what is your name?
Tina Burlingame but MsWriteNow is easier to remember.
how would you describe what you do?
I weave words and phrases together as a way to document life and experiences as I see them. Some call it poetry.
what are you currently working on?
A huge file of unfinished poems. I’m also trying to put together my first chapbook or collection for print.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Honestly, the Internet. Even though I started writing when I was about 8 years old, it was very inconsistent. In fact, once I hit college – I didn’t write for years. Back in the early 90’s as I explored the social aspects of the new technology, I started “meeting” people with many different interests and life experiences. These experiences started to inspire my creative side and originally I delved into painting. Then one day, I shared an old poem I had written and received encouragement to continue writing poetry. As I explored sites to share my work on, I discovered other writers and poets and these discoveries help further fuel my thirst to create and share.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
This is a tough one, I can only predict what the misconception might be. Based on some experiences of when I first moved to the town I’m currently living in, I think people see me as dark and very serious – also a bit shy. Really I’m simply quiet and reflective with a dry and somewhat sarcastic / sardonic sense of humor. The greatest misconception about my work would probably be that it comes very easy for me and doesn’t take any work at all.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
I think one of the most basic needs we have as humans is the need to feel like we belong. That doesn’t mean we all want to be part of a group, but at the most basic level within us, we have a need to feel like we are connected to someone or something other than ourselves. Often, my poetry reflects that need. I like to think that it also fills that need.
The weakness of poetry is that as a writer or reader, it is easy to get caught up into the words of it and start creating unrealistic expectations of your life and experiences. It is also easy to fall into the trap of reading poetry that reflects your current state of mind, which only helps to further fuel your state of mind.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
If anything, technology has helped me to write and share more.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
If someone tells you that you can’t write, don’t listen to them.
where can we find you online?
what are you reading at the moment?
- Back to Madeline Island – Jay Gilbertson
- The Secret History – Donna Tartt
- Costa Rica Spanish – Lonely Plant phrasebooks
- Costa Rica – Moon Handbooks
- Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion – edited by Barbara Ras
- The Five Love Languages: singles edition – Gary Chapman
what are you listening to at the moment?
The local news broadcast, but I spend a lot of time on Pandora listening to either String Ensembles or a custom station with a variety of adult alternative, folk and rock.
anything else we should know?
I don’t claim to be an expert. I simply write, read and rewrite.
2 thoughts on “Tina Burlingame aka MsWriteNow”
Thanks so much for having me!
Great interview! Have you illustrated any of your poems? When I read or hear you read your poems, often an image arises about the place or people. It has always intrigued me to wonder about the imagery of poets.