About

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I write modern fairy tales (read one here) and make art from the pages. I’ve lived happily ever after in Texas for almost 15 years.

Where I grew up–on a long stretch of road in central Florida–my father told me a witch lived in the abandoned house under a cluster of punk trees and moss. Our own house faced a lake big enough for an island in the middle where blackbirds settled for the sunset. Florida is—in case you don’t know–a perfect place to develop an interest in sharp objects. That’s why I write stories with odd twists, turns, and edges.

One time my husband and I were discussing my feelings about Florida, and I had to say, “If I stopped hating Florida, I wouldn’t be me anymore. It’d be like not drinking coffee.”

I was born there. My maternal grandmother moved there in the 1920s. My father moved there in 1959. That’s hardly any history at all—-except in Florida. That’s a lot! But as much as my father loves the place, and as much as I love my dad, I would be happy to never set foot in the state ever again. When I’m there, I feel as if death is stalking me.

But I left home at 17 to study English and writing in Indiana. Ended with my Master’s Degree from Kent State University. To see something else of the world I joined the Peace Corps and taught English in Bulgaria for two years. But one way or another I always made art and wrote.

I write because stories well up in my brain and I would go mad if I didn’t let them out. Perhaps it is unfortunate that I write a lot about creeps. That’s what happens when you grow up in a major creep capitol.

If you take a look at my art, all the words in the pictures you see today are from my novels and stories. The images are not representational of the writing, but are images I like and find compelling–and perhaps that capture the mood of the story.

I do work with other people’s words, too. I created a CD cover and insert art for a musician using his lyrics and notes. I’ve also used favorite poems or words in other made to order pieces and pieces for fund raisers. My work has been shown three times over three years at Genuine Joe’s Coffee House in Austin and two years in Art City Austin. My work has appeared in Onomatopoeia Magazine and been featured over at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast. NPR’s series “In Character” selected a short piece on my love of Dorothy Gale and a fairy tale appeared in the May 2011 issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest.

I make art and write stories in a cluttered (because housework is for people who talk about writing more than they actually write) corner of my living room late at night while my family sleeps. (My family might claim I neglect them.)

Art, I believe, can be made anywhere by anyone. Make something.

I believe in writing whether or not anyone is reading. But if you’re reading, thank you!

You can contact me at mapelba at gmail dot com.

Unfortunately because of the lighting, you can't read the sign on the door--but if you know the TARDIS, you know what it says. My friend is edited out since I'm posting this late at night and can't seem to wait to get her permission to use her image on my blog.

23 thoughts on “About

  1. Okay, listen, I swore I wouldn’t post something about this in a regular comment but can’t figure out how else to do it and it’s driving me crazy…

    What, if anything, do you see happening — or WANT to happen — on the two Lake Belle blogs, vis-a-vis interaction from blog readers? I’ve been afraid to comment there, although it’s been tempting, because I don’t want to interfere with the “story line”… either by breaking the fourth wall, as they say (i.e. commenting as another writer: as a reader of the project), or by actually responding to the posts as if they were REAL people? It’s such a cool thing but also seems so fragile. If that makes any sense.

    For instance, in the current Belle Weather post, the writer expresses frustration that there’s no news. Do you want readers to sort of play along — chime in as if they were Belle inhabitants? or relatives of Belle inhabitants? That is, do you want to get comments, as it were, from within the story, even if you haven’t provided the comments yourself?

    No matter the answer, I really do like stopping in at both places to see what’s going on.

    Feel free to delete this comment, of course — I don’t know if you even want to entertain comments HERE about what’s going on THERE. :)

  2. JES, I’ve been thinking about your comment a lot today. Part of my problem is that I feel I haven’t figured out all that I want the other blogs to be. Dennis Cass gave me some suggestions about that in fact. I really want to spend more time on it–it does seem that that my writing has become a full-time job that I do in part-time hours and so only half of what I want gets done.

    I appreciate your reading and hope to have things better figured out soon. Or soonish.

  3. Good for you for thinking about it. Like I said, there’s a stupendous amount of potential there. As is, the In Lake Belle blog suggests almost — well, not like a Spoon River Anthology exactly… more like… uh… You familiar with Our Town? The scenes at the cemetery, where the dead are talking back and forth among themselves? That’s what In Lake Belle is like — only the participants are alive.

    (If you’d rather not invite comments, btw, you might think about turning them off in your WordPress admin pages. Bet I’m not the only one who’s visited and been tempted to role-play a new character.)

    Shortly after I joined Dennis’s Ning thing, I read his post in which he discussed “What can I [i.e., Dennis] do for you?” In that post he talked about a member who had a network of blogs (words to that effect) but wasn’t sure what to do with them. Later, when I came across your profile and first visited here, the light bulb went on over my head. I honestly do think it’s a way-cool thing to do!

    Soonish is good. :)

  4. One can never drink too much coffee! And wha’t’s life without an obsession or two. The pictures looks exactly like the old Marta I knew from ISU.

  5. Awesome! I am impressed. I came here because the link showed up on my blog, englishthulika.wordpress.com. I am glad the related links feature worked to my advantage. I will be back to read more.
    Keep writing. Nothing more pleasurable. And best wishes,

    Malathi

  6. Awesome pic…I can’t believe I found you!! I have been looking for so long…I figured you’d be a writer…good job!!

  7. it’s that wonderful blend of optimism and pessimism in your cup of martajoe that made stories about the jewelry counter at JCPenney’s hilarious and woeful.

  8. Hi, I also grew up in central Florida (Hardee County) and am a volunteer in Brazil. Like you, I am also an artist and writer. Your blog is interesting…if only there were more hours to read them all! Nice to meet you! hugs, pat

    • Oh, you grew up south of me. I lived in Polk County. Hope you’re enjoying your work in Brazil–my time as a volunteer was awesome and maddening. Even when I was miserable I loved it.

      Are you able to make art and write now?

      Thank you for stopping by. And you’re right–there are too many blogs to ever read them all. I read what I can.

      Nice to meet you too, and good luck where you are.

  9. Pingback: Special Feature: Marta Pelrine Bacon | On The Plum Tree

  10. Happy to have found you here on WP, Marta. Your post came up when I was searching for blogs on “writing”, just fyi. I’m looking forward to discovering more about your fairytales. :))

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