Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview with Associate Editor Jim Giese

This is the third in a series of four interviews with the Stoneboat editorial team. Check back soon for an interview with Rob, and scroll down to read interviews with Signe and Lisa.

About Stoneboat:

How did you get involved with Stoneboat?
I was lured in by campfires and cold beer, promises of endless profits, and reassurances that Stoneboat would only entail a “few” hours of work per month. The campfires and cold beer have been plentiful.

What is your role at Stoneboat?
To make sure the current issue price is clearly labeled on each cover (my attempt at reaching those “endless” profits).

What do you look for in a submission?
Writing that compels the voice in my head to tell the other voices in my head to shut up, then tells me that I have to keep reading, that if I were to stop I would be missing something special.

What is the surest way for you to give a submission an automatic "no"?
I need to be grabbed, or at least poked, early on. If it is a struggle to make it through the first paragraph or first stanza, my interest wanes quickly; however, there are very few pieces I don’t read all the way through—just in case.

What has surprised you the most about working on a small literary journal?
I am humbled, and quite amazed, at the seemingly endless number of writers in our not-so-small world.

What have you learned from your experiences with Stoneboat?

Just how much there is that I don’t know. Such as, I am pretty sure I will never know 10% of what can be done in InDesign, maybe 5% of what’s possible in Illustrator, and if I can get to 1% in Photoshop I would be content (not really, but it’s a start).

Just for fun:

What do you do when you're not working on Stoneboat?
In an apparently subconscious attempt to further build up my immunity to frustration, I have taken up photography as a hobby.

What's on your iPod?
Ummm…what iPod? Okay, I will admit I do have an iPod shuffle (only because I found a sale on refurbished units for $12 that even I couldn’t pass on). I use it when mowing the grass, and all that exists within the tiny aluminum case are podcasts of NPR’s Click and Clack.

Who are your favorite writers?
When looking for inspiration, I always find myself going back to David Quammen, Mark Spragg, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson. I was recently introduced to the writing of Joe Wilkins, who is quickly becoming a favorite. I also enjoy outdoor writer Steven Rinella.

What are you currently working on?
I am endlessly working on revisions to an essay about the death of my father; I find it very difficult to not be cliché when writing about the death of a family member. I am also working on an essay in which I took my non-hunting brother on a hunt for a very elusive remnant population of Wisconsin feral pigs.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

What is the worst job you've ever had?
Siphoning pheasant semen through a straw….

What is something that people would not know about you based on your resumé?
That I absolutely, positively, cannot, and should not (and therefore never do) dance—or sing.

What is something your fellow Stoneboat editors don't know about you?
I was a national BMX champion…in 1983…in Saudi Arabia.

If you were to cast your fellow Stoneboat editors in your favorite movie/TV show/musical/novel, what parts would they play?

Signe- Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music- honestly, I am not sure if Signe enjoys singing but something tells me she is a good singer. Or maybe it’s her connection to the mountains (of Alaska, not Austria, but mountains nonetheless) or that I see her as someone who is very astute to people’s needs and is very good at teaching without coming across as being a teacher.

Lisa- Mattie Ross- I see Mattie Ross from
True Grit as a young Lisa. Full of spunk (which she still is) and persistent—both character traits that make Lisa such a great co-editor. However, Lisa toting a Colt Dragoon (or any other gun for that matter) is something that I have a hard time envisioning.

Rob- Ferris Bueller- I do believe that the character Ferris was actually modeled after Rob. I would like to think (and would be disappointed to find out otherwise) that Rob—who definitely has the wiliness and overall likeability to pull off such a similar grandiose day—had at least one classic senior skip day that would put Ferris’s day to shame.

What should the Stoneboat fan club know about you?
I still get confused about the proper use of em and en dashes.


Lisa said...

Great read Jim, I learned so much about you. I am pleased to be Mattie Ross. That suits me well. I could definitely hold a gun if there was a remarkably good reason to do so. Define "remarkably good."

Sig. said...

I can't sing or dance, and in fact I take the Jim approach of making a point to do neither in public. That said, I could probably best Julie Andrews in a contest centered around twirling in the mountains with one's arms outstretched. In fact, my sister and I used to do this in our back yard all the time, belting "the hills are aliiiiiiiiiive with the sound of muuuuuuuuusic" at the top of our lungs. Looking back, I feel bad for our neighbors.

Jim, I expect a full demonstration of your mad BMX skillz this spring. Our editorial field trip will have to include a location with some dirt hills and ramps and whatnot.