As well as feature our future readers, we also wanted to check in with folks who have read for us over the last 5 years. Ashley Elizabeth read for us in 2019 – read what she has been up to below!
What have you been up to since reading with us at Writers & Words? How has the writing been going?
I’ve been in the classroom, teaching 6th and 7th grade. The writing comes and goes, as it always does. I’ve gotten several pieces published by different places as well as a book acceptance. If that’s not an indication of success, I also feel stronger about my work. I have so many ideas and directions I want to go, I just have to pick one to focus on.
I am constantly in a state of revision, even before a piece is out or even finished. I’ve been going back and forth between wanting to expand some of my nonfiction/memoir pieces and sticking particularly with my poetry.
What are you working on right now (writing or otherwise (nothing is a valid answer as well))?
Well aside from teaching my kiddos, I am trying to find a home for another book of mine as well as compile/write a third manuscript.
Other than that, nothing really has been striking my fancy. It’s such an odd time to live in. The grass is so green, sky so blue, and I have to stare at gray walls all day, so that’s kind of dampened my spirits. I have also been forming the aforementioned collective of writers and getting to know people from across the states.
What has been your favorite Quarantine Read thus far?
Book wise, I’ve mainly only read The Odyssey and Animal Farm as that is what I am currently teaching, but I’ve also read several beautiful but odd essays, such as this one about eels. I have also been re-reading other Grecian myths, and that has been really fun and rewarding.
How would you describe the writing community where you live in just a few words?
It’s getting back on its feet. The writers are all doing writer things and still having events. I mean I am very shy, but the places I go to and the people I have interacted with have all been so inviting.
What would be a few words of advice you would give someone wanting to get into any writing community?
Be yourself. Do what you can when you can. Go to events. Support other writers with pure intention, not wanting to get anything out of it. Form your own community if you have to.
Bonus question: what level of quarantine are you at? 1) relaxing with a book, 2) the dog clears her throat too loudly, 3) hot dog fries, 4) THE PRINTER IS BROKEN I DON’T NEED A PRINTER, 5) I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.
I’m between 2 and 3 (and I don’t even have a dog). 4 tried me though! Then I just unplugged it and plugged it in again. Whatever works.
Ashley Elizabeth is a writing consultant, teacher, and poet. Her works have appeared in Bonnie’s Crew, yell/shout/scream, and SWWIM, among others. Her chapbook, you were supposed to be a friend, is forthcoming with Nightingale & Sparrow (June 2020). When Ashley isn’t serving as assistant editor at Sundress Publications, teaching, or freelancing, she habitually posts on Twitter and Instagram, watching way too many dog and food videos. She lives with her partner in Baltimore, MD.