Monday, February 25, 2019

Q & A: Ellen Cassedy, Translator of "On the Landing," Stories by Yenta Mash, Master Chronicler of Exile

By C.M. Mayo

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

On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash,
translated by Ellen Cassedy
(Northern Illinois University Press, 2018)
Yenta Mash and her stories will be remembered because they have rare and masterful elegance, uncanny insight into vast prairie-like swaths human nature, and unusual heart. They also tell stories entirely new for many English-speaking people, that of the Jewish exiles to Siberia under Stalin during World War II, and their later migration to Israel. Translator Ellen Cassedy’s is a transcendent achievement; with Mash’s On the Landing she has brought a landmark book into English.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Using Imagery (the "Metaphor Stuff")

This blogs posts on Mondays. The second Monday of the month is dedicated to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. 

The study of English Literature has its pleasures and virtues, and much to do with learning the craft of creative writing; nonetheless, these are not one and the same endeavor. You can earn a PhD in race, class, gender, or fill-in-the-blank in the novel, yet still not have the wherewithal to actually write one. 


Monday, February 04, 2019

Migrating to Self-Hosted WordPress

Oops, I needed to have packed more trail mix and the glamping equipment!
 A few elephants to carry it all would have been fun, too.
Well, dangit, I meant to spend the month of January writing about Texas.
 (Photo: Engraving by G.H. Cushman of a painting by G.P.A Healy,
 Library of Congress, in the public domain.

Finally, after more than a decade, I took my own advice to get this blog off the free Google blogger platform and onto self-hosted WordPress at It was one part 2019 new year’s resolution and another part yikes-my-book-Meteor-is-about-to-come-out-and-I-should-have-already-taken-care-of-this. For the past few weeks I’ve been huffing and puffing up a steeper learning curve, and one with quite a few more scenic (and not-so-scenic) detours, than I had anticipated.


I do not aim, by the way, to import the entire archive of Madam Mayo blog posts going back to 2006. Archaeologists of Ur-litblogdom are hereby invited to dig around in the archives right where they always were and shall remain for as long as Googledom, for whatever reasons known only to itself, deems apt. What I am importing to, with selected links updated, are those posts that I believe best hold up over time: some transcripts of my talks, and other items related to my books (including the one in-progress) and podcasts; book reviews and the richer notes on recommended reading; articles for my writing workshop; and the now substantial collection of Q & As with other writers.

If you’re new to this blog, a few of last year’s posts that I would consider representative of what you can expect here going into 2019 include:

Working with a Working Library: Kuddelmuddel
September 24, 2018

Diction Drops and Spikes
(Workshop Post)
August 13, 2018
(In 2019 workshop posts are on the second Monday of the month)

Top 10+ Books Read 2018
December 17, 2018

Q & A: Leslie Pietrzyk on Writers Groups,
the Siren Song of the Online World, and on Writing Silver Girl
February 26, 2018
(In 2019 look for Q & A’s on the fourth Monday of the month)

As of today, February 4, 2019, the top “Madam Mayo” posts for 2018–some thirty in all– plus a wee batch (mainly workshop posts) from a sprinkling of earlier years, are now live at So I have more to do.

I also need to figure out the email sign-up thing…

In case you are also thinking of migrating a blog to WordPress, or starting a new blog on WordPress, herewith a few resources that I have found especially helpful:

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