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I was very pleasantly surprised when I was tagged by J.Scott Coatsworth about my interview with him. Here it is for your reading pleasure. Please let me know what you think.

 

Author Spotlight: Rob McCabe

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I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I was tagged on Facebook with an announcement of an interview conducted by J. Scott Coatsworth for his QPB Publishing site. Here’s a direct link to the interview. ENjoy

 

Author Spotlight: Rob McCabe

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I started this morning by finishing up my viewing of the movie, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. What a heartbreaking movie. I admire the writing of Carson McCullers. That book is the next on my list to read. I have been reading a lot of poetry books as well, getting myself ready for upcoming open mics in the Tampa Bay area. The most important one being this one– a fundraiser for the Pulse Nightclub shooting victims and their families.

https://www.facebook.com/events/573483516157025/

I have entered a lot of contest recently including The Rattle and The First Line Line Literary Journal. Following graduation from a grueling MFA program, I feel both excited and exhausted from the experience, but I also am looking forward to my next leg of my journey. I would love to teach literature to students, but the reality of the situation is that most entry-level jobs at colleges and universities are jobs which teach the basic fundamentals of writing and those jobs are difficult to come by. Something really good is going to come out of all of this.

I have something to tell all of you readers who are reading this blog. When people ask me what I do for a living, I say/ “I’m a writer.” Following that stupid blank stare and smile I almost always receive, their response is usually, “A writer, huh? That’s nice. But what do you do for a living?” People just don’t get it that writing is not just a profession, it is a job.I may not be raking in the big bucks like someone who is a CPA or Financial Planner, but every morning, I write something. Even if it is an email or a blog entry. I write something every day. I have several blogs I read every day. That’s working on my craft because these blogs offer some great advice. I read constantly. Reading is another form of work for the writer. Writers who don’t read, aren’t really writers in my opinion. In order to write well, study the works of successful writers of the past and present. Become well-rounded in your reading. for example, if you are a writer who writes fiction, read a few plays to help you with dialogue or read screenplays to get the entire visual picture you need to build in your novel or short story. Experiment. If you write fiction, write in other genres. You may find out that there are other ways of making your voice heard.

Some other ideas: go to a museum, take long walks, go to the beach, be prepared. Always have something to write on, but most importantly, breathe. BREATHE!!! BREATHE!!!!!

 

 

 

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     I have found a wonderful poetry group where I can share my work, have it dissected and then rework them until I feel confident enough to send them out. The name of the group is OneRoom Poetry and I am quite happy working with Caroline Goodwin who is the director of that room. OneRoom is a great group that keeps you on your toes, offering feedback, exercises and a community of writers from all over the world. I just finished assembling some poems for my first chapbook, “Closets are for Clothes, NOT People & Other Queer Poems.” I am currently working on some edits and adding additional poems and should have the book ready to send out to poetry publishing houses who publish chapbooks.

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Well, I finally pushed through the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Tampa. I graduated June 24th, 2016. The ceremony was beautiful and the people who really matter most in my life came. The post-graduation party was a lot of fun, but I had a difficult time saying goodbye to those whom I had grown to love as family. A family of writers. But an even greater surprise greeted me when I got home. As I opened my mailbox and found two copies of RFD magazine, I wondered why. Then I remembered that I had sent them a poem for their Summer issue. The poem, Summer Symphony, is in their current Summer issue. I was happy to see that I was on the way to being published. Here is the poem. Let me know what you think of it.

Summer Symphony

 Schoolbell rings

Farewell to books, and tests and things

Summer time is here.

Shrill laughter of children

Echo through the air.

Time for swimming in watering holes

Swinging on ropes,

Letting go and falling—forever falling into the murky water.

Time for tire swings and ice cream treats

Gentle, fairy-like tinkling of sweet sounding silver bells

Good Humor man is here.

Chasing grasshoppers through the tall grass

Sleeping on the porch of Nana’s house

Cool summer breezes

Caressing naked torsos.

Laughing and playing outside

Well past bedtime.

Night time is time not for sleeping,

But for chasing fairies

Masked as fireflies.

Catching them

Bottling them with sweet grass and water.

Watching the lights flashing like sentinels

Falling asleep

Only to find

The lights and lives extinguished

No air holes

At the top of the bottle.

Summer’s lease has too short a date

Before you know it

Comes the Fall..

 

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Despite a hellish experience this term at the University of Tampa, I am going back and repeating the third residency with a new mentor who I hope will appreciate my work, unlike the last mentor from Hell. I was so upset with the present mentor that I almost quit the program at the University of Tampa, but there were only two more residencies of work and then one where I get to do a lecture of some sort. It has been a difficult road these past two years, what with the death of both my parents, improving relations with my distant brother, and school. Great news though!!!

Last year, I wrote two screenplays which were then filmed as short films by two different directors. One film, Fixated has won several awards and the other, Absolution will be shown this year at the Suncoast Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida. I am truly thankful for my friendships with James LaBudde and Anjani Pandey for choosing my scripts and making the films. I am grateful and humbled by this experience. Being a member in good standing with the Sunscreen Film Society, once I finish my MFA, I would like to be paired with a film director and make a film based on my poetry or stories. But that is a long way off right now. First I have to finish my essay for this term and then during my last term, I plan to finish my thesis of short stories. More later. Thanks for reading.

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I am still waiting to hear from the University of Tampa’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. I hope to be accepted into their Fiction program as I am not a terribly big fan of poetry or Creative Nonfiction. Fiction seems, to me, to be the most artistic of the three choices and I can still work on other projects while working on my MFA.

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