Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kari Wolfe

Please welcome Kari Wolfe.
She is a writer and a blogger at Imperfect Clarity (http://www.imperfectclarity.net) in whatever time is left over from being a stay-at-home-mom to a very precocious and energetic three-year old.  She blogs on a number of topics including writing, book reviews, interviews, and setting and meeting goals. 

Currently, she is on a mission: to combine fiction writing articles with and articles on how she’s trying to live her life to the fullest and she’s going to bring you on that journey with her through her blog.

Who are you?

I am an amateur, a wannabe, a talker.  I can talk it up and shoot the sh!t with the best of them, but when it’s all said and done, I am a fake. 

But at least I’ll admit it.  A lot of people won’t admit it for many reasons: they're afraid of what people will think, afraid of what people will say, afraid of what they will do.  They're afraid of what they themselves have to do to be what they’ve said they want to be.

They’ve spent so much time building their house of cards--now they spend it being afraid of what’s going to happen when the cards fall.

Admitting I have this problem has been such a relief to me.  I don’t have to hide behind what I’ve told people I am.  I can admit--to you as well as myself--I have areas of my life I need to focus on and to work on.  This leaves me free to write whatever I want to write, whether it’s for publication or myself. 

I’m going on the journey of my life--to be the best “me” I can be.

Why should I care?

My own goal is to be the best that I can be.  My own desire with Imperfect Clarity is that like-minded people would join me on my journey--people who want to grow, change and achieve things they’ve wanted to do for a long time. 

It’s all about your mindset.  Currently, I have an amateur mindset.  Through my blog, my books and my writing practice, I am going to change that. 

My goal is to become more professional in my daily work and personal life.  I’ll tell you what I’m doing and working on; you can tell me what you're doing and working on--it’ll be a blast.  A conversation. 

What do I get out of this?

If you're a beginning or an “intermediate” writer, you’ll get love and support from someone in your same basic boat.  You and I can work together to nourish ourselves.

As a published or an established writer, you can come cheer us on and share your own knowledge of how this all works. 

I hope ulitimately I provide you with inspiration to go out and to do your own thing, be it writing, dancing, running marathons, computer programming, teaching, or simply sitting back, enjoying what you have and working toward what you want out of your life.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey. 

What are your current projects?

Currently I am working on an ebook titled “The Art of Procrastination: A Writer’s Guide,” a weeklong course for the 2010 Muse Online Conference called “Write Like the Masters,” and a novel tentatively titled, “The House.”

“The Art of Procrastination: A Writer’s Guide” and “Write Like the Masters” will be offered for free on my website once they are finished.  I’m hoping “The Art of Procrastination” will be finished in early June and, of course, “Write Like the Masters” will not be available until after the 2010 Muse Conference.  You can read more about the class at http://www.imperfectclarity.net/?page_id=743 and sign up for the conference at http://www.Themuseonlinewritersconference.Com/

I’m also excited to be guest posting for another blog twice a month.  Not gonna say which blog, only that it’s one I’ve been watching for a while.  I’m rather excited about it and if you keep an eye on my website--well, I’ll definitely have it linked!

You mentioned a novel?

My novel, “The House,” is about memories and learning to forgive yourself for things you have done in the past.  I mean, to REALLY forgive yourself.  As time goes on, it’s easy to leave the past behind you, but we need to learn from our mistakes, forgive ourselves and then move on with the knowledge that our past has taught us. 

This is something I am working on in my own life.  My past hasn’t been pretty and it’s HARD to forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made that hurt other people. 

I’m getting ready to set and announce deadlines on my blog as to what I’m ready to dedicate myself to.
Tell us a little bit about your background.

Well, I’m originally from Huntington, West Virginia, and currently live in Colorado Springs, CO.  Before moving to Colorado, I received my bachelor’s degree in science, majoring in physics and mathematics from Marshall University in my home town. 

It’s always been my dream to write.  And, by dream, I mean I have written my entire life but always have been told that I should do something else. 

That and I’ve had setbacks, mostly in school. 

During middle school, I wrote erotica—not the most appropriate topic for a pre-teen—and my writing was confiscated by the guidance counselor who pulled me into her office for a good talking to.  I don’t remember what she said but I remember the embarrassment I felt.  I don’t write erotica anymore.

In high school, I co-wrote a book with my best friend, Mikie—my character would flirt with his character, his character would tell mine no and that we were just really good friends, etc.  So on and so forth. 

As an adult, I kept a journal that was used against me by an ex-boyfriend who threw anything negative I wrote about him in my face.  Same guy who would take me to a secluded spot, make me feel guilty for whatever he was upset at me about and once I cried, he’d take me home.   

