Author Q & A with Laurie Guerin
January 13, 2022
This week’s Author Q&A is with Laurie Guerin. Laurie is a spoken word artist who has performed her original works on stage throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has co-produced two live storytelling series, Word Up and Tell Me More in Santa Cruz, California. Her flash essay, “The Code,” appeared in our latest issue of The Good Life Review.
We asked Laurie what fuels her desire to write?
Her response: I’ve written ever since I was a kid. It was just in me. I’d disappear into my room at home or go sit by a lake on camping trips and return with a story. My mom would ask me to read them to her and sometimes, she’d cry. In high school, I wrote a story about a young woman who had found love just before discovering she was dying of cancer. It was awful, packed full of cheap romance novel tropes, but I had an audience of girlfriends who would gather around during lunch break to hear the latest installment. I’m sure the attention was heady, but so was pouring my unrequited romantic longing into bad prose and discovering it resonated. This remains a big factor in what fuels my writing. Connecting with people in an intimate way; a shared exploration into the heart of things.
We also asked her how the pandemic affected her writing?
Her response: “Much of what I’ve written over the past 10 years, I’ve presented at small storytelling venues. I love the collaboration with other performers as well as the immediacy of the reaction of the audience. The venues closed their doors and it felt as though anything I wanted to write was meaningless in the face of this catastrophe. But the beautiful community of writers to which I belong kept writing. We met over Zoom at first and later outside with six feet of space between us. Writing was a lifeline. We supported one another in delving deeply into the fear of what was happening, and we also found meaning in writing stories and poems where there was no mention of the pandemic. Stories that made us laugh and cry and reminded us we were still standing.”
And finally, as it is will all our artists, we asked what she thinks of when she hears the phrase “The Good Life?”
Her response was touching and very true: “Initially I thought about The Good Life as a collection of simple, sweet moments: Watching my youngest grandson spar with waves at the beach; the warm body of the man I love snuggled next to mine; drinking wine with friends around a fire-pit during the quarantine. Then I reflected on hard moments- like my mother’s death last year. The circumstances were traumatic and tragic, yet in her final hours, there was healing and love. And I thought, it’s all of it. The good life is all of it.”
Laurie is a student of Roxan McDonald’s and she has also studied with Danusha Lameris, Ellen Bass and most recently Pam Houston. Her work has appeared in Literary Mama and more recently in Prometheus Dreaming. She is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction essays.
Thanks, Laurie, for being a part of our 5th issue and for participating in this Q & A!
~The Good Life Review Team