Performer and writer Jennie Kiffmeyer loves stories. She has been awarded numerous honors for her writing including two grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and has had plays performed in Chicago, New York, and Indiana. Past performance venues include the Washington, D.C. Folk Festival, the National Cathedral, Indiana Historical Society, IndyFringe Theatre and the Richmond Civic Theatre. Currently, Jennie lives in Portland, Oregon where she works as a chaplain.
Tell us about your creative process. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Writing group or lone wolf?
My favorite time to write is in the morning before anyone else is awake, but I am happy to grab any quiet time I can to write. My husband, Jonathan Graham, is also a writer and we are each other’s first readers. More than writing groups, I’ve benefited over the years from friendships with some fabulous writers who also happen to be perceptive critics. For me, nothing beats meeting a friend for coffee for a couple hours once a month and discussing a story or handful of poems!
What are you reading these days?
Summer reading for me is always a hodgepodge, and this year is no different. Currently I am reading a mixture of folktales, theology, cookbooks, and children’s literature (I just finished Nancy Bond’s 1976 Newbery Honor Book, A String in the Harp, about time travel, Wales, and Taliesin. Fun stuff!)
What’s on your favorite book list?
Some of my favorite authors also happen to have written fascinating books about creative people and the messes they find themselves in. They are Carol Shields (Small Ceremonies), Colm Toibin (The Master), Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Safety), Liz Lerhman (Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer), Penelope Fitzgerald (Offshore) and Anton Chekhov (Uncle Vanya). Reading any of them never fails to inspires me.