Posted in Elephants, Writing

On the Air! Radio Interview About Writing and the Writing Life

Several months ago, Sheila Bender, friend and fellow writer, interviewed me for her radio show, “In Conversation: Discussions on Writing and the Writing Life.”  The show will air Tuesday, Nov. 27th at noon PST and Thursday, Nov. 29th at 6 p.m, PST.  It can be heard streaming from our local radio station at  I talk about elephants and why I decided to write about them.  I hope you get a chance to hear it.

In writing Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants, I tried to answer two questions – what is it like to live with elephants, and, what is it like to live?  For me, writing is living.  I write everywhere, all the time, tucking pieces of paper into pockets, jotting down notes under the covers, with a flashlight on.  I write on the backs of envelopes, I write in the margins of manuscripts, I write in notebooks, notepads and ipads.  I write because reading is just one of the pleasures caused by words, even though words by themselves are drops of human magic, sprinkled against death and darkness.  I write to grave rob my own language, excavating tombs of words and phrases, looking for riches, for golden ideas buried in underworlds of common dust.

Every writer tells old stories in order to see anew.  All humans take the same journey from life to death, though our paths are never the same.  We begin as an explosion of infinite possibilities and then, for the rest of our lives, fall back upon ourselves, grabbing at some of those possibilities during our fall.  Our trajectory, which touched the very rim of life, descends toward the center, ending at zero, at what some see as a portal and others see as finality.  Falling, always falling towards the center of ourselves, the huge unknown universe within, our journeys are all the same.

I write to tell about my journey, my story, and it all comes together in just one place, my writing room.

As you listen to this interview, you can also see where I write.

One side of the room I write in.
And the other


Cheryl Merrill’s essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Pilgrimage, Brevity, Seems, South Loop Review, Ghoti, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adventum and Isotope. “Singing Like Yma Sumac” was selected for the Best of Brevity 2005 and Creative Nonfiction #27. It was also included in the anthology Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, 10th Edition. Another essay, “Trunk,” was chosen for Special Mention in Pushcart 2008. She is currently working on a book about elephants: Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants.

4 thoughts on “On the Air! Radio Interview About Writing and the Writing Life

  1. Always running at the back of the pack, trying so hard to catch up, I have missed your interview. I went to the station to see if it might be archived and didn’t find it. It is, I hope you will post the link.

    I don’t feel too bereft however, since reading this post was such a wonderful experience. There is so much wisdom and delightful word play here. Thank you.

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