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Author of Wish You Were Here and Founding Editor & Publisher of Old Iron Press, Eliza Tudor champions irreverent underdogs, the handbuilt, and the hybrid. Recently back in her home state of Indiana, Eliza has lived in Texas, California, the UK, and Bainbridge Island, WA. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Hobart, New Letters, PANK, Paper Darts, and The Conium Review, among others. Now, through Old Iron Press, an Indy-based micropress that launched in May 2022, she offers a space unique from traditional publishing. When she’s not writing or at Old Iron Press, Eliza teaches in the community and of course, spends time with her family and two cats. Your turn, Eliza!
My Maven Superpower is … Apart from daydreaming, it’s the people I love. Writers tend to be the friend texting you on a Wednesday with, “If you had to translate this feeling into Italian, what would it be?” or, the sister-in-law asking you, “What did your favorite cereal in fourth grade smell like?” The people I love put up with a lot of foolishness from me. They are the wind beneath my wings.
Self-care habits I swear by … If you were raised in Lapel, Indiana you really can’t get away with using the term flaneuse, but walks/hikes/rambles/loitering outdoors are a daily pleasure in all weather; yoga and a bit of sweating; actually cleaning the bathtub for a Sunday soak; writing; therapy; chunks of time to potter about; stacks of print media—check out Dear Mom, the incredible print media/indie goodness/bodega run by Liz Foster. They carry all the best things!
My first job was … I grew up in a family that ran our small town’s weekly newspaper out of our home. This was a time when newspapers like ours were still created on big sheets of paper using exacto knives, wax, and rollers. Rather than outsource, my parents believed in developing their in-house labor. I began writing for the paper at age eight, a weekly column written under a pseudonym called “Dear Aunt Sarah.” My parents were creative entrepreneurs who believed in the power of “local.” They, as well as the other teachers, artists, makers, and entrepreneurs I’ve been blessed to know and learn from, have demonstrated this over and over again: Indiana is a place where things are made. What a privilege to be from a place of such possibility! Part of my work will always be to honor these people and where I’m from.
The best career advice I can offer is … In the words of the great Miss Frizzle, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” And, always, keep learning.
I feel most confident when … I get enough sleep, create space for daily exercise, get outdoors, make things, and reframe/set boundaries around the Muggle Sh*t so there is time for the really great stuff.
A fun fact about me is … I’ve worked a lot of different jobs. I’m kind of LinkedIn’s worst nightmare. Among other jobs, I’ve served in the United States Peace Corps, created and managed a farmer’s market, worked as an extra in Hollywood films, ran a pet-sitting/house-cleaning business while living out of a station wagon, dug up multiple yards to create gardens/homesteads, and, as a teenager, was an Elvis Impersonator.
The skill I most want to learn is…For 2023: accounting, foraging for natural dyeing, continuing to learn more about my craft, and building my garden. I have unrealistic daydreams of someday building a Fulleresque geodesic mini-grow-dome or a small DIY version of architect Bengt Warne’s naturhus, but frankly, I’m going to be thrilled to actually harvest the asparagus I plant this time.
A Maven you should know is… Tanisha Neely, Alissa Adams, KC Chan-Brose. Along with MUWC Director Aