Each day through February 1st — our upcoming application deadline — we’ll be spotlighting our faculty…today, it’s fiction professor Mary Otis. Here, a sentence from her story “Where We Missed Was Everywhere” is animated by Electric Literature:
And here’s an interview with Mary where she talks about her writing process:
I witness a remarkable number of strange, comic, beautiful, and sad incidents in Los Angeles on a daily basis. And it does affect my writing. I walk a lot and drive even more and am constantly struck by what I see and hear, or what I’m left to imagine. Last week, while walking my dog one afternoon, I came upon a nude pregnant woman being photographed in the street, I saw a man dressed as Spider Man coming out of a bar, and I overhead a woman patiently saying to a child, “All the fish have died.” For a sprawling, “open” city, there is so much about it that is hidden or a mystery to me, and it endlessly compels me. That said, I think many of my stories primarily depend upon a kind of emotional geography. In a number of the stories, the characters are looking for a place where they belong, whether it be in a relationship, a family or a job. Many are dealing with some kind of loss amidst the fantastical circus of life, which cranks on, regardless. I think this kind of thing is possible anywhere, and especially possibly in Los Angeles.