Late last week, POP Infertility posted a great piece
by one of our editors, Maryfrances G. Botkin.
You can read the in-depth article here!
Maryfrances is a talented writer and newly published author as well as a prolific blogger! And let’s not forget her gorgeous bead work. So I wanted to do a little showcase about Maryfrances here since we won’t be able to touch on a lot of the wonderful things that make Maryfrances so interesting in the dedicated space on the POP Infertility website. Below is a little Q&A Maryfrances and I had earlier this week
POP Infertility Editor Q&A
HFM: Maryfrances, your piece on POP Infertility is alternatively called The Hoped For Child. Do you remember, while growing up, if it affected you knowing what your parents went through to have you?
MGB: Oh, absolutely. My mom often called me their “Miracle baby” and, most of the time, I loved it. My folks never hid their joy in having me, and would often tell “The Story” of how I came to be at social gatherings. Sometimes, it was really embarrassing, but the teary-eyed grin on my mother’s face made up for the embarrassment.
As I got older and into my teens, I would really feel it. There were a few times when I did really stupid things, and my father would take me aside and say, “Do you know what this is doing to your mother? Do you know what she went through to have you? Do you care?” Not that I was a bad kid – far from it – but there were those moments when I – misbehaved.
Throughout my childhood, all I wanted to do was please them and make them proud. My parents didn’t believe in spanking (Neither do I), so having them disappointed in me got through to me more than any spanking would. When I got into trouble, my parents would ground me, but the true punishment was hearing them say, “Mary, I am so disappointed in you …” and seeing the pain in their faces.
Sometimes, I felt like “I’m all they have. I cannot screw up.” It was a lot of pressure on me at times. But, because I had the best parents a kid could ever hope to have, they both reassured me that all they ever wanted was for me to do my best. Sounds hokey, but once I did actually thank both of my folks for trying so hard to have me. My mom would sigh, smile, and look at me. “Honey-girl, I’d given up by then. You just snuck into our lives. You’re still a sneak.”
HFM: I know you’re very interested in art. Even the main character in your recent book, The Emerald Path, is an artist. Do you remember what drew you to art as a child? What’s your favorite artistic medium? And is there a place online where folks can see and possibly purchase your art work?
MGB: That’s easy. My parents! Both were artists. My parents met at the American History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. My father was an exhibits specialist and my mother was his boss. Up until five years ago, my mom had her artwork in the Agricultural Hall in the same museum. My mom could draw anything. I had crayons in my hand before I was potty-trained. They both made sure that art was a part of my daily life.
As a kid, I loved to color in my coloring books. I loved to draw trees. I still love to draw. Pencil and colored pencils are my go-to mediums. I tried to paint years ago. Epic fail! I love Picasso, adore Van Gogh. My two very favorite artists are Alfonse Mucha and Frida Kahlo… oh, and Dee Gambino.
I don’t have a website for my art. I’ve only sold one piece. I do have a blog about art. (Read The Creative Eye here!)
HFM: When writing The Emerald Path, where do you think the inspiration for your story came from?
MGB: You know, I have no idea! Donna gently nudged me into doing National Novel Writer’s Month – NaNoWriMo – and that was just a day before it began. I stared at a blank Word Document page for what seemed like hours. I remembered what she said when I told her that I couldn’t do it. “Just type. Type anything.” Still, I had nothing, but then I thought about what my day had been like that day. I drew. The first words of my book begin: “Lila put down her sketchpad.” Suddenly, I had an idea. Before I knew it, it was after midnight. As for the story, it just evolved. I honestly had no outline, did no planning. Soon, I found myself getting ideas in odd places and had to write them down. Once, I even ran out of the shower, shampoo still in my hair, and frantically wrote an idea for my protagonist. I’ve never written anything other than my blog. If there are rules, I broke them.
HFM: I know it’s cheesy, and I can probably guess from the title of your book, but what’s your favorite color?
MGB: Periwinkle blue. Hands down. Periwinkle blue.
HFM: And one last question. If you were a tree, which kind would you choose to be? And why?
MGB: I love all trees. I love Autumn. I love birch trees. Their grey/white bark contrasts with every season. Those are the trees I would try to draw as a child. I love a stand of naked birch trees and their limbs reaching skyward. I’d definitely love to be a birch tree.
Thanks so much to Maryfrances for answering my questions and being a part of Prose Over Pain Infertility Journal. Again, you can read her full in-depth introductory article on the POP Infertility website by clicking here. I hope to showcase another interview soon. This time with Donna Hanson Mortensen, the brain child behind POP!
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