh clean sheet of paper before me. As a little girl I built a place in the chinaberry tree behind our house where I could climb up among the leaves, sit and write while birds flew in and out of the branches around me.
Is there one person who stands out in your mind-who encouraged you along the way?
I kept my writing to myself until I was in high school and college and then I shared it with my sister, June and her husband, Stan. They were supportive, but it wasn't until I moved to Hayesville, NC in 1995 and met Nancy Simpson that I began to read my work for others and share my poetry. Nancy's classes for the next several years, helped me to finally have the courage to believe in myself as a writer. However, I was of the age by then that I'd never reach the goals I'd had as a child.
Your most recent book is a book of poetry-do you write other genres as well?