Monday, December 09, 2019

A Writer's 12 Minute Tonic: Annie Thoe's Feldenkrais "Sliding Thumbs" Exercise to Free Your Neck and Shoulders

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my  workshop page.)
We writers don’t just live in our heads, of course: we all have bodies. If we are uncomfortable physically in any way it is not impossible to write, but it doesn’t help! Count me a big fan of Annie Thoe’s YouTube channel “Sensing Vitalty,” which is chock full of her free, easy to follow, and highly effective Feldenkrais exercises. A recent one she offers is this simple exercise to relieve shoulder and neck pain––which we all get from sitting scrunched in front of a computer screen, no? Like all Feldenkrais exercises >>CONTINUE READING THIS POST ON THE NEW PLATFORM AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, December 02, 2019

Great Power in One: Miss Charles Emily Wilson

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This the longform essay I read for the Marfa Mondays podcast, which will be available for listening for free on both iTunes and Podomatic next week. In the meantime, you can listen in to the other 20 podcasts anytime via ww.cmmayo.com/marfa
C.M. Mayo has written widely about Mexico, Texas, and the US-Mexico borderlands. Among her works are Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, which won the Indie Excellence Award for History, and The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2009. She is also a noted translator of Mexican literature and the editor of Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. A native of El Paso, in 2017 she was elected a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. 
GREAT POWER IN ONE:
MISS CHARLES EMILY WILSON 
BY C.M. MAYO
We tell our stories not just to rehearse the past 
but also to condition the present and, thereby, 
to prepare the future.
Bruce Jackson, The Story Is True
PART I
In our screen-enthralled world with entertainment at a click, how easy it is to underestimate the transcendent power of an oral historian such as Miss Charles Emily Wilson of Brackettville, Texas. 
 Picture her as she appears in Jeff Guinn’s Our Land Before We Die: The Proud Story of the Seminole Negro: an elderly lady on her garden-chair throne on her float in Brackettville’s Seminole Days parade. It is the year 2000. Her face bright below the shadow of her broad-brimmed hat, she wears a double-strand of pearls, a flowered skirt. A big purse balances on her knees. Two children, perhaps first graders, sit each in their folding-chair on either side of her. Even today, after books and articles by anthropologists, historians, and journalists, and after TV reports, documentaries, YouTube videos, websites, and swirls of social media posts have appeared about the history that she preserved by telling the stories of her ancestors again and again, decade after decade, to students, to anyone interested, not many people in Texas, never mind beyond Texas, have heard of her people, never mind of her. But everyone watching that parade on that day, as she sailed by, waving, would have known exactly who she was.
>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST ON THE NEW SITE WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, November 25, 2019

Q & A: Bruce Berger on "A Desert Harvest"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.


Very late in the game, albeit well more than a decade ago, I learned of Bruce Berger’s work when I happened upon Almost an IslandTravels in Baja California in a California bookshop.. >> READ THIS POST ON THE NEW PLATFORM AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, September 30, 2019

Cyberflanerie: Bill Cunningham, Brattlecast, Rudy Rucker, Sturmfrei & More

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
As of 2019, when there is one, the fifth Monday of the month rounds up some cyberflanerie. >>CONTUNUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, September 23, 2019

Q & A: Clifford Garstang Author of “The Shaman of Turtle Valley”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.
>> READ THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, September 16, 2019

Frederick Turner’s “In the Land of the Temple Caves: From St. Emilion to Paris’ St. Sulpice, Notes on Art and the Human Spirit”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

Thanks to my fellow typospherian Joe van Cleave's recommendation, in Frederick Turner’s In the Land of the Temple Caves: From St. Emilion to Paris’ St. Sulpice I now have both a sparkling addition to my annual Top Books Read (posted every December) and to my workshop’s list of recommended literary travel memoirs. What prompted me to read In the Land of the Temple Caves, aside from an avid interest in American literary travel memoir, is that I’ve been a devotée of rock art ever since I first encountered some jaw-dropping examples of it in remotest Baja California and, as those of you who follow this blog well know, I have long been at work on a book about Far West Texas, and that includes the Lower Pecos which has some the most spectacular and ancient rock art of the Americas. 
>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM


