Michael Gillan Maxwell

Location Seneca Lake - New York State
Occupation Freelance artist, writer, teacher, starry eyed dreamer
Website Your Own Backyard ~ http://michaelgillanmaxwell.com/

About Me

I can be found laying around the shanty, putting a good buzz on, while, at the same time, trying to maintain a sense of proper decorum and holding onto some small shred of dignity. I am prone to bursting spontaneously into song and/or spontaneously combusting - often simultaneously. I live near a 650 foot deep lake, amongst a menagerie of gentle creatures who graciously allow me to share their magical environment. Local pundits call me a mad poet philosopher, dreamer of pictures, teller of tales, singer of songs and all around bad influence and ne'er-do-well.

(Signature quote)
“The only Art I ever knew drove a laundry truck…..”

Why do you write?

I write because I am compelled to. I write to paint pictures with words. I write songs to sing. I write to tell people that I care about them. I am inspired by humor, sex, love, physical attraction, booze, drugs, food, righteous outrage, rock and roll, blues, all kinds of music, paintings, nature, dogs and cats, animals in general, aesthetic surroundings, proper Feng Shui in my environment, good lighting, comfortable chairs, lakes, rivers, oceans, dramatic weather, spiritual awakening, collaboration, tolerance, peace, kindness, truth, fairness, children, good friends and family, driving through the beautiful countryside with music blasting, mountain climbing, sailing, hiking, a wailin' song and a good guitar. I write to try and communicate to others, I write to try and express what cannot be otherwise expressed. I write to tell stories. I write to make other people feel better about themselves and this crazy world. I write to express my outrage with injustice. I write to seek connection to others and the universe.

Any favorite authors? Books?

Richard Ford, Paul Auster, Stephen King - "On Writing" - Sonja Livingston - "Ghost Bread", Ann Beattie, David Mitchell - "Cloud Atlas", Hunter S. Thompson - all his books, David Sedaris - All his books, Ernest Hemingway - "A Moveable Feast", Henry Miller -"Tropic of Cancer", Billy Collins - all of his collections, Marie Howe- "This Is What the Living Do", Bill Bryson - "A Walk in the Woods" and others, Nicole Krauss- "The Great House", Cormac MCarthy - "The Road", Tom Robbins - "Another Roadside Attraction", Michael Perry - "Population 485", "Truck", "Coop", Patricia Smith - "Blood Dazzler", Gary Snyder - "Cold Mountain Poems", Walt Whitman - "Leaves of Grass", Paul Bowles - "Under the Sheltering Sky" , Mark Salzman -"Iron and Silk" , Anais Nin - Diaries

Michael Gillan Maxwell's Wall

Deborah Oster Pannell – Oct 27, 2013

Michael, thank you for the extraordinarily generous comment you left for my piece, "Out of Time." I am humbled...

Christian Bell – Sep 09, 2013

Thank you, Michael, for your comments/fave on "The Last Thing"!

David Ackley – Aug 29, 2013

Thanks very much for the extremely spirits-lifting comment on "Harvest," Michael. When you're neck deep in a WIP such words can make all the difference.

Brenda Bishop Blakey – Jul 29, 2013

Hi Michael, thanks for reading Pen and Ink on Paper. Those were great comments.

Kari Nguyen – Jul 07, 2013

Really appreciate your words on Requirement. Thanks for digging it up!

Emily Bertholf – Jul 06, 2013

Thank you for your fave and kind words about September Morning. I greatly appreciate it.

Elizabeth Kate Switaj – Jul 06, 2013

Thank you for your comment on "Stella"!

Deborah Oster Pannell – Jul 03, 2013

Thanks again for stopping by and commenting on my piece, "So freaking tired." Glad you could relate!

Emily Bertholf – Jun 25, 2013

Thank you for your comments on "Grandmother's heirloom." I appreciate you reading it and the story in your comments. We're all connected through stories somehow, and places sometimes. Nice to find a fellow Milwaukeean. :)

Jules Archer – Feb 28, 2013

Hey MGM - thanks for reading Daddio.

John Riley – Jan 08, 2013

Michael, thanks for commenting and faving "Testimony." I'm delighted you enjoyed it.

