A bit of news (messing round what I call it, when I got a story to tell…huhn) Okay Clementine…

14 Aug
I interrupt Clementine briefly with a couple things (Kathryn gone to preen her own feathers, is what all this is about) Be quiet Clementine, that’s what writers have to do, we have to promote ourselves all the time, even when it’s embarrassing and uncomfortable and we feel awkward doing it–when really, it’d be nice to just write and write and write and let someone else take care of everything else…. (Wale, then I don’t want to be no writer if I got to do all that! I’ll tell my stories with my mouth and my tongue, while rocking in my chair, and maybe I’ll even smoke a pipe like that white-haired old man did. Yup. That’s it for me.) So, as I was saying before Clementine rudely interrupted. (I Am Not being rude! I am only speaking the truth as it shows itself in front of me.) Okay, Clementine, but don’t you think you just hate me interrupting your story to do a bit a business here and that’s what your feathers are ruffled up about….you think? (Huhn. I never thought the like…huhn. Go on then…tell what you got to tell and get it done. I’ll set here and wait…huhn.)
So, Lunch Hours Stories has my "interview" up! *teehee*  I deleted the link since there seems to be some weird problem I contacted LHS to let them know. I’ll put the interview up here myself!
And there was something else, but I am sitting here drawing a blank (you was going to let me finish up my story!) Well, yes, Clementine, but, there was something else- I am going to put up the Oregon photos very soon –  the ones from the airplane too so those of you who have never flown can see what it looks like from inside a plane while looking out! But, there was another bit of news to give you – *sigh* maybe later I’ll remember (And maybe you can stop preening your own feathers to a shine and let me get on to telling my story!) Yes, Clementine…I will do that, if that makes you happy and surely we allll want Clementine happy, don’t we? (That’s the truth…)

Issue #26: “Swan’s Place” by Kathryn Magendie

Two young girls, one black – one white, find friendship in a small town, then together seek refuge in a clearing near a pond, where a black swan, representing freedom, provides safe harbor from life’s injustices.

Our interview with Kathryn Magendie:

Please tell us about yourself:

I am a writer and freelance editor, and Co-Managing Editor/Newsletter Editor for the Rose & Thorn Literary Ezine. I live in Western North Carolina on “my mountain,” which overlooks the Great Smoky Mountains. My essays, short stories, photography and poetry are published in both online and print publications. This year, I won first place in a short story contest and that was sweet! I’m in the query process for two of my completed novels, and am working on a rewrites for the third, and a first draft for a fourth—yes, I’m nuts and jittery and completely discombobulated—too many years went by where I could not write as I’d always dreamed, so there’s no stopping me now (she says with hubris, picturing all manner of things that surely could stop her and taking that way too far in her imagination before she stops herself and…and…). Readers can visit my website at

Tell us about your story. What was your inspiration for writing it?

When I lived in South Louisiana before moving back to the mountains I love, I took walks along the Louisiana State University lakes, and there! quite unexpectedly floated a beautiful black swan—out of place among the usual waddling ducks, cranky geese, awkward turtles, winter’s white pelicans, raspy-voiced egrets, and the occasional wayward alligator. Something in the swan’s serenity, the bit of defiant loneliness, the unique beauty taken for granted stirred voices calling to dreams, wishes, ideas, and I knew I had to find the story there. I must have a character “speak” to me, for I am not good at “plot-driven stories,” so I was happy when Sheila began talking, and there came the story of two young girls seeking sanctuary, and the Swan’s Place that provided it.

When did you first begin writing and why?

Not to sound like a cliché, but since I was a young girl I wanted to write stories—I read voraciously, and the imaginative nature of those authors inspired my little-girl wants and wishes. I was taken away to places I may never have seen except through an author’s eyes, and felt things I may never have felt except through the characters’ voices—I wanted to give what I’d been given. I wanted a voice. Despite the little girl wants, I didn’t get that chance to write until I was in my forties.

Besides literary short stories, what else do you write?

I write novels, two of which are in the dreaded query process. I write creative nonfiction, and I’m thinking seriously of finding a place for my collection of nature-inspired essays. For a time I tried freelance writing (columns, restaurant reviews, and feature stories) but found that isn’t to my taste. And, I write an occasional bad, but hopeful, poem.

