Manage the Moment: Conversations in Performance Psychology

Jincy Willett - Critically Acclaimed (seriously fantastic!) Writer & Novelist

January 30, 2020 Jincy Willett - Critically Acclaimed (seriously fantastic!) Writer & Novelist Episode 12
Manage the Moment: Conversations in Performance Psychology
Jincy Willett - Critically Acclaimed (seriously fantastic!) Writer & Novelist
Chapters
Manage the Moment: Conversations in Performance Psychology
Jincy Willett - Critically Acclaimed (seriously fantastic!) Writer & Novelist
Jan 30, 2020 Episode 12
Jincy Willett - Critically Acclaimed (seriously fantastic!) Writer & Novelist

Jincy Willett has been called the "high priestess of dark comedy", Her humor, it's been said,  displays and unfailing perfect sense of timing. Comedian David Sedaris has said that he would be willing to wear a sandwich-board with Jincy's name on it if that would help draw people to her work - her writing is that good. Jincy Willett's work will make you laugh, yes, but it will also surprise you., catch you off guard, make you think. Jincy invests in her readers, delights them, and she was kind enough to invest some of her time with me recently as we discussed her creative process and approach to her work. I hope you'll truly enjoy this conversation with the uniquely talented author, Jincy Willett

Learn More about Jincy Willett

Check out Jincy's books on Amazon

Follow on Twitter @drshepp   

Follow on Instagram @drshepp

Learn more about Dr. Shepp  at SportandPerform.com

Podcast transcripts coming soon at: ManageTheMoment.net

#ManageTheMoment YouTube Channel

Music by Brad Buxer

The Pretenders "Brass in Pocket" Source 

Show Notes Transcript

Jincy Willett has been called the "high priestess of dark comedy", Her humor, it's been said,  displays and unfailing perfect sense of timing. Comedian David Sedaris has said that he would be willing to wear a sandwich-board with Jincy's name on it if that would help draw people to her work - her writing is that good. Jincy Willett's work will make you laugh, yes, but it will also surprise you., catch you off guard, make you think. Jincy invests in her readers, delights them, and she was kind enough to invest some of her time with me recently as we discussed her creative process and approach to her work. I hope you'll truly enjoy this conversation with the uniquely talented author, Jincy Willett

Learn More about Jincy Willett

Check out Jincy's books on Amazon

Follow on Twitter @drshepp   

Follow on Instagram @drshepp

Learn more about Dr. Shepp  at SportandPerform.com

Podcast transcripts coming soon at: ManageTheMoment.net

#ManageTheMoment YouTube Channel

Music by Brad Buxer

The Pretenders "Brass in Pocket" Source 

Dr. Shepp:

Thanks for tuning in to manage the moment conversations in performance psychology. I'm Dr. Sari Shepphird.

Jincy Willett:

All readers bring to the text that you've written everything they know about life and um , so everybody, there is many different versions of a story or a novel as there are writers . It's just is, and that once you've got it down, you're an authority on what you meant, what you think you meant, you're an authority on what's actually on the page in terms of text, but you're not an authority on what what it means except what it means to you. The boss is a story is whoever's reading it.

Dr. Shepp:

She's been called the high priestess of dark comedy, a writer whose humor, it's been said, displays and unfailing perfect sense of timing. Her writing, according to comedian and author David Sedaris, is the kind that leads people to late night phone calls just to share passages of her books with people they know. Jincy Willett is an American author whose works include the novels; " Winner of the National Book Award", "The Writing Class", and most recently, "Amy Falls Down", as well as, "Jenny and the Jaws of Life", a collection of short stories that prompted to Sedaris to conclude he you would be willing to wear a sandwich board with Jincy's name on it, if it would help draw people to her work. Jincy Willett's work may make you laugh, yes, but it will also surprise you, catch you off guard, make you think. Just check out her blog on her website, JincyWillett.com and you'll see what I mean, as you learn more about this brilliant writer - who has described both one of her main characters as well as herself as, "an aging bitter unpleasant woman living in Escondido, California, who spends her days parsing the sentences of total strangers and her nights teaching and writing. Sometimes late at night in the dark, She laughs inappropriately." Far from unpleasant, Jincy invests in her readers, delights them, and she was kind enough to invest some of her time with me recently as we discussed her creative process and approach to her work. I hope you'll truly enjoy this conversation with the uniquely talented author, Jincy Willett.

:

Hi Jincy. Thanks so much for taking the time to join me today.

Jincy Willett:

Hello.

Dr. Shepp:

I'm really looking forward to speaking with you very much. It's a pleasure for me when I find some things to read that are, that are thought provoking. Um, some of your work is a little unnerving, but in a good way. And um, and also makes me laugh out loud, which I thoroughly enjoy in life. Um, and I, and I find myself as well nodding to some of the things that you write, nodding in agreement as though you understand something I've experienced and I didn't think anyone else had. So it's a, it's a wonderful combination , um, that I find in your writing. I also think as well that some of the comments that you've made about your are things that performers from a variety of genres would be able to relate to. So I have a lot that I'd like to speak with you about today. Okay. So you are a communicator.

Jincy Willett:

Right?

Dr. Shepp:

What do you like best about the art of communicating?

Jincy Willett:

Well. When you, I like it best when it actually works. I don't , um , I can I put this, I, it's not writing is a inactive communication. When I used to teach it, I said that over and over again. It's um, it's, it's important and you reach out. And the , the wonderful thing about writing as opposed to other forms of communication is if you get yourself published after you're gone, it's still possible to reach out and communicate with some total stranger in another land in another century even. I mean it may not be likely, but it can happen and that's very satisfying. I think a lot of performers might say that there is a part of, of what they do that is an attempt to connect to other people.

Dr. Shepp:

Are you attempting to connect to other people or just, (no) hoping that it will.

Jincy Willett:

