The first Monday of the month the RMFW Blog features one of the members of the board of directors or a volunteer. This month Saytchyn Maddux-Creech has agreed to answer our questions. We hope this helps members and potential members get acquainted with the incredible folks who keep Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers going and growing. And just in case these spotlights inspire other members to step forward and volunteer, feel free to email Judy Matheny, Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Saytchyn, tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.
I serve as the Membership Chair, which means I primarily help people who’ve forgotten their passwords to log onto the RMFW website. I also answer questions members and prospective members have about the group, troubleshoot membership-related issues, and try to recruit every writer I meet who isn’t already a member.
I’d long wanted to be more active with RMFW but didn’t think I could do much from Fort Collins. I’m grateful to Vicki Law for recommending me as Membership Chair to the board. It’s a job I can perform from home or anywhere I have Internet access.
2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?
Most of my stories published in literary magazines are still online and may be accessed on the stories page of my terrible website. My latest stories, “Devildoms” (Dangerous Hedge) and “L’Hermitage” (Typehouse Literary Journal), will be published in January.
I’m making revisions on a dark fantasy/near-horror novel that won third place in The Sandy Writing Contest this year. I plan to finish by the end of November.
3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?
To write a great book, and then another, and then another…
Aside from writing, I want to earn a degree in either astrophysics or geophysics (or both!) and retire to a luxury cottage in Wales with a maze-like overgrown garden.
4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?
I began the writing life as an experimental writer. In the MFA program at Colorado State University, I allowed myself to be partially molded into a literary writer. Both of these styles got me into the habit of losing myself in a world and forgetting to tell the story. World-painting is wonderful, Saytchyn, but get to the story.
5. What do you love most about the writing life?
Writing. I’m happiest when writing. I get depressed when I take a few days off. When I’m writing, even if it’s not going fabulously, people can tell. I’m more pleasant. If I’m not writing, I’m agitated and crabby.
Also, Writers. I love to be with and talk to other writers. I love conferences, workshops, classes, and retreats. I am an introvert, generally, but not with other writers.
6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?
I’d hesitate to try to persuade myself to change anything, for fear of ending up someplace terrible. But I would probably say, “Start putting in your 10,000 hours as a storyteller at the same time you start putting in 10,000 as a writer. Learn earlier that everyone has something to teach you.”
I must have something to write with—a computer or a notebook and a pen. I have a lot of tokens on my desk—gifts from other writers and things that inspire me—and on the wall beside my desk is a map I drew of my story world. But I can write anywhere, and all I need is a computer or a notebook and a pen.
8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?
The last book I read was Dust and Light by Carol Berg. I loved it, and you can read my review on Goodreads. I’ve been reading friends’ manuscripts and have only recently started reading The Diviners by Libba Bray, but if the beginning is any indication, I think it will be bewitching.