“I think it really gets at the heart of whatever people perceive themselves to be, as part of a natural system or not.”
“The emotional charge came to light for me. Before [Eulogy for an Owl] was a creative nonfiction, research-based thing that didn’t have any pow to it, didn’t have a story behind it, it was just a fascination for me.”
“It needs to rise like bread, first, before you can take it any further, or let it cool before you frost it.”
“I know not to throw away writing.”
“Writing is a little bit more like quilt making where you keep these other parts and less materializing from thin air.”
“I’m one of those writers who has spurts and dry spells.”
“Other different art forms can inform our writing.”
“I tend to look at my pieces like a box of puppies that need to find homes.”
Great day and a sad day.
Great that I get to share this episode with Mary Heather Noble (@MH_Noble on Twitter). Sad because I had to delete Episodes 1 through 8 from the #CNF archive for storage reasons.
That will likely be the case from now on. Every new episode will kick out the oldest one.
If people want older episodes, I’m working on transcripts (ugh) and possibly putting old episodes on CDs. I admire those folks and podcasts with the budgets to keep all their work up indefinitely, but with no ad revenue or subscription service, I can’t keep pace. It already costs me quite a bit as is.
I welcome Mary Heather Noble, an environmental writer who won Creative Nonfiction’s editor’s prize in Issue 61’s “Learning from Nature” edition. Her essay “Eulogy for an Owl” is a magnificent piece of writing and particularly profound for me it talks about moving out west and the latent guilt of leaving bitter family behind.
Just so you know, the misses and I are totally down with the move, but we receive(d) our fair share of guilt trips, which is particularly maddening, but that’s neither here nor there. We’re here to talk about Mary Heather’s work and her approach.
Housekeeping: Share this episode with someone you think will get value from it, subscribe, leave a 5-star review in your directory of choice. Makes me feel good and will help the podcast reach more people.
I tried something a little new. Not the reading of the essay part. I’ve done that before on the podcast. I added some serious production value to the reading of The Gentleman’s Guide for Arousal-Free Slow Dancing.
I added some music in throughout the piece. I think it helps jazz it up without distracting too much. Let me know what you think because I’ll probably invite writers to read essays and try to do something similar each time.
This essay appeared in Creative Nonfiction No. 62, an issue themed “Joy: Unexpected Brightness in the Darkest Times.”
“You write in isolation and a rejection doesn’t give you a lot of feedback.”—Kim Kankiewicz (@kimprobable)
“What I have to process is my own thoughts and experiences; does that matter to anybody else? The reason I write is to make connections with other people.” —Kim Kankiewicz
Here we are again, picking them off one by one.
Kim Kankiewicz’ essay “Rumors of Lost Stars” won Creative Nonfiction’s best essay contest for Issue 32’s theme of “Joy”. It’s an essay about communal acceptance, overreaching, and then personal acceptance and redemption. She threads this around the mythology of three stars. The parallels between the myths and her story make this essay sing.
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Melissa noted how fun it was to be edited by Maggie Messitt, a former guest on #CNF.
We’re keeping the good times rolling, so let’s not waste any more time. Please subscribe to the podcast, share it with someone you think will dig it, and subscribe to my book recommendations newsletter. It’s all free!
“When it gets too easy, I need to challenge myself and make it harder again.” —Jen Miller
What’s this? Three weeks in a row? It’s happening, folks, and thanks for hanging in while I get my feet back under me after the big, cross-country move.
What better way to follow up that sentence than by talking about Jen Miller (@ByJenAMiller), a runner who wrote the engaging, funny, and raw memoir Running: A Love Story(Seal Press, 2016). It’s about running, love, and control and we talk about that and much more.
We also chat about freelancing and some of the more granular details of the business that I think will benefit any freelancer, novice or expert.
We made it to Episode 30 of the #CNF Podcast! It’s been hit and miss since I started it over three years ago, but the aim is to be more consistent as that’s the only way for it to reach more readers and writers. So go subscribe, if you haven’t already.
I heard somewhere that a podcast has an average run of about seven episodes, yet here we are at Episode 30 of the #CNF Podcast.
That’s on account of the people I hear from who derive some value and entertainment from the interviews. For that I say, Thank you so much. And let’s keep this thing going, let’s try and reach more writers and more readers.
So Episode 30 is a little different than the typical interview format. For this milestone episode—if you’ll indulge me—I chose to read an essay I had published this year in Chautauqua Americana, a literary journal run by Philip and Jill Gerard.
They were gracious enough to nominate this essay for a Pushcart Prize, so without further ado, here’s me reading my essay “That Pickoff Play”.
Paul talked a lot about his own process and how that has changed over the years. He also talked about some of the best advice he can give an aspiring writer: cultivating fandom.
Why don’t you just listen to him?
Go ahead and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. If you think you know someone who would benefit from this interview, share it with them. Also, subscribe to my monthly newsletter. You can preview it here to see what it’s about. Dig it? Then put in your info along the right sidebar.