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5 Burning Questions With JP Allen

  1. What’s the worst thing about writing?
Talking about it with other people.
  1. What do you do when people ask “How’s your writing goin?
Answer honestly, then feel embarrassed about how easy it is for me to describe what I can’t help feeling should be a much more mysterious, magical process.
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many nouns as possible.

Writing is excess is boredom is nothing is life is nothing is poetry is timing is everything is promise is family is partner is ex-partner is nonviolence is hope is pessimism is city is town is country is translation is apocalypse is past is machine is all is intelligence is artificial is sheet is leaf is water is home.

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
I’m going to quote Jaida Griffin, a poet whom I met through Writers in Baltimore Schools, on why she prefers poetry to fiction: “I don’t like breaking rules–I like breaking systems.”
  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

I’m too indecisive for favorites (color, food, word, movie…) but I just learned a word I love: plangent. It means “plaintive/mournful” but also “loud/resounding.” It’s important to be precise about sorrow.

To learn more about JP, come to Charmington’s on Oct. 11 at 7 PM and talk to him. Maybe not about writing, though. Or do! He probably won’t be too plangent.

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An Interview With Theresa Columbus

Come to Charmington’s next Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 PM and maybe Theresa Columbus will let you choose one of her handkerchiefs to keep. In the meantime, checkout this interview with Theresa which was featured on What Weekly, and find out what’s with this handkerchief talk.

You can also find out more about Theresa’s work at http://www.theresacolumbus.com.

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5 Burning Questions With Tom Monteleone

  1. What’s the worst thing about writing?
The concept of not getting paid for your work.
  1. What do you do when people ask “How’s your writing goin?
I tell them the same as it’s been for the last forty years. . .which is smokin’!
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many nouns as possible.

Entertaining. Illuminating. Demanding. Fulfilling. Nouns? What nouns?

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
The challenge of doing it better each time I touch the keyboard. 
  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

My favorite word is Tom—for obvious reasons. 

Bonus question: Macgyver has been rebooted and stars the actor who played “Havok” in the X-Men reboots. Like, what’s going on with that? How do you feel? Does it comfort you to know that while the new Macgyver doesn’t have a mullet, his hair is quite voluminous?

I didn’t watch the original iteration and have no need to watch the mullet-less one either.  

Want more from Tom? Visit www.borderlandspress.com to read his blog and come to Charmington’s on Oct. 11 at 7 PM to see him read!

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5…er, 4, no wait, still technically 5 Burning Questions With Khaliah Williams

  1. What’s the easiest thing about writing?
I don’t know that there is anything easy about writing. While there are times when I feel compelled to pick up a pen and work on something without hesitating, there are other times when I like it’s the last thing I want to do.  I also have to go through so many drafts that it can take years to produce a draft I’m proud to have written. I think the only thing that easy about writing is having a passion for it.
  1. What do you do to cultivate your next idea?
I sit with it for a long, long time. And then I talk about it sparingly. I don’t really get too deep into an idea until I sit down to start writing it.
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many adverbs as possible.

 

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
I’ve always liked telling stories. I realize that response is as basic as I can get but it’s the truth. I really like telling stories. If I didn’t have such terrible stage fright, I’d probably do something like The Stoop on a regular basis. I like drawing people into a compelling story and getting their reaction as the story plays out. I have a younger cousin who has never really been a big reader, so I started sending her books last fall. I love the text messages she sends me after she finishes a book I’ve sent her, she’s excited, frustrated and enamored at the same time. It’s why I write fiction, to create a complete, real, world that readers can get excited about, or frustrated by or fall in love with. It’s why I write.
  1. When you introduce yourself to someone new, do you identify as a writer? Tell us about that.

I do! I mean I also say that I’m a college counselor and a teacher but “writer” is as much a part of my identity as those other titles. Maybe even more so because it’s been the dominating part of my life for the past 10 years. It took me a long time to own it because I’ve been working my book for so long.

Bonus question: What’s a movie that’s superior to the book? Why is it better?

