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On Ritual: ASF Contributors on Their Writing/Artistic Routines (Today: Laura C. J. Owen)

1 Jan

Today, as part of a five-day series, we present our findings, from the silly to the sublime: the routines and rituals—or lack of them—of ASF Winter ’09 contributors. . .

* Eugene Cross * Leigh Gallagher * Karen S. Ingram * Michael Noll * Laura C. J. Owen *

Laura C. J. Owen (“The Execution Trick,” Winter ’09) on ritual:

“I fear getting into a routine and I also hate change. This means the idea of writing about routine makes me sweat a lot from my armpits.

“Mostly I write in coffee shops. Because I fear routine, the coffee shops always rotate. Because I deal badly with change, I rotate between the same three coffee shops.

“At the coffee shop, I buy a necessary coffee and let the coffee do its work razoring my brain. Eventually I give up and buy a hideously overpriced sandwich, generally something like: goat cheese with pesto, bean sprouts, and a mango salsa reduction.  I eat the sandwich, hurting my mouth on the crusty bread.

“I write some more! I drink more coffee! My hands are shaking and my mouth is dry. I need to pee. Inevitably, it is now time to go. I leave the coffee shop, still needing to pee, head spinning.

Laura C. J. Owen was born in England, grew up in Arizona, and came to Minnesota for school. She has a BA from Carleton College in English and theater, and an MFA in fiction from the University of Minnesota. She has received the University of Minnesota’s Gesell Award for fiction and a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and the University of Wisconsin—River Falls. You can visit her website here.

*If there’s an ASF (or other) author whose rituals you’d like to hear about, comment below. We’ll report back soon.

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