The Outrider Podcast

The Laboratory #4 with Stephen McClurg

In this laboratory we have a guest sitting in, Eric Jenkins, erstwhile compatriot for our mostly dormant Eunioa Solstice endeavor. Eric helps us figure out which of the two exercises Stephen completed gets read, and it’s a winner called “Write Club” and that leads to me laughing like a maniac and later a lively discussion about young writers. We talk a bit about Gerard Genette, War and Peace, the need to finish things, what makes successful exercises, and the painful nature of open mic poetry readings in bars. 

You can see exercises and the instructions for the new exercise here: http://jquinnmalott.com/page7/index.html

Stephen McClurg teaches and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. After winning the National Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest, he spent a week writing haiku for the Washington Post‘s blog. In the past he has published articles, essays, reviews, short stories, poems, and comics in newspapers, journals online and otherwise, and appeared in the anthologies You Ain’t No Dancer and Voices from a Safe Harbor. He has written and composed music for award-winning short films, art installations, and dance.

Exercise #4

Write a scene in a setting that is likely to be quite familiar to your readers (supermarket, dormitory, classroom, movie theater, suburban house, etc.) but that is unfamiliar, strange, outlandish, or outrageous to the central character. Let us feel the strangeness through the character's eyes.

The Outrider Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher. You can also listen at my website (http://jquinnmalott.com/index.html). 

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Interview 31 Chris Andersen

Today I talk with Chris Andersen about his mail car, comics, the importance or non-importance of reading fiction, television, and the bad ways we teach literature . . . and we drink. To be honest, Chris stopped by just to plug his new graphic novel, and we ended up talking for almost two hours.

Chris is a comics writer and artist who’s been making comics for over a decade. His work has appeared in Sonatina and Desert Island's Smoke Signal.  His webcomic The Ego & The Squid appears three times a week at doctorsquid.com. He also runs the outsider art blog True Deviance.  Chris’s new project, for which he wrote the script, is Professor Dark (the artist is the mysterious Kang Le) and it is forthcoming from Sonatina, but by donating to the Kickstarter campaign you can get special gifts like other Sonatina titles and original artwork from Professor Dark.

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The Laboratory #3

This month’s Laboratory started off with a sad trombone, as Stephen went off in the sticks with his version of the exercise, and I completely dropped the ball, finishing a paragraph and two sentences. But that, of course, didn’t stop us from having a great conversation and saddling ourselves with another exercise. We ended up talking about Gerard Genette, Scientology, Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Milan Kundera, The Lord of the Flies, a TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on the concept of Flow - something I really needed to watch.

You can see our finished, and our unfinished, exercises here: http://jquinnmalott.com/page7/index.html

Stephen McClurg teaches and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. After winning the National Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest, he spent a week writing haiku for the Washington Post‘s blog. In the past he has published articles, essays, reviews, short stories, poems, and comics in newspapers, journals online and otherwise, and appeared in the anthologies You Ain’t No Dancer and Voices from a Safe Harbor. He has written and composed music for award-winning short films, art installations, and dance.

Exercise 3:

One page. According to Henry James, a writer wrote a novel from a glimpse of a seminary students' dinner party. Write a scene of a story from a glimpse you have had of a group of people--in a cafe, zoo, train, or elsewhere. Sketch the characters in their setting and let them interact. Do you find that you know too little? Can you make up enough--or import from other experiences--to fill the canvas?

Objective: To find out if you can make much out of little. If you can, great. If you can't now, don't worry, you might later, or you'll have to get your stories from other materials.

Check: Can you visualize these people further? Can you begin to hear at least one person speak? If not, go back and find a way of talking that might fit one of the people in the group, and carry on from there.

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Interview 30 Troy James Weaver

In today’s episode I talk with Troy James Weaver about some real inside the Wichita metro area stuff, but then we delve into all sorts of things: the problems with semi-autobiographical fiction, a writer’s education, sticking with the Russian guy, Black Cloud by Juliet Escoria, Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan the role of small presses, having balls and starting literary feuds - and why he misspelled his hometown on the cover of his book.

Troy is the author of two books, both out this year. The first is Witchita Stories, out from Future Tense Books (futuretensebooks.com), and Visions, out from Broken River Books (brokenriverbooks.com). You can grab them online, of course, or hit up your local independent bookstore. 

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The Laboratory #2 with Stephen McClurg

In this episode, Stephen McClurg and I discuss the different ways we approached last month’s exercise rules, and then share our results. This month’s exercise is derived from a method used by Ben Nyberg in his book One Great Way to Write Short Stories. It’s been out of print for quite a while, but you might be able to find on via Abebooks.com. 

You can see our finished exercises here: http://jquinnmalott.com/page7/index.html

Stephen McClurg teaches and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. After winning the National Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest, he spent a week writing haiku for the Washington Post‘s blog. In the past he has published articles, essays, reviews, short stories, poems, and comics in newspapers, journals online and otherwise, and appeared in the anthologies You Ain’t No Dancer and Voices from a Safe Harbor. He has written and composed music for award-winning short films, art installations, and dance.

Exercise #2 Rules

1) Use a violent event from your life

2) Write about the event in first person

3) Rewrite it in third person.

4) Rewrite it again from the other person’s POV

Note on the rules: although this is take from a book on writing short stories, if you want to use the rules to write a poem, that’s cool too. 

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Shoptalk #7 with Gavin Pate

After some wrangling and fuzzy scheduling, it’s finally back on with a new guest. With episode 7 of Shoptalk I bring in Gavin Pate to chat with me about the day-to-day and year-to-year of being a writer in the world when you’re not famous or pushing a brand new book. This is the long haul version of the podcast, unlike the get-to-know-you episodes. In here, we talk shop.

