Musician Actress
Literary Writer
A few works published and an impressive collection of uncommonly encouraging rejection emails. :-)
Crazy Cat Lady
BIO
Maren (rhymes with star-ben)


Ok, let's clarify the name. It's Danish. I was named for a friend of my mother's who was named for her great-grandmother back in the
old country.  Yes, there are people who try to rhyme it with "Karen." My family does not, and I've lived with our pronunciation for over 6 decades, so it's working for me.
 
I think of myself as a mother first, then a musician, then house fixer, then maybe a person. Chuckle if you will, but musicians, especially percussionists, are not always given the rank of human. Since I play djembe and many auxilliary percussion instruments, I embrace the distinction when advantageous. 
I'm taking a stab at clarinet, too.

Musicking. I perform and compose. I remember making my first piano composition at age five.  It was all on black keys and I still like it. (Yes, I still know it!) Since then I've created piano and choral compositions and arrangements. I'm rather proud of the success of a recent arrangement I did for a barbershop group (Stock and the Yards!)

Coloring.  No, not those "adult coloring books." Geez Louise, I am from the 1960s. We rebelled against ticky tacky houses and coloring inside the lines.  I mean I color by using wild colors for house paint, inside and out, for clothing, and for theatre costume design.

House rehabbing.  Not a talent I ever thought I'd develop, but one thing led to another and I am now well versed in the lay person's ways to evaluate and demolish neglected houses.  See my many, many articles on hubpages.com.  Also, my upcoming book with working title: I Rescued a House: One Woman's Victory with an Abandoned Castle.

Teaching.  Did that, too. Loved doing gifted elementary and community college teaching. My biggest impact was in the hood.  I hope it lasts. 

Writing. Oh yes, I write.  My undergrad major was in the sciences, but I turned to copious free verse poetry and how-to article writing in my forties.  Now I am enjoying being my own boss and sharing my life wisdom (scant, but it's yours for the asking.)



 
 
 


   Gardening is another of my creative 
   expressions. I regard it as painting with 
   flowers. And vegetables. I mix them. Truly,
   gardening is a pretty good gig: I grow some
   of my food, contribute to plant oxygen
   expiration into the air, follow eco-practices,
   and even get a bit of bending and stretching
   exercise while enjoying the warmth of the
   sun on my soul.

   Plus, I am a late starter at cat loving and cat
   caregiving.  As if cats need care, right? 
   They don't think so, but they do enjoy being
   fed by us humans.  I am besotted with my
   furry family members (rescues, both.)

   I absolutely love what I do, it's very
   rewarding to invite people through my
   creations to be all that they can be in a
   safe, honest, explosion of unique, genuine
   energy. (I am very enthusiastic, if not utterly
   insane.)

 
 
"This above all - to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3

MAREN MORGAN, INSPIRATION, MEDLEY, AND WRITING: AN INTERVIEW
Posted on: Dec 17, 2015
http://bookscover2cover.com/2015/12/maren-morgan-inspiration-medley-writing-interview/

Maren Morgan is a musician, educator, and writer of poetry, short story, play, and non-fiction.  Her sources of inspirations are many and dictate the mood, form, and voice of the written piece.  Maren’s works shared on bookscover2cover offer the reader a span of feelings, and the occasional unexpected ending.

SANDY
When did you first begin to write? Was it poetry? Story? Narrative? Did you just start writing because you had something to say, or was it for a specific occasion?

MAREN
I wrote in school. Obviously, one is required to do that. A few pieces from those years stand out in my memory: haiku in 6th grade, a story in junior high. However, I always regarded myself as a math and science person, so I never entertained thoughts of writing as a career, or avocation, or as something I would share with others. As an adult, I started writing free verse poetry to work out sadness over a spouse with chronic cancer, and other challenges. This expanded to observations of nature mixed with my own emotional state. Also, I started writing how-to articles for a “blog-ish” sort of website because I wanted to share some of the lessons I’d learned about being a parent. That expanded into all sorts of instructional articles for a variety of music, home repair, holiday crafts, and food topics.