No, but if you're writing well you are going to connect to other people. But no, the thing is it isn't active communication. Unlike my son is a jazz musician and as I've been thinking about this lately, other arts like music , um, although you're communicating your joy and the music that you're playing with an audience are not dependent on an audience. I've watched enough musicians now to know that the joy that they're taking in the moment that they make their music is the key. The music is a much more pure art. That way they don't have to have, I mean you have to have an audience in order to eat, but you know, you don't, you don't have to have an audience in order to make the music, if you see what I mean. Whereas with writing, there has to be a reader. Even if it's just your ideal reader, your fantasy reader or you know, some hypothetical reader. It's an active communication and it's very different from , um, from at least the musical art or for that matter, visual arts, like, like painting and sculpture were where the artist is focused solely on, at least I hope on the thing that he or she is making, creating see the difference. Yes. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So are you holding a reader in your mind as you write? I think you write for your, you write for your self. You're right. For somebody like you. I used to tell my students , um , these are just extension students. I never had any other kind of teaching job, but I used to say, and this is true, that , um, the only thing your reader knows that you don't have, the only thing you know that your reader does not know is the story you're about to tell. You assume that your reader is, at least I always do, knows as much about right and wrong as I do , uh , knows as much about the world as I, I do. Uh, and what I'm imparting is the story itself. I'm not delivering a message. I'm not teaching anybody. I'm not showing them anything except a story. And in that way , uh, I really appreciate reading and writing fiction. I was going to say, that sounds very different to writing nonfiction. Yeah, very. Yeah , very. I mean, I had students, I can remember once I had a student who wrote a story about let's say rape, I can't remember. And I said, okay . And he said, well, I wanted to, to show in this story that rape is a violent and terrible action. And I had I, what I explained was who are you writing for? If you're writing for rapists and then that's, that's an important thing to do, but why not assume that your reader already knows this? And because your reader already knows this, you can take that into account as you write about it. You know, you're going to try to tell the truth about the thing. But that's different from delivering a message because when you're delivering a message, you're thinking yourself as somehow above your reader. You know, like you're on a Mount or something and you're giving a sermon. There are, there are venues for doing that and that's a perfectly honorable thing to do. But I don't think that fiction is the right venue. It makes a lot of sense. And now writing is something that you know a lot about. You've spent your life doing, doing that with a great deal of your time. Although I know it's not necessarily how you spend most of your time. Um, but, but you S you say that you stumbled into writing, most people might not realize that you , you didn't start writing until your thirties. Yeah, yeah. I started actually when I was about 28, and I, I only did it because , um , I'd gone back to school . I had dropped out of school and I worked for 10 years and then I went back to school. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship at Brown and I was majoring in philosophy, which is a great, great major for writers, by the way, or for anybody. I mean, you can't make money with it, but you know, you learn how to respect language and argumentation. And , um , a friend of mine wanted to take a creative writing course and she talked me into taking it with her so she wouldn't be alone. And you know, that's how it started. I just wrote, I was working on a FORO and , um, I wrote to get an a and then the , uh , professor who , Berlin castle is a wonderful writer and a great teacher. He afterwards, he said, okay, you're going to send this to the Yorker and they're gonna , they're gonna send it back. Nobody's gonna want it. You're gonna try the Paris review and you're going to blah, blah, blah. And I said, watch. And um, and of course I never got it published anywhere. It wasn't good enough. But the point is, I was so depressed after he told me that because, and this is the truth, you know, I'd always wanted to be a writer, but I also always assumed that I couldn't be. And when somebody tells you that you can actually be the thing you want to be, then uh, the onus is on you. I mean, all of a sudden that you have this horrible responsibility, you know? I don't know . I found it kind of scary. Anyway, that's how it started. Well , I think a lot of performers could relate to that because pressure changes things well, yeah. And also the fact that it's a possibility rather than a pipe dream. I mean, we all have pipe dreams and we were, if we're saying we recognize that most of them were piped, I'm never going to be a ballet dancer. I would have loved to have been, but I didn't have that talent. But I didn't realize that I had the talent to write until somebody told me. And then it was up to me whether, you know, put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. So it means I've got to try it. So it felt like a responsibility. Yeah, it's a responsibility to myself, not to the world. I mean the world didn't need to hear from me, but given that I loved reading so much, I spent my whole life reading. I , I didn't really have a childhood. I had my head in a book. A lot of kids are like this. It wasn't just me. But given that, that was obviously what I loved, then I had to go out and at least try. I didn't have the choice not to anymore. Okay. I imagine that was a devastating realization. And then it was fun. I mean once I got over it, it was, it was fun cause I realized I had some talent and that was nice. I'm not knocking it. I'm just saying the moment with not a moment of joy. It was a moment of, Oh my God, you know, that's frightening. Did you feel like you had to be good at it? Well, yeah. You always feel like you have to be good at what you do. I mean, you don't want to make an idiot out of yourself and you don't want to let down your own. Um, you don't want to , I mean, the reason I didn't think I could write was because when I was very young, when I was a kid, I thought I'm going to write something and I wrote a sentence and I, it was awful. And I've always learned way too quickly, if you know what I mean. Sometimes people learn it's possible to learn something too quickly. And from that one experience, I learned that I wasn't a writer, so I stopped thinking about it all. I was actually was just immature. I was just a child. I mean, I don't know what I expected, but you know, I read that I , I read that you compose this sentence and that you found it so terrible that you stopped forever. I wondered what that sentence was. Do you remember? Okay . I think it was, no, I wish I had written it down. I mean, I wish I had saved it, but I'm sure I burned the thing. But it was, it was the first sentence of something that was going to be scary, you know, probably involved. I don't know what it involved , but it was, it was supposed to be suspenseful and frightening. And in fact, it was cliche written and I could see that even if I didn't know the word cliche at that time, but I could recognize bologna . I mean, you can, you know, so that's what happened. So instead you studied philosophy philosophy's great. How did philosophy teach you about writing fiction? Um, well, it teaches you respect for language and , um, it doesn't teach you how to write fiction, but teaches you a respect for language and , and you have to respect language if you're any kind of a writer, including a writer of fiction. The other thing it has in common with writing fiction is that , uh, you don't have to do any research. I just, to me it was great because I didn't want to, but it's a different, I think it's a different side of the brain. Uh, I, you know, people talk about left brain, right brain, I assume there's some truth in that and if you're using a different part of your brain, I know when you're, when you're thinking about philosophy, when you're trying to philosophy's hard, even , uh , even, you know, undergraduate philosophies, you really sort of break your brain thinking about things. Um, anyways , it's different. But respectful language is what they have in common. Doctor language and no research. I'm not sure if you,

Dr. Shepp:

I would say that you have fun writing if you enjoy the process, if it's a , if it's a labor of love, but, but how would you describe your relationship to the process of crafting a story?

Jincy Willett:

Uh, no, it's not fun. It's horrible. But the fun part is when you've written something that you like, so you can get high on that. I mean, once you, if you're working on a us story or even a paragraph or a chapter of something and you, you, you get an idea and you get it down , uh, you can tell if it, if it's something you think is good because you started to take pleasure in it. And you start to read it over and over again and you start to like going, going back and looking at it. It's very narcissistic. I mean, you just, you just revel in, you know, how wonderful you are. But the actual getting of the thing down and thinking of it is , it's really a pain. I , I don't know if that's true for everybody. I mean, I think a writer like Stephen King and I admire the man greatly and I'd like to read his stuff. I think he must enjoy it.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Jincy Willett:

because he does so much of it. I mean, he spends hours and hours and hours every day . Most writers don't do that.

Dr. Shepp:

And do you write in waves? So is it my , my , might it be that you get an inspiration and then you spend several days and then you take days off? Or is it, is it not even something that you can describe? So exactly in terms of the time that you see ,

Jincy Willett:

I can't , I mean, the closer I get to finishing something, the more, more , uh, the more I spend writing it. But , um, I can go for days or weeks or months without writing anything. It just, it's , I have a friend who's also a writer and we , um, she's gotten me writing again cause I'm very deadline. If we say we're going to share stuff on such and such a date, then I'll, then I'll do it. Uh, because not to do that would not be adult and that helps deadlines or the or the writer's best friend.

