Theresa Checkosky Maher

aka TJ Richards

1) Tell us a bit about the pieces you have in Motherly Musings. What was the inspiration for your work, and do you have any comments or thoughts about your featured work that you would like to share with readers?

It is a snapshot of a very peaceful, intimate moment I experienced while listening to my daughter being a mother.

2) How long have you been writing and how did you get started?

My first memory of writing was a story I wrote in the third grade about a talking apple tree that eventually became a telephone pole. My career took off from there.

3) In general, the pieces that appear in Motherly Musings are about parenting, mothers, or children. Does this theme permeate your other writing? What other themes and ideas influence your work?

Most of my writing has a spiritual connotation behind it, although I do enjoy writing comedy, and I have a passion about helping the world find respect for the aged by writing their stories. I have written in most genres including publishing a novel, A Golden Tapestry, about aging and reminiscence. Additionally, I have done years of technical writing, and I’ve written newspaper articles, editorials, and numerous poems and stories. I have a blog, “Midlife Mindfulness,” and I used to teach creative writing workshops for Empire State College in Syracuse, N.Y. I have written several children’s stories and hope to eventually find an illustrator with whom I can work to develop children’s books.

4) Are you working on any other writing projects at the moment?

I’ve been writing some memoirs, but nothing serious because of work and time restraints. I went back to college a few years ago at 50-something to become a registered nurse and just finished last year. I’m still trying to get caught up with my life.

5) What is your greatest challenge as writer?

My greatest challenge, I think, is finding free quiet time when I can be alone to write.

6) What are you reading right now?

My sister gave me some old Reader’s Digest Condensed Books (remember those?), and I’m finishing one of those. I recently read an excellent book, Still Alice, by Lisa Genova about a 50 year old woman with an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. My all-time favorite read, however, was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

7) Any final thoughts, advice, or comments you'd like to leave our readers with?

Whether you are a writer, like to draw, dance, sing, decorate or grow flowers … find something creative you are passionate about and do it. Don’t ever be afraid to express what is inside, or worry about what someone might think of your talent. Life goes by too quickly to deny personal expression, and it really doesn’t matter what they think anyway. It’s all about you!

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