You’ll have to visit Elizabeth (Liz) Rusch’s website to see all the books and articles she’s written over the decades. It’s an amazing collection of fiction and nonfiction. I’ve livened up dinner parties and entertained grandchildren with info gleaned from Liz’s submissions to the Scrivas on, say, volcano formation, or Maria Mozart, or the ozone layer, to name a few of the very many topics. Two of my recent favorite Liz books are her graphic novel, Muddy Max, and her nonfiction book on harnessing energy from the ocean, The Next Wave. See what I mean? Liz’s topics are all over the place and she likes it that way. So do I. I’m often surprised by her next writing project, but I do know one thing for sure: if it’s written by Elizabeth Rusch, it’s star quality.
So, Liz, what brings you to writing? I am a writer because I’m interested in so much about the world and people. I love that I can explore and write about any topic, issue, thought, or idea that fascinates me.
What aspect of Viva Scriva do you find most beneficial? I don’t know what I would do without this critique group. I rely on this amazing group of writers for inspiration, direction, sanity, humor, companionship, and chocolate. Really, honestly, it is the whole package. Their comments on my writing have made my books so much stronger. I have grown as a writer by reading their work and hearing their comments on other members’ writing. Our retreats give my productivity a huge boost. And their laughter and love feeds my soul.
Where does creativity come from and can it be nurtured? I don’t know exactly but I feel like creativity is this energy that just whirls around the world. The challenge is tapping into the energy and playing around with it. Reading, talking to people and considering other people’s art with a curious and playful mind feeds my creativity, as does following a concept or idea as far as I can, down many winding and twisting paths. Curiosity and creativity are linked I think. Curiosity is the practice of asking questions: What is around that corner? What would happen if…? How are these ideas, these people, these events linked?
What are your favorite parts of the writing and publishing process? What do you find the most challenging? Well, when I get an idea I get this buzz of possibility. That’s fun. I also find that playing around with the idea, which includes reading, doing research, considering different approaches and structures, is really joyful. But sometimes sitting down and executing the idea can be excruciatingly difficult. But the sense of possibility keeps me going.
Seeing a published copy of a finished book can also be a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, holding in my hands something that was once just an idea and is now a book can be so rewarding. But it also makes me nervous, too, as that means the work is out in the world where it will either be understood and appreciated – or not.
If, magically, your Wednesday could be 25 hours long, and you could do anything with that hour, what would it be? Walk in the woods, do yoga, read, go to a performance, hang out with my children or fellow artist or a friend. Did I fill an hour yet?
Definitely! Thanks, Liz.