What do you think is most challenging about being a writer?

The solitary nature of the writing life. Further, my head is full of voices, those of my characters, my inner critic, the editor, the people whom I imagine are reading my work, and what they think of my words. My way of seeing the world and the people in it can be complex as I become distracted by a laugh, a smile, a tic, an arch of brow, a unique phrase or word, the very nature of people and their body language is recorded even when I try not to be this way. It’s hard to carry on a conversation when there are so many voices and the actions that come with them stomping around in my head!

What do you think is more rewarding about being a writer?

Someone contacting me about something I have written and saying, “Thank you for writing this, it was just want I needed,” or “I really enjoyed what you wrote.” That feedback, the “love” or interest I receive from readers is invaluable. Writers have this need to be loved; we are shameless.

What is the greatest book you’ve ever read and why do you think it is great?

Oh! I was afraid you’d ask this (smiling). There are too many to list, since each time I read a really good book it is right then my favorite. So, I will say that books I read as a child (and I have them lovingly stacked on this very computer hutch as reminders while I write) were my great books, my influences, my introduction into language, scene, and character: Black Beauty, Grimms Fairy Tales, Call of the Wild, The Black Stallion, Tom Sawyer, The Incredible Journey, and others. Of course the great Shakespeare calls to me at times, too.

What one piece of advice would you give to new writers?

Never give up, even in the face of rejection or harsh criticism—it is always about the writing, the language; always. Who do you write for? Write for You first; find the pleasure and fulfillment in this, and everything will fall into place. If you find the empty spot is filled, the ache is eased, the itch is scratched by the writing for You, even if you are multiple-rejected, then you must not give up; however, certainly there are those who may stumble upon their artistic talents in art, or music, or theater, and all the while they’ve found frustration on the page until the way clears and that “Oh! This is it!” moment comes…follow it, what do you have to lose?

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

Even though I can be reclusive and never like to answer my phone (I am a true phono-phobic!), I love to receive emails from readers, so do not be shy about writing to let me know if you liked my story, or if the story affected you, made you feel, think, dream, or even if it inspired you to write a better one than I ever could imagine! Remember I said that writers just want to be loved, and we are shameless in our pursuit of it?

Thank you, Kathryn!


5 Responses to “A bit of news (messing round what I call it, when I got a story to tell…huhn) Okay Clementine…”

  1. JaAG August 14, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    Kathryn, the LUNCH…INTERVIEW link goes to a rather nasty virus site that tries to install a virus executable that is really a virus. You might want to delete or update the link. It was so nasty I had to close down my computer to not get it to install and I reproduced the problem on Suzy\’s computer.  :o(

  2. Kathryn August 15, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    YOU ARE KIDDING! I need to contact LHS to let them know! OMG!!!!!

  3. caroline August 15, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    Kathryn, I loved your interview and I\’m glad you printed it out. I had the same problem as Gandalfe. It scared the heck out of me. I have too much work on my computer to have it deleted! I managed to clear the address, but it was very persistent and then I ran my firewall software before anything happened. Also I tried your e-mail address and it said no such address so I e-mailed you at your spaces hotmail mailbox (just in case you never check it).

  4. Kathryn August 17, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    I contacted LUnch House Stories to let them know there was a problem with their website! I know they just re-did their website and they\’d be horrified to know something was wrong! Geez – !!!! UGH……..!

  5. P August 19, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    terrific interview, ms. kat. i know i\’ve said this before, but i\’m so glad i got to meet you in person — not only because you are cool as ice and wonderfully gracious — but also b/c now i can see your gestures and hear your voice.
    also, it is so crazy to think that you didn\’t start writing until your 40\’s. that\’s just absurd to me. the natural-ness of how things fall out of your head makes me think of someone who has been honing her craft for decades — not just a few years. geez. how frustrating that must have been to have heard all those characters in your head for so many years and not be able to talk back. i\’m glad you finally get to tell your stories. they are lovely and wonderful and awesome and rad. just like you. :)

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