Introducing Tacheny Perry
November 26, 2022
2022 has brought a number of BIG changes to our growing TGLR fam and with those changes, a renewed sense of enthusiasm for our organization and mission. As we glide toward 2023, I’m excited to introduce/re-introduce new and existing team members and shine a spotlight on them, their writing lives, and their contributions to our efforts as a budding literary journal. Up first, is the lovely Tacheny Perry who is an editor on our flash fiction team and who also recently stepped into the role of Managing Editor.
Tacheny joined our team in 2020 shortly after we released our 1st issue but it really feels like she has been with us since the very beginning because of the time we spent together in the MFA program at UNO. In truth, when Tacheny volunteered to take on more work for the journal, we were not yet operating with all the traditional roles of a publication, so I’m grateful she’s been open to assisting as we learn and grow.
I’m also grateful she took the time to answer some questions so I could share more about her and her thoughts on writing. The first question, and one of my favorites, is about when she first discovered her love of writing.
I was in grade school when I first fell in love with writing, first grade, to be exact. We had been assigned to write and illustrate a story. Mine was about a dinosaur I rode to school and was maybe eight sentences long. Nevertheless, I was hooked.
I then asked what prompted her to get an MFA.
It was a couple of things. First, I wanted help with the manuscript I was working on (a manuscript that quickly got put aside for other projects once I really got into the program). Second, I had just spent the last eight or so years as a full-time stay-at-home mom and I wanted to nourish a different side of myself and seek out intellectual challenges. Plus, the low residency program gave me the opportunity to get out of town and have someone else cook for ten days a semester! 😊
I also asked Tacheny some of the same questions we’ve asked our contributing authors over the past year including what the most difficult and satisfying parts of the artistic process are for her.
It varies, but currently, it’s difficult to carve out enough time to be able to get words onto the page. Life is busy, motherhood is tiring, and sometimes Netflix is easier at the end of a long day.
As for something satisfying, I really love editing. I like taking an initial idea or a sloppy story and turning it into something meaningful. I love seeing patterns and significant details rise to the surface and making a story shine.
I asked what her biggest fear is, as a writer.
I think my biggest fear as a writer is that I can’t actually write. Of course, we all have stories that don’t work and drafts that are embarrassing to read in the morning, but sometimes I worry that even the pieces I like are terrible and everyone around me secretly wonders why I even bother. Then I have to remind myself that even if that is true, I like the stories and I am someone. Worse case, I’m enough of an audience.
I then asked what fuels her desire to write.
I write for two main reasons, first because I’m called to. I don’t mean that in a vain way. I simply mean it’s how I process emotions, events, thoughts, and dreams. My brain constructs and organizes through storytelling. Second, I write because I want to connect with people. There have been times in my life when I have felt very isolated and during those times what I needed most was to know there was another human out there who’d felt the same. I want to be that for someone else. I want to connect through the characters I create.
I think this answer is both relatable to most writers but also gets at the very heart of why we’re so passionate about publishing other people’s work. Those human connections are so valuable, I daresay vital, to our existence. We (TGLR) want to be a conduit for those connections and when we see it in action, it can be pretty amazing.
And, in a way, each story, poem, or shared experience shapes who we are. Following that line, I wanted to know more about author(s) or other persons that have influenced her writing.
I think it would be too hard to pick only a few authors, there are so many I admire and try to emulate in my own way, but it’s easy to pick my biggest influence: my family. When I was struggling with reading in grade school my mom was there to encourage and read with me. When I finished writing a story or a poem in junior high or high school my dad, an author himself, was there to praise a specific phrase or creative character. And when life rolled forward and writing got buried under other obligations, it was my children who helped me find my voice again and my husband who told them to stop yelling long enough for me to get a thought onto the page. 😉
And of course I could not end without asking the classic Nebraska TGLR question, which is what she thinks of when she hears the phrase “The Good Life.”
When my relatives from California visit Nebraska they love waving at everyone they pass because the people smile and wave back. That is what I think of when I hear the phrase “The Good Life.” I think about living in a place where people ask how you are and really care about your answer; where family is a phone call and a short drive away; and where there is always a neighbor who grocery shops better than you do and who has the sugar you need to finish your cookies.
When the cookies are done, Tacheny, let me know and I’ll come get some. 😉 And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being on the team, for helping with calendars, meetings, and communication, and for conspiring with me about the future!