Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#122 Inside the Emotion of Fiction "Girl Gone Missing" by Marcie R. Rendon

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****Marcie Rendon’s GIRL GONE MISSING  is #122 in the never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt.  All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece. 

Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us? Girl Gone Missing.  Yes, we had a list of about twenty title choices – most variations of ‘girl’ or ‘missing’. We, my editor Lee Byrd and I, narrowed it down to about 5 and then another group of folks were consulted about marketability and finally Girl Gone Missing was the chosen title.

Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no. If yes, what publisher and what publication date?
Girl Gone Missing was published by Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas in June of 2019.

What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction? I think I started writing it in November of 2017 and the finished draft was sent to Cinco Puntos in November of 2018.

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work? And please describe in detail.
I often write at a computer in my home office; I would not dare post a photo of that mess. I am also honored to be the recipient of friend’s generosity. They allow me to spend two weeks each year at their home on the north shore of Lake Superior. 

What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? I write on a computer or my laptop. My writing habits vary depending on where and when I can get the most work done. Sometimes that is early morning, sometimes late at night. I have a writing partner with whom I visit various coffee shops and restaurants around the city. We will write on our laptops for a couple hours then go our separate ways, often with little conversation between the two of us. Because I prefer absolute silence when I write, I get most of my writing done when I am at my writing retreat on the north shore or go off by myself to someplace where there is limited options for my family to be in contact with me. (Above Left:  Marcie in November 2016)
I tend to eat a lot of popcorn and drink unlimited amounts of green tea while writing. I also favor Ethiopian food and Mexican tamales while typing away in restaurants.

Were there any deletions from this excerpt that you can share with us? And can you please include a photo of your marked up rough drafts of this excerpt. There were no big deletions. Lee Byrd, editor at Cinco Puntos, and myself go back and forth via email and word doc during the editing process. Following is just one email exchange between myself and Lee:

Email from Lee:  This isn't altogether clear. First Cash tears the strips of sheet, then she knots them together, then she measures them, then she knots them together again? What am I not understanding?

What excerpt of the book was the most emotional for you to write? This excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.

Excerpt in this Black Font Below

She went back to the bed and began tying the sheet strips together. She kept the strips under the sheet, hidden, in case the other women returned, pulling out just the ends she was tying together. She used a bowknot she had learned from some farmer who had hired her to help him build a tree house for his kids a few years back. 
When all the strips were tied together, she stepped into the closet and went way to the back. She measured the sheet rope along her body by stepping on one end and raising it the length of her body. She figured two rope lengths were about ten feet. Altogether she figured she had about thirty feet of rope.
She folded the whole thing in half and began twisting and knotting it about every four feet. Even then, she figured it was still long enough to reach from the upstairs window where she was to about the middle of the window downstairs. 
Email from Marcie: When all the strips were tied together she stepped into the closet and went way to the back to  quickly hide the rope under the clothes scattered on the floor if anyone came through the door. She measured the sheet rope along her body by stepping on one end and raising it the length of her body. She estimated two rope lengths were about ten feet. Altogether she figured she had about thirty feet of rope. 
She knelt in the closet and added another knot every four feet to give the girls a better handhold for the climb down.  Even then, she figured it was still long enough to reach from the upstairs window where she was to about the middle of the window downstairs. 

Why is this excerpt so emotional for you to write? And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific scene/excerpt? Again, when I was writing that excerpt, I was just concentrating on getting the story told in the best way possible.  When I have written poetry I cried while writing it and there are times when writing something I will laugh because I think it is funny or I am really pleased with how something has turned out but I think with my novels I work so hard to just get the story out that I don’t notice my own emotional involvement in them.

When I am writing I am actually not very emotionally involved in the story. I am just working hard to get the story and words out of my head and unto the page. I am surprised that there are people who find passages of the book funny. With Girl Gone Missing I am most surprised by feedback from readers who cried at the passages that describe Cash’s reactions in the aftermath of her solving the crime. They are moved by her resilience and determination in the face of life-long adversary. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give the story away to those who haven’t read it.

Other works you have published?

Am Roten Fluss (2017) Argument publisher, Hamburg, Germany

Murder on the Red River (2017) Cinco Puntos Press
Pinckley Women’s Debut Crime Novel Award, 2018
Finalist for SPUR Best Contemporary Western Writers Award, 2018

A Song for Marie and Adjidamo (2016) McGraw Hill Educational

Pow-wow Summer (2014) MN Historical Press

The Farmer’s Market (2001) CarolRhoda Publishers, Mpls., MN Native Artists: Livelihoods, Resources, Space, Gifts (2010) Rendon, Marcie, Markusen, Ann; Arts Economy Initiative Project on Regional and Industrial Economics, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Published Plays:
Band Camp; Contemporary Plays by Women of Color, edited by Roberta Uno, Routledge Press, 2018

Friends...; Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Theater, edited by Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Kelli Lyon Johnson, and William A. Wortman; Miami University Press, Oxford, Ohio. 2009

Bring the Children Home:  Footpaths & Bridges: Voices from the Native American Women Playwrights archive; edited by Shirley Huston-Findley & Rebecca Howard; University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2008

SongCatcher: A Native perspective of Frances Densmore; published in Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater; UCLA American Indian Studies Center; Los Angeles, California (2003)

Short Stories (short selection):

doing it for us…, Yellow Medicine Review, edited by Paul Rowley, Fall 2019

Tonight Wasn’t Her Night to Die, Down to the River anthology, edited by Tim O’Mara; April 2019

Civil Defense, Dark Side of the Loon; short story in Sisters in Crime Anthology; May 2018

Worry and Wonder in Sky Blue Water: Short Fiction by 15 of Minnesota's Great Children's Writers edited by Jay D. Peterson and Collette Morgan, Univ of Minnesota Press, 2016

Fiction on a Stick; we are each the next seventh generation….; collection of short stories for Milkweed Press, 2008

Yellow Medicine Review – Winter 2007 – Short Story: a very common, very untraditional tale; edited by Heid Erdrich; SW University of Minnesota, Marshall, MN

Anything you would like to add? Thank you so much and watch for book three of the Cash Blackbear stories.

Marcie Rendon is a citizen of the White Earth Nation. Her novel, Girl Gone Missing, Cinco Puntos Press, is the second in the Cash Blackbear series. The first, Murder on the Red River (2017 Cinco Puntos Press) received the Pinckley Women’s Debut Crime Novel Award 2018. It was a Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist 2018 Contemporary Novel category. 
          Two nonfiction children’s books are Pow Wow Summer (MN Historical Press) and Farmer’s Market: Families Working Together (CarolRhoda). Rendon was recognized as a 50 over 50 Change-maker by MN AARP and POLLEN, 2018. With four published plays she is the creative mind of Raving Native Theater. 
          She creates and curates community created performance such as TPT Public Television’s Art Is…CreativeNativeResilience which features three Anishinabe performance artists, June 2019. Diego Vazquez and Rendon received the Loft’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for their work with women incarcerated in county jails.


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