Volume 3, Issue 2

The issue is available The Magnolia Review Volume 3 Issue 2.

Contributors: Steve Abbott, Charles Joseph Albert, Danny P. Barbare, Gary Beck, Roy Bentley, Les Bernstein, Robert Beveridge, Rana Bitar, Jared Burton, Vincent Butka, Roger Camp, Samantha Chasse, Linda M. Crate, Vivi Davis, Wendy DeGroat, Darren C. Demaree, Laura Dennis, Rachel Edford, Dom Fonce, Leah Givens, Roberta Gould, John Grey, Ben Groner III, Jack Harvey, Ed Higgins, Hailey Hudson, Mark Hudson, James Croal Jackson, Leland James, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Sarah Key, Rosaleen Lynch, Stephanie Maldonado, Thomas Maurstad, Joan McNerney, Jesse Minkert, Wilda Morris, Brian Orth, Simon Perchik, Richard King Perkins II, Tim Philippart, Meg Reynolds, John Timothy Robinson, Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, Buffy Shutt, Kaleena Spackman, Ethel Stirman, Larry D. Thacker, Bill Trippe, John Tustin, and Ellie White.

Reviews: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo, The Red Book: (or Operation Iraqi Freedom is My Fault) by Brandon Davis Jennings, Joining the Dots by Goirick Brahmachari, and Scattered Cranes by Guinotte Wise.

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award to be announced.


Samantha Chasse-Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I almost exclusively work from home.  Working in public spaces makes me feel self-conscious, so having my own little niche at home is much more comfortable.  Usually my space consists of a mug of coffee (usually getting cold because I can’t type and drink), my dog resting her chin on my leg begging to be pet, and the TV on so I can listen to cooking shows while I work.  I generally write when I’m home alone so there isn’t a lot of extraneous noise.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I write out notes by hand and then type the actual story, poem or script on the computer.  I have a legal pad filled with scribbled story ideas which I sometimes archive in Google Docs if I think a certain one is worth continuing.  I have an old laptop that I use almost exclusively for writing because my newer laptop’s keys are too small to type quickly on.

What is your routine for writing?

Usually when I have an idea I want to flesh out I have to do it ASAP or I will forget where I wanted to take the story.  It generally takes me a while before I generate and idea I want to run with, maybe about a month, and then I sit down and write the whole draft in a few hours.  Once I write the first draft, which is a rough rough draft, I will spend the next few weeks adding on and editing until I have a solid first draft.  From there I try to get a few people to proof read, edit some more, and repeat.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing stories and scripts in high school when I took an English class that focused on Utopias.  We read so many excellent tales; I wanted to create pieces like these so badly. Unfortunately, I was embarrassed to show people my work or tell anyone I was writing.   I didn’t tell anyone about my passion for writing except my Aunt who was going through chemo.  Her passing lead me to start sharing my work, because I had promised her I would keep going with my passion.  In college I fell in love with playwriting, and I have kept going since.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I find that I write mostly for those who are willing to think about life in a new way.  I find college students and older adults tend to be most interested in my work, as the themes are often a bit much for younger audiences.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I draw inspiration from people who confuse me.  I remember taking a college class on drug addiction, and I wanted to wrap my mind around how something could control a persons life so strongly.  I wrote a play trying to delve into the mind of a person who is an addict, and I learned a lot about what they go through.  Writing helps me explore topics I am interested in understanding on a deeper level, so I usually write about psychological issues or topics that might be “taboo” or personal.

I have the worst time with writer’s block, but I find that reading or listening to music can help me jump start my brain again.  If that doesn’t work I will sit down and talk with people about life and what is happening in the world.  Usually they will say something that sparks and idea.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I have never been apt at sports, but I have a huge admiration for theater.  I was a theater major in college and I spent most of my time working on our school productions.  I started working in theater over the summers in high school.  I would help with set painting and assist the actors with costumes, etc.  In college I stage managed quite a few productions and helped to organize two theater festivals.  I also worked in two professional theaters as part of the run crew and as a costume assistant.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

My favorite part of the creative process is when I get to the end of the editing process, and I know a piece is finally where I want it.  The satisfaction of creating a finished piece of literature is immense.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

My advice is to never be embarrassed or hold yourself back.  If you love to write, you can succeed at writing, but only if you keep at it.  I spent a very long time being scared to fail, and scared to share because of it.  The first time I had to have a class reading of one of my scripts I was terrified, but I soon realized that we are all in this together and the writing community is quite supportive.  Never, ever feel like your words aren’t worth sharing.


Check out Samantha’s work in the issue, Volume 3, Issue 1 and Volume 3, Issue 2.


Ellie White

Ellie White holds an MFA from Old Dominion University. She writes poetry and nonfiction, and is the creator of the online comic strip “Uterus & Ellie.” Her work has appeared in Antiphon Poetry Magazine, Harpur Palate, Tincture and several other journals. Ellie’s chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, was released by ELJ Publications in June 2015. She is a nonfiction editor at Four Ties Literary Review, and the Social Media Editor for Muzzle Magazine. She currently lives near some big rocks and trees outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hypnophobia #1357, Volume 3, Issue 2

Larry D. Thacker

Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found or is forthcoming in more than ninety publications including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Tower Poetry Society, Mad River Review, Spillway, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming, Drifting in Awe. He’s presently working on his MFA in both poetry and fiction. Visit his website at: www.larrydthacker.com.

Project:_______, Volume 3, Issue 2

Ethel Stirman

Ethel Stirman is a 64 year-old wife, mother, and grandmother. In her time, she has worked as a metallurgical chemist, run a small retail business, and taught English in a secondary school, ending her working life as a consultant for Durham Local Authority. Her interests include local history and heritage, lawn bowls, reading, and writing. She belongs to Easington Writers and to Hartlepool Writers and has contributed stories and poetry to several ventures. She is now working on her first novel.

Childhood Memories, Volume 3, Issue 2