21. Flying & Throwing Pots: Thoughts on the Interdisciplinary Writing Life with Alisa Hagerty Miller

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Alisa Hagerty Miller recently completed her Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western New Mexico University with major concentrations in English and Writing. Before enrolling in graduate school, she worked for ten years as a commercial pilot. In January 2015, Alisa represented WNMU’s graduate division in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and presented a research poster, “Interdisciplinary Education in Action,” for New Mexico Legislature’s first annual Graduate Education Day. She is completing a final revision of her first young adult fantasy novel, while actively submitting short stories and essays for publication about the flying life and other subjects. Look for one of her latest CNF pieces in the spring edition of WNMU’s literary journal, Twisted Vine. [28:57].


Along with discussing the impact of Alisa’s flying life on her writing life, her experience at WNMU, and her publishing aspirations, we also talk about post-MFA teaching opportunities. Lacy teaches three college-level writing classes online; Audrey is in the midst of an MA in English Literature at the University of Oslo; and Alisa remained at her school for an extra semester in order to pick up some important literature-based classes, potentially making her a more attractive candidate for teaching jobs. We hope these insights help you, dear listeners!

Highlights

“I got into flying because I thought it would fuel my writing life… and I also had this fantasy that pilots had all this time off!”

“I found [WNMU] by providence and by luck… I didn’t really see a clear path back into education as I got older. I think it’s a common thing for people in their 30s and 40s: They’re like, I’ve put [grad school] off for this long, am I ever going to do this?”

On Interdisciplinary Studies…

“[IS] gives students the opportunity to design their own degree plans, usually in two or three disciplines… and the goal is to ultimately draw connections between those disciplines.”

“I think my whole life had been interdisciplinary. Flying is just about the most interdisciplinary career I’ve ever encountered.”

Management Information Systems: “A branch of computer science; you don’t have to code, but you learn about really cool technical concepts and organizations using technology.”

“I think that education should be dynamic. That flexibility [at WNMU] was really important to me.” Continue reading

05. National Novel Writing Month: Join us for the insanity!

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It’s here! National Novel Writing Month has officially begun. Between November 1st and November 30th, thousands of writers across the globe will be sitting down at their desks and churning out new novels! Lacy and I are excited to be doing NaNoWriMo together for the first time, and with all of you for the first time. On today’s episode, Lacy and I will discuss what we’re anticipating and dreading the most about the month ahead, along with our personal NaNoWriMo strategies and philosophies. But first, we’re honored to have Tim Kim as our guest on the show. Tim is the editorial director at National Novel Writing Month, a 501©(3) nonprofit, and the largest writing event in the world. He has worked for Once magazine, WIRED, San Francisco magazine, and at Conde Nast. He’s here to answer our questions about NaNoWriMo and tell us how to make the project work for us! (27:54)

Connect with the Postmasters!

If you’re a Postmasters fan and you’re doing NaNoWriMo, let us hear from you, too! Post your word count on our Facebook page or tweet it to us @postmasters2. You can (and should) also add us as NaNoWriMo buddies on the NaNoWriMo website. — Add Audrey / Add Lacy Continue reading

The 100-Like Book Giveaway!

Bookish brothers and sisters, delight! We’ve got TWO wonderful books to give away!

The Postmasters Podcast recently hit 100 Likes on Facebook. To celebrate we’ll be randomly selecting 2 WINNERS from among our Facebook fans on Tuesday, 17 September. Each winner will receive a book in the mail. There’s still time to enter this giveaway. Like us today!

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard & North of the Sun, South of the Moon: New Voices from Norway by The Oslo International Writers' Group

Free books!

Thank you, Friends & Followers, for your support and encouragement! We love this project, and we hope you do, too.

00. Prologue

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Lacy Arnett and Audrey Camp

In this episode, Audrey & Lacy make introductions, explain what the podcast is all about, and otherwise try to charm you into listening to future episodes.

Hello! Welcome to the Prologue of The Postmasters Podcast. This is just a short introduction. (We’re writers, but we don’t want to be too long-winded!) Listen in to find out who we are, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and why you should tune in each month to listen to us.

Lacy Arnett

lacy_mayberry_bwLacy writes in El Paso, TX, where she lives with her husband and two young children. After graduating with her Bachelor’s from the University of Arizona in 2001, she bounced around the country performing alternately fascinating and menial jobs in places like South Dakota, the Grand Canyon, and New York City.

She is a graduate (2012) of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program, where she studied fiction.

Lacy’s stories and essays have appeared in Mirage, Better: Culture & Lit, and Literary Mama. She is the fiction editor at BorderSenses Literary Journal and volunteers with the ForWord Project, which offers creative writing workshops to teens in the El Paso area. She is currently working on a novel.

Occasionally she blogs about writing, reading, rejection, and motherguilt at: lacymaybe.wordpress.com.

Audrey Camp

audrey_camp_bwAudrey (30) is a freelance writer and American expat living in Oslo, Norway with her husband. Originally from California, Audrey graduated from UC Davis with her BA in English in 2006. She then spent six years working in an insurance office before remembering that her vocation was supposed to be writing. She graduated from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her MFA in Creative Writing in June 2012.

Audrey is a nonfiction writer, which means she specializes in personal essays, journalism, travel articles, and some technical writing. Her essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals, including Forge and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (where she received a Best of the Net nomination). Her travel pieces have been published by The Oslo Eye, the Expat Explorer blog, and CheapFlights Canada. Audrey is also a member of the Oslo International Writers’ Group, and her essay, Orientation, was recently published by Holland House as part of a new book, North of the Sun, South of the Moon: New Voices from Norway, a multi-genre anthology of work from members of the OIWG. She is currently working on essays on travel and expat life, as well as a novel.

As an active blogger, Audrey has been writing about writing, travel, expat life, and marriage for more than eight years at The Girl Behind the Red Door. You can find out more about Audrey both on the blog and at her website, audreycamp.com. And you can follow her on Twitter: @audreycamp.

Books featured in this episode:

The Living by Annie Dillard

The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg

But of course, in those days nobody thought about a writer being famous, or failure or success… Nobody thought in terms of failure or success in selling books. We thought of writing as, I would say as a pastime, or as a kind of destiny. ~ Jorge Luis Borges