Interview of Stacy Lynn Mar
— by Carol Smallwood

Stacy Lynn Mar is a thirty-something American poet. She has published four chapbooks of poetry, the latest titled Mannequin Rivalry. Her poetry has been showcased in over 40 online (and print) literary journals/magazines. Her previous work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Stacy is editor and founder of the small, independent press Pink.Girl.Ink. She obtained her undergraduate studies in psychology at Lindsey Wilson College, then concluded her education endeavors with several graduate degrees (and Certification) in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. Her formal undergraduate studies in English Literature were conducted at Ellis NYIT. She currently lives and writes in Kentucky.

1. Please describe your website and your duties as editor/writer:

Pink.Girl.Ink. was created with the intent to provide a platform for creative women to share their work, voices, and experiences. The press actually serves a three-fold purpose. We aim to inspire, encourage, and inform our readers via weekly posts that teach various elements of creative writing and personal development. Our quarterly journal Think Pink showcases a plethora of talented writings and art by women from all four corners. Likewise, our independent press thrives on publishing unique voices and diverse writings of talented women from all walks of life. We also offer weekly writing prompts on Saturdays, and monthly posts, The Inspirational Almanac, which is designed to keep writers inspired.

Although a very small group of four women work to make Pink.Girl.Ink. happen, a great deal of the work falls upon me. It is quite a lot of work to juggle manuscripts, weekly posts, and the quarterly issue but it is a labor of love and I enjoy the vocation. I have met so many wonderful women writers and am grateful for the opportunity to publish their work.

2. Tell us about your career:

I have worked in various professional helping settings. Most of my work has pertained to case management and adult counseling in an outpatient setting. I have over five years of experience, but currently am taking a brief sabbatical in hopes of getting my press, and my own writing projects, off the ground. As far as my career aspirations, in the near future I hope to attain my state licensure for mental health counseling. My primary goal is to work in group therapy settings, I wish to implement journal writing, art, and creative writing into the therapeutic process for recovering addicts and within those currently incarcerated.

3. Which recognition/achievements have encouraged you the most?

I have attained a total of five degrees, three of which are graduate degrees. Being a long-time student (well into my late twenties), it takes a great amount of perseverance and self-discipline to attain that much education and to well as maintain a 3.6 GPA. Education has always been important to me, I earned my degrees as a single mother and was driven not only to be educated and independent, but to set a thriving example for my own daughter, and for other women.

Having my work published, anywhere, always feels like a grand achievement. I believe it’s quite a feat to have another person read your work and feel it’s worthy of sharing with the world. I think, to some degree, every writer thrives on their publications (no matter how small or big) as it allows the advantage to have your work (and your name) known.

4. What writers have influenced you the most?

I would have to say Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Sharon Olds, and Erica Jong. I feel that each of these women, in some fantastic way, helped pave the path for women writers to gain notoriety for their hard work, and their outstanding talents. Anne Sexton’s poetry was raw, confessional…she sort of slapped you with the truth but left you in awe with the way she said it. Sylvia Plath also came into the poetic scene back when women were really struggling against societal norms and expectations. Both Sharon Olds and Erica Jong are brilliant in the way they have braved taboo subject matter, have said the things we all wished to say…they have made it okay to say those things, to make poetry with those experiences. I am filled with admiration for these women.

5. How has the Internet benefited you?

The internet is an amazing tool for networking. I have met so many amazing writers, and fostered friendships with talented women for whom I stand a common ground. Many of these people I would not have met otherwise. The world wide web also allows me the opportunity to share my work, my views, my writings with the world…literally! I am always astounded to find blogs from creative people from all the way across the world. I love the insight and experiences that I can share with other people (and vise versa). It’s almost like traveling from your desk chair! The internet is also an invaluable tool for finding publications, (and a publishing home for one’s work) as many journals and magazines are only available via the internet these days.

6. What classes have helped you the most?

I believe that college courses in multiculturalism, religion, philosophy, psychology and sociology really opened my eyes to the opportunities and diversity that’s out there. Growing up in a small town, as endearing and beautiful as the Appalachian is, did not ready me with the skills or knowledge of just how grand, how colorful, the world could be. I feel that these classes, coupled with Literature (Greek, American, English, Mythology & Folklore, Poetry Writing Workshop, Creative Writing Workshop) fostered within me the knowledge of opportunity and the beginning seeds of creativity. I am forever in debt to amazing Art, English, and Psychology professors (as well as my own mother) for instilling in me an indelible curiosity.

7. What advice would you give others?

Become a voracious reader. The more you read, the better you write! This applies to any style of writing (novels, poetry, etc). If you can’t even properly read it, you sure aren’t going to be able to write it. I would also tell writers not to take rejection letters personally.Rather, try to utilize them as learning experiences.Take them into consideration, allow them to inspire you to do better, and then go write some more. Be original, persevere, and keep working. I believe that good writing is 10% talent and 90% passion!

8. What is your favorite quotation?
Try as I may, I cannot pick only one. So, I have compromised with five:
“Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours. For they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” -Jacob Nordby

“Not all who wonder are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

“Set your life on fire, seek those who fan your flames.” -Rumi

“Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.” –Serbian Proverb

“She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire.” -Charles Bukowski

You can find Stacy Lynn Mar's personal blog here. She is the founder of Pink.Girl.Ink. Press, which you can check out here. She also does Gothic Romance Reviews.

Carol Smallwood’s over four dozen books include Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching on Poets & Writers Magazine list of Best Books for Writers. Her most recent books include Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Picket Fences (Lamar University Press, 2014); Divining the Prime Meridian (WordTech Communications, 2015); and Writing After Retirement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).