Hello! Matthew here with another announcement! And this is one I’ve been waiting for.
Those of you who have been reading our about us will have already noticed this, but we’ve taken in a new editor! I know Dani Neiley from Chapman’s Calliope, but after I graduated she spent some time as the editor-in-chief. On top of that, she has some web-design experience, so if you remember when we unveiled our now-working comments section, feel free to thank her. Dani will be our official webmaster from now on, but wait there’s more.
Since all the rest of us had an interview a few months back, we thought it’d be unfair for Dani to miss out on the fun. Besides, there are those of you who don’t yet know her. So here’s our editor interview for Dani Neiley.
How did you hear about The Metaworker and what attracted you to the magazine?
Dani: I heard about it on Facebook when it first started, because my recently graduated friends from Calliope created it and I remember thinking “I hope when I graduate I can convince them to let me join…” and here we are!
Since you’re the Webmaster, how did you get involved in this technical stuff? What do you like best about it?
Dani: It’s kind of embarrassing but I taught myself basic HTML/CSS in middle school so I could make my Blogger template look better, because at the time I had this Harry Potter blog, I don’t even remember what I made posts about, but at one point I wanted the template to be rainbow colored. So I stayed up really late for a week messing around with the code until I knew how to do things like change border width and color, etc. I’m absolutely horrible with numbers and am the worst at following diagrams (even Lego diagrams) so I’m not sure why I enjoy web design so much, but it gives me the same satisfaction that finishing a puzzle does.
You’re also a writer, so what sort of subjects/genres do you like to write about and why?
Dani: My favorite genre is dark comedy, pretty much everything I’ve written throughout college has been along those lines. In high school I was obsessed with British television and that dry, understated style of writing stuck with me. My poetry is totally different though – I write prose poetry and try to write a mini-narrative in each poem. The Quiet World by Jeffrey McDaniel is my favorite poem forever.
What or who influenced you to start writing?
Dani: All of the reading I did as a kid made me want to write. Where I grew up, the library was five minutes from my house, and my mom always took my sister and I when school let out for the summer so I could get a bag full of books, read them all in a week, and then go back for more. But I’d say Harry Potter is really what influenced me to start writing, because the majority of the first stories I wrote in middle school were Harry Potter fan fiction… There’s a lot of Harry Potter name dropping in this interview. But then I started writing my own stories because that was more interesting.
Are you a morning person or a night person? Does that influence what time of day you write?
Dani: During the summer I’m usually a night person, but then I transition back to a morning person. I don’t really have a specific writing time, though. I kind of just write when I feel like it or when I have an idea I can’t get out of my head.
Do you prefer coffee or tea? Cats or dogs? Mac or PC?
Dani: I’m not really supposed to drink coffee because I have bad anxiety but I do anyway, and like any other basic white girl I am a slave to Starbucks. But I’m trying to get back to that point where I can get by with just Earl Grey. DOGS, ALWAYS. I love cats with my whole heart but I would always choose dogs. Mac, because I have no idea how to use anything above Windows 7.
Have any of your pieces been published? Where?
Dani: Yes! I’ve been pretty fortunate. 5 of my short stories/poems were in Calliope, last June I had a short story published at Bartleby Snopes, and I had poems in the undergraduate lit mags Green Blotter and Polaris.
What else are you involved in when you’re not busy with The Metaworker?
Dani: I am currently the Film Editor for Drunk Monkeys, another online literary magazine, so I manage the film posts and a few film writers which has been really fun. Other than that I work on my own writing, try and read as much as I can (Douglas Coupland is my favorite author right now), watch movies, and crochet. So basically I’m just a very boring and currently unemployed 22-year-old.
Have you gone to any literary or tech events lately? Which ones?
Dani: I totally haven’t. I’m the Webmaster after all, do you think I go outside? Seriously though, I do enjoy literary events and kind of hope Word Theatre is back at Chapman again in the fall. I’ve actually never been to a tech event before.
Other than The Metaworker, do you have a favorite literary journal and/or website?
Dani: I don’t really have one that I read regularly besides Drunk Monkeys. I have two issues of Tin House I still need to read, oops. I also like Cease, Cows because it publishes prose poetry.
If you could be any character, who would you be and why?
Dani: I always wanted to be Violet Baudelaire or Hermione Granger as a kid – I still admire them both but I feel like my life is kind of at an awkward Bridget Jones phase, without the love life problems. Somehow I managed to figure that out already.
Other than your keys or phone, what is one item that MUST be in your pocket or purse before you head out the door?
Dani: I usually always take my journal with me because I rely entirely on to-do lists in order to function properly. I used to always take it with me and write before class, but that habit stopped when I got really busy this past year so I’m trying to get back into the habit now that I am out of school and have free time.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Dani: I can’t really think of anything in particular, but I always have a really hard time saying no to people. That has caused many problems but I always try to help people if I’m able, even if it causes me to bend over backwards. But other than that I usually ignore difficult situations and hope they go away. Of course, they don’t.
Do you have any helpful resources for writers or techies that you’d like to share?
Dani: I’m a visual learner so I’m always inspired by images. I just found this website unsplash.com that has a ton of beautiful and commercial free images, so if you want writing inspiration or a new laptop wallpaper it’s got you covered.
What are three books you think everyone should read and why?
Dani: “Then We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris: because it’s my favorite book ever
“The Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector: because it’s amazing and sad and short
“Lost At Sea” by Bryan Lee O’Malley: because it will make you feel less lonely
Anything else you’d like to add?
Dani: If you read this far, good on ya. If not, that’s okay too. :’)