Dr. Shepp:

I was just going to ask you. Yeah. Do you write differently under a deadline?

Jincy Willett:

Oh, absolutely. I'll, I'll actually write under a deadline if there's no deadline. It's , it's hard me to do it, you know, I have to either have something that I'm excited about and trying to finish or I have to have a deadline.

Dr. Shepp:

Does that, did that help your students in, in the workshops that you would teach to, to write under deadline?

Jincy Willett:

Yeah. Oh yeah. I think Kenny, I think any, any good workshop because I would always say at the outset you sign up to bring something in at a certain date and then you're going to bring it in on that date. And if you don't, you're going to be in serious trouble, which obviously for teaching extension, nobody's in serious trouble. But I would, I would really bring home to them the fact that you are supplying the text for that class. So if you don't hold up your end, we're all going to be sitting around looking at each other and it'll be a waste of time. And it works. I mean a well run a workshop is really , uh , all that a writer needs. I think either w whether it's an actual workshop or whether it's something you cobbled together with other writer friends , um , give yourself a deadline.

Dr. Shepp:

It sounds like giving yourself feedback isn't, is another important aspect.

Jincy Willett:

Well, yeah, feedback back . But I think, but I think the deadline is , uh, it is important. It's nice to get feedback and it's important when you're giving feedback that you be honest about it. You can be kind without being patronizing. You know, it , it's , um, it's important anyway. It's a good thing. But the best thing, the best aspect of it is actually the deadline. Getting you to write . I mean, I think there must be writers who really do enjoy and are very good about setting, you know, so many hours aside and actually sitting there and doing it and good for them. But I've never been like that. I don't know if it's laziness or fear or what, but I just, I don't,

Dr. Shepp:

well, I was going to ask a few if, if you ever went through a time where you B rated yourself for that, did you, was that something you, you didn't like about your writing or about yourself that you would, you would take that much time or is it permission that you've always given yourself to just write when, when it comes to you and then otherwise not, not worry so much about it?

Jincy Willett:

Yeah, I don't, yeah, I don't. Yes, that's basically it. I think you're dealing with the raw material of your own personality. And this is apparently mine. I, I, this is the way I work and it's not like I'm curing cancer or anything. I'm not doing something that has to be done, although it gives me great pleasure to do it. Well. So, if this is the way I work, then , um, that's the way I work. And I'm sure I'm not the only writer who works this

Dr. Shepp:

well, nor the only other kind of performer who works that way. But I think it's important because I think there, there can be a tendency to , to try to rush something in order to complete something rather than allowing the process to [inaudible]

Jincy Willett:

bold . Um, well, yeah, and I do really believe very strongly in this subconscious , um, in what I call the little man. I don't know what's, why it's a man, but the little man in the projection booth, I really trust my subconscious that way too . I'm sort of let me know if , uh, if something needs to be written down, you know, I , I don't, you don't want to be, I tend to be a controlling person about something, not about other people, but about my own self, but not about this. I trust the little man in the projection booth. Did that trust develop over time? Yeah, it developed over time , uh, with , um, my personal life was some significant dreams I have. I'm one of these people that hardly ever , I'm sure I dream, but I never remember them. If I remember a dream, I take it very seriously because I think I shield myself from the memory of dreams for the most part. And so I just, I really sort of trusted as a kind of wisdom in the part of your brain that , um , is monitoring stuff. I don't know how it works. I don't know anything about the brain, but clearly there's a part of you that knows more than the conscious knows , you know, about what's important, what's significant, what you have to worry about, what you don't have to worry about, that sort of thing. Does that make sense?

Dr. Shepp:

It does. And I'm, I'm just as though I was reading it in a, in a, in a book that you wrote, I, I'm, I'm kind of meditating on that for a second. Yeah. Because I, I agree with that. I think that is very true. It can be a skill though that develops over time. Um , you know, figuring out when to listen , um, how to listen to , to be able to develop that. And I imagine that that some people, performers or not may have had some overpowering voices in their lives that drowns out their own, their own voice.

Jincy Willett:

Yeah. And then there are , there are writers who claim that they're , and I believe them. I'm not making fun of them. They're their characters come to them. I mean, I remember Alice Walker talking about her characters coming and talking to her and everything. I'd love that. But that just never happened to me and it never will. I would just be too wonderful.

Dr. Shepp:

Well, everyone's process is different, right ? That's right . You have to own your own process. One thing you said was, if you're lucky enough to be able to write down what's really in your head, not what you think should be there, but what's actually there, the essence of your own experience. And if you actually get it published so that someone somewhere at some time can read it, you're very, very lucky. But you , you own that process for yourself. That's what I think is such an important key.

Jincy Willett:

[inaudible] yeah, that's right.

Dr. Shepp:

So I w I wanted to shift a little bit and talk to you about , uh, your, your thoughts on the power of words because obviously a writer would find words to be powerful. I would imagine every writer would say that, but, but each writer might think differently about the power of words. Um, one of the things about your writing that I noticed is that you, you don't shy away from including words that might have to be looked up even from someone who maybe has in school for awhile .

Jincy Willett:

Um, and might have to take a dictionary occasionally and , and look up a word. And, and that's actually different, I think, than most of what happens on to the, in today's market because we're , we hear so much about writing for the common denominator , uh , not writing above other people. And I certainly don't want the listeners to get the impression that your books are hard to read because they're not at all, but, but , um, they're so enjoyable. But occasionally I'll come across a word and just think that is a brilliant use of this word. And I would have never thought to put that word there. So I wanted to ask you about this, your thoughts on , on the power of words or, or how you reflect on words or how you go about choosing words. You try to choose words. Mostly. Mostly what Roland Kasey used to call the emojis with the friendship , the exact right word for your meaning . So if the exact right word for your meeting happens to be a great big word that isn't used a lot, then that's the word you should use. Um, but if not, then it's not. So I, but also there's a separate issue of the sounds and looks of words and some words, and I can't think of an example off hand, but some words are just funny whether they're, you know, you have to look them up or not. Um, it's like poetry. I mean, you, you, so there's the fact that the word itself is an object in addition to , uh , uh, uh , quite a thing of meaning. I mean, obviously words have meanings, but word on the page is also a physical object. Um, you know what I mean? I do know I do. And, and, and I can visualize some pages from your books where certain words stand out there differently. The types that is differently is different. Excuse me. Um , and it emphasizes that, but , but occasionally you do make up words or you emphasize words in your writing and it, and it makes them much more funny to read. But again, the assets, communication. I can remember when William F. Buckley who's passed on, I think has any used to enter. He was of course a brilliant guy and he was very good at what he did and all, but he was often referred to as the great, as a wonderful , uh, user of language. And it would annoy me because that was a man who, at least when he was talking, like if he was debating or if he was on television, would I could see him do this, deliberately choose the most obscure words he possibly could. I mean, it was not, he was not trying to municating he was showing off his, he , you know what I mean? He wasn't, he wasn't, I mean, you don't have to agree with me politically, but I'm saying this was not the kind of communication that you want to achieve when you're a fiction writer. Um, I mean, if it were a choice between to shun something or to obfuscate, you know, he would choose obfuscate . I mean, there are times when you should say up skate , but not all the time. So, so you don't ever want to start using a 10 letter words just for the sake of doing it. It just has to be the right word. Something else I wanted to ask you about words is,

