“I don’t spend a lot of time lingering over breakfast,” he says on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. [Subscribe on the Apple Podcast app or Google Play Music! And leave a review in iTunes. One generous soul has left a 5-star review! Join him/her!]
Check this: When dealing with early drafts (and Dinty writes as many as 40), he says, “I don’t think, ‘Oh, God, I hate myself. I’m a horrible person.’ I think, ‘You know what? I can actually fix this.'”
Great advice for patience and kindness to you and your work.
Please leave a review on iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, and share with a friend.
This week on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast decided to revisit my episode with Roy Peter Clark (@RoyPeterClark on Twitter), this time condensing that two-hour interview and pulling out the best moments.
In it we hear Roy talk about how he learned to swim in the language, the moment he learned the true meaning of literacy, and when research can become crippling.
I’m experimenting with the form and making it more like a mini one-source profile. Let me know what you think. I think it makes for a better overall listen. Ping me on Twitter @BrendanOMeara with thoughts, or to say hi.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple podcast app and on Google Play Music. Leave a rating if you’re feeling extra kind. Those help.
“The punk scene became a pre-Internet web of people for me to connect with.”
“Like any reader, I liked that [words] could take me away.”
“I’m much better on the page than I am verbally.”
“I always wanted to be Hunter S. Thompson without the drugs.”
“It’s not like I pitch an outlet and sit there waiting hopefully.”
“There’s no one right way to do your art.”
Shawna Kenney, author, writer, teacher, coach, editor, joins me on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast to talk about her origin story as a teenage fanzine founder, punk rock, and her delightful short essay “Never Call Yourself a Writer, and Other Rules for Writing,” a brilliant piece of satire.
She grew up in a conservative family in small-town Maryland, so the nearby punk scene in Washington D.C. held tremendous appeal. “I always wanted to be Hunter S. Thompson without the drugs,” Shawna tells me.
Her work has such an edge that I was surprised that she didn’t have that edge in conversation. “I’m much better on the page than I am verbally,” she says, which isn’t true at all. She’s great on the page, and she’s a great conversationalist.
Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the New York Times, Vice, and Playboy, just to name a few. Be sure to follow Shawna on Twitter @ShawnaJKenney and go to her website to read more about her and her work.
“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.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. Badges are over there ===============================================>
Also, I could use some reviews. If you dig the podcast, mind throwing me a bone?