For Connors State College English Professor, Dr. Tabatha Hibbs, writing is more than a hobby. It’s a passion. A passion that is quickly gaining recognition as her short story will be featured in the next edition of “Gingko Tree Review,” a literary magazine produced and published by Drury University in Springfield, Mo.
“This is the first short story I’ve had published,” said Hibbs. “I have had poetry and essays published, and even some research articles when I was in biology, but I am excited to have my short story accepted.”
The story is about a woman who is married to an emotionally needy man who is sucking the life out of her. Though she loves her husband she struggles to find an inner space that is her own. As the owner of an antique shop, she becomes intrigued with a shawl she found wrapped around an old lamp. In the shawl she finds a place that is her own.
“The story essentially acknowledges that we, particularly women, need those interior spaces that belong to just us,” said Hibbs. “I think women have trouble being ok with that because we have husbands, children, students and such, and we tend to create spaces that are not ours.”
Thanks to digital media, more online sources are becoming available in which to be published, but that doesn’t make the process any easier.
“It’s extremely hard to be published,” said Hibbs. “There are more and more writers competing for the space and there are many very good writers out there. It does get easier though. Once you’ve been published and can submit your list of publications, editors tend to take a more serious look at your work.”
Of course, time, patience and practice are essential to entering the world of a writer.
“Realistically, writing is a compulsion. I’m always writing something,” said Hibbs. “I keep a journal, I’ve started a blog, I’m working on a textbook and I do academic writing as well.”
Hibbs’ blog, called Tahlequah Homestead, encourages others to become more self-sustaining. “My husband and I are gardeners and do-it-yourselfers,” explains Hibbs. “My blog explores the idea of living and buying locally and removing our purchasing dollars from corporate America and, instead, supporting our neighbors.”
With her plethora of writing experience, one might think being published is “old-hat” for Hibbs. Not so, she says.
“Being published is an affirmation that what I have to say strikes a chord with someone else,” she said. “That my ideas and thinking resonates with other people, and can speak to other people. That’s really cool.”
Hibbs teaches English at both the Warner and Muskogee West campuses of Connors State College. Be sure to check out her short story in the Fall edition of “Gingko Tree Review.”
Contact: Ami Maddocks