Monday, September 09, 2019

“Advice for Writers”: Spotlight on US Poet, Playwright and Translator Zack Rogow, and His Mega-Rich Resource of a Blog

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my  workshop page.)
This past spring I attended the Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference and bookfair, where I read from Meteor, my book of poetry, as part of the Gival Press 20th anniversary celebration. AWP is not for the FOMO-ly challenged. In the crowd of 15,000+ conference-goers I missed many events and many friends, among them the poet, playwright and translator Zack Rogow. And it didn’t seem at all right to have missed Rogow for, the last time I was at AWP, it was to participate on his panel with Mark Doty and Charles Johnson, “Homesteading on the Digital Frontier: Writers’ Blogs,” one of the crunchiest conference panels ever. (You can read the transcript of my talk about blogs here.)

Should you try to attend AWP next spring 2020 in San Antonio? Of course only you know what’s right for you. But I can say this much: AWP can be overwhelming, an experience akin to a fun house ride and three times through the TSA line at the airport with liquids… while someone drones the William Carlos Williams white chickens poem… AWP can also prove Deader than Deadsville, if what you’re after is, say, an agent for your thriller. Book Expo it ain’t. 
On the bright side, however, Zack Rogow attends AWP. He is one of the most talented and generous poets and translators I know. Watch this brief documentary about his life and work and I think you’ll understand why I say this:
>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, September 02, 2019

Catamaran Literary Reader and My Translation of Mexican Writer Rose Mary Salum’s “The Aunt”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

I am delighted and honored to announce that my translation of Mexican writer Rose Mary Salum’s short story “La tía” as “The Aunt” appears in the shiny new Fall 2019 issue of Catamaran Literary Reader– check it out here. 

“The Aunt” is from The Water That Rocks the Silence, Salum’s collection of linked stories set in Lebanon, two other stories of which have previously appeared in Catamaran. Originally published in Spanish as El agua que mece el silencio (Vaso Roto, 2015), it won the International Latino Book Award and the prestigious Panamerican Award Carlos Montemayor.

>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST ON THE NEW PLATFORM WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, August 26, 2019

August From the Archives: Q & A with Shelley Armitage on “Walking the Llano”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
August 2019 finds me on vacation. Nonetheless, each Monday this month I will be offering posts from the archive (as usual, look for a workshop post on the second Monday, Q & A with a fellow writer on the fourth Monday).
Q & A WITH SHELLEY ARMITAGE 
ON WALKING THE LLANO
Originally posted on Madam Mayo blog August 21, 2016
The week before last, I posted a brief but glowing note about Shelley Armitage’s Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place. This week I am delighted to share with you the author’s answers to my questions about her lyrical and illuminating memoir of growing up in and later returning to explore the area around Vega, Texas
>> CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, August 19, 2019

August from the Archives: On the Trail of the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos

By C.M. Mayo

August 2019 finds me on vacation. Nonetheless, each Monday this month I will be offering posts from the archive (as usual, look for a workshop post on the second Monday, Q & A with a fellow writer on the fourth Monday).

>>READS THIS POST ON THE NEW PLATFORM AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, August 12, 2019

August from the Archives: "Podcasting for Writers: To Commit Or Not (Or Vaguely?)

August 2019 finds me on vacation. Nonetheless, each Monday this month I will be offering posts from the archive (as usual, look for a workshop post on the second Monday, Q & A with a fellow writer on the fourth Monday).


PODCASTING FOR WRITERS: 
TO COMMIT, OR NOT (OR VAGUELY?)
Originally posted on Madam Mayo blog, January 13, 2016
By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my  workshop page.)
Now that I’m working on my 54th podcast, I’ll admit, I love podcasting almost as much as writing. Starting back in 2009 I’ve podcasted many of my lectures, readings, and other events for my books, plus I created and continue to host two podcast series, “Marfa Mondays” and “Conversations with Other Writers.” It remains just as awesome to me now as it was with my first podcast that, whether rich or struggling, famous or new, we writers can project our voices instantly all over the world, while making them available to listeners at any time.

But first, what is a podcast? I often say it’s an online radio show. But the truth is, it’s a much wilder bouquet of possibilities.

