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Interview with Michelle Dwyer Runner Up in the 2021 Quarter 3 Creating Non-Fiction Essay Contest


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Congratulations to Michelle Dwyer and  It Happened in a Flash and all the winners of our 2021 Quarter 4 Creative Non-Fiction Essay Contest!

Here's a little background - did you know Michelle won a WOW! contest over a decade ago too? Talk about an honor - being here today to interview someone with such amazing talent! Be sure to check out her initial interview if you have a moment! 

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Michelle’s Bio:

Michelle started out writing fiction decades ago, and recently discovered that she also has much to say in the world of nonfiction. She has published a compilation of short stories and novels using her pen name Krymzen Hall, and is working on establishing her platform in essay under her given name, Michelle Dwyer.

By day, Michelle works as a certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Parkinson’s group fitness instructor. By night, and by the crack of dawn, she writes after the world has gone to sleep and right before it awakens. She received her MBA from Texas A&M University Central Texas/Tarleton State University, and her MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, California. She is actively working to rebrand herself in this “new normal” of life. The relaunch of her website, www.krymzenhall.com, will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Michelle lives in Cedar Park, Texas, not too far from her eldest son, whom she affectionately refers to as her Aggie graduate. Her youngest son also attends college in Texas, and they visit often. She is a single parent, and says her daily life of chaos brings out her best writing.

 If you haven't done so already, check out Michelle's talent in writing with the touching story It Happened in a Flash and then return here for a chat with this talented author. 

WOW: Thank you for writing this essay and for taking time out of your busy and chaotic (your word) life to chat with us today. I know you're always busy so your time today means a lot to us and our readers, so let's get down to it, shall we?  What is the take-away you'd like readers to gain from It Happened in a Flash? 

Michelle:  I think the biggest takeaway is that sometimes you’ll feel like it’s much too hard to find the good people in the world. That’s when you need to keep looking the most. And, if you can’t find a good person, be one. 

WOW: That's great advice I think everyone should make note of every day, thank you! Speaking of advice -  what advice would you give to others (specifically female authors) when it comes to self care? 

Michelle:  Self-care comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be a 30min meditation session--although that is great, and I think everyone should meditate. Self-care can be a simple as reading a short, inspiring poem, or taking a long hot bath with aromatherapy and doing nothing else but sitting in the tub. Lighting a candle can be self-care. The trick is consistency, especially for writers because we can never seem to turn off our brains (even when we’re not writing). Overall, I think the best self-care for us women writers involves silencing all sources of noise, except naturals sounds, birds, etc., at least a few minutes a day. Turn off the phone, the social media, and just sit. Sometimes that seems hard. I know. I transformed one of my closets into a small room where I can just be free of the world. 

WOW: Your closets must be bigger than mine - but that sounds absolutely fabulous! What fabulous advice and a great idea!

What’s next for you? What are your writing goals for the remainder of 2021 and beyond? 

Michelle: In 2022, I am going all in on my writing journey. That’s vague, right? I’m blitzing it. I’m not getting any younger, and I’ve put too many things before the craft. My sons are grown, they are on their own. Even though they still need Mama, they are independent, and I am ready to go full-throttle after my dreams now. Stay tuned. 

WOW: That's definitely vague yet so incredibly exciting! We will be holding our breath waiting to hear more, but for now, tell us where you write if you would? What does your space look like? 

Michelle: I’ve learned through my busy life to write anywhere I can get comfortable. Before the fire, I had my own little writing world in my house. Now that’s gone. I have a sunroom that I have converted into my own little space, and that is working pretty-well for now. It probably won’t work permanently though, because I like my writing space to be private, funky, and weird like me. You know, anything from vision boards to crazy masks on the walls.

WOW:  Funky and weird sounds like a lot of fun - there's no shame in being weird!

Do you have advice for your younger self when it comes to making decisions, believing in yourself, and/or writing? What would your current self say to the younger you? 

Michelle: The biggest advice I can give to younger writers is that you must be strong when people try to dissuade you from taking on a life that isn’t “normal”. What is normal anyway? Work hard. Practice self-care. Meditate as I said earlier because that will help you stay calm when you get challenged. Stay grounded. You’ll still have bills to pay. But don’t let anybody tell you that going after your dreams is a waste time. I mean, let’s say it is—which it isn’t—but—wouldn’t you rather have wasted your time than wasted your life?                

WOW: Thank you ever so much for sharing your essay, and your time with us today! We look forward to more from you in 2022 and beyond! 

  Interviewed by Crystal Otto who just keeps on keeping on!

Check out the latest Contests:

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