SANDY
Your work is wide-ranging and includes a variety of genres: poetry, plays, fiction, and nonfiction. Do you have a favorite genre, or do you choose one depending on subject, mood—what?

MAREN
Of those you mentioned, fiction is my least favorite. I use poetry the way a painter of abstract expressionism uses the medium: I splurt out my emotions or philosophy. Perhaps my choice of style is more intuitive than calculated. In poetry, particularly, I feel greater license to use words in novel ways, to invent incredibly creative metaphors. I like creating mind candy and occasionally inventing new words to fit the meaning in my mind (this drives my editor nuts!).

SANDY
Some of the titles of the poems published on bookscover2cover: “Dark Cold Winter Woods,” “I am Gaia and I am Pissed,” “Out on the Deck,” “Bean Eyes,” “Another answer which eludes me.” These poems differ in subject, voice, and mood. What accounts for their variation?

MAREN
The source of inspiration dictates all the variation. “Bean Eyes”: my first cat, Skeeter, and his stupendous green eyes. “Out on the Deck”: spring and wanting to write in the style of Billy Collins. “I am Gaia”: Ecodude. “Dark Cold Winter Woods”: the setting itself.

SANDY
In the poem “Dark Cold Winter Woods,” the central focus is on the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). Here are four lines from the poem:
Does it bring a foreboding of the future?
A prescience of danger?
Or a deep connection with prior life dark troubles,
just out of grasp of conscious mind?
How did these questions end up in this poem? Is there a philosophical or spiritual underpinning?

MAREN
This poem is inspired by woods I drove past in the very early morning on a frozen, icy, snowless winter day. I hate being cold. There was no mitigating beautiful white snow. I imagined being in those woods. Perhaps since I use my morning drive time to pray and reflect, these age-old questions of humanity poured themselves into my impressions?

SANDY
Tell us about the genesis and evolution of the play “A Transfiguration.” Has it been performed?

MAREN
This play is an angry personal response to people formerly close to me. My values and theirs have taken radically different paths. I hope that my view of a Divine Being and what is truly good is the correct one. (Probably everyone hopes this.) Thus, I created the play as solace to myself. It has not been performed.

SANDY
Did the short story “Lydia Said” arrive uninvited, or did you base it on an experience you had?

MAREN
This story came from a very detailed dream! I rarely have dreams which are a complete story, as this one was, so I recorded it. I added names and dialogue, but the shock ending was in my dream. The dream’s setting was probably North Philadelphia, therefore I added bus routes and other details that fit the locale.

SANDY
How would you describe your non-fiction narrative style to an interested reader?

MAREN
Hmmmm. Genuine? Slightly self-deprecating? I am not afraid to poke fun at myself. And I think it that is a good writing technique, because who wants to read narrative from a Holier-than-Thou person? I think that I am good at explaining steps in processes, or critical elements of a situation, so that the reader will understand what I am describing in house repairing. I also hope that my style effectively uses language, varies sentence lengths and beginnings, and organizes ideas clearly. (Thank you, Mrs. Yoder, my 11th grade English teacher!)

SANDY
You are a musician and a singer, as well as a writer. How do they influence each other?

MAREN
Let’s add that I compose music and arrange music. Composing, arranging, and writing are creative processes. It is very fulfilling for me to create. It is also a lifelong habit. The performing aspects of music, especially as a soloist, could be helping my writing style. A soloist puts herself “out there.” As a writer, I usually put my whole self out there as well.

SANDY
You are presently writing a book about a house you have rehabbed. Will you give us some hints as to what we will be reading when it is published?

MAREN
You will be reading about the growth of a single woman on a mission to restore a neglected (severely neglected!) house. She needs to learn many construction-type skills. Since she is living in the wreck while repairing it, the reader will witness moments of grit and, conversely, despair. At the same time, she shares stories about her two rescue cats and her philosophy of romantic relationships. Many unusual events keep the story interesting.

SANDY
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to be a writer?

MAREN
Ha ha ha. I can’t advise on writing to earn a living. My only advice:
don’t die with your words still inside you.