The strength of Blood Into Ink is the writers who gather here. Each member is fierce, talented and incredibly respectful and supportive of others living with a history of trauma. We believe that their stories will move and inspire you
Kindra M. Austin
Where do you live? What do you love about it?
I live in Michigan, U.S.A. born and raised. Michigan is a beautiful landscape, especially upstate Lower Peninsula, and across the Mackinaw Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. Blue lakes, green hills, waterfalls, lighthouses, Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Painted Rocks—we have it all here in Michigan. One of my favorite things about northern Michigan is that the Native American legacy is so respected and celebrated—the Potawatomi, Chippewa, and Menominee tribes, to name but a few.
Tell us about yourself
I am knocking on 39 years of life. I am more confident now than I was in my twenties, or even my early thirties. I embrace my aging, and love myself. Even when I’m hating myself for past wounds I’ve caused others, or find myself in a familiar limbo state over hurts done to me, I do love the woman I’ve become because I clawed my way out of the pits like a hellcat. I say hellcat, and some may not think it a good thing. But it is. Sometimes you have to get seething fucking angry in order to save your own life, which I did do, and I’m damned proud. I have a stunningly kind, intelligent, intuitive, encouraging, brave, independent thinking willow tree of a daughter to show for it all, and a husband who is a best friend to me. I battle with Fibromyalgia, depression, OCD, arthritis, ghosts both living and dead daily. But I am strong, and good-humored (mostly). And I have my writing.
I have a terrible potty-mouth * I belch like a professional * I love to sing Karaoke * When I was about five years old, I sat in the KITT car from the television show, Knight Rider * I can rebuild a Chevelle * I have a mortal fear of birds * I can throw down in the kitchen like a motherfucking beast * I hate the word fart, but love the words twat and cunt * I can’t recite the alphabet backwards
Tell us about your blog
I posted my first poem on Kindra M. Austin in April, 2016. I have two other WordPress blogs that I haven’t used since 2010, at least; I don’t even remember the passwords to access those accounts.
What motivated you to start your blog Kindra M. Austin?
I went on a blogging hiatus to escape a couple of people. For me, the worst thing about being stalked wasn’t that these fucking fools had access to my life; it was knowing that for my part, I’d handled these relationships poorly, and I was so messed up at the time, I believed the abuse hurled at me was justified. After a lot of soul searching and healing, and once I’d completed my debut novel in 2016, I was ready to return to blogging. I have too much shit on my mind to remain a recluse forever.
What keeps you blogging at Kindra M. Austin?
Camaraderie, for one. Most of my poems and prose come from a dark personal place, and it is a blessing to know I’m not the only one who feels lost sometimes. I am enriched by the WordPress community; I’ve made wonderful friends. Love of the craft, for two. I have discovered fierce talent through my blog, and I look forward to reading these people every day, and sharing their words with others; it’s soul food. Human connection, for three. Because of my blog, I have the opportunity to build relationships with people the world over.
Why did you get involved with Blood Into ink?
Because the architect’s vision is one I believe in, and she is someone I deeply respect, both as a human being, and a writer. Christine assembled a group of inspiring warriors, she among them, and I knew it would be a blessing to be a part of a collective that is breaking the mold. Blood Into Ink is truth. And we won’t be quiet.
What does it mean to be a “Warrior Voice of Survival”?
It means I have chosen to take the power away from my abusers and give command to myself. It also means I have chosen to speak out for others who need help, who feel alone. I have chosen to stand up and say, “Victims of trauma and abuse are not the perpetrators, and I will not tolerate the shaming of us. I will take up the Warrior banner and fight for the safety and dignity of us all—women, men, and children.”
Tell us about your writing goals
One is to finish my second manuscript before December 1. Creatively speaking, I aim to push my limits, cross lines, and experiment with a wider variety of styles and genres.
What is your writing process and routine?
I write daily in the afternoon (under typical every day circumstances) for three-four hours. Once or twice a week, I stay up after my husband goes to bed and write until I stop. Sometimes that adds an extra hour, sometimes five. I always listen to music during a writing session. The tone of the scene/section (or poem, or prose for a blog post) I’m working on dictates the playlist. Regarding a process, I’m organized in a way only I can understand. Haha!
Has your writing appeared in print? How did that happen?
In third grade, I won the gold ribbon in the Lapeer school district writing contest. My short story, My Pet Dinosaur was published in the local paper. In May, 2016, my cousin, Todd, asked me to write an essay for the Ohio, Mansfield Pride magazine for the July Pride festival. To address the negativity the Pride festival had suffered from the local churches during the 2015 festival, Todd, who is now the president of Mansfield Pride, requested a piece discussing the difference between pride as defined in the bible, and the definition of LGBTQ pride. My debut novel, Magpie in August, was self-published first for Kindle in April 2016, followed by the paperback in May 2016; my amazingly talented friend, Allane Sinclair, designed the cover art.
What is your advice for new writers and bloggers?
Regarding blogging; follow Christine’s lead. Her tips for bloggers posted on Brave and Reckless is the best advice for new bloggers I’ve ever read. As for writing in general, my advice is to write your truth, always.
Talk to us about what you like to read
I read a lot of what falls into the literary fiction genre. My favorite literary novels include The Bell Jar, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Painted Veil. I also love fantasy; Lord of the Rings, and The Shannara series. Some of my favorite authors are Sylvia Plath; John Steinbeck; Edgar Allan Poe; Ray Bradbury; Isaac Asimov; and Tom Rob Smith.
Tell us about three of your favorite blogs to follow
I’m going to list three that I am happy to introduce to my Blood into Ink family.
The Perilous Reading Society This blog is Jac Forsyth’s, and her word usage is bananas. She writes stunning short fiction that is dark, allegorical, and intelligent.
cakeordeathsite Mr. Cake is a wordsmith extreme when it comes to deep, cheeky poetry, and his short stories are intriguing, to say the least. He also writes a great deal about art, and obscure historical figures.
Forged from Reverie (I call him Stuart the Stellar) is the creator of a fantasy realm dubbed Ayl’gard. The lore of Ayl’gard reads like true history. As a fan of fantasy, I would love to see Stuart’s stories published in novel form. He is a proper, passionate writer.
Shout out to my friend, John, at Darkness of His Dreams! Visit Darkness of His Dreams. DO IT!
Tell us which pieces of your own writing are your favorites
An essay I wrote for a contest, in tribute to Nicole, titled …being the way you are: a brief memoir for my daughter
My submission to a Sudden Denouement writing prompt contest titled March Madness Top Ten: A Moment of Dying
Any final thoughts for the Blood Into Ink readers?
I believe in the power of love and positive energy. I write because I want to inspire people. As a writer, it my duty to speak up as a citizen of the human race, and to defend those who cannot speak for themselves. All my life I have wanted to be a part of something greater than the sum of my parts, and at last, I feel that I am.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar