Jamilee Shaffer is a Portland based writer who is the author of God’s Pony which tells the story of her being violently attacked by a former love; it is available on Amazon.
Eliza: What made you want to become a writer?
Jamilee: I use writing as a way to tell myself the unfolding story of life. My own and the larger life of the world around me. I’ve not viewed it as something to be at choice about, rather a way of functioning. I am a lifelong journaller and the process is a way of making sense of things that happen. I find that writing is a way for me to connect with the truest part of both myself and whatever I am experiencing.
Eliza: What is God’s Pony about?
Jamilee: God’s Pony is about the way life rests at our feet. It is evidence that when a thought gets activated in us as children and validated through experience it must produce results. Those results end up shocking us into awakening, if we are blessed with an open mind and heart. It is about looking for the cause for life’s tragedies' and finding a perfection unfolding. And anger, self-pity, self-hatred that leads to understanding that life is made of a wholeness.
Eliza: Was it hard sharing something so personal?
Jamilee: Yes and no. It seems that those individuals who are the farthest removed from their own emotional life are the most uncomfortable and can project that in a harsh and pain filled way. This project for me has been a journey out of the fear of what others think to a place of valuing my own process more than the opinion of another. I do know what comes after this life and it is astoundingly beautiful. I can share this and perhaps bring a bit of peace to the conversation.
Eliza: Why is Portland a good place to be a writer?
Jamilee: Portland is good for the soul. It’s beautiful, connected and inclusive. There is a balance here of allowing individuality while providing for the opportunity of community. I find a great deal of my inspiration comes while in nature and this is such a fine place to play outside. Animals play a large role in my world and Portland is one of the most animal friendly and honoring places on the planet.
Eliza: Who are some of your influences?
Jamilee: My Dad. He taught me that one can be a good person even in bad circumstances. My beloved friend Jenn. She saved my life, literally and then helped me find a way back to my heart. My dearest friend Louise, one of the best teachers of forgiveness and renewal, in a horse body no less! My beautiful dog who washed me in love with every gaze. I love the exploration of life through prose and self reflection. Mark Nepo, Oriah Mountian Dreamer, David Whyte, Rumi, Parker J. Palmer. These writers I connect with emotionally. I enjoy these story tellers- Laura Hillenbrand, Stephen King, Ann Hagedorn to name a few.