Gavin is Associate Professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College, and the author of the novel The Way to Get Here from Bootstrap Press (http://www.bootstrappress.org/about/). His short fiction has appeared in several journals and been included in the Velvet Anthology Warmed & Bound.

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The Laboratory #1 with Stephen McClurg

Trying something new in this episode. The Laboratory will appear on the first Monday of every month. In each episode, my co-host and I will discuss experimentation in literature (as well as many other things) and - this will be the laboratory part - we’ll assign ourselves a writing exercise each month. This month, it’s a cut-up hybrid exercise. You can find the rules/guidelines at the end of the show notes.

Stephen McClurg teaches and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. After winning the National Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest, he spent a week writing haiku for the Washington Post‘s blog. In the past he has published articles, essays, reviews, short stories, poems, and comics in newspapers, journals online and otherwise, and appeared in the anthologies You Ain’t No Dancer and Voices from a Safe Harbor. He has written and composed music for award-winning short films, art installations, and dance.

Rules for Exercise #1

Use the following three techniques to create a new text. It’s not required to make sense.

1) Take 1-2 pages from a mass market paperback - black out sections or cut up the pages to create a “new” text.

2) incorporate a second none-prose text, either song lyrics, a poem, bits from a screenplay

3) generate original text using automatic/free writing for 5 - 10 minutes.

4) OPTIONAL - try to generate a coherent text or narrative out of the three sections. 

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Special: Genre Wars with Jenn Zukowski

Back in February, Kazuo Ishiguro made a comment in a NY Times article about him and his new novel The Sleeping Giant, that made Ursula K. Le Guin upset enough to write an article defending the fantasy genre and reviewing Ishiguro’s book . . . unfavorably. 

I had read the Electric Literature article and shrugged. My grad school friend, Jenn Zukowski, read the Esquire article and posted it to Facebook, tagging me and asking me what I thought because we’d argued about genre a lot fifteen years ago and, at least between us, settled it.

We decided we’d get together and record a special show where we revisited our old argument in light of this new skirmish in the so-called “Genre Wars.” Jenn was the very first guest on The Outrider Podcast, and she teaches at several Denver area universities specializing in stage combat, creative writing, and literature, including classes on fantasy and children’s lit. You can find out more about Jenn at her blog, https://jennzuko.wordpress.com and you can download her episode of the Outrider Podcast at this page of my website, http://jquinnmalott.com/iframe/page3.html, or http://jquinnmalott.podbean.com .

We hope you enjoy it. 

The Ishiguro vs. Le Guin Articles

NY Times Article on Ishiguro

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/books/for-kazuo-ishiguro-the-buried-giant-is-a-departure.html?_r=0

Ursula K. Le Guin’s smackdown

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/03/02/are-they-going-to-say-this-is-fantasy/

The Electric Literature piece about the dust-up

http://electricliterature.com/the-last-holdouts-of-the-genre-wars-on-kazuo-ishiguro-ursula-k-le-guin-and-the-misuse-of-labels/

The Esquire article about the dust-up

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a33599/genre-fiction-vs-literary-fiction/

A Good Critical analysis of the who she-bang. 

http://flavorwire.com/508134/kazuo-ishiguros-the-buried-giant-and-the-tyranny-of-genre-fiction

Older articles about the Genre Wars and the Pullman speech

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/may/17/genre-wars-fiction-book-trade

http://www.tessgerritsen.com/genre-wars-never-seem-to-end/

http://flavorwire.com/487948/the-secret-truce-in-the-literary-genre-wars

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/05/are-the-genre-wars-won

http://creativewritingguild.com/lesson/sa/micros-pedestal-literary-elitism-and-the-genre-wars/

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/books/game-of-thrones-george-r-r-martin-fights-the-genre-wars/

The Pullman Speech

http://www.randomhouse.com/features/pullman/author/carnegie.php

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Episode 29 Lynn Sloan

In this episode I talk with author Lynn Sloan about the ghettoization of writers, the assumption of quiet domesticity,  the fact that old white men aren’t alone on top of the great mountain of literature, and her years as a photographer, including her time in New York working for a major magazine that made a game out of sneaking a picture of naked breasts into each issue.

Lynn is the author of Principles of Navigation, out now from Fomite Press. Lynn has had short stories appear in such journals as Sou’wester, Nimrod, and Puerto Del Sol, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Award. She’s also been a finalist for the Dana Award and the Katherine Anne Porter Prize. Before writing, she was a photographer whose fine art photographs had been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. You can learn more about Lynn at her website http://www.lynnsloan.com and you can learn more about her publisher, Fomite, at http://fomitepress.com/FOMITE/Home.html 

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Episode 28 Greg Michalson

In this episode, I talk with Greg Michalson, editor and co-publisher of Unbridled Books about his partnership with Fred Ramey, Greg’s time at The Missouri Review, influences like William Peden and Thomas McAfee (a collection of work is coming out this spring), Booches bar, messing with Texas, and the difficult conflict between being an editor and writer at the same time.

You can learn more about Unbridled Books, and the excellent work that Greg does, at http://unbridledbooks.com

Throughout the years, Greg and his publishing partner, Fred, have shepherded many find books into the world, such as Susan Vreeland’s bestseller, Girl in Hyacinth Blue, and Patricia Henley’s National Book Award finalist, Hummingbird House. Not to mention launching the career of recent NBA finalist Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven).

The Outrider Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher. You can also listen at my website (http://jquinnmalott.com/index.html). 

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