Thursday, February 3, 2011


Welcome.  My name is Gayle Sliva and I am a writer, among many other things.  I got my start in publishing back in college when I wanted to prove a professor wrong.  Circa 1985, after taking two classes with a creative writing professor who consistently awarded me with nothing less than A's, this same professor told me I would never be able to publish my short stories, because they weren't "good enough."

I immediately submitted several short stories for publication in literary journals, and they all were accepted for publication.  Much to this professor's credit, though, he did say as an aside that I "might" be able to get some of my poetry into circulation.  I remember thinking at the time that I didn't care about poetry.  My passion was with short stories.  However, I eventually became addicted to poetry and did wind up publishing poetry in literary journals around the United States and England.

In 1989 I joined a group called the Ash Canyon Poets, based in Carson City, Nevada, and met with this eclectic set of characters every Friday night for about ten years to critique poetry.   I owe them credit for the majority of my growth as a poet.  During that time, I taught poetry at seminars and in workshops to both children and adults.

At one point I had a job that required me to take over a newspaper column.  The editor of the newspaper tried to talk me into leaving the agency I worked for and to write full-time for her newspaper.  I remember telling her that I wasn't interested in journalism.  My heart remained with the creative writing genres.  Years later, I thoroughly regretted my actions and wished I had accepted the job.  I got so interested in news reporting that I started blogging.  I took it to the hilt by attending events, taking notes and photographs, interviewing people, and blogging about it all.  I did it for free simply because I loved the whole process.

My husband, who was an actor, award-winning poet and playwright at the time I met him, coached me in writing screenplays.  For a while there, I was completely consumed by writing for the theater and movies.  We had special software and books galore on the subject.  However, before I could complete any of these projects, life always got a hold of me and I had to go out and get a real job.

And yes, I started many novels as well, but the way my life and finances were going, getting 80,000 words down on paper before all hell broke loose and pulled me away from my keyboard became impossible.  However, I recently finally did complete a novel with the help of lousy economic conditions, and hope to publish it soon.

At one point I had grand plans to start my own publishing business.  I knew exactly whose work I wanted to publish.  I had one memoir and two poetry books lined up.  Then our toilet overflowed and we had to take all the money that I set aside to start the publishing business and direct it toward replacing our entire septic system leach field.  Life stinks sometimes, but if it comes down to me having to choose between my porcelain throne and poetry, well, let's just say I'm sitting pretty.

1 comment:

Jan Cline said...

Nice to meet you Gayle. Will be watching for some good writing advice!