"One day, all of a sudden, these words were jumping around in my head and, as I remember, I wrote it down the best that I could," said Seltzer about her first published poem. "I didn't write anything equal to it for several years. I had to wait for a long time for the muse to come back."
After putting poetry aside for many years, Seltzer said she started writing poetry again around her mid-life. She continued to write poetry in rhyme, but free verse was becoming the popular choice among many writers, so while in college she didn't fit into what was being done.
She has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including The Village Voice, The Minnesota Review and When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. Seltzer also published three chapbooks (small collections of poetry) and recently published a collection of her poems.
Seltzer said her writing process doesn't follow any defined form, but when an idea hits her, she jumps into the thought.
"A lot of times, all of a sudden it is there. I feel it going on my head, and you either take it or you lose it. I've learned that the hard way," said Seltzer. "Sometimes, if I'm under a lot of stress or angry at somebody or something and very often those aren't good poems, but they can be."
Some things about the writing process can't be explained, she said.
"I think there is a bit of mystery involved in the creative process," she said. "I don't think it is a science it is an act of submission to allow this to happen and have it take you over. I don't know if I lose control, or I give control away."
Seltzer said she doesn't live by her grandchildren, and her husband died five years ago, so she was reflecting on past experiences involving them to spur the inspiration for the poem. Every summer for 12 years, she said, they would go for a week to Lake Winnipesaukee. At the lake, well, there were loons. This shared experience then grew into the poem.