Cashmere writer Loren Meloy

Loren Meloy

In these strange and uncertain times, Write On The River would like to help you take a breath. Even in darkness, creativity abounds, and we want to tell you about some of the people in our community who contribute to the arts scene.

First up is Loren Meloy from Cashmere. He is active not only in the writing scene, as co-liaison of NaNoWriMo and a board member at Write On The River, but in the local performing arts scene as well. He is always good for a laugh and good energy.

Q: What do you write?

A: I write mostly satire and science fiction and enjoy combining the two. So much of science fiction is an absurd fever dream anyway — why not lean into it and tell a few jokes? I was also supposed to teach a course on comedy writing at Wenatchee Valley College this spring, but we’re postponing until the fall.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: I’ve been calling myself a writer since 2015, but I’ve been writing since the establishment forced me to as a child. I begrudgingly kept up the habit so I could use large words like “begrudgingly” and feel smart.

Q: What do you enjoy most about it?

A: Besides the feeling smart part, the thing I enjoy most about writing is the opportunity to answer questions nobody is asking you. I ripped that off of an interview NPR did with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco. Do I listen to NPR? Do I listen to Wilco? I’m glad you asked, and the answer is yes. Now that you know I listen to NPR and Wilco, you should also know that I enjoy feeling hip and knowing that others know I’m hip. Writing keeps me cool.

Being a writer also makes me great at parties, post-Covid-19. Before, when I would tell people I was a writer, people were nice enough about it but I could see it in their faces: “What do you really do?” Now, people are relieved because they know I didn’t get laid off from writing. I still get the obligatory story ideas though. You are right, guy who does my uncle’s taxes, I should definitely write about hot twins from space. Don’t worry, I Googled it for you and it’s mostly articles about astronaut Scott Kelly’s twin brother Mark and how he’s so much healthier because he didn’t go into space. You should look it up on your own though, it’s an interesting story.

Q: What do you read?

A: I read mostly satire and science fiction. Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhikers Guide” trilogy (I’m on the fifth book), “Dimensions of Miracles” by Robert Sheckley and “The Time Machine Did It” by John Swartzwelder. I also read a lot more self-help books than I would admit in-person. “Range” by David Epstein is helping me feel better about not picking a lane. The subtitle is “Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.”

Lorna Rose-Hahn is president of Write On The River, a nonprofit supporting writers in North Central Washington.