On the first-ever episode of Pondering Prose: An Author Interview Series, host April Stults talks with Our Galaxy Publishing Author, Patty Ihm, about the personal experiences that led to her seeking publication, especially her memoir Isn’t That Enough? Musings of Motherhood and the Meaning of Life, available now.
As Patty mentions in her interview: “Without my personal experiences, I wouldn’t have anything to write about.”
About Patty Ihm
Patty Ihm is an author, former early intervention therapist, and teacher living in Illinois on a farmette where she is a mother to many; three biological, six adopted, and 18 children she has offered her home to as a foster parent—some for a day and some to stay forever. Fueled on coffee and the soul-cleansing therapy of the written word, Patty also tends to thirty-something chickens, a mix of hens and roosters, four bee hives, and a thriving garden.
She is the self-published author of Ode to a Boy, a poetic tribute to her grown sons. Isn’t That Enough? Musings of Motherhood and the Meaning of Life is her debut memoir. Goldie Bird, a middle-grade, coming-of-age novel, is Patty’s first fiction work with Our Galaxy Publishing. Her narrative prose is also featured in the anthology, Venus Rising: Musings & Lore from Women Writers.
Read more about Patty on her blog at: PattyIhm.com
Pondering Creativity with Patty Ihm
Each week, we ask the authors we interview a series of prompted questions about their creative journey. Their responses are not edited and intend to continue the conversation about what it means to live and write creatively.
What does the word "creativity" mean in your world?
To me, creativity means the freedom to release what’s inside your soul. Nature is the greatest canvas; its immersive beauty seems to drive my thoughts to all kinds of places.
Define your version of "success" in writing and pursuing creativity.
Creative success means opening the soul to something new, taking a new path, or perhaps carving out your own. Successful creative pursuits are not designed to change minds but rather to tap into something new—something fresh—to encourage growth and to open new doors.
What is the biggest thing that keeps you from your creative goals?
I didn’t mean to be a writer. It wasn’t intentional. As a young student I was taught to write in a journal, and for this, I am sincerely grateful. The words flow as feelings and take on different forms: journal, blog, memoir, and novel. It’s the rhythm of my days, or lack thereof, that limits my productivity. I guess I’m okay with that. I have never really thought about it, though, because every word I write is one more than I would have expected. It’s the same with spending time with my chickens, the hives, and the gardens. Time is a gift.
How do you hope to contribute to the literary community through your craft?
My hope is that by opening a tiny window into the days of our family, in sharing the grief, the joy, and all of what is in between, others may understand that even on the hardest days there is still some good. Through my words, I want to evoke emotions in the readers that we all share in our own unique experiences.
What would you say to someone who wants to pursue creativity but lacks confidence?
Encouraging the process of creativity over the anticipated end product changes everything. It’s therapeutic to move your hands through the sand. Paint with the objective of watching the pigments move across the paper. Write while listening to the words in your head. Shake the seed packet and watch the flowers grow. Just listen—just step out—and you’re going to know.
About Pondering Prose
Pondering Prose is an author interview series cultivating conscious conversations about the challenges and triumphs around pursuing the creative writing craft. It’s not about the book, but the process by which we create—or don’t.
Our Galaxy Publishing is a New York City-based, women-owned, and operated independent press with a nationwide team serving aspiring authors the tools to write and publish. Our seamless publishing experience focuses on action-based tools and resources to publish, exploration of all core storytelling elements, and empowering an entrepreneurial mindset. Whether seeking to self-publish a book or find a traditional publisher, work with us for book publishing, book editing, book marketing, and writing mentorship to publish a successful book.