I often view myself as a paradox and question how my reflection and flesh are so similar yet so skewed from one another, perhaps natural for an INFJ. More often than not, I find blame in consistent inconsistencies growing up. As a child of divorce I felt like I was lifted from my own reality and drifting in the cosmos; what was most important to me was finding stability. I found that in reading and writing.
I had been reading since I could. I was and still am a very competitive person—as proof, in 2nd grade we were only allowed to borrow chapter books from the school library if we could read a page from one our librarian picked out. Only one student from my class had permission to check out chapter books. By the end of that library visit, I could, too.
Writing came to me a little later in childhood. It wasn’t until I found solace in the world of fandoms in 5th grade that I picked up a pen or learned how to use Microsoft Word. I have fond memories of writing fictional letters with my friends, going above and beyond with weekly vocab plays in language arts class, writing short stories to turn into short films, and like any other pre-teen in the 2010s, writing my own fan fiction (and quite shamelessly, too).
I think what always drew me back to creative writing and reading was escaping, into the worlds or into the minds of characters I saw myself in. As a bonus, when you’re writing people tend to leave you alone. This doesn’t always work as an adult, but as a child it was a foolproof way to find quiet. To be fair, I had a small group of friends in school who never had the same class schedule as me, especially in high school, so it was easier to trade this world for another during those pockets of free time. When I was finished with a lesson I would stick my nose in a book—this was, of course, on top of the assigned readings I did for classes during the year, too.
I think my English teachers knew they should keep their eye on me. I think they could tell how lonely I was, sitting in classrooms full of my peers but not my friends. They would stop me after class just to ask what I did that weekend, give me book suggestions, talk about musicals, encourage me to join Power of the Pen, PenOhio, Poetry Out Loud, and submit to Young Authors. One even gave me one of the few copies she had left of Maus. I’m forever grateful for their kindness and warmth.
Writing helped me do a lot of self exploration, self realization, and most importantly of all, a lot of healing. Creative writing was a rigorous minor to take up in college but it led to the most euphoric and passionate pieces and poems I’ve created. My passion for publishing was more recently sparked when I worked on the editorial board my final semester at The Ohio State University to create the 2022 edition of Cornfield Review.
Simply put, I love literature and creative writing, understanding and creating. I want to help others find that spark that could be the catalyst for a new way of thinking, doing, living. I want to help others find poetry that makes them full, short stories that make them simply feel, and narratives that offer them closure.
I want to change the world with the way I string words together and help find the voices that do that already. It’s at this intersection where I get to explore both passions simultaneously and see what comes next.
Amber Alexander (they/she) has been writing creatively since the age of ten years old and hasn’t put the pen down since. She is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Arts in English with research distinction and has previously worked on editorial for Cornfield Review where they have also been published as an author. In their spare time, Amber reads fervently, attends musical theater, symphony, and ballet performances, and is building a small army of Squishmallow’s. Alexander hopes to pursue graduate school in the near future and continue to get more work published.
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