Saturday, December 12, 2009

Writers at Soapstone: Anjie Reynolds

Anjie Reynolds had a two-week residency at Soapstone in January of 2008. She came home to “kids’ birthday parties, house guests, my job, and a hubby stressed by dental school,” struggling with feeling frustrated that she didn’t get more writing done on her novel, but realizing that she had made headway, nonetheless.

“With all that thinking, I saw places where I needed to do more information-gathering and how the arc of the story should work.” Recently she headed to Eastern Kentucky, where the novel is set: “something I discovered I needed to do as I sat in the Wind Studio—I just had to get my husband through dental school and our family through a re-location to Ashland, Oregon, first.

“Since my novel wasn’t flowing, I turned to nonfiction. I sold 'Emergency' to NPR's San Francisco station, and it aired a month after I left Soapstone. It focused on a family health emergency that gave me a heightened awareness of the need for healthcare reform. Its airing led me to work with the Children's Defense Fund,, and the 100% Campaign. Not long after it aired, I testified in Sacramento before the California State Senate Budget Subcommittee with my kids at my side, urging the state not to cut children’s medical coverage.”

Anjie Seewer Reynolds currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she teaches courses at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum and writes. Her work has appeared in The Sun, is forthcoming in The Christian Science Monitor, and has aired on KQED, San Francisco's NPR affiliate.