November 19, 2014 at 12:13pm
Jackie Fender, Weekly Volcano cohort and one of the Gritty City's art scene and literary superstars, is about to step things up a notch. She and fellow Volcano scribe Joshua Swainston are releasing the first print collection of stories and poems from their online literary destination, CreativeColloquy.com. I chose this shining moment to highlight Fender's voice from a phone interview, by which I mean I bamboozled her into writing half my blog entry this week.
CHRISTIAN CAVAJAL: So what's the big news?
JACKIE FENDER: The launch party, naturally, which is November 24th. Creative Colloquy Volume One is a super-rad collection of stories crafted by South Sound authors, a really diverse collection of shorts and poems and essays.
(Full disclosure: my own horror short, Silver, is included.)
CARV: And where can I buy this amazing anthology?
CARV: Are any of your writing efforts represented?
FENDER: They are not. I've chosen to keep my own words out of it for now. I did write an intro letter to tell people a little about the book.
CARV: Did you ever submit anything and then reject yourself?
FENDER: I've written things and thought, "Yeah, maybe this is the thing!" But then I'm like, nope. I didn't want to start CC and have it be like, "Jackie just wants a platform to share her own work."
CARV: Have you ever gotten a submission that was so bizarre you felt maybe the writer needed some professional psychiatric help?
FENDER: There are a couple of those! Whatever goes on in their brains is really messed up. Joshua is actually one of those.
CARV: On the Volcano, you're known mostly for your food reviews. Which restaurant do you eat at most often?
FENDER: Maxwell's is on my favorites list.
CARV: OK, but you have kids. Which restaurant do you really eat at most often?
FENDER: I hate to admit this. Taco Bell.
CARV: And do you feel this disqualifies you from food criticism?
FENDER: I like to pretend it doesn't exist. But having small children, you have to budge a little bit. They don't appreciate really good food, even when I cook it.
CARV: What's the worst book you love?
FENDER: How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life by Sheila Heti. I found myself really enjoying it, even though I don't dig Heti's style, nor do I like any of the characters. If I knew them in real life, there would be a lot of internal dialogue and disingenuous smiling.
CARV: What is your kid's favorite book?
FENDER: Right now, my kid loves Green Eggs and Ham. He also likes Sammy and the Dinosaurs.
CARV: You could do a lot worse. If you and I were going to write a story together right now, what would it be about?
FENDER: I think I'd just like to jump on your wagon and pick one word I hear at an event, then see what that sparks. (Note: that's how Silver was conceived.) Maybe superheroes?
CARV: Right now I'm leaning toward otters. I think people just like otters.
FENDER: It's true, they do! But then you hear all these awful rumors about them-
CARV: What, like prostitution rings?
FENDER: They're vicious little beasts! I don't even want to discuss it. Google it.
CARV: I don't really think of otters as vicious man-eaters.
FENDER: They're just vicious to other animals.
CARV: Maybe that's what the story should be, an exposé from the point of view of a trout.
FENDER: That would be interesting.
CARV: I'd have to go dark. I'd want the otter to have a heroin problem.
FENDER: Yeah, like two illegitimate children!
CARV: Right, like an otter posted the Fappening or something.
FENDER: It could be a dark little vortex into Otter World.
CARV: I think we've found Creative Colloquy Volume Two.
FENDER: Oddly enough, someone asked me if Volume One had a theme. We didn't go for one, but there are an abnormal number of stories about animals, I daresay almost half. Our cover is just a collection of images the artist picked from stories we knew would be included. The cover has all these animals on it. The book's not even about animals, but there are a lot of animals in the short stories.
CARV: Does anyone use the phrase "fur baby?" Because that's just weird.
FENDER: Not in any of the stories, no.
CARV: Maybe it should've been called Creative Colloquy Volume One: Troubled Loners.
FENDER: That's why we have our events at a place (B Sharp Coffee House in Opera Alley) that has libations.
CARV: Ah, to draw people out of the house!
FENDER: Yeah, there's a social lubricant there for us troubled loners.
CREATIVE COLLOQUY VOLUME ONE LAUNCH PARTY, 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 24, B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Opera Alley, Tacoma, no cover, CreativeColloquy.com
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