>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST ON THE NEW PLATFORM AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, August 05, 2019

August From the Archives: “12 Tips for Summer Day Hiking in the Desert (How to Stay Cool and Avoid Actinic Keratosis, Blood, and Killer Bees)”

August 2019 finds me on vacation. Nonetheless, each Monday this month I will be offering posts from the archive (as usual, look for a workshop post on the second Monday; Q & A with a fellow writer on the fourth Monday).
12 Tips for Summer Day Hiking in the Desert 
(How to Stay Cool and Avoid Actinic Keratosis, 
Blood, and Killer Bees)
By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
C’est moi on (whew) August 30, 2014 at Meyers Spring, an important rock art site of the Lower Pecos, on the US-Mexico border near Dryden, Texas. As you can see, in my left hand, I am carrying a
white umbrella. So I didn’t need the hat. And that black backpack wasn’t the best idea. I also should have worn a lightweight bandana. Oh, and more sunblock. Always more sunblock. Long-sleeved white shirt and hiking trousers both excellent choices, however.

>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, July 22, 2019

Q & A: Eric Barnes on "Above the Ether" and Turning It All Off

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

It was about a decade ago that I first came across Eric Barnes‘ work, when we both had novels with Unbridled Books– his was a dark comedy about high tech, Shimmer. Now I am delighted to learn about his latest, just out from Arcade Publishing: Above the Ether. It promises to be an exceptionally good read. Booklist says: “Barnes’ spare and chilling prose flows from one horrific scene to another without, surprisingly, alienating his readers, perhaps because the heart of his narrative ultimately reveals an abiding faith in the power of human compassion. A first-rate apocalyptic page-turner.”
>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, July 08, 2019

“Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less” by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

REST: My writing assistant demonstrates the concept. With snoring.

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my  workshop page.)

>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, July 01, 2019

Lonn Taylor (1940-2019) and Don Graham (1940-2019), Giants Among Texas Literati

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


Say “Texas” and the images that pop into most people’s minds do not include literary figures and their oeuvres. But trust me, as one who has been working on a book about Far West for more years than I care to count, Texas has one helluva literary culture, a long-standing and prodigious production, yea verily flowing out as if by pumpjacks, and if not all, a head-swirling amount of it is finer than fine, and there are legions of readers who sincerely appreciate and celebrate it, as do I. 

Know this: Lonn Taylor and Don Graham, both of whom just passed away, were giants among Texas literati. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Q & A: Diana Anhalt on her Poetry Collection "Walking Backward"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

We have never met, but I feel as if we have. I think this is always true when one has read another’s such wonderful writing. But I did “meet” Diana Anhalt, in a matter of speaking, when years ago, she sent me a selection from her powerful and fascinating history / memoir of growing up in Mexico City, A Gathering of Fugitives: American Political Expatriates in Mexico 1948-1965. When, sometime later, I read the entirety of that beautifully written book itself–which I admiringly recommend to anyone with an interest in Mexico–I wrote to her, and we have kept in touch ever since. Apart from writing poetry and essay, we have this common: a lifetime, it seems, of living in Mexico City, and married to a Mexican. By the time we found each other’s work, however, Diana and her husband Mauricio had left “the endless city” for Atlanta, Georgia. (But ojalá, we will meet one day outside of cyberspace soon!)

Her latest, just out from Kelsay Books, is Walking Backward. From her publisher’s website, her author bio:


>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, June 17, 2019

Journal of Big Bend Studies: “The Secret Book by Francisco I. Madero”

Nope, that is not Francisco I. Madero,
pictured right, but J.J. Kilpatrick,
subject of Lonn Taylor’s fascinating article
in this same issue of the
Journal of Big Bend Studies, vol. 29, 2017.
By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

A belated but delighted announcement: my article, “The Secret Book by Francisco I. Madero, Leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution” which is an edited transcript of my talk about my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution (which is about and includes my translation of Manual espírita), came out in the Journal of Big Bend Studies in 2017. 

Because I am a literary writer, not an academic historian, it is a special an honor to have my work published in an outstanding scholarly journal of the Texas-Mexico borderlands.


