There’s so much to tell you about my time at Ucross, and I also don’t want to tell you about any of it because it is so perfect I don’t want to ruin it by attempting to explain it. What I will say is this: there was this me that existed a long time ago, before I had kids, before I was married, before I started writing, this version of me that I thought only existed in a particular place at a particular time and could never be retrieved or revisited. This me liked to read and think and scribble about what she was reading and thinking about and walk around for hours taking pictures of whatever crazy beauty passed her way. This was the first me I ever liked.
After a few days at Ucross, there she was again, that me I liked. Turns out I am not just a screaming mom running late to get the kids out the door, or a nagging wife asking her husband to pick up his socks, or a time-deprived writer scrambling for one more minute to finish a story for a deadline. I was still this other me, this curious, world-loving, wandering, autonomous me. It is no exaggeration to say I had absolutely no idea I was still this same person underneath the minutae of the everyday.
And I realized how if I was that person then long ago, and was this person again at Ucross, then isn’t it fair to believe she will be there when I go looking for her the next time?
Where is your you that you thought was gone?
I had the great privilege of spending a morning talking to literary and musical couple Claudia and John Savage – they have a whole podcast dedicated to artists with children. It’s hard to underestimate how essential it is to hear the stories of other folks who persist making work while struggling through the day to day reality of the parent’s no sleep/no time/no money life.
Here is a LINK TO THE PODCAST where we talk about marriage, work, taxes and book tours, and give a short video tour of my super messy writing space/office/den/laundry folding station.
Nutshell takeaway: it’s hard as hell but you do it anyway.
Folks, I’m happy to report that I’ve just been added to the faculty at the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Certificate Program in Portland. I’ll be the prose instructor for the creative writing track fellows.
I couldn’t be more delighted.
The IPRC empowers writers, illustrators, screenprinters, graphic novelists, and others to create, design and publish their own work. Their motto LEARN MAKE SHARE couldn’t be more in line with my own.
Here’s what their website says about the program: The IPRC’s Fiction/Nonfiction track is one of the most innovative creative writing programs in the country, featuring the unique combination of graduate-level writing workshops plus intensive training in Book Arts, graphic design, digital publishing and more.
GO HERE FOR MORE INFO
‘The world needs more of her writing’
I was hunched over the kitchen counter this morning, bleary-eyed, trying to fix myself a cup of coffee, and then from the other room I heard this: “Hey, you’re on CNN.”
Honestly, I thought he was talking to somebody else. (Who that would be I’m not sure, but I was tired.)
Then I thought he was kidding.
Then I looked at his iPad, and sure enough, there was CNN’s Beach Read list for the summer with (wait? what?!) my name next to the name of my book.
Sandi Shelton, a Connecticut novelist with the pen name Maddie Dawson, read PEOPLE LIKE YOU and loved it and went on to say dreamy things about the characters and the writing.
“Malone’s characters are funny and unhappy and self-sabotaging and honest and brave,” says Shelton.
Every time this happens, I’m still dumbfounded that someone gets it, what I was trying to do with those stories. It blows me away.
She also said:
“I couldn’t stop reading these stories and now I find myself missing them, so I go and reread them over and over. I want to go over to Malone’s house and cook her meals and do her grocery shopping so that she has time to write more books, because the world needs more of her writing.”
Happy to take you up on this offer, Sandi.
Here is the LINK to the BEST BEACH READS of 2017.
I’d been writing one craft essay for The Masters Review, and then most of the way through, days before the deadline, I scrapped it and wrote this one instead: THIS IS HOW A WRITER WRITES A STORY.
It’s actually kind of funny too (not haha funny) – because the creation of the essay itself mirrors the process I write about in the essay.
Ouroboros kind of a deal.
Thanks to the fine folks at The Masters Review for reaching out to make this happen.
I’m honored to have work published with them.
Here’s the book I reference in the essay:
[And thanks to Arthur Koestler for allowing me to sum up a mind-blowingly phenomenal behemoth of a kick ass book in a couple sentences. I’m aware of the liberties I took.]
May is National Short Story Month! Did you know that?
Dan Wickett, the brain behind Emerging Writers Network and Dzanc Books, has put together a wonderful array of interviews with many of the writers who had short story collections published last year.
He was kind enough to reach out to me to talk about PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
My interview is HERE.
I encourage you to read through the whole month’s posts. It’s a wonderful array of debut, emerging and well-known writers talking about craft, publishing and the beauty of the form.
Thanks so much to Dan for including me in the mix.
There is still one month left to submit to the Pacifica Literary Review’s Summer Fiction Contest – DEADLINE MAY 15th.
I’m this year’s judge and I can’t wait to read your best stories.
But you can’t win if you don’t submit.
So go… right now. Really, right this second. Submit here.
Ann Sihler kindly interviewed me for Kickstart this month.
Amazingly, in a short span of time I manage to insult novelists (without meaning to), blame my kids for my lack of productivity and, luckily, also compliment my husband, Brian Padian.
It’s about short stories, and writing, and living with another creative person, and drawbacks and success and everything in between.
Thanks so much to Ann for the chance to talk about all of it, and to Nancy Woods for her ongoing support of Oregon authors.
I had way, way too much fun talking to Michelle Fredette and Isaac Eldridge in a dark, corner table at a wood-paneled bar on a rain-soaked afternoon during the Wordstock Literary Festival in Portland, Oregon.
Honestly, I could have talked for another hour with them. Plus, they kept pushing pickled vegetables on me.
More importantly, if you don’t already know about this podcast, you should. It’s fantastic and well-produced and they arrange each episode wisely showing you which books and authors were discussed in which order.
Thank so much Michelle and Isaac. I loved every minute.
Many thanks to Alan Rose for this great conversation leading up to October’s WordFest in Longview, WA. And thanks to KLTV and the fine folks operating the audio and camera.
I felt right at home.
Here’s the link to the Book Chat interview with Alan Rose.
And if you’re in Washington, come say hello on Tuesday, October 11 from 6-8.