Interview with Constance Squires

I have an audio version of this interview, but the sound quality is terrible, so here’s a text version for you all to enjoy.

Constance Squires is the author of the novel Along the Watchtower (Riverhead), which won the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction, and a novel and short story collection which are both forthcoming in 2017: Live from Medicine Park (University of Oklahoma Press) and Wounding Radius and Other Stories (Ferry Street). Her short stories have appeared in Guernica, The Atlantic Monthly, Shenandoah, Identity Theory, Bayou, the Dublin Quarterly, This Land, and a number of other magazines.  Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Philological Review, Largehearted Boy, and has been featured on the NPR program Snap Judgment.  A regular contributor to the RollingStone500 (thers500.com), she also reviews literature and music with work that has appeared or is forthcoming in World Literature Today and The Collapser. She composed the screenplay for Sundance fellow Jeffrey Palmer’s 2015 short film, Grave Misgivings, and co-edited the first and second edition of Speculations: An Anthology for Reading, Writing and Research (Kendall Hunt Publishing).  In 2014, she was the guest editor for This Land’s summer fiction issue, and she participated in the Tulsa, Oklahoma episode of Literary Death Match as a judge. Currently, she is working on a third novel, The Real Remains.

Dr. Squires teaches Writing Short Story, Writing the Novel, Fundamentals of Creative Writing, Rock and Roll Literature, Editing and Marketing and English Composition I and II at UCO. She also directs the Everett Southwest Literary Award, a bi-annual prize that awards $5,000 in alternating creative genres. She received the college of Liberal Arts’ for Outstanding Scholarly/Creative Activity in 2010 and the Faculty Merit Credit Award for Creativity in 2013.

Connie Squires/oklibs.org

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(W)riter (o)f (C)olor: A Perspective

When I was young and inexperienced, all of the characters I made were, by default, white. To put this into perspective, I am of mixed race, black and Filipino, and grew up in a predominantly black and Filipino world. I like to joke that I could count on one hand the number of white people I knew growing up, but thinking back, I’m not sure that’s an exaggeration.

And as much as I love my cultures, and I celebrate who I am and the color of my skin, this wasn’t something that I recognized until college. Even then, it took me until my junior year before I had a main character that wasn’t white.

Twitter: @WritersOfColors

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5 Tips For A Great Spring Break For Writers

couponpal.com

Many of us will soon be starting spring break – a glorious week off from the stresses of school. Some will be jetting off to the beach; others will be picking up extra shifts at work. No matter what your plan is, here are some tips to use this time wisely as a writer.

1. Don’t forget about the BREAK part of spring break.

Whether you’re an English major, or you’ve been tirelessly working on your next great novel, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break. If you feel stuck, over-worked, or unsure about your writing, check out this link below. It provides a 7-day plan (perfect for your week off) for getting out of a writing funk.

It’s Okay To Take A Break

2. Read some inspiring literature.

If you need a good book to read during your vacation, I recommend The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. Labeled as “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self,” this book provides daily writing exercises to help writers tap into their creativity and write more consistently.

amazon.com

3. Write morning pages.

Taken from The Artists Way, morning pages are “three pages of whatever crosses your mind- that’s all there is to it.” “Morning pages will teach you that your mood doesn’t really matter. Some of the best creative work gets done on the days when you feel that everything you’re doing is just plain junk.” This stream-of-conscious exercise helps you learn to write without judgment and clear your mind, which allows your creativity to flow better.

4. Share your work at an open mic.

Now that you have some free time during, consider going to a local open mic to share some of your creative work. We guarantee, that no matter where you are, there are various mics almost every night of the week that welcomes poets. If you’re in the metro Oklahoma area, District House in the Plaza hosts one every Monday, and Sauced in the Paseo hosts one every Wednesday night.

5. Give yourself a pat on the back.

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Writing is HARD. Take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come as a writer and how much you have accomplished this semester. It can be easy to focus on everything you haven’t done yet, but taking time to be proud of your achievements will help you become a more confident writer.

Happy Spring Break everyone! I’m going to take a 7-day nap.

via GIPHY