When I married my husband, it took me a while to finally realize that I was safe.  If I didn’t want anyone to read my writing—regardless of what it was—no one would.  He wouldn’t go through what I’d written without my permission.  I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2008 and, with his encouragement, I won. 

For my blog, Imperfect Clarity, I’ve interviewed some awesome people: Seth Godin, Peter Straub, Conrad Williams, Christopher Moore, Les Edgerton and more. 

Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary and also how you got the idea for this book.

Realizing there is more than to life than observation, a voyeur kidnaps a struggling stay-at-home mother and her children only to fight the trapped evil spirit of the house they are hiding in through his possessed partner-in-crime.

For this work, I combined several different ideas.

First, the newest Tool album has a song called “Vicarious” about how some people watch the news and the worse the news is, the better they like it.  The idea is they are “living vicariously through the eyes of others,” a phrase criminologist Jack Levin used in a personal conversation with me about why people are so fascinated with the idea of serial killers.  The song reminded me of our conversation which gave me Jake, the story’s protagonist.

Second, I wanted to try my hand at a novel about a haunted house.  Easy as that.  As to what the house actually does… I took a subject I was interested in, memory, and started asking myself questions about what I could do with that subject.

Last, the overall theme of the story is forgiveness of self.  It probably took longer to come up with the overall theme than anything else.  Plotting out the book’s main points and what I definitely wanted to have happen helped a lot in discovering this.    

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I have a three-year-old daughter who is autistic, so in some ways, I really don’t feel like I ever have a typical day.  On Monday and Wednesdays, she goes to preschool and, after my own physical therapy, I have an hour before picking her up.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have hippotherapy and speech therapy. 

Fortunately she takes a nap most afternoons—or, at least, I’ve instituted a rule of quiet time where she plays in her room.  This is when I do most of my writing. 

After Natasha goes to bed, I have some time available then, but I use it for reading and relaxing mostly.  My husband is home, so it’s more difficult for me to concentrate on writing fiction. 

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love to talk. You can ask my husband ;)

Seriously, I love to create.  I love to come up with an idea and to work it out on the page.  Recently, I’ve been inundated with new ideas and I keep jotting them down.  Hopefully one day I’ll be able to get to them all! J

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Sometimes it’s just DOING it.  I freewrite, to get my hands flowing across the keyboard and to kickstart my brain. 

Sometimes it’s just time—there are days I have no energy to focus on fiction and I only focus on nonfiction, blog entries, that type of thing. 

And sometimes it’s focusing on the here and now.  Daydreaming about having your books in bookstores and name on the publishing lists is great—but you have to do the work first. 

Do you have a website?
Yes, Imperfect Clarity at http://www.imperfectclarity.net/

Imperfect Clarity is a detailed look at the thought processes of a fiction writer trying to improve her life and become successful by living her life to the fullest.
The idea here is to combine fiction writing articles with my own fiction and articles on how I’m trying to live my life to the fullest that I can. I am learning how to do this not only from different websites I have found talking about motivation but also by actually DOING these things I talk about.
I’m in the process of branding it and hopefully will be able to institute those changes within the next month.  I’m really excited about it. 

You can sign up to receive Imperfect Clarity both through email (http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=ImperfectClarity&loc=en_US) as well as through your favorite RSS reader (http://feeds.feedburner.com/ImperfectClarity).

What are you working on right now?

Including The House (my fictional work-in-progress), I am currently working on a four or five-post series for my blog about resistance and procrastination. I have several nonfiction ebooks in the works as well as a guest posting position.

Kari, Thank you so much for stopping by. What a pleasure to get to know you better.

Stephen Tremp will be featured on http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/ tomorrow (10-14-10)
Make sure to stop by and find out what he has been up to.



  1. Kari, there you are! Neat. Remember when we met on Facebook? Here's another way for us to keep connecting. (-:
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

  2. Great interview questions! Kari, I chuckled at your admission of being a little fake at times. I think that's true for everyone at some point, though few people will admit to it!

  3. Carolyn, I do! :) Thanks for dropping by! :)

    Darcia, I think we all are definitely fake at times. It's a defense mechanism--and one that we all use occasionally. We have to learn to grow beyond that--so sometimes you DO have to "fake it until you make it." :)

  4. Great interview. I'm not sure about the "fake" thing. I think many just struggle through life trying to keep it all together and don't have the time or energy to attempt to fake it.

    but, I can see that in some circumstances such as the workplace, social events, it might come about.

  5. I love your quote, "You and I can work together to nourish ourselves." That sounds like an ideal writer relationship!

  6. Thank you for being honest about the difficulties you've faced. That inspires the rest of us to keep goind.


About Me

My photo
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States