Dr. Shepp:

and I don't know how to phrase this exactly, but, but how they might have served you over the years and I'm reading into a little bit of some of what your characters have communicated and then wondering how you feel about it, if , if the same at all. But, so I'm thinking about your character, Dorcas in the book winner of the winner of the national book award. Um, and she had a need for words and , um, and then in the writing class , um, I believe it was Amy Gallup who said nothing was truly unbearable if you had something to read. And so I'm just wondering if if words have served you in life in such a way that , um, that you either relate to what your characters have said or if that was the inspiration for what your characters said.

Jincy Willett:

Well, it was certainly true of me , my formative years when I was a kid and when I was young , uh , yeah, something to read was, was essential. It's , that was a long time ago. I don't read that much anymore. I don't know whether it's because I work online and my eyes give out or what. But um, yeah, for sure to be able to, I had a English teacher in high school who's once said the most wonderful thing to me. We were talking about something in class and some kids said, I know what I mean, but I , I can't put it into words. And mr bliss said, if you can't put it into words, you don't know what you mean now you can. When I took philosophy, I found out that that's not always true. There's such a thing as the ineffable, but for the most part it really does hold true. That in order to understand meaning, you have to be able to put something into words for yourself if not for somebody else. So yeah, words are really important. I don't know if that answers your question, but it makes a lot of sense. We write fiction and we read fiction in order to make sense out of reality. If you want sense , you know, don't go, don't listen to the news. I mean you , you read stories, you write stories. Human beings need to make sense out of what's going on around them. And uh , and through words we do. So.

Dr. Shepp:

So is that something that you figured out in your philosophy class or just on your own?

Jincy Willett:

Actually , I figured it out as , as a fiction writer and I'm , I'm not the only one who figured it out. I mean, I think I said an old truism about making sense through, through, through fiction.

Dr. Shepp:

And I'm , I'm partly asking because another thing that I noticed about your writing is how well you seem to understand people.

Jincy Willett:

Well thanks . That's good to know cause that's so important.

Dr. Shepp:

Well, some of the observations that you communicate in your book and especially the depth of character, the depth of understanding of someone's character tells me that you understand people. So I wanted to ask you how you think you came to develop that skill. Well ,

Jincy Willett:

I know my mother was very big on understanding people making sense of them. I don't know. That's an excellent question. I'm not sure I can answer it. I just , I just know that as a writer to meet character is so much more important than plot. You cannot, when you got your characters down in the page and you're working with them, you can't just move them around like chess pieces. Sometimes they won't move and it's not because they're real, they're not, you made them up, but they've already gained enough , um, reality so that , uh, you can't make them do stuff that doesn't make any sense for that person. But that's not what you're asking me is it? No, but it's interesting still [inaudible] I don't really know because the funny thing, I'm sort of a hermit, so it's not like I've been out and about among thousands of, I mean I've lived for a long time and um , friends are very important to me and , uh , the people that I've met are interesting, but I don't, I tend to spend most of my time alone. So it's sort of a baffling question why I'm good with, I think maybe you just extrapolate from your own personality and you generalize from that to give other people the same , um, to, to invest them with the same complexity that you recognize in yourself. I don't know . That's all I can think of just going from the specific to the general kind of thing.

Dr. Shepp:

Sure. Well, so , so if it's okay , let me, let me give an example to the list and I'm just, I'm just going to read a paragraph. So this is from your book winner of the national book award and it is your, it , your character Dorcas who is describing her sister Abigail. And this is what she says, the only effective weapon against her was indifference. I had always instinctively known that, but had not until that night begun to know just how horrible that was. She thrived. She prospered on any sort of attention, like a plant on light, even horror, disgust, even fear, love, disapproval, clinical interest, curiosity, outrage, hate, cold and warm. No matter how you regarded her, you were already lost for the mere fact of your regard became her nourishment. To look at Abigail was, is to feed the beast. To look at her with strong emotion is a kind of suicide. So that's signal. An example of a paragraph where I'm nodding my head thinking,

Jincy Willett:

are you a therapist? No, I probably do . Awful.

Dr. Shepp:

But, but it's an understanding that I don't think, I don't think everyone has either the patients or the interest, maybe sometimes the skill, but it might just be the lack of interest in trying to understand another person that, well in fact, I think part of where we are in our culture, in society today is that we just don't take the time to understand other people. But, but you communicate in such a way that you really take the time to understand whether that's true in your life or if your characters are combination, but that you, you take that time.

Jincy Willett:

Well, it's interest. I think people are really, really interesting. And um, and what you have to avoid is labeling in real life or are on the page. You know, people throw around stuff like narcissist and you know, paranoid and, and the words have meaning and they have use. But , um, people are not , uh, people are way too complicated to be, to be pigeonholed, you know? And if they weren't, I don't think I'd bother writing. I mean, it's the fact that people are so interesting that makes them worth writing about. People can surprise you. And I know this because you can surprise yourself. You can think that you know yourself really well and then you can wake up one day and do something totally off the wall and not know where the hell it came from. And if you can do that, then obviously anybody can do that. You know, it's really that simple.

Dr. Shepp:

That's a great point. And I would think that a lot of people listening could , can relate to that thought but also might be even inspired by it. Um , okay. Because I know performers are, are, are wanting to know themselves in order to bring out the best of themselves. But sometimes you can just surprise yourself.

Jincy Willett:

Yup . Yeah. It can be positive or negative, but you can go, Oh, what the heck was that? And it's , um, it's you, I'm not thinking of anything in particular. I just know that this is something that happens and if it happens to me, it happens to everybody and um, yeah , people are kind of wonderful in a way.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Dr. Shepp:

you just mentioned something that is universally true. I wanted to highlight again just in your writing, how I would find myself nodding my head, thinking that you're expressing universal truths and , and writers do this. Comedians do this too. And, and I, you might not consider yourself a comedian because I think you've said before that you don't think of yourself really as funny, but that the universe can sometimes just be funny, but you right . Um, with comedy and , um, and yet you also write with just some, some truisms. And one of the things that made me nod my head and , and sort of say, yes, that's how I know others have felt was Amy's Amy Gallup , your character, her musings on parents who calculate and recalculate when it would be all right to die. And I laughed hysterically at that. Um, like , like a comedian who, who pulls out truths that we experience every day and then just highlights them in a different way. You do that with your characters as well.

