Ruben Rodriguez–Interview

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

Like any aspiring writer, I used to write a lot in bars. There is plenty of material in places that allows people’s guard down. Now, most of my writing takes place in my home. I like to stand while writing. Place my journal or computer on an elevated surface: a tote full of thrift finds, the turntable, kitchen counter. When I’m pressing ink to paper, I’m working. It’s a solo job done by steady hands. Silence is wonderful, music distracting. When I write, I’m there to scoop up enchiladas. I don’t like to fake it.

What is your routine for writing?

I wish I had a routine. Even now, I’m punching out the answers to these questions, an hour after they were expected. Writing is like offering flesh. It’s bloody and stings, but it kind of looks nice up there on the altar.

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

This evening, I was sitting with some friends over pints and slices, describing a collage of defeats, said, I spent a decade learning to write without having anything to say. In this last year and a half I’ve been offered no time to write, yet have read more now than the cumulative prior. I’m starting to get the hang of the writing. At worst, I got my hands on the pedals and my feet gripping the steering wheel.

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

Laughter is a defense mechanism. If I am not laughing in composition, than I am torturing myself. No one has ever called me jolly, but I think it’s because they like me.

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

Blocked is an excuse. Sometimes you can’t write what you want to write. That does not mean that you cannot write. I write, now, because one day the sun will rise, and my lungs will be empty. That sucks. The writing sucks too, but at least I can be a part of it.

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

I teach. I sell vintage clothing. I hike through the wonders of New Mexico every Sunday. I like the idea that is analog. I find its process tedious. My sister allows me to store art in her attic. I think she regrets that decision.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

After the ever-many months between conception and publication, I read the work and say to myself, I can do better. I know I can do better. I strive to write that thing ever-after I will high-five.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

If you want to write, attach consequence to your writing. Be-Have. Art is a process of realized action. Thinking is never enough. Sit your ass down and do it. Be what you want to be. Have the life you want to live.


Check out Ruben‘s work in Volume 4, Issue 1.

Volume 5, Issue 1 Theme

The issue will be available January 2019.

The optional theme is Lost and Found. See the Submit tab for details on how to submit. We accept photography, art, comics, creative nonfiction, fiction, flash fiction, experimental work, and poetry.

For poetry, I would love to see more Blackout and Cross out poems. For examples, check out these books: Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon, A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel by Tom Phillips, The ms of m y kin by Janet Holmes, Bukowski Erasure Poetry Anthology: A Collection of Poems Based on the Writings of Charles Bukowski by Melanie Villines, A Little White Shadow by Mary Ruefle, Mornings Like This: Found Poems by Annie Dillard, Nets by Jen Bervin, and Of Lamb by Matthea Harvey. Please submit the original and the typed version. And for fiction, creative nonfiction, and art, photography, and comics, please interpret this theme how you will, or see if you can do something new and unique with this found poetry method.

Volume 4, Issue 2 is Here!

The issue is available as a PDF: TMR Volume 4 Issue 2.

The optional theme is comics, be it drawn in sequential images or just plain funny.

Contributors: Gershon Ben-Avraham, Susan P. Blevins, Mela Blust, Charles W. Brice, Aria Callaham, Joan Colby, Holly Day, Darren C. Demaree, Adam Durso, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Sarah A. Etlinger, GTimothy Gordon, John Grey, Jack D. Harvey, Aloura Hattendorf, Henry Hitz, Diane Hoffman, A.J. Huffman, Phil Huffy, James Croal Jackson, Lonnie James, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Matthew J. Kreglow, Claire Martin, Megan Miazgowicz, Jennifer Davis Michael, Paul Mills, TJ Neathery, Simon Perchik, Steven B. Rosenfeld, David Anthony Sam, William L. Spencer, David Spicer, Chuck Thompson, Dennis Trujillo, Bess Vanrenen, Maryfrances Wagner, Michael Whelan, Theresa Williams, and Kelsey Zimmerman.

Reviews: Hold Me Gorilla Monsoon by Colette Arrand, Auri by Auri, Internet Yearnings by Gary Beck, Mnemosyne’s Hand: Poems by Charles W. Brice, Her Secret Husband by Abbey Faith, The Future by From Ashes to NewBurn Site In Bloom by Jamie HoughtonRookland by Jesse Minkert, Beach Dweller Manifesto by Leah MuellerGhost Matter by Jade RamseyHeavenly Whispers by Roger SipplPermanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice, and i’m fine: A Haiku Collection About Mental Illness by Jamie Winters.

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award: Theresa Williams, for “From The Diary of Lea Knight,” chosen by Dom Fonce.

Theresa Williams

Theresa Williams lives and teaches in Northwest Ohio. Her current project is a Sketchbook novel called The Diary of Lea Knight. It traces the inner life of Lea Knight, who has recently lost a baby. Theresa twice received Individual Excellence Grants from The Ohio Arts Council and has been published in numerous journals, including Gargoyle, Hunger Mountain, and The Sun.

From The Diary of Lea Knight, Volume 4, Issue 2
Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award, selected by Dom Fonce

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan is the author of the poetry collection After God. He is the winner of Leitrim Guardian’s 2012 Literary Awards and his work has appeared in The Best American Poetry BlogThe Washington PostThe Boston GlobeThe Los Angeles TimesThe Galway ReviewLittle Patuxent Review and many other journals.

Tid Bit and Three Words, Volume 4, Issue 2