The Outrider Podcast

Shoptalk #3 With Stephen McClurg

Start with Mingus’ Ah Um. 

That’s all you need to know.

You can learn more about McClurg and his work at Mr. McClurg’s Marginalia https://mrmcclurg.wordpress.com 

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Interview 33 with Elise Blackwell

In today’s conversation, I talk with Elise Blackwell about her family’s history in Louisiana like having Faulkner set his dogs set on her grandfather, getting in a car wreck with Ralph Ellison, and many many other things, our first terrible stories, her time as a journalist, why are Souther Writers such a “thing,” choosing to write outside of ourselves rather than autobiographically, the Naropa Audio Archives, and standing up Michael Ondaatje, and other things that keep our writing egos in check.

Elise is the author of five novels, Hunger, Grub, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, An Unfinished Score, and The Lower Quarter that was recently released by Unbridled Books. Her books have been selected for several end-of-the-year best of lists, including the Los Angeles Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the New Orleans Times Picayune. Her novel Hunger was the inspiration for the song “When the War Came” by the Decembrists. You can read more about Elise and her books at http://eliseblackwell.com

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

The intro and outdo music is the song WWOZ by Better than Ezra off their album Friction Baby.

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Shoptalk with Stephen McClurg Ep. 2

Call this the short and dirty show notes edition. Stuff. 

Look up:

Ghoulanoids

https://www.tumblr.com/search/ghoulanoids

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25723988-ghoulanoids

Ray Harryhausen

http://www.rayharryhausen.com

You can learn more about McClurg and his work at Mr. McClurg’s Marginalia https://mrmcclurg.wordpress.com 

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

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Interview 32: Virginia Pye

In my first interview in a long time, I chat with author Virginia Pye about her mother’s southern heritage, her father’s family’s missionary past in China, and his career in China and her faint childhood memories. We also talked about being a third child, and the first the first book she remembers reading, writing her first poem, writing with and without an outline, and early influence and writing the giant epic only find out it should be a short novel.

Virginia is the author of River of Dust, which was an Indie Next Pick, and 2014 Virginia Literary Awards Finalist. Her new novel is the just released Dreams of the Red Phoenix, from Unbridled Books. Virginia short fiction and essays have appeared in such places as the North American Review, The Tampa Review, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. You can read more about Virginia, and get her books by visiting her website at http://www.virginiapye.com/index.html , or go straight for the interviews and reviews at http://www.virginiapye.com/pyeinthemedia.html 

If you happen to be in shouting distance of the east coast, you can see her in Providence, RI on October 7, Richmond, VA on October 11th, and Cambridge, MA on October 14th. You can catch all of her event details at http://www.virginiapye.com/virginiapyeevent.html 

The intro and outdo music for this episode is Bad Religion’s song “Stranger than Fiction” from their 1994 album Stranger than Fiction.

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Shoptalk with Stephen McClurg

Hey, we’re back! Sorry for the inadvertent long hiatus. Things needed to be physically and emotionally reorganized. Here’s how it’ll fall out. The Shoptalk episodes with Stephen McClurg will be released sometime during the week immediately following the first Saturday of each month. Interviews with writers will be released in blocks during the fall and spring: I hope to have five to six interviews to be released at one week intervals at that time. Spot interview can happen any time I get the chance to talk to someone interesting. And, finally, I may do some experimentations (essays, random thoughts, etc.), if the mood and opportunity presents itself. 

So, in this episode Stephen and I covered: 

Invasions by the psychotic ballerinas, Hell in the Pacific and Enemy Mine are the same movie, Toilet stories from childhood, comics and poetry chapbooks, finishing the novel, and needing to finish the book, submitting and the query letter, Elizabethtown and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Night terrors, and #franzenairquotes while we attempt to talk intelligently about Jonathan Franzen while having read a combined total of ten pages of his writing.

Here’s an interesting piece McClurg wrote that was inspired by night terrors. http://blog.wpunj.edu/mapliterary/2012/10/stephen-mcclurg/

You can learn more about McClurg and his work at Mr. McClurg’s Marginalia https://mrmcclurg.wordpress.com 

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

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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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