Carl Wooton

Location San Luis Obispo, CA
Occupation Retired
Website http://

About Me

Taught 28 (1965-1993) years at UL-Lafayette. Retired in 1993 and started teaching creative writing part-time at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I might consider cutting back in a year (at 78), but have no plans to retire completely. I love the interaction with students. The old cliche about the young helping the older feel young is often true.

Married to Dolores--Five sons, two step-sons, ten grandchildren

I've had stories and poems published in various literary magazines/journals. Four stories have appeared in Hudson Review (one, "Ramblers and Spinners," republished in the anthology, "Writes of Passage:Stories and Memoirs from the Best in Twenty-Five Years of the Hudson Review." Other stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, The Literary Review, Forum, and others.

I grew up moving around, thus the family name, Rambler, of characters in several of my stories. I passed through 11 schools in 7 states, K through 12. Most of the time was spent in the midwest, but I eventually ended up in the South. I loved living through winters that did not require me to own a snow shovel. And I've come to love the mildness of the climate of the central coast of California. And I love, also, the southwest corner of France.

Why do you write?

Creative fuel?--Reading, memory (mostly the bad ones). I write fiction to impose some order on an absurd universe. The act of writing a story can give shape to more or less formless memories and lead to discoveries of things I didn't know I knew.

A poem can give shape to the coming together of a small experience and precise emotion.

Any favorite authors? Books?

William Faulkner--"The Sound and the Fury," "Absalom! Absalom!" "Go Down, Moses"
Pat Conroy--"The Prince of Tides"; Flannery O'Connor, James Lee Burke, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens; Milan Kundera--"The Unbearable Lightness of Being"; Remarque--"All Quiet on the Western Front"

Poets--Eliot, Frost, Cummings, Hardy, Stevens

Carl Wooton's Wall

Darryl Price – Jul 14, 2009

The Sound and the Fury had a profound effect on me. The only other book I can think of that touched me so deeply is Portrait of the Artist.

Corey Zeller – Feb 09, 2009


Thanks for the kind words awhile back. Hope you are well!

Alice K. Boatwright – Jan 22, 2009

Thank you for your nice comment on my story. I just joined Fictionaut a few days ago, and I'm trying to find my way around. . . how the different areas work. I enjoyed your most recent story and look forward to reading the others. I used to teach for UC Berkeley Extension -- for about 10 years. Then I moved to Europe, where I've been freelancing, mainly writing about public health. I miss teaching and hope to teach a class online later this year. Nice "meeting" you!

Morgan Harlow – Jan 16, 2009

thanks for commenting on my story a while back. I'm looking forward to reading more Rambler stories.

Corey Zeller – Oct 26, 2008

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" is an almost perfect book. Here's a quote from Milan Kindera a friend told me recently that you might enjoy.

"Ah, what naivete, he reflected, to believe in the existence of a song that never ends! As if everything here in this world, from the very beginning, has been anything other than betrayal! Fortified by this thought, he took a look at the blond girls eyes and knew that he must not take part in the rigged game in wich the ephemeral passes for the eternal and the small for the big, that he must not take part in the rigged game called love. So he turned on his heels and went back into the little washroom. When he was alone, he leaned with satisfaction against the wall, abandoning himself to sweet reflections on the pettiness of love..."

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