Lynn Sloan: Patty, I’ve enjoyed and admired your work for years, so it’s a real treat to have a chance to ask you about your writing and your new story collection, Responsible Adults. Great title. It’s the title of one of your stories, but what it suggests, a bad situation where a sound, responsible adult is needed, can be applied broadly to this entire collection. Reversing those two words of the title to adults responsible also works. In these stories, it is usually the adult, the one in charge, who is responsible for the harm done. When in the process of pulling together this collection did you choose this title?
Patricia Ann McNair: Hello, Lynn, and what a pleasure to talk with you as well! I think you are exactly right that these stories and the situations the characters find themselves in ache for the intervention of a responsible adult. That was something that became clear to me as I started to put these pieces into a binder to see what they might look like as a collection. I hadn’t finished the story that the title Responsible Adults comes from quite yet, and in a way that has never happened before, the title for the collection came to me before I had a story for it. I just liked the sound of it, Responsible Adults, especially as I thought of it in regards to the relationships in the stories. “Who is responsible here” can have a different meaning from “Who is responsible for this?” One implies a sort of blame, an insinuation of guilt, the other assumes that someone is in charge. Each of these ideas speaks to my stories in some way, so, yeah, the title stuck with me. And then I had to find one of my unfinished, untitled stories that might make use of those two words as well. A sort of backward approach for me; I usually like to find a title that has surfaced organically in a story and can do double duty for the collection. But this time the title asserted itself into and onto the book.
To read more:blog.superstitionreview.asu.edu/2021/03/20/guest-post-lynn-sloans-interview-with-patricia-ann-mcnair/
Currently, the Australian Center for Contemporary Art is looking back at its exhibition history with a series of video lectures that examine how those shows came together and their impact.
Twenty six years ago my photographs of individuals living with AIDS and HIV illnesses were included in this exceptional exhibit at what was then called the National Gallery of Australia, and is now called the ACCA. In this time of another international health crisis, the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Ted Gott, provides an engaging, meaningful video lecture, well-illustrated, about the AIDS pandemic and the response of artists. I was honored to have my work included in the exhibition, and honored again to have my work with this video.
In May 2019, I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Society of Midland Authors to serve a three-year term. The Midland Authors was founded in 2015 to create "a closer association among writers of the Middle West" and to stimulate "creative literary effort." I'm honored to a part of this institution that does so much to promote the interests of Midwestern writers.
The unofficial Chicago branch of Fomite authors met at Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago to celebrate the launch of Julie Justicz's debut novel Degrees of Difficulty.
Jan English Leary, Thicker Than Blood (Fomite 2015),Skating on the Vertical (Fomite 2017)
Maggie Kast, A Free, Unsullied Land (Fomite 2015)
Julie E. Justicz, Degrees of Difficulty (Fomite 2019)
Lynn Sloan, Principles of Navigation (Fomite 2015), This Far Isn't Far Enough (Fomite 2018)
"Each story stands on its own as a separate jewel. . . ." Thank you, Booksie!
To go to Booksie's blog: click.
My short story "Ollie's Back," included in my collection This Far Isn't Far Enough, was performed by Nate Corddry last year, and is now released in the Selected Shorts program Forgiving and Forgetting. The program is aired on NPR and available as a podcast.
On Saturday, August 17, 2019 I will lead the workshop on How to Read a Photograph at Northwestern Summer Writers' Conference, Chicago.
Writers collect and use photographs as records of facts and as inspiration. Getting it at a glance—that’s what we like about photographs. They are simple; they yield their information without a struggle; their language is universal; seeing is natural: Each of these statements is false. Photographs are deceptive and they are filled with information beyond what is available at a glance. Learning how to see what photographs describe can deepen and enrich our writing. In this workshop we will explore ways to read photographs to discover what is within or beyond the surface representation.
A surprise: my story "Nature Rules" that appeared in Shenandoah in fall, 2017 received an honorable mention for The Shenandoah Prize for Fiction. Many awards have lots of categories, winner, finalist, semi-finalist, honorable mention, and sometimes more categories, so I don't usually find that receiving an honorable mention is worth mentioning. But the Shenandoah Prize includes one winner and one honorable mention in each category, so I am extremely honored, and thrilled.
I learned the news while reading R. T. Smith's final "Editor's Note," published in April, 2018.
I am pleased to announce our annual prizes for the most distinguished works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction to appear in volume 67 of Shenandoah. . . . and I send out my congratulations to the recipients, the honorable mentions . . . . Lynn Sloan’s “Nature Rules” in fiction
Here's the link to "Nature Rules."
"VIP parking at the Getty," my friend exclaimed.
So begins the brief essay about my experience with Ollie, the character in my story that was read at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. To read the essay, click:
Thrilled that my story "Ollie's Back" from This Far Isn't Far Enough had been chosen by Selected Shorts for its program "A Feast of Fiction," at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, I waited outside the auditorium for the show to begin. Mine was the last story and it was to be read by the outstanding actor Nate Cordrry. On that stage Nate Cordrry became Ollie, and he brought down the house. In a few months this program will be broadcast on NPR's Selected Shorts and available in podcast.