Rhoda Weber Mack
Rhoda Weber Mack writes long-form YA fiction, short stories, flash, creative nonfiction and poetry as her way of understanding the nuances of complexity. Her short stories have been published in Epiphany, a BEST OF CARVE anthology, and the recent CRONE RISING anthology with creative nonfiction.Currently she is on a slow-motion cross-country trek, following an irascible character who bikes in and out of her current WIP.
Hello. Also, Introducing Myself.
I have sometimes thought that my childhood began in the twilight of the 18th Century, among the independent Swiss Mennonite freeholders who fled to William Penn’s Woods in the 1700’s. But it began before that, in the Renaissance of the 1400's, when learning and independent thought were rediscovered in the group-think of the Dark Ages. The Swiss university students who read the original Christian scriptures for themselves came to some radical and norm-challenging ideas: The individual is not a vassal born to the feudal church-state, but freely chooses one's spiritual affiliation as a critically-thinking adult, and furthermore, the choice to follow one's conscience meant living a life of integrity and high principles, including steadfast compassionate non-violence in the face of medieval torture and executions.
We came to America, rooted in our story of our place in the world: that we were a people set apart, that we were to be in the world, but not of the world. This placed me early as an outlier observer of pop culture. Our way of life moved slowly parallel to the rush to modernity. The fence lines kept out the changing world.
But the fields of home were bounded by the unknown, and I was curious. I asked for complexity, and I got it, full-blown and sandpaper subtle. I rode the cusp of generational change in the late 20th C, and the world got a lot more complicated. A long trek through Middle Europe and Africa took me back to the beginnings of human history, and I fell through a hole in time, where the worlds I didn’t know were larger than all I thought I knew.
The original stone cottage on the family farm, with a narrow winder staircase and the aroma of smoked hams.
Telling the story, as it comes to me, gives me voice to interplay the nuances of our contradictory and shared stories. I excavate the archives, choosing the world-building stories for this peculiar time. The world we build for ourselves is construed of the stories we choose to tell and then, to believe.
WeberMack.com is a place for me to post downloads and shares, free for the taking.
If you like it, pass it on. Get first notice of new downloads here.
WeberMack.com gives me a place to talk about those other things that matter in the time-shift of the 21st century. Say hi on your way out, via the Contact page, and I'll send you Ramie's Curious Card of riddles. See how the riddles resolve themselves for you. Come back often, and bookmark for new Downloads-and-Shares.
And I am seriously, bemused.
#Why I Write and #Why YA?
#WhyYA? Does the sleeper awaken? Does the awakened sleeper notice?
The challenge, the quest, the heroic and improbable act.
The ally, the hidden key, the prize.
The power awaiting, the rite of passage, the fearful initiation.
The themes of #YA are lifelong maps. #whyIwrite
In wiser times and cultures, the adolescent was given a powerful rite of passage:
a ritual separation from childhood and everything known, a state of ambiguity, openness, and uncertainty, often with a heroic task to perform, and supportive incorporation back into the community. But our elders live in our own echo chamber of self-fulfilling ignorance, disconnected from human history to understand the large forces that prey on us, largely at a loss to understand or guide our own estranged young adults. What is the narrative here? We barely know.
"I think every adolescent is on that bike ride, lost out on the parking lots and dead ends somewhere in middle America. Riding past all those promises of the things you've been told to want, and are tauntingly inaccessible.
"But it's raw out, it's raining, and you know you are lost. And you are looking for that one thing that will make it all right, that perfect chocolate creme donut.
"And when you do find that donut, it tastes like crap.
And no matter how desperately you wanted it, it doesn't fix your life."
--Beta Reader Emily B, The Thin Door