For those rusty on their borderlands and Mexican history, Francisco I. Madero was the leader of Mexico’s 1910 revolution– the first major revolution of the 20th century– and President of Mexico from 1911-1913. This was not only a transformative episode for Mexico, but also for Texas.
My book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual, came out in 2014 (also in Spanish, translated by Agustín Cadena as Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución MexicanaFrancisco I. Madero y su libro secreto, Manual espírita, from Literal Publishing.) So far so good: it has been cited already in a number of scholarly works about Madero and the Revolution.

Yes, Metaphysical Odyssey, is a peculiar title. In the article, I explain why I chose it and why, much as readers groan about it, I would not change it.

> Read the article here. (I had posted an earlier only partially edited PDF at this link; in case you’ve already seen it, as of June 17, 2019, it has been updated.) And you can order a copy of the actual printed article with all photos, and of the complete issue from the Center for Big Bend Studies here.
A few of the photos, not in the PDF:
>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Writerly Tool for Sharpening Attentional Focus or, The Easy Luxury of a Lap Desk

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)


My writing assistant presents the lap desk. He likes the lap desk.
It means we all sit together on the sofa.


As far as the need for equipment goes, writing is not like casting bronze sculpture. All you need is a pencil and paper–any scrap will do. The formidable challenge most writers face is managing their attentional focus, that is to say, their ability to actually sit down and, ahem, actually write. 

Sheer willpower isn’t the only thing needed, however. Habits, even tiny habits, can help enormously. Here’s where some writerly material tools can be useful… perhaps. I say “perhaps” because what works for one writer may not necessarily work for another.

What do I mean by “writerly material tools”? Well, you could have a special pencil and make a ritual of sharpening your special pencil– so there you have a pencil, and you have a pencil sharpener. Not a budget buster. If you don’t know what to do with your money, why, you could go gung-ho for such writerly material tools as a gold-plated typewriter with your name engraved in curlicues or, say, some rococo-rama iteration of George Bernard Shaw’s rotating writing shed. >>Continue reading this post at WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, June 03, 2019

“What Happened to the Dog?” A Story About a Typewriter, Actually, Typed on a 1967 Hermes 3000

Of late I have become an enthusiast of typewriting— the machine I am working on these days is a refurbished Swiss-made 1967 Hermes 3000, and quite the workhorse it is! (Ribbons? Kein Problem.) Of course I do most of my writing on my computer using Microsoft Word; WordPress for this blog; not to mention multitudinous hours spent with ye olde email program. But for laser-level attentional focus–and percussive energy!– the typewriter is something special, and as time goes by, the more I use it, the more I appreciate it. In fact, I now use my typewriter for one thing or another (drafts, notes, letters, recipe cards) almost every day.

Though I have yet to meet him in person, my mentor in the Typosphere is none other than Richard Polt, professor of philosophy at Xavier University and the author of some heavy-weight tomes on Heidegger, and, to the point, a practical manual I often consult, and warmly recommend to anyone thinking of buying a typewriter, or, say, hauling Grandpa’s out of some cobwebbed corner of the garage: The Typewriter Revolution. As “Richard P.” Professor Polt also maintains a blog of the same name. And now he, Frederic S. Durbin, and Andrew V. McFeaters, have put together a pair of anthologies, both just published, the second of which, Escapements: Typewritten Tales from Post-Digital Worlds (Loose Dog Press, 2019), includes a story of mine: “What Happened to the Dog?”

(Well, I guess it got loose, haha.)

>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, May 27, 2019

Q & A: Donna Baier Stein on "Scenes from the Heartland" and "Tiferet"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.
It has been more than a couple of years now since I participated as faculty at the San Miguel Writers Conference, but shining bright in my memory is a chat in the emerald cool shade of some palm trees there with Donna Baier Stein. And then we crossed paths again at the Women Writing the West Conference. Pequeño mundo! And at some point in between, to my great honor, she published an excerpt from my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, in her journal, Tiferet. Donna Baier Stein’s latest book is a collection of short stories inspired by artworks by Thomas Hart Benton– one of the greatest of the greats among American artists, and a personal favorite of mine. >>CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, May 20, 2019

Why Do Old Books Smell? / Plus from the Archives: "What the Muse Sent Me About the Tenth Muse, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

A most wonderful rare book about a 17th century American poet, whom I aim to write about, has arrived in my library. But phew, it STINKS. It stinks so nasty, I cannot even bear to read half a page of it.
>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, May 13, 2019

BatCat Press' Call for Submissions, Plus from the Archives: "Out of the Forest of Noise: On Publishing the Literary Short Story"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)

Now that anyone and everyone and their dog, cat, budgie, llama, and chartreuse polkadot giraffe can start a blog, or for that matter an online magazine (dub your blog an online magazine, pourquoi pas?), I am rarely asked, with that gaze of yearning, as I so often was twenty years ago, how can I get published? These days, um, lift a finger and click “publish.” 