Jincy Willett:

Yeah. Well, I know that's something I know just because I am a parent. Um, but um, yeah, that's just true.

Dr. Shepp:

Is that something that you, that you want to try to do is include some of those universal experiences

Jincy Willett:

that would mean thinking about the catering. Um, I don't want to cater to, which sounds snotty. I know I don't want to cater to people because I think more highly of my readers than , than that. I don't, I don't either they're going to like what I'm writing or they're not, but um , no, I , I don't, if , if I have a character thinking something is because that character would think that at that time, given those circumstances, you know, is he , is that simple? Got it. Okay. Yeah. I was wondering because I thought, do you, do you make observations about life? Write them down and then try to weave them into your stories? Never do. I also never sit, well, I don't go out much, but I don't sit and take down people's conversations in order to understand modern idioms. And I really, I probably should do that because it would help if you know, when you're trying to use, when a character uses slang or something modern. I'm probably, I could stand to be acclimated to it more than I am, but no, I don't. I don't do that. I don't, I've never, all my writing teachers, I had a couple emphasize the importance of keeping journals and I've never kept a journal. I don't keep lists either. I have a thing about, I don't go to grocery store with a list, which is stupid because then I'll forget something. But there's just something about the act of writing something down in a journal and writing down a list that just turns me off. I don't know what it is. Okay. So that's unlike your character, Amy Gallup , who , who wrote things down when they would come to her. She's a better writer than I am. A little tricky. But anyway. Yeah. Well, it's interesting because you hear a certain , um , advice repeated many times. If , if one is wanting to become a writer, one of those things is to write everything down. Another one of those things is to be an observer of everyday life. Um , another one of those things is to write what you know, but those pieces of advice not only don't have to be true, but they certainly don't have to work for everyone. No, they don't. And the right way, you know, is particularly did you read about what happened to me with , uh , I don't know if you've ever read those story that I wrote. Um , sculled under the bed and it was in my first collection in my collection of short stories and it was published in a nonfiction book. Uh, it was one of those books that was , uh, it was for students that I had a lot of small stories and essays in it with, with questions for the student afterwards and prompt writing prompts and so on. Okay. So this was from Jenny in the jaws of life, your collection of that collection and somebody, somebody took the story under the bed from that, which is a story of a woman whose guy breaks into her house and she's raped. And then she gets very angry at her friends for treating her like a , a cliched character. And , um, anyway, it was reprinted, which was fine. It would have been nice if they'd asked me first, but they was reprinted in this. But then it was, it was treated as nonfiction and it was talking afterwards about, you know, will , it's rape was, and I thought, what, wait a minute . And it didn't, it did, it did not horrify me or I , in fact, I thought it was kind of funny, but , um, it was also kind of annoying that it wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a piece of fiction and a , you know, a serious one. And I, now I don't remember why I started telling that it's something to do with the question you asked me. I don't remember either. [inaudible] but it you don't write in order to inform, for goodness sake.

Dr. Shepp:

It was the pieces of advice that I had asked you about and writing what you know was one of the [inaudible] .

Jincy Willett:

Oh. And a friend of mine also who was a , was a psychiatric nurse, had she had a friend who was a psychiatrist who read that store and he said, this woman has experienced this. Oh, that's why I learned this is so interesting to me. He said, look at this, this and this and this . Some sort of checklist. And he said she wouldn't know that unless she'd experienced that. And I thought, buddy, you don't read a lot of fiction, do you? Because you don't understand the role of the imagination. I know this because I sat and imagined it. You know, that's how I was able to do it is assuming this story is successful, assuming the woman's reaction was a reasonable one for a human being to have, it was, it was an act of imagination. It was not an active experience. Um , you can know through imagination if you're, if you're working right. And , uh , you can also be totally wrong obviously, but do you agree?

Dr. Shepp:

Yes, I do. I do. And, and, and I think , um, your imagination is something else that I wanted to just tease out for a minute because many performers will use imagery or visualization to mentally rehearse what they're wanting to do, the way they're wanting to perform. And my guess is that you have a pretty vivid , um , visual imagination as well. I could be wrong, but when you described Amy's Amy Gallup's fears, I just say, Amy, I don't, but when you described your character, Amy, Gallup's fears of going to the doctor , um, with such very, very vivid imagery, I thought that performers could relate to that, that use of, of imagery when they anticipate what might go wrong in a performance. Um, the frustration of, of one's imagination getting carried away and then causing just a sense of panic and fear about what might happen in reality.

Jincy Willett:

[inaudible] yeah. Well, yeah, I mean when I , Amy is, is basically me only a better writer and with a different biography, but her fears are, I pretty much my own. So I know a lot about them and it was actually pretty easy to , to do that. And I suppose it would be easy to extrapolate from a fear of a doctors or for a fear of spiders, do fears of other things. It's just, that's again, that's imagination. It's just , um, because when you're afraid, when you're phobic, your imagination is just, you know, your worst friend. I mean, you do imagine everything don't you? I mean, otherwise you wouldn't be afraid. So , uh, so it's just a matter of , of thinking about it and then writing down what you see. I mean, otherwise I'm actually not very good with visuals. It's hard for me to describe things that are physical, you know, that are visual, but I can certainly easily describe things that occur in my own imagination.

Dr. Shepp:

Something else that I think you relate to about your character, Amy Gallup is , um, your frustration with the world of publishing itself and how it changed. That's funded.

Jincy Willett:

That's sort of interesting . I think I was riding on your own horse here, but yeah, I, I enjoyed that. There's a lot of you feel this way about, you know, what's happening in publishing. So

Dr. Shepp:

because it's changed so much over time and, and I know most performers regardless of what kind of work they do , um, maybe I should say all because just about everybody is going to be faced with the idea of do I open social media accounts or not? Um , how much do I sensor myself? Do I try to engage with people? Do I express popular opinion, my own opinion? Do I express it strongly? Do I water it down? Um, and, and we develop this observer self , um, where we, we don't just go through life experiencing what we experience . We, we judge it. We have, we become , uh , an observer of ourselves and critique ourselves before we say something. How does that affect a writer?

Jincy Willett:

Uh , I don't know. It probably depends on how old you are. I'm not old enough to worry about influencing and , um, social media. I mean, I am on , uh , Facebook and I have an Instagram account, but I dunno , I, can you give me an example? I mean, my thing with my biggest thing with publishing is how writers are now expected to market their own stuff, which I think is grotesque, tends to be the ability to market is a skillset . I mean, you can be a talented marketer and you could actually be a talented a writer and a talented marketer, but it's , you're not likely to be boast. And the idea that they are adapting skills. Yeah, they're completely skillset . I always say when I was a , when I was a brownie, I used my sales pitch was, you don't want these brownies. You don't want these girl scout cookies, do you? I mean, I feel horrible trying to get them to give me their money. I can't do that. Not my job.

