A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ann Hultberg

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Ann: I started writing for publication in the summer of 2019. I had retired from teaching and now had time to write . I always liked to read. It started with the Little House on the Prairie books. I
read Dante’s Inferno on my own, Thoreau, always an independent reader from my school studies. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and took as many writing/lit classes as I could.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Ann: I look at the over 50 writers and see their accomplishments. It gives me inspiration to go on and not let age interfere stand in the way of my writing. Robert Frost is my favorite poet probably because he was my mom’s.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Ann: I grew up in northwest Pennsylvania. We live a simple life, our town embedded in nature. My stories reflect this bucolic setting. Living part-time in the South has made me appreciate what
we have in this small town.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Ann: My most meaningful work is writing about my family, especially how my dad escaped from a communist controlled country, and as the daughter of an immigrant, how it has affected my life.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Ann: I knew that I wanted to be a writer in grade school. I remember having a story chosen as best in the class. I entered writing contents in elementary school. Though I ended up in education, I have returned to my dream of writing and publishing.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Ann: Favorite things to do when I am not writing: tending to my flower gardens, reading, walking the beach, going to sunsets, attending theater productions.

Q7: Do you have any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Ann: I have over 40 published pieces. I am thinking of putting these stories in book form.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Ann: Favorite line-from “The Weighted Blanket”
“I wake up under four layers of sadness, like a weighted blanket so popular these days, blankets made to comfort, to calm a restless body, reduce feelings of anxiety. but mine does anything but.
I kick off the somber layers: alloy gray, carbon navy, dark much, and smoky mauve, each mournful color representing a generation gone.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Ann: What/Who has helped my writing: attending writing webinars hosted by writers such as Dinty Moore, belonging to several writing communities, asking my published friend for advice, reading books on writing, and reading memoirs , such as David Sedaris.

Poem by Ann Hultberg : “I Prefer the Clouds Over the Sun” from Fevers of the Mind Anthology




Poem by Ann Hultberg : “I Prefer the Clouds Over the Sun” from Fevers of the Mind Anthology

Sky, Clouds, Sunlight, Atmosphere
I Prefer the Clouds Over the Sun

A reality which wants to remain buried 

Sunlight guides me toward the dirt, 
              The faded paint, the cracks in the seams of the walls as the house shifts, 
The gray carpets, now the dog’s canvas, stained to swirls of brown shadows,
The windows old and dirty –
 Panes with cracks as thin as dental floss,
Coal dust caked on furniture and in every fiber of cloth,
A film that says we are poor--
Or lazy.
The black dust inhabits. 
The clouds hide all of this
And lets me imagine that I live in a palace like all the others
Where there is space and light
Shouting “I am Proud to be here,”
And not ashamed as I am with the sun showing me what is instead of what -
could have been.
It’s easier to hide under the pretense of clouds
So all seems fine,
Without looking at truth as it cries through the windows
Forcing a reality which wants to remain buried.
I can’t see the flaws when the clouds hide the sun. 
I can go about my day looking straight ahead, 
But when the light shoots through the sheer curtains,
              My mood shifts to anger.

Bio from 2020:

Ann Hultberg of Northwest PA and Southwest Fla is a retired high school English teacher and currently an adjunct composition instructor at the local university. She writes nonfiction stories about her family, especially focusing on her father’s escape from Budapest, Hungary, to the United States. Her essays have been accepted by over a dozen magazines and journals including Persimmon Tree, Fevers of the Mind, Drunk Monkeys, Thorn Literary Magazine, Her View from Home, Moonchild , Mothers Always Write, and various publications on Medium. You can follow Ann on Facebook at 60 and writing.