Nonetheless it remains a fact that for most poetry, short stories, and literary essays, discerning readers will be easier to come by when said work is brought out not by its author, but by a print magazine or imprint of repute. (There are exceptions, but that would be another blog post.)

Back at the end of March I attended the annual AWP bookfair— this is the biggest litmag scene in the US– and what struck me about it was how little things had changed in the past 20 years. There were Poet Lore, the Paris Review, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction— a whole host of venerable litmags that have been around since forever. (In the case of Poet Lore, that would be 1889.)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Michael F. Suarez’s Ted Talk “Glorious Bookishness: Learning Anew in the Material World” / Plus, From the Archives: “Translating Across the (US-Mexico) Border”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
My favorite rare book historian Michael F. Suarez, SJ gives this excellent talk for TEDxCharlotteville:
#
AND FROM THE MADAM MAYO ARCHIVES…
Poco a poco (bit by bit), since January of this year I have been migrating selected and updated posts from Madam Mayo’soriginal Google Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress here at www.madam-mayo.comMadam Mayo goes all the way back to the Cambrianesquely Blogasonic Explosion, I mean, um, 2006… This past week I’ve worked a bit on the translation posts, among them:
TRANSLATING ACROSS THE BORDER
Originally posted October 29, 2015
Edited Transcript of a Talk by C.M. Mayo
at the annual conference of the
American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
Muchísimas gracias, Mark Weiss, and thank you also to my fellow panelists, it is an honor to sit on this dias with you. Thank you all for coming. It is especially apt to be talking about translating Mexican writing here, a jog from the Mexican border, in Tucson—or Tuk-son as the Mexicans pronounce it.
I grew up in Northern California and was educated in various places but mainly the University of Chicago. As far as Mexico went, until I was in my mid-twenties, I had absorbed, to use historian John Tutino’s term, the “enduring presumptions.” Translation: I had zero interest in Mexico.
You know that old saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans?
# # # # # 
>Your comments are always welcome. Click here to send me an email.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Q & A: Joseph Hutchison, Poet Laureate of Colorado, on "The World As Is"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

JOSEPH HUTCHISON, POET LAUREATE OF COLORADO

The World As Is: New and Selected Poems 1972-2015 by Joseph Hutchison
Photo by C.M. Mayo. 
(My own fave is “Poem to Be Kept Like a Candle, In Case of Emergencies.”)
One of the blogs I’ve been following for a good long time is poet Joseph Hutchison’s The Perpetual Bird. We have never met in person but I feel as if we have; moreover, we have friends in common, among them, poet, essayist and translator Patricia Dubrava– and if my memory serves, it was her blog, Holding the Light, that first sent me to The Perpetual Bird. Here on my desk I have Hutchison’s collection of his works of several decades, The World As Is. From publisher NYQ Books’ catalog copy:   >> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, April 15, 2019

Texas Pecan Pie for Dieters, Plus from the Archives: A Review of James McWilliams' "The Pecan"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

What’s a Texas pecan pie for dieters? It’s the same as the normal pie– loads of pecans, butter, and sugar– but it’s a tiny pie. And I happen to have the perfect tiny Texas pie dish for it– a work of art by Alpine, Texas-based ceramic artist Judy Howell Freeman. It’s one of the loveliest pie dishes I have ever seen. My photo does not do it justice.




[>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST ON WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM]

Monday, April 08, 2019

This Writer’s Distraction Free Smartphone (DFS): First Quarter Update

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)


As a writer your foremost resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus.


Your foremost writerly resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus. The Muse can gift you with a zillion ideas every minute of the day, but if you cannot plant yourself in your chair and stay focused on your writing, your book will ever and always remain an unfulfilled wish, a ghost of your imagination. 