Mathew Paust – Jan 03, 2013

Michael, thanks much for reading my flash piece "The Crack" and leaving those flattering comments.

Tim G. Young – Dec 25, 2012

Hey Snake Eyes. Rock on.

Robert Vaughan – Dec 08, 2012

Michael, my friend, thanks for your sweet and thoughtful comments on "What Some Boys Do!"

Mary Lane – Sep 23, 2012

Oh my. Thank you, Micheal for reading and commenting on "Pool Toys." I'm shocked at the attention it's getting. Thank you.

Bill Yarrow – Aug 02, 2012

Hi, Michael. Thanks for commenting on and faving "I am Not a Corpse." Appreciate your digging that one out!

Andrew Stancek – Jun 19, 2012

Your kind words about "Witness" are much appreciated.

Bill Yarrow – Jun 19, 2012

Thanks for faving "Under Commiseration," Michael. Appreciate it!

Matthew Robinson – Jun 13, 2012

Thanks for your kind comment on "Suburban Home," much appreciated!

Gary V. Powell – Jun 12, 2012

Thanks for the insightful comments on my story "D-Day."

Bill Yarrow – Jun 11, 2012

Michael, thanks for your comment on and fave of "Picking the Bark off Experience."

Penny Goring – Jun 05, 2012

Supersonic comment on The Cull me Cuddle me of the Call-me-to-you and the Terrifying smell of Downstairs! Thank you very much! XXX

James Claffey – May 24, 2012

thanks for commenting on the elephant story michael!

Tina Barry – May 18, 2012

Thank you X 2! * and comments much appreciated.

Tina Barry – May 18, 2012

Hi Michael. Thanks for such positive feedback about "Everything is Fine." I appreciate it. The story is posted on the main page too, if you have unlimited time and feel like commenting again.

John Riley – May 08, 2012

Michael, thanks for commenting on "Mercy Mercy Mercy." I very much appreciated it.

Linda Simoni-Wastila – Apr 16, 2012

Michael, thank you so much for the generous and thoughtful words on The Accidental Tourist--they made my heart sing! Yes, there will be more, this is a character sketch for my work-in-progress, a series of linked stories called THE MINISTER'S WIFE. So glad you're in @fn--love your work and your 'tude. Peace...

Bill Yarrow – Apr 14, 2012

Thanks for commenting on "Not That Kind of Pain," Michael. You see possibilities in it that I am blind to!

Steven Gowin – Apr 13, 2012

Thanks for the notes on "Daddy."

This one had a strange evolution. My kids are USC students so we're in LA pretty often now. For our middle son's orientation last summer, we rented an apartment at Park La Brea which is literally across the street from the pits...

The kids and I walked over one morning and started fooling around with my iPhone. I said I'd make a movie. My oldest son starred. We wandered around and he'd riff on this or that, and I'd feed him a line, and we'd shoot a bit more.

I'm a video producer so I can edit a bit, and when we got back I put together a little movie. From that I had a story idea, and the voice just rolled out... voice is one of the few parts of writing I'm comfortable with... not necessarily good at, but something I like. The story just fell out so fast it was spooky.

Took a couple of days to tweak up and the editor at the Fiddleback (good guy, Daniel Long) snapped it up. That's the story, and here's our video called "I Wander the Pits:"

Jane Hammons – Apr 12, 2012

Thanks so much, Michael, for you comment on The Brittling. I'm actually not a huge fan of McCarthy, but I do not mind at all the comparison, no sir, I do not :) Thanks!!

Steven Gowin – Apr 12, 2012

Thanks for the note on "Yogurt." I'm getting worse and worse at actually saying something meaningful about people's work and instead just reacting somehow so the writer knows I've read the work. For that reason, I appreciate your remarks.

Benjamin Matvey – Apr 10, 2012

Yay! I follow you now! I guess that sounds scarier than it should.

Bill Yarrow – Apr 09, 2012

Michael, thanks so much for the enthusiastic comment on and fave of "Chapel Access." Very pleased you liked the poem!

Bill Yarrow – Apr 06, 2012

Thanks for faving "A Piece of Him," Michael. Excellent comments too. I'm glad you liked the poem.

Linda Simoni-Wastila – Apr 05, 2012

Michael, thank you for reading after he failed to wake up and nice words and purty star. very much appreciated! peace...

