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.