Dr. Shepp:

But that's not your question. Well, it relates to my question because on, on social media, and I , and I don't just mean it for the sake of relating to social media, but also for the sake of selling. Because if you're, if you're going to sell your product or sell yourself as a performer, you're expected to do it on social at least these days.

Jincy Willett:

Stupid. But yeah, that's right. You are supposed to do it. And so it does relate to my question. Yeah, exactly. Nothing wrong with selling. My Gregg , my grandfather was a wonderful salesman and he was really gifted. He , he liked to sell. He believed in the products that he sold and he liked knowing that the names of the children of the customers that he sold to and all that. I have total respect for that. I just don't have that ability. And I'm , you know, if I did, I'd use it, but I don't. So does that affect the way you think about the future of , of your career? I mean, does, does that come into account when you think about publishing again? Um, it's a funny thing about the future for P . I am an Uber boom . Oh, I like to say Uber boomer. I'm, I was a first twinkle in the eye of world war II. He was born the last day of 46. And I, my theory is that people who were my age who grew up with , um, the getting under your desk for the nuclear thing and you know, all that, I don't think the future is ever really been as real to me as it was to people before or even since then . People are very upset, rightly so about, about , uh , the environment and all that. But still, I never really got into the habit of thinking about the future at all. I mean, I understand that it's something you're supposed to plan for. I'm not irresponsible, but , um, but it's never been completely real to me. And for this reason, I've never worried about the future of my so-called career. I just, it doesn't , uh, doesn't bother me. I, I want to equip myself honorably. If I write something I wanted to be good, I would hate to kick off before I finish this. A lot of latest books that I'm working on, I mean, you know, you , you want to do the right thing, you want to not leave a mess. But other than that, I just don't worry about it at all. And that's part of what I , um , relish about your characters and then the way you communicate yourself is they use seem to be more of a process oriented person. Less concerned about outcome. Oh yeah, that's right. I never thought of it that way. But yeah , that is, it's a process. It's everything really. It is for many performers to that process and how you think about the creating of what it is that you're trying to do , um, really does need to at least most of the time. And for most people it really does need to supersede the importance of the outcome. Yeah. Yeah. You have to devote yourself to the thing you're actually doing and not, and set aside any anxieties you have about whether anybody's going to buy it. You have to do that. It's just, it's just that, it's that simple. You can't because it would otherwise you're going to be, it's just, it's not good to do anything else. Just get it down, get it down and send it out and um, and be tough about it. I mean, you have to toughen up and not make a big deal about rejections because it's, I have a friend who's both a writer and a , uh , an actress and boy, the performers, actress and actresses , the kind of rejection they have to deal with is just, it's just humbling for somebody who's just a writer to think about. I mean, at least when a manuscript comes back to you and they say, we , you know, we don't want it. They're not telling you in person, they're not chewing gum and sneering at you. And you know , you have to toughen up, toughen up and focus on the work and that's all you can do. And then how do you trust yourself in the work enough to let the outcome be okay ? Um, well, you generally have one or two readers that you trust to make sure that you've done something that you think is good, is really good. I mean, you could still, you could still learn something about that needs improving , um, from a , from a good reader. My husband was a wonderful reader. I have a couple of friends who are wonderful readers. And of course you can, if you look into a really good copy editor, once you have something excepted , they can, they can save your bacon too. So it's not like you can't learn anything, but you know, w if you're satisfied basically with what you've written , uh , chances are you're not gonna , you're not going to change your mind about what's basically on the page. You just have to assume that you're right. Hmm . And you can be wrong of course. But you know, that's the chance to take. The funny thing is if somebody, cause I had this happen once with a story. Um, they said, well, we'll take it, but you have to change the ending. And I, you know, I was young enough so I went and changed the ending and I think they were actually right. I do think that they were right and the story was stronger once the ending was changed. But I never felt like it was my story after that. I was very, I was, I was very, it was interesting. It was like I no longer was sure of what I had on the page because somebody else had come in and said, you know, you need, you need to change the end. It was just interesting to me because that's the only time that ever happened. And as I said, I think the person was right. And so interesting because you're , you're speaking to a couple of skills at the same time. I mean one is just the skill of trusting yourself. Yeah. Which is so important because if you do have outward success in a performance field and then the more success you achieve, you will have voices and then more voices telling you how things should be done. So it does become so important or maybe it's always important to, to trust yourself. And yet you're also speaking to the skill of, of maintaining an openness for learning. [inaudible] yeah. Cause obviously you couldn't be wrong, but you have to really, the person. Uh, and it's really interesting when I wrote, which was it, I think it was the first Amy book, which was the writing class, I was pretty sure everything was fine. And my mom, who was a good reader but not a writer, she read it and she said, you know, and this was when it was a mascot for him before, before it was published. She said, you know, your your introduction be better if you cut this out and started here. And she was absolutely right. And not only that, I mean it wasn't a , I wasn't a huge difference, but I did. There was a bunch of Deadwood that I hadn't recognized that I would have recognized in a student story if somebody in a workshop had just shown me that I would've given them exactly the same advice that my mom gave to me. But because I was so used to reading it over and over again, you know, as my first chapter, it just, you know, duh. It didn't occur to me that it was Deadwood . So yeah, you can learn, you can make things better. And I suppose experience helps to tease out, yeah. The balance in there. Yeah . Also sometimes you really need to know whether a , something that's kind of subtle actually came through or not. I mean you can cause the trick in writing is you don't ever want to overexplain. You want to leave your reader something to do. Readers like to have things to do, they don't need to be spoonfed. And it can be sort of a balancing act. And if , if you can actually need a reader to tell you , uh, whether they understood the point you were making, you know, on page so-and-so , uh, that can be helpful too . The last thing that I wanted to tease out was in relation to what happens to Amy in your second novel that features her and Amy falls down where she has an accident and hits her head and then her life changes dramatically. It happened magically. And I think a lot of performers have that fantasy and that dream that just something will happen. Look , I mean, well , you could call it magic, but I mean, and a lot of people don't like to hear about luck, but everybody has different kinds of luck. And to think about luck is sometimes you get lucky and you need luck. You really do. Everybody does. Um, but you know, that doesn't mean that if you didn't look out on Monday, you're not going to look out on Tuesday. I mean, it's just , uh , but yeah, for sure. Amy is lucky. I was lucky. Um, it, you know, I took that class, I didn't have to take that class. If I hadn't taken that class, I don't know if I ever would've written. Um, and, and you know, David Sedaris read my book in the library and if he hadn't done that, I probably wouldn't have written any other books after the, the first , uh, collected stories . So again, yeah. Oh yeah. You didn't know that. Oh, yeah. That's an amazing , I mean, I knew David discovered the book, but I didn't know that you wouldn't have written any . I think so . I mean , by the time that I heard from him , uh , uh, I [inaudible] book was published in 87 or something and my son was born that year. The next year my husband died and then I came out to California and I had a child to raise and, you know, money to make and so on. So, no, I, I mean I was, I was running some workshops and stuff, but , um, writing was really not paramount in my mind. And I , I had started that , uh , winter , the national book award, but I wasn't really committed to it. It all was because of him. I'm making such a , uh , production out of it that my, my publisher got excited and reissued the stories and said, have you got anything? And I said, well, yeah, I have a , well they said, right. You know, we'll, we'll publish your not , I mean it all stemmed from that. I love libraries by the way. This is , um , libraries are so important, which again gets, gets back to marketing. I mean, yeah, sure you want to make a profit. But really the first book that I wrote was basically sold to libraries. And that was about it. Cause I was a nobody who'd written , um, written a bunch of short stories and uh, but people go to libraries, you know, and some of the people who go to libraries tell other people about it or they go to bookstores. So when you go to bookstores, you know , now they go to Amazon. Right , right. Mmm . I wanted to shift gears probably for the last time and just see if I could ask you some questions that I ask everyone. Sure. Okay. So, Amy, what in life are you still curious about? Ah, what in life am I? Gosh, what in life am I still curious about? Oh, she, I don't know. I mean, what's going to happen next? But that isn't so much curiosity is dread. Uh , I, that's awful to say that I'm not curious. Am I curious about anything? I don't know . What do people say? Tell me what other people say and then I'll say, I will, I mean, what are people curious? There have been others who have said what comes next is what they're curious about. So that's, that's been said. Um, but there's no, there's no right or wrong , uh , you know, to the answer. Well, I mean , I just, I think the problem is over the last couple of years and I won't get into it, but, but the, the news news cycles and the politics have sort of taken over everybody's mind, including mine. It's very hard to wake up in the morning and not be thinking about things other than things that I would prefer to think about and wonder about. So, you know, I think my curiosity has probably been hijacked by , uh, by events. I agree. That's a , that's a great point. And , and we could , we can talk about that another time. Um , what is more

