Along My Journey... Natalie Gasper
Updated: Jan 20
This weeks Guest Author Post in the Writer's Journey Blog is internationally performed poet, Natalie Gasper.
My writing journey began in seventh grade. Mrs. Gulden, my English teacher, told me I should join Power of the Pen after I turned in a historical fiction story that was twice as long as required. I’d written stories for as long as I can remember and never thought it could be more than a fun way to pass the time on rainy days.
I’ll never forget that first meeting. A room full of other kids who loved writing, armed with pencils and college-ruled paper. Some kids dreamed of football championships, a stadium of fans cheering them on. I dreamed of the silence that leads to fantastical new worlds and adventures.
My love of writing came from a fascination with books. I was a precocious reader as a child, plowing through the Magic Tree House series as a first grader. By third grade, my teachers would send me to the library when I finished classwork early. The fantasy section became my home away from home. The librarians, one of whom was a neighbor, began curating a selection of new reads for me.
I remember being amazed at how many worlds existed. Mrs. Gulden and those Power of the Pen meetings taught me I had worlds inside of me, too, that were itching to get out. She made me believe I could write anything, create anything, imagine anything. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without her influence.
I didn’t do any formal writing groups after middle school, but started filling notebooks with ideas or snippets of scenes. In college, I stumbled across a world that demanded to be explored: Fandolir. Five years later, I’m still working on a series centered in that world. It feels as real to me as this one. It’s difficult to explain the thrill of bringing a world that exists solely inside my mind to life on the page. One day, those stories will be shared with the world, and I hope everyone will love them as much as I do.
In addition to my fantasy series, I also write poetry. I remember bringing my first poem home at age four. My style has evolved over the years, a reflection of both knowledge gained and how life experiences have shaped me. I draw inspiration from nature, magic, and fairytales, but I also write pieces about the military and current events. I lost my heart horse, Icon, a year and a half ago, and used poetry to work through the grief. Some really great poems came from that pain. So did some really terrible ones. One day, I’ll have enough distance to create a collection that I hope will help others process the loss of a loved one.
One thing I’ve learned is that writing is a cycle. Some days, it’s easier than breathing. Other days, I can’t write at all. In many ways, my journey is just beginning. I’m expanding to other pursuits like interviews and article series and became a developmental editor focused on poetry and short stories at a new magazine. Writing will always be with me, even if it doesn’t always wear the same hat. I’m excited to see what the next ten years holds for me on this incredible journey.
Bio: Natalie Gasper is an internationally performed poet whose work has appeared in The Write Launch, The Hickory Stump, The Remembered Arts Journal, Noon by Arachne Press, and ellipsis…literature & art, amongst others. She works as an interviewer for The Nasiona and is a developmental editor for Envie, a Magazine for the Literary Curious. In addition to writing poetry, she is also working on a fantasy series and is experimenting with short stories. When she’s not writing, she can be found riding her horse, Cora.