Jill Malone

Playing Mom

Val McDermid said that characters don’t tell stories, writers do. And, of course, this is true. The characters are a writer’s creation, after all. But, my impulse to bicker with this statement comes from a difference in writer brain. I’m going to divide writers neatly into two categories: those who write to plot/structure, and those …

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The Anti-Climax

At a lecture by the poet, Jack Gilbert, years ago, he said that an editor had once advised him that perhaps his poems had big endings too often. I’m intrigued by that criticism. “The Great Fires” is a masterful book of poetry. I carried it in my backpack for years, and read some of those …

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Auntie's Open Mic

I’ll be reading from my soon-to-be-published novel, A Field Guide to Deception, at Auntie’s Bookstore (402 W. Main) in Spokane on Friday, November 14th.  Come support some writers at 7 p.m.

Warrior Poets

More than a decade ago, my grandfather told me that no one was going to pay me to sit around and write poetry, and he hoped that I had a contingency plan. I didn’t actually believe him. Why couldn’t I make a living writing poetry? Why couldn’t I cross the country, eating diner apple pie, …

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These three things

If you had to define your childhood by three things, what would they be? On my hike this morning with the dogs, I thought one would have to be my haircut. It has always informed my world in specific, and powerful ways. But, I just can’t play through on that one. My red dirt bike, …

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For me, voice comes first. I see an incident—a girl dangling from an airplane, laughing—and I wonder, what’s that about? What’s going on there? I have to know more about that. For this second novel, I opened the door to a woman covered in blood, and I heard the question: “What have you done?” And …

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Curriculum Vitae

I am freaking myself out. When I was in elementary school, I decided to be a teacher—to teach History. That was the plan all the way into college, when I discovered that English Literature was significantly more compelling. My junior year I took this fiction/poetry team-teaching class. We had a fiction writer for the first …

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Post-Buzz and Still Dreaming

The thing about art is that it has to be manic. The crest and trough heaving is necessary to be able to experience and capture and elucidate the joy and folly of living. When you find yourself surrounded by nurturing, intelligent women with educated opinions and firebrand ideals, you start to think you’ve only ever …

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In graduate school, a woman I was in love with gave me a copy of Jeanette Winterson’s “The Passion” and promised it would change me.  And it did.  It was an uncomfortable read.  Mad and operatic.  Typical of Winterson in its tone and mode, as I would learn afterward, but startling in that first read.  I remember …

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