Susan Tepper – Apr 02, 2012

Michael I am so moved by what you wrote about Wreath, thanking you from my deep.

Sam Rasnake – Apr 02, 2012

I'm glad the ant poem works for you, Michael. Thanks the read and comment.

Ann Bogle – Mar 28, 2012

Michael, your comments on "Letters, notes, conversations, partings" and the interview about it by Bill Yarrow are so in keeping with the piece (as I see it). Glad it strikes a chord.

Linda Simoni-Wastila – Mar 26, 2012

Michael, thanks so much for reading and faving (and blowing up!) SNOW JOB. So super to have you here at fictionaut. Peace...

Bill Yarrow – Mar 24, 2012

Michael, thanks for faving "The Hotel Where Esenin Hanged Himself." Appreciate your kind comment also!

Jane Hammons – Mar 24, 2012

Thanks so much for your comment on Private Wheel Man!

Bill Yarrow – Mar 18, 2012

Thanks you very much for your kinds words on and fave of "Eyes Off the Road," Michael!

sean m. poole – Mar 13, 2012

Hey Michael, Thanks for your generous comments on 'All Will Be Well'!

Barry Basden – Mar 11, 2012

Thanks, Michael, for your fave and comments about 'Out of the Frying Pan.'

Alex M. Pruteanu – Mar 07, 2012

Thanks much for your kind words on my story Travelin' Light

Jules Archer – Mar 04, 2012

Michael - thanks for reading Rear View. That acorn totally knocked the spirit into me!

Sally Houtman – Mar 04, 2012

Hey, I guess we can write on walls again. Hooray! Michael, it was such a treat to wake to your comment on "Barrett Reef" This morning. Your comments always bring such joy. xxoo

Sally Houtman – Feb 21, 2012

Waking up face down anywhere is never a good thing. Thanks, MGM, for your encouragement on "Do you remember..." I think I'm on the right track and will tweak it a bit more.

Matthew Robinson – Feb 19, 2012

Really appreciate the comments on my story. Nickname/pen name suggestion: MGM Grand.

Roberto C. Garcia – Feb 19, 2012

Thanks for the awesome comment on "Visited by a dead villager". Glad you liked it.

Roberto C. Garcia – Feb 19, 2012

Thanks for the awesome comment on "Visited by a dead villager". Glad you liked it.

M.H. – Feb 19, 2012

Hi Michael - Thank you for your nice comments on "Eldorado"!

Dolemite – Feb 18, 2012

Thanks for your kind and generous comment on "One Night," Michael.

Sally Houtman – Feb 17, 2012

I'm so glad you read and enjoyed the "Porridge" story - and I bet you look stunning in your fuzzy slippers. Don't question a thing!

Matthew A. Hamilton – Feb 17, 2012

Thank you for the kind words on "Huffing." Much appreciated.

Mary Lane – Feb 15, 2012

Hi Micheal! Thank you for following the original trail of breadcrumbs from Jules' blog to find the flash and then faving it here. It's good to meet you. HM

Barry Basden – Feb 15, 2012

Thanks, Michael, for your moving comments about 'The Next Side Road.'

Sally Houtman – Feb 14, 2012

Michael, you may be single-handedly responsible for increasing the property value in this little community. Don't ever move out!

Your enthusiastic, heart-felt and insightful comments are greatly appreciated.

See ya – Feb 14, 2012

I appreciate you reading and commenting on my work, Michael. That means a lot to me. Thanks very much.

Beate Sigriddaughter – Feb 14, 2012

Thank you, Michael, for your great comment and the fave on "The Anniversary." This particular character in my novel is a sometimes poet so I get to let my own inner poet off the leash when I write in her voice.

Jules Archer – Feb 11, 2012

Thanks for your "whew" on Parking Garage. And all the kind comments.

Meg Pokrass – Feb 10, 2012

you say such accurate and kind things about my work. I am so lucky. Thank you for being here! and i can't wait to read more of your stories soon!

Barry Basden – Feb 08, 2012

Thanks again, Michael, for commenting on my work. I'm glad 'The Trapper Boy...' touched you, too. That photo still haunts me.

sean m. poole – Feb 05, 2012

Hi Michael, Thanks for commenting on Portrait of the Poet as Midwife. I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

Barry Basden – Feb 03, 2012

Thanks for your comments on 'Scope' and 'South Oak Cliff,' Michael. We had us some rituals, huh?