Dr. Shepp:

distracting to you as a writer? Is it praise that you receive or criticism?

Jincy Willett:

Um, my stomach, I receive a lot of either one. I mean , um, praise . See , I don't, I'm not distracted by criticism. I welcome criticism actually because you can learn from it. And if it's, if you can't learn from it, you can just shrug it off. Um, so I'm just trying to think, is that anybody's ever said anything distracting in praise of me? I dunno. Neither one. I like both. Um , not because I have to be the center of attention, but it's , it's always nice to hear back from people , uh , about what you've, what you've written. I mean, it really is because after all, you're there , your readers. I mean, one of my favorite things was on Amazon. Once somebody said that they took, they bought national winter and Nash book award and it wasn't funny and they were seriously cheesed off about it and they put it in their driveway and drove over it a bunch of times . I felt like saying, you know, you idiot when you go to the library, you didn't have to spend money on something. Some reviewers that , it was hilarious. So anyway, both are , both are nice.

Dr. Shepp:

Well, as, as a writer, you must prepare yourself just for the task ahead when you're writing a short story or beginning of a novel along the way, though in the course of things, something unexpected can happen. Um , is there something unexpected that's happened to you in the course of your, of your writing?

Jincy Willett:

Um, let's see. Unexpected, not so much unexpected, but I, I wrote that in fact the story that I was talking about before the under the bed, the rape story, I started off , uh, sure that the whole point this woman was going to make was that it's, it's really kind of a foul thing to assume that people who undergo certain experiences should have certain responses, that there's, there's something humanizing about that. And in fact, her response, which is to just sort of , uh, not behave in a sort of normal way for somebody who's been assaulted makes perfect sense. And she's actually quite fine. And I found that the closer I got to the end of it, the less sure I was that she was quite fine and I was very, it was hard for me to figure it out. I don't think she was, I think she was mostly right, but not completely, but, but the experience of writing, it was interesting that way in that , um, I couldn't tell I, and to me it was a real question how it was a first person story. So you're in the narrator's mind, you're seeing what she sees. And so on. And how trustworthy is this a , is this a trustworthy narrator or not? And I had a lot of trouble figuring out whether she was and I decided at the end she wasn't quite. So that's the most of a change that I've had. Yeah. So how

Dr. Shepp:

do you feel about the idea that each reader might come to different conclusions about your characters or , um, think that their futures would be, would be distinct and different. So for example, one reader might think that a certain something happens to your character, Abigail. Um, and another, another reader might think something entirely different is going to happen for her. How do you, how do you feel about that? Is that something [inaudible]

Jincy Willett:

that's good. No, that's good. Because all readers bring to the texts that you've written, everything they know about life. And um, so everybody, there is many different versions of a story or a novel as there are readers. It's just, and that once you've got it down, you're an authority on what you meant or what you think you meant, your authority on what's actually on the page in terms of text. But you're not an authority on what what it means except what it means to you. You're not the boss of the story anymore. The boss of the story is whoever's reading it, there is such a thing as lazy reading. If somebody's completely miss, misses the boat and didn't notice that something kind of important happened on page 12. They were probably reading too quickly or they were distracted or something. And you, but other than that, no. Um, if they read the whole thing and process the whole thing, then they are the boss of what it means. They're the boss of what the future of holds for certain characters.

Dr. Shepp:

That's great. And again, very different than the nonfiction where you're invested in someone understanding exactly what you meant. Exactly. Yeah. What is one comment that still stands out to you because of its impact?

Jincy Willett:

Comment on what

Dr. Shepp:

feedback on you feedback on your work.

Jincy Willett:

Oh, I remember I had it in something that I thought was funny to when I was in the master's program at creative writing to John Hawks and he went through it going cliche, clique , cliche, cliche. You only have to do that to me once. It's like being hit with a truncheon. It's just, and I didn't realize how cliche written a thing was until he said it. So I would say that was probably , uh, the most significant comment. Yeah, it's good. It's good cause you, that's a, that's a skill you have to develop. You have to actually, cliches happen when you're not seeing with your own eyes and hearing with your own ears. Cliche happens when you, you sort of slide into a rut. Uh, when you're imagining instead of thinking it through for yourself and all you have to do is have somebody hit you with a trench in once and then , um, unless you're really thick skinned, which I'm not, then you'll, you'll learn and you won't do that anymore.

Dr. Shepp:

Gen Z , how do you move on from failure?

