The Debut of Oksana Podcast with guest Molly Brodak

Oksana Podcast is conversations with authors and artists. The first guest is Molly Brodak, author of Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir, recently published by Grove Press.


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November 1st, 2016 / 11:22 am


I wrote an article about editing and some of my past favorite submissions (favorite as in “was this handwritten paper submission composed with human blood? ha ha. wait…no seriously look…this submission REALLY IS written in dried human blood, wash your hands!” or “poem about a snowflake written in the shape of a snowflake just in time for Christmas,” or “story from guy in prison who in his cover letter asks us to mail the money he’ll get if his story is published to the address of a given drug dealer below, explaining that the funds will be an installment payment towards the crack cocaine tab he’d accrued at the time of his incarceration” or even “travel back in time to kill Hitler only to end up falling in love/sexing him, so much sex that he becomes docile and happy, except you then get pregnant with his hitlerspawn who grows up to do exactly what his father would’ve done even though his name is Wilhelm, sometimes the best intentions don’t get the best results” favorite). But also about the pure, kitsch-less favorites as in “this story makes me see Pushcarts rain from the sky.”

Also, I will be reading this Saturday at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle at 7pm

Also, I keep trying to quit Taco Bell beef but it’s like that Taylor Dane song “Love Will Lead You Back.” Ain’t that the meximelt truth.


Author News & Events & I Like __ A Lot / 3 Comments
February 24th, 2011 / 6:11 am

It’s All Fun and Games Until an Editor Pokes an Eye Out

It is mean week, so I will do my small part.

I’ve written, at length, about how much I enjoy editing and reading submissions and working with writers. I enjoy blogging, scrounging for money, thinking up new ideas, and fixing what’s broken. I don’t even mind correspondence with angry writers because there’s an amusement factor there that is priceless and if I’m going to share my opinion on a submission I damn well better be open to hearing how a writer feels about that opinion.

I do not, however, love everything about being an editor and I thought it would be fun (therapeutic) to expose the seamy underbelly of editing. That was unnecessarily dramatic. There isn’t so much an underbelly and if there were, it would probably be pale and hairy rather than seamy though it could be said that for something to be seamy it is also pale and hairy. There are some tasks that make me want to throw a tantrum but they need to be done so I just suck it up and do it. All editors do. The “I” here does not imply any specialness or uniqueness on my part. Most of these odious tasks involve the logistical maintenance of the magazine, duties I split with my co-editor. The suffering is definitely shared and while suffering is a bit of an exaggeration given what we’re talking about here, some aspects of editing are infinitely less pleasant than others.


Mean / 27 Comments
October 25th, 2010 / 3:00 pm

Yo editors, you just solicited a writer’s work. Do you read it with the same eye/mind as the slush pile?

Every Book and Magazine with Typos/Errors?

I am reading Face by Alexie and on page 35 there is a sentence that needs indenting. This a game, finding these tiny errors, locating them in magazines, canonical works, some huge publisher.

One part of me—the part editing The Broken Plate and about to teach about copy-editing—is paranoid. Many magazines feel less (or no) errors are related to the quality of the publication.

Some feel like a typo in a book is a human gesture, a beautiful mole, unsymmetrical ears, the smudge in the painting, the flaw that makes the thing.

How much is on the editor, the writer?

How closely do you look at your galleys (if you get them)?

Do you have a technique to catch errors? The writer, too near, as the worst diagnostic?

War story? One time a magazine had my word “years” changed to “ears.” That smarted a bit. Years, ears…


(image by Mr. Eggers)

Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 69 Comments
January 4th, 2010 / 9:47 am