Misti Rainwater-Lites – Feb 02, 2012

You are too kind. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!

Tania Hershman – Feb 01, 2012

Hi Michael,
thanks so much for your comment on Life Bursts Out, nice to meet you!

Sally Houtman – Feb 01, 2012

Michael, your comments on "The sky on that day" blew me away. Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all your comments - on my pieces and others. I look forward to hearing your take and you read with such thought and care. As my piece suggested, never let anything go unsaid, so I'll take my own advice and say this - I appreciate your work and support and am so glad you're here. We are all better for it.

David Maverick – Jan 31, 2012

Michael, thanks for your generous words on 'The coded feather in the glass'. I'm not sure about reading it aloud though (I do for my girlfriend, but she's my biggest fan). I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Cheers.

Mark Reep – Jan 30, 2012

Mike, thanks for your comments on 'Copper', and for the fave. As you know, I'm a detail kinda guy- Hard part has always been deciding which to leave out. Like to think that process is becoming more efficient and economical. He sez hopefully :) All best.

Misti Rainwater-Lites – Jan 28, 2012

p.s. thanks for ordering Blank Cake! the last copy?? I had no idea! Glad you like my photography. It keeps me sane enough to keep my head outta the oven. ha.

Misti Rainwater-Lites – Jan 28, 2012

Hi Michael! Thanks so much for reading my words and posting such generous comments. Much appreciated!

J. Mykell Collinz – Jan 27, 2012

Hi, Michael. Thanks for reading 'Life After Death.' I greatly appreciate your comment.

Jerry Ratch – Jan 27, 2012

Thanks, Michael!

Sally Houtman – Jan 27, 2012

Michael, thanks for the insightful comments on "That Night." Yes, it came from that old feeling of "If only I had..." So glad it spoke to you in that way. Your feedback and observations are valuable to me. Much appreciated.

Beate Sigriddaughter – Jan 24, 2012

Thanks for your awesome comment on "The Story of F." Makes me want to be a better everything. (Although, I do also like my recent personal discovery: after knowing for years and years that you can never change anybody else; you can only change yourself, I suddenly got to the idea "but why ever would you want to?")

Meg Pokrass – Jan 13, 2012

I am sorry i made you blush! You have such a cute dog!

LeeAnn Pickrell – Jan 13, 2012

Thanks for commenting on "Because we cannot know." I appreciate your thoughts. I was in Kamakura in the spring of 2008--what an extraordinary place--magical.

Beate Sigriddaughter – Jan 13, 2012

Thannks, Michael, for reading and commenting on "My Mother Loved To Dance." It's probably my favorite of all my stories up on Fictionaut at this time.

Sally Houtman – Jan 12, 2012

Wow, Michael, thanks so much for the words on "Tell Me a Story." I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy...

I like your descriptions 'off the map' and 'out of bounds' - that pretty much sums me up. Growing up with a disability I learned early to be 'uncooperative' and determined to do exactly the opposite of what I was told - y'know, do everything I was told I couldn't and most everything I was told I shouldn't.(My essay "Windows" kind of puts this in perspective.)

This piece is so me. I'm so glad you get it. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I hope it inspires you to push the boundaries of the expected. Have fun!

Barry Basden – Jan 12, 2012

Thanks, Michael, for your warm comments about 'Bodensee.' Glad it lingered.

Bill Yarrow – Jan 12, 2012

Thank for faving "Satan and the Moon," Michael. Glad you liked it!

Beate Sigriddaughter – Jan 12, 2012

Thanks for your great comment on "New Song of Innocence and Experience."

David Ackley – Jan 12, 2012

Thanks, Michael, for the kind comments on the writing of "See?," a story that in more ways than one ( see the dedication) is quite close to my heart.

Bill Yarrow – Jan 08, 2012

Thanks also for the fave!

Bill Yarrow – Jan 08, 2012

Great comment on "Addictions." Thanks, Michael!

Joani Reese – Jan 04, 2012

Hi Michael: Welcome--loved your comments on my profile page. Richard Ford is scary-good, isn't he?

