In Her Room Episode #33: Laura Benedict

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This week's guest on In Her Room is the sweetest queen of horror writing, Laura Benedict. We talk about the importance of writing what speaks to you, getting back the rights to work, and how Agatha Christie is like porn for readers, among so much more.

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As I writer, I want people to know me as a person.

In Her Room Episode #32: Sheila Squillante

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This week's guest on In Her Room is poet, memoirist and writing teacher Sheila Squillante. Our conversation spans writing memoir, working on literary journals, and so much more. 

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Writing is a place where I work stuff out.

Here are some things mentioned in this episode:

Sheila's Website
Sheila on Twitter
Sheila's Chapbooks
Beautiful Nerve :: Sheila's poetry collection
"This Weather" :: one of the poems Sheila read

[PANK]
Roxane Gay
Mia Sara
The Fourth River
MFA program at Chatham
Sheryl St. Germain
Vivan Gornick :: An Interview in The Paris Review
VIDA Count

In Her Room Episode #31: Kristin Oakley

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This week's guest on In Her Room is novelist, journalist, and writing teacher Kristin Oakley. We share thoughts on unschooling, writing the hard stories, goal-setting and so much more.

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Writing is a way to play god...

In Her Room Episode #30: Amy Lee Czadzeck

This week's guest on In Her Room is writer, teacher, and mother Amy Lee Czadzeck. Our conversation is full of grace, courage and deep wisdom.

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Where I show up for my students is being the permission slip to just show up and write.

In Her Room Episode #29: Sara Rauch

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This week's guest on In Her Room is writer, self-proclaimed cat lady, and founder of Cactus Heart Press Sara Rauch. Our conversation -- about life, writing, autobiographical fiction, and starting a literary journal -- is filled with sharp wit, insight, and infectious laughter. 

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Writing is my reason for being. It's who I am.

In Her Room Episode #28: Joy Castro

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This week's guest on In Her Room is author, professor, and beautiful soul Joy Castro. Our conversation covers so many topics, from writing about trauma to intersectionality and identity to crime novels.

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Writing...is a tool for exploration.

Here are some things mentioned in this episode:

Joy's Website
Joy on Twitter
How Winter Began :: Joy's latest collection
The Truth Book
Island of Bones

Hell or High Water
Nearer Home
Family Trouble

"Grip" :: Joy's reading

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :: "I'm Still a Citizen" at PEN
Arundhati Roy
Bending Genre :: Brenda Miller's "Courage and Creative Nonfiction"

In Her Room Episode #27: Caits Meissner

This week's guest on In Her Room is writer, activist, and poet in the prisons Caits Meissner. Our conversation covers such awesome topics as bridging visual and print culture, the importance of diversity in women's publishing, and so much more. 

[Writing is] not a way to answer the questions, it's a way to ask more.

In Her Room Episode #26: Lindsey Mead

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This week's guest on In Her Room is writer, avid reader, and working mother Lindsey Mead. Our conversation covers so much: personal essay, finding the balance between public and private lives, and more.

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I unearth things through the process of writing.

In Her Room Episode #25: Laurie Scheer

This week's guest on In Her Room is writer, d-girl, and media goddess Laurie Scheer. We talk about everything from manuscript development and mastering your genre to the importance of community and so much more. 

Writing is pure communication — a way to stay alive.

In Her Room Episode #24: Camille Griep

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This week's guest on In Her Room is Camille Griep, author of the new novel Letters to Zell. I loved sharing this conversation about genre, form, taking risks in our writing, and so much more. 

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Writing gives a voice to all the things that we don’t have time for in the day-to-day.

This episode contains some explicit language.

Here are some things mentioned in this episode:

Camille's website
Camille on Twitter
Camille on Facebook
Letters to Zell

The Lascaux Review
Easy Street Magazine
Cartridge Lit
You Take it From Here :: Pamela Ribon's novel in letters
Speculative Fiction

In Her Room Bonus Episode: Starhawk

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My guest on this special, bonus episode of In Her Room is author, activist, and foremother of the modern pagan movement Starhawk. Our conversation, in conjunction with her crowd-funding campaign for City of Refuge, shares thoughts on spirituality, permaculture, writing, and so much more. 

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If you want to be a writer, schedule time to write.

The Topography of Self

You get prepared for landings.
You get prepared for the moment someplace enters you.
~ Eve Ensler

It's the kind of thing that comes in a moment, and burns for hours. A simple thought, about how all the places I have traveled -- and all I have yet to explore -- flow in my veins and impact everything I write, think, do. Not in the strict "travel writing" sense, and not just as settings or locations in my work. 

So when I realized that I want to spend more time creating and offering workshops with a focus on specific elements of writing, my memory of place and the influence it has on me came through my body with a whoosh! of excitement.

And thus, Topography of Self was born. A two-week adventure of place, sense, and memory. 

The tenderness of figs. The way they burst on the tongue, seeds full of flavor, an earthiness that can't quite be named. Figs are lush, sensual, ready to be devoured. For years, I could only eat dried figs, my local grocery never carrying the sweet fruits. I didn't know about the deep purple skin, the almost snow white flesh, the red red core of them. Figs. They are of a place, and remind me of places I haven't yet been. Terroir, a word that refers to wine, is a word that applies, I think, to the way a place infuses itself into any food. The favors of Marrakech, the figs of the Mediterranean. The heat of California sun, the fog of the mountains. These come into our food, and when we eat, we are taken there, too. 

Topography of Self begins September 13th and includes emails sent Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Covering themes like beginnings and endings, water, light, food, and music, the two week journey will inspire, instigate, and enlighten your writing.

You can learn more about the course here, and register today!

In Her Room Episode #23: Wendy C. Ortiz

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This week's guest on In Her Room is author, memoirist, and LA native Wendy C. Ortiz. Our conversation about public and private lives, boundaries and secrecy, and so much more is a thrill to share with you.

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I would joke with people that, if I didn’t have time to write, I would feel homicidal.
But really, what I was saying is that I felt suicidal."

This episode contains some explicit language. And it's totally worth it.

Here are some things mentioned in this episode:

Wendy's website
Wendy's tumblr
Wendy on Twitter
Excavation: A Memoir
Hollywood Notebook
"Newly Wed and Quickly Unravelling" :: Wendy's Modern Love essay
"Interiors" :: Wendy's reading published in PANK 

Rhapsodomancy Reading Series
Mary Karr interview in The Paris Review
Eloise Klein Healy
MFA program at Antioch University
Writ Large Press