Archive for the 'Fictionaut Five' Category

The creative muses don’t leave forever, just for a time, and the less you worry about it, the quicker they come back.

   Checking in with Flash Party
   Fictionaut Five: Antonya Nelson
   Front Page: July

The benefit of writing (or preferring to write) short stories is that oftentimes a character’s only showing the pointy top of his iceberg-like self, but knowing the giant mass beneath him is quite helpful and interesting to me, his creator. And sometimes he might say or do something that only alludes to that hidden business, and that seems like a very realistic trait of people in the real (as opposed to fictional) world. Then he seems as real as that guy at the grocery who yesterday lost his shit in the dairy aisle because he “cannot handle the cheese made of sheep milk, man!” apropos of absolutely nothing.

   Front Page: July
   Checking in with 2011 and 2012 Publications
   Monday Chat with Bill Yarrow

Here’s one trick: get really drunk or stoned and fall asleep weeping on your keyboard. When you wake up, magical elves will have come in the night and turned your bitter tears into words and paragraphs, just like they made shoes for that shoemaker.
Actually, that doesn’t work most of the time, but I keep trying it.

   Checking in with Paris, France

All of my lifelong favorite novels contain characters who seem so vivid and complex and real, I remember each novel in terms of them — not the plot, not the stylistic devices, but the people in them. I can’t forget them, I continue to think and worry about them after I finish the book — they burst free of the novel and assume independent lives. I remember them as if they were people I’ve known well and will see again some day. They are their novels.

   Monday Chat With Sheldon Lee Compton
   Checking in with Ibbetson Street Press

I find there is always a bit of pathos in the happiest of moments, a dab of humor in the midst of sorrow or at least the memory of happier times that lingers even in our darkest hours.

   Luna Digest, 7/5
   Checking In With The Brooklyner

One exercise I’ve used in class to great effect is to have people map their home ground, or even just a place they remember well. Take 20 minutes to a half hour and draw out everything you can remember about your home when you were a child. Keep going into further detail, or do maps of every place you’ve ever lived, then start associating people with these places. Sooner or later, usually sooner, you’ll find your way into a story or poem.

   Front Page: June
   Monday Chat with Meg Tuite
   Checking in with Couples

Mobile phones are fiction hell. Not because they go off as I work – that’s fine; the distraction is often welcome. It’s the fact of them, that virtually everyone has one, that no one has to go searching for a working pay phone, that meetings don’t have to happen anymore – it’s taking the mobility out of contemporary stories. It’s a challenge. I’m glad I don’t write crime fiction – too much technology.

   Fictionaut Five: Robin Black
   Monday Chat with Matt Potter

I spent close to forty years being an obsessive noticer of how people interact, a private theorist about human behavior and also a collector of the sorts of metaphors that occur in daily life, the way our lived lives seem to run parallel with a kind of naturally occurring symbolic scheme – and suddenly I knew how to convey all of this stored up information.

   Monday Chat with Matt Potter
   Checking In With Narrative Medicine

Get your work done. Richard Yates, Harry Crews, Barry Hannah, Raymond Carver: All of them had addictions of one form or another, but it didn’t stop them from working hard and fast.

   Checking in with The Carnage Conservatory

I’ve always felt that health was the opposite of writing.

   Fictionaut Front Page
   Monday Chat with Jane Hammons
   Checking in with Dirty Theologians


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