Meg Pokrass – Jan 04, 2012

oh my goodness, thank you so much for your comment on "The Friend"!!!

Sally Houtman – Jan 03, 2012

Thanks so much for comments on "Nostradamus" - that it made you laugh melts my little cotten socks. When the piece got accepted for publication I let my husband read it. All he said was, "You're a sick woman." Yeah, ain't it cool?

Will read more of your work when time permits. Glad to meet you.

Mark Reep – Dec 31, 2011

Michael, thanks for taking time to read and comment on 'New Year's Eve'. Glad you enjoyed; have a great one!

sean m. poole – Dec 31, 2011

Hi Michael,
I'm glad you enjoyed 'Sideshow Sam & The Heckler.' I've not worked with anyone who did a human cannonball routine.
I have been told some wild stories about that act by the Czar of Bizarre, the legendary Johnny Meah. He has a fascinating website. You can read his stuff there. Johnny's novel 'Polidore' is a great piece of work. www.czarofbizarre.com
One of my recent posts 'One For Me & One For Jerry Lee' is a eulogy for an old friend- a traveling showman who performed a stunning Human Volcano act.

DeMisty Bellinger – Dec 30, 2011

Thanks for your comments! I look forward to reading your work.

sean m. poole – Dec 27, 2011

Hey Michael, Thanks very much for your generous comments on "The Day The Music Died". I am pleased that it moved you.

sean m. poole – Dec 27, 2011

Hi Michael,
Thanks for taking the time to read "The Explosions Sound Like Gunshots". I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your comments.

Meg Pokrass – Dec 12, 2011

thank you for your very extremely nice comments on my stories Michael!

Nicolette Wong – Dec 11, 2011

Thanks, Michael, for your kind words on "As Pleat." I truly appreciate it!

J. Mykell Collinz – Dec 10, 2011

Hi, Michael. Thanks for reading, 'Psycho Logic Deregulation.' I greatly appreciate your comment and fave.

Barry Basden – Dec 10, 2011

Thanks, Michael, for your comments on The Lonely Heart Hunts. That prop seems to give it another dimension, all right, and extra tension.

David Ackley – Dec 06, 2011

Thanks Michael for the kind words about my work, really very much appreciated, especially while I'm digging in on a couple of longer pieces and haven't been very present here. Glad to have a friendly voice puncture the solitude.

Berit Ellingsen – Dec 02, 2011

Hi Michael! Thank you so much for the warm comment on A June Defection and Down the River in Thunderclap! :) I appreciate it a lot!

I liked the dead goat and the metal reinforced chairs in the bar where the band played the last song. :) It seemed like a fitting end for that bar, and I liked the music!

Jules Archer – Nov 29, 2011

Hi Michael - thanks for the kind comments on my piece "Cloudy..." Mucho appreciated! And thanks for the blog follow. I hope you enjoy it.

Barry Basden – Nov 23, 2011

Thanks for your kind comments about Texas Tornado, Michael.

Jerry Ratch – Nov 23, 2011

Speaking of great grafitti, I remember finding this one on a bathroom wall once in Berkeley:
"To be is to do." Nietsche.
"To do is to be." Lao Tse.
"Do be do be do." Frank Sinatra

Jerry Ratch – Nov 22, 2011

Thanks, Michael! And I love your signature quote:
“The only Art I ever knew drove a laundry truck…..”

Marcus Speh – Nov 22, 2011

michael, thank you for your generous comment on "The Serious Writer Occupies Wall Street". your reaction (wanting to know more) isn't that the best possible response a writer could hope for? welcome to fnaut!

Andrew Stancek – Nov 18, 2011

welcome and thanks for your support both of Mirko and "Waiting on Aida".

Susan Tepper – Nov 16, 2011

Hi Michael, welcome to Fictionaut! & thanks for your generous response to my stories Rug and Protest! I think you should def go out and get a hot dog. If not Papaya King, then Nathans is a good second~

Barry Basden – Nov 16, 2011

Thanks so much for your kind words about "Rainier," Michael. I'm glad it touched you. And welcome to Fictionaut.

Robert Vaughan – Nov 14, 2011

Welcome to Fictionaut, Michael! So nice to see you here!

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