We've been talking to our instructors about what makes them tick - as teachers, as writers and as language lovers! Enjoy learning a little more about the Bay Area's Vanessa Flores, first in our Instructor Spotlight Series.

What do you learn from your students? Of course we all use our imaginations when we write, but TMWFI students are the best teachers when it comes to really allowing the imagination to run wild and free. Go ahead and let popsicles fall from the sky while your character is having an argument about pancakes with their little brother. The narrative can grow in big, magical ways when we let our imaginations not only lead us but push us toward the strange.

How has teaching impacted your craft? My students remind me to play. Graduate school can be very serious -- but one of the reasons I started writing in the first place was because it was a way to play and let go!

What is a favorite word of yours? Use it in a sentence! Rutabaga!  I'm not sure if I love the way rutabaga tastes, but I'm sure I love the way it sounds. 

Share with us a quote or a poem that has been meaningful to you. "You grow up the day you have the first real laugh at yourself." Ethel Barrymore