Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AROHO Speaks: Writer to Writer Interview with Martha Andrews Donovan

Interview with Martha Andrews Donovan 
Martha was interviewed by Marlene Samuels of the AROHO Speaks:Writer to Writer Collaboration Project.
I interviewed Martha Donovan about her AROHO Retreat experience although, at first, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d actually spoken with her during our week at Ghost Ranch. After going back to the retreat website to find Martha’s photograph, I was thrilled to discover that she and I had, in fact, exchanged numerous conversations during meals, while having coffee or during various “mind stretch” presentations.

During the retreat, we all had so much to share with one another about ourselves - as writers and women, as mothers and wives, as teachers and students. Yet, our most unifying issues revolved around the incredible challenges we face that are totally unique to women writers. Martha is one of the many women who inspired me. I hope you’ll find the same inspiration in her words as I do! 

Is there one specific moment or event at the retreat that sparked an insight or shift in how you perceive either your work or yourself as a writer?

I’ve never been good at daily habits beyond teeth brushing. So I was relieved to hear Marilynne Robinson and others at AROHO’s retreat admit that they don’t always write every day, that there are times when they’re feeding their writing in other ways:
Breena Clarke spoke of getting to know her characters best while naked in the shower; Mary Johnson about the value of vegetable chopping and apple picking; Marilynne Robinson about “a room of one’s own” as fine and good but that it makes sense to get out of that room occasionally.