This might be a cliche but I really love The Godfather. I’ve actually read the book several times and I like it a great deal but I think the casting of that movie is sublime in Parts I and II.  

Visit www.blogspot.writesreadsknits.com to learn more about Khaliah or follow her on Instagram @khaliah.

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5 Burning Questions With Jordannah Elizabeth

  1. What’s the easiest thing about writing?
It is natural for me. I take solace in it. I am in love with words so there is rarely a time when I don’t want to write. I mean, I have to work at it. I learn from mentors and read about the craft, but 90% of my writing process is instinctual and intuitive.
  1. What do you do to cultivate your next idea?
I just live life. I pretty much just day dream and ideas come to me. Sometimes, I follow a pattern of a thesis or cognitive process of past articles. Other times, I think about a publication I work for and just imagine what might be a good fit depending in what I know about the publication, the readership, my editor’s taste and what I know about the city if it is a local or regional publication.
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many adverbs as possible.

I think a lot about writing and at the same time I don’t think about it about it at all. I have an instinctual relationship with writing. I am a journalist because I am naturally curious. Writing is just intertwines with my personality, my emotions and style of communication. It is a part of who I am.

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
I mainly write journalism and nonfiction, but I have some fiction writing I am working on and plan to publish some day. I am drawn to journalism because I move and think fast. I love to stay busy and editors tend to like to keep me busy. I like the challenging and pace of journalism and I like to uncover small mysteries or unfold a person’s thoughts and dreams from questions and interviews. Every article I write is like a small quest for discovery.
  1. When you introduce yourself to someone new, do you identify as a writer? Tell us about that.

I identify as a writer because it is my job. It is my career.

Bonus question: What’s a movie that’s superior to the book? Why is it better?

I think adapting books to film is a sacrilege. I would rather see books become plays.

Visit http://jordannahelizabeth.tumblr.com to learn more about Jordannah Elizabeth.

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5 Burning Questions with CL Bledsoe

  1. What’s the easiest thing about writing?
The easiest thing about writing is sitting down. Everything after that is a horrorshow.
  1. What do you do to cultivate your next idea?
Ideas usually come when I’m doing something else. I’ll be saving an orphan puppy’s life from an asteroid strike when the idea for a great poem hits. I try to fend off the invading alien hordes long enough to jot it down until I can develop it, later, after I’ve saved humanity again.
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many adverbs as possible.

Much of my writing has been a way to figure out how to live in the world in such a way that I won’t regret it too much. Call it ethics or being aware of the impact I have on others. Of course, this mostly involves creating a false narrative so that the audience won’t know what a jerk I am. Mostly.

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
I process my life through writing. I’m not sure how I feel about something until I write about it. I write every genre, so I guess I have a fear of commitment.
  1. When you introduce yourself to someone new, do you identify as a writer? Tell us about that.

Of all the lies I tell strangers, me being a writer is the least impressive.

Bonus question: What’s a movie that’s superior to the book? Why is it better?

Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson. Two words: Lethal Weapon in a Castle.

Visit http://clbledsoe.blogspot.com to learn more about CL Bledsoe.

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May the Recap Be With You

Wow! What a night; what a crowd! What writers; what words!

We would like to thank all of you that came out to our May reading, and continue to support our reading series month-in and month-out. Every month is a success, and that comes down to very little of our doing. It’s you, you wonderful humans, that make Writers & Words a thing. A million little thank you’s that bridge the cyber gap from us to you!

We would also like to send out a heartfelt tip of the hat to our amazing readers that continue to bring the goods every single time we set up a microphone at Charmingtons. If you didn’t get a chance to hear Jose Diaz’s nonfiction about family and his deployment in the Navy, or Stephanie Joyal’s thought-provoking words on Baltimore and race, or Courtney Sender’s magical story about angels on stilts, or Sadie Rae’s beautifully sonic poems, then you missed out.

The only thing saving you is the pictures we take, and really, that doesn’t nearly do it justice. Check them out below, and see you next month, humans!