Most people have forfeited more than a generous portion of their attentional focus to their smartphones– to checking and scrolling through text messages, social media feeds, games, shopping, news, YouTube videos & etc. Ergo, I would suggest that if you want to get some writing done, don’t be like most people: consider your smartphone use. Very carefully.

And honestly. Yes, smartphones are gee-whiz useful. But when you consider how much of your time and attention they can so easily suck up, day after day after day, you can recognize how exceedingly dangerous they are to you as a writer.


Monday, April 01, 2019

AWP 2019 (Think No One Is Reading Books and Litmags Anymore?)

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


After attending for more years than I can count, I swore off the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs after Seattle 2014 in lieu of fewer, more narrowly focused, and smaller writers conferences. If you’re not familiar with it, AWP is huger than H*U*G*E, with an eye-addling and foot blister-inducing bookfair, plus endless panels, scads of receptions (free cheese cubes!), readings, and more readings, and even more readings. Finding friends at AWP oftentimes feels like trying to meet up at Grand Central Station at rush hour. Of the few panels that do appeal, dagnabbit, they somehow occupy the same time slot. Then try finding a table for an impromptu group of 13 on Friday at 7 PM! But sometimes, never mind, it all aligns beautifully and you can find friends and inspiration and new friends and all whatnot!

>> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, March 25, 2019

Q & A: W. Nick Hill on "Sleight Work" and Mucho Más

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

I was delighted to get the announcement for Sleight Work from W. Nick Hill, a poet and translator I have long admired. Sleight Work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License. The author invites you to download the free PDF from his website and have a read right now!


Here is one of the poems from W. Nick Hill’s Sleight Work which seems to me the very spirit of the book:

NOTICE


by W. Nick Hill

I live in a desert at the mouth of a mine.

The rocks and geodes I leave out on the sand.

If something fits your hand

Go ahead with it.

[>>CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM]

Monday, March 18, 2019

"Silence" and "Poem" on the 1967 Hermes 3000

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
My writing assistant wonders…. um, why?
Truly, I am not intending to collect typewriters. All shelf space is spoken for by books!! Last week I brought home a 1967 Hermes 3000 because (long story zipped) my 1961 Hermes 3000 is temporarily inaccessible, and it was bugging me that my 1963 Hermes Baby types unevenly and sometimes muddily (which could be a problem with the ribbon, but anyway), and I had a deadline to type my short story “What Happened to the Dog?” for the anthology COLD HARD TYPE (about which more anon).

Well, obviously I had to buy another typewriter!

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I dare not buy anything but a Swiss Hermes. The one I could find in my local office supply shop was a refurbished 1967 Hermes 3000 with a Swiss-German QWERTZ keyboard. I’ve had to get used to the transposed Y and Z keys; otherwise, kein Problem, and es freut mich sehr to have the umlaut.
A QWERTZ Swiss German keyboard
(American keyboards are QWERTYs)
Of my three Hermes typewriters, this 1967 3000 is by far the smoothest, easiest to type on, and most consistent. I venture to use the word “buttery,” in fact. 
Herewith, typed on the 1967 Hermes 3000, “Silence” and “Poem,” from my forthcoming collection, Meteor:
Typed today but originally published in Muse Apprentice Guild in, ayy, 2002. I think it was.
www.givalpress.com
If you’re going to the Great American Writerly Hajj, I mean the Associated Writing Programs Conference, come on by my reading– it’s a free event– I’m on the lineup with Thaddeus Rutkowski, Cecilia Martinez-Gil, Tyler McMahon, Seth Brady Tucker, John Domini, Teri Cross Davis, Elaine Ray, William Orem, Jeff Walt, and Joan G. Gurfield for the Gival Press 20th Anniversary Celebration Reading on Friday March 29, 2019 @ 7 - 10 PM. Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison St, Portland OR. 

The following day, Saturday March 30, 2019 @ 10-11:30 AM, I’ll be signing copies of Meteor at the Gival Press table (Table #8063) in the AWP Conference book fair.


You can also find a copy of Meteor on amazon.com. And read more poems and whatnots apropos of Meteor on the book’s webpage here.
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