Jincy Willett:

I'm moving on from failure. Gee , I want to say I haven't failed yet, but it just , um, yeah, I probably, because I have tried so little, so few things in my life, I don't, well you move on from the only fire failure I know is rejection of stuff. I mean, and I mean as it's, it's work a day, but you know, the failure of submitting something for publication and then , um , the way you move on from that as you either you, you make sure that it's , you think it's worth publishing and then you just keep sending it out and you S you stop thinking about it. You , you, you know, you get it out. You don't, cause it's , nobody's going to come into your house and tell you that they're going to publish it. So you shrug it off or you don't let it define you. Um, that's the only thing I know about it is a tough enough, send the stuff out and, and don't, don't wait with baited breath to get thing back. Ideally, forget it's even out there so that you've got a nice surprise when some day somebody says, Hey, I want to publish this. I like that. Yes . You're still living in the moment. I mean , I've known people that paper their walls with rejection slips . To me, there's something kind of sad about that because you're still giving your stilly giving power where you shouldn't, you know, power over you. I mean, they do in fact have power over you because they're going to publish you or they aren't. But , um, you don't have to stare at the stupid rejection slips. You just , um, that's not what you're about. You're about writing, not , uh , not getting published. That's somebody else's problem, which is easy enough to say, but it's the truth. I think Emily Dickinson, Emily Dickinson shoved her poetry in a drawer, you know, now you know perfectly well. She figured that someday somebody who's going to open the drawer and , and it was going to get published, but still she focused on the work and that's what you have to do. Just two more questions. Um, have you ever had what you would say was a transformative moment in your work and if so, what was it? I don't think I ever had a big transformative moment. I've had some moments where I got get excited by a chapter that I read or an observation that I made or a connection that I made. Um, but, but nothing, it's just the kind of thing that's, it's a really happy thing that happens once in a while when you're writing and you, and you actually get it right. You have a thought, you have an idea about your character , uh , about what she sees or feels , uh, what her fantasy is or, you know, and , um, and it's right. And you know, it's right. That's very exciting. But I can't give you a specific one. It just happens. It doesn't happen very often, but it happens sometimes. It's very comforting. Hmm . Cool. I think that's cool. Um, so lastly, in, in, in brief, what would you say you've learned about yourself in your particular work as a writer? Ah , what have I learned about myself? I am , I am very , uh, I am , I do not have, I know that I've hell have I learned about myself. I know myself well enough so that I can use myself. Oh, that isn't a big deal because all writers use themselves. It's, if you're a Fitzgerald said that all of his characters were him. Who is this gal ? That's true. But what I've learned kind of to my sorrow is I'm really, I mean, my last three books, the ones that I'm working on now is about a woman who's a writer who lives in Escondido. I mean, it's just, you're right. I've just flat out writing about myself only she's different from me, but she's me. And I guess that's what I've learned is to just sort of mind myself directly. Uh , and that's it. I mean, I'm not going to write the great American novel. I don't have, there are talents I absolutely don't have. I don't have a big picture talent. I can't write Moby Dick, which is like the greatest novel ever written. It's just completely, I mean, most of us who are writing the canvas is huge and most of us are like down in a little corner someplace, scribbling away, and then you read something great where, where the, the breadth and height of the canvas is just, you know , breathtaking. It's very exciting. I'm not that. And that's okay. You know, I'm just very grateful that I can write well at all. And I know that's really enough for me. I'm really excited to hear that you're working on another novel yet another Amy novel. I mean that's apparently she's all I got. So I'm , I'm excited about that. I will really look forward to it. And I don't know if you want to share anything about it or, or if you prefer not. No . This one. I'm gonna it's between her and I . The nice thing is I can use characters that I already developed so I don't have to come up with a lot of new ones, although there are some, but it alternates between her and Carla who is one of her students in both of the earlier ones. So it's actually focused, I think more on Carla than on Amy. But , um, it's, I think about part partly about Amy's , um, resistance to sort of connecting emotionally with other people. Um, but it's also got serial killers in it. I D I don't know what's going , I have absolutely. No, it's exciting. That's what , that's one thing that I will say that that's kind of cool about writing fiction if you do it the way I do and I think many people do, we don't necessarily know what's going to happen. You have, you have a general idea in mind, but the writing of the thing itself is an exploration. You start out with certain characters and you start out with a premise and then it's like you're off on a journey , um , to try to figure out what happens next. And that's kind of fun. I mean, it's a pain in the neck, but it's also kind of fun.

Dr. Shepp:

Well, I'm excited to read more about their relationship. I found myself intrigued by the way you described Amy's conflict there in, in the second book with her, Amy falls down where she talks about her dismay that , um , she didn't feel known or understood by the people in her life and then sort of her surprise that perhaps she was known and understood by some of the people in her life. Yeah. And so I'm looking forward to reading more about that relationship between she and Carla.

Jincy Willett:

Right? Nobody's ever completely unknown. I don't think, unless they literally live in a cave. I don't know . It's fun writing about it . Introverts too .

Dr. Shepp:

You said somewhere that, Oh actually you know it , there we go. Confusing you and Amy. Cause I think it was Amy that said , um, that, that the , the best of the writer is on the page. And so why would you want to talk? Right ,

Jincy Willett:

absolutely. That's why I was sort of amazed when you got in touch with me cause I thought, well I'm not a performer. There are people who are performers and writers. It's like salesmen is a skillset. So David Sedaris, it's like a rock star performance performer in addition to a, you know, into a, right . Apparently Dickens was wonderful to performing his readings and Twain was wonderful and I'm sure that there are other writers, most of us, yeah, the best of us is right there on the page. And um, you don't really need to see us or you know, hear from us too. Experience what we have to say. And yet, I'm so glad I did it . This was fun . Really interesting questions. I'm still going to be bothered by that. Curious. She has ,

Dr. Shepp:

well I guess maybe I am just repaying the favor of something staying with you. I don't know because a lot of your writing stays with me, but um, but I, but I do want to thank you for your writing and just the way that it has contributed to the pleasure in my life. Well , thank you. Yeah, no, absolutely. And um , sometimes , um , my , my lack of being able to fall asleep after reading, reading , um , some of of what you've written, but , um, there are few fiction novels that , um , I recommend to other people because usually I read it and I experienced it and then I'm done with it. But the writing class is definitely one of my favorites. So , um, I want to thank you for that and I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me because I really appreciate it. I won't summarize our conversation, but um, but I'm the better off for having it, so thank you all. Thank you. This was fun. I'm glad this has been managed. The moment with dr Shep, like physical collection of moments. It's how you manage the moments that makes the difference. My thanks again to Jesse Willett for joining me on today's conversation and thank you for listening. You can learn more about chintzy on her website, [inaudible] dot com and be sure to check out her books wherever you can get your hands on them because you'll be glad that you did a special thanks to those of you who have taken the time to rate or review this podcast. I really appreciate it and your small effort really does make a difference to help this podcast. So thanks . You can subscribe to the manage the moment podcast for free just by clicking the subscribe button wherever you're listening to this podcast, and then you'll be sure to get the newest episodes as soon as they're uploaded. And for more information about manage the moment podcast, you can see the episode notes for this broadcast. You'll also find us on social media and I'm on Twitter and Instagram at dr Shep . Thanks so much for listening and taking the time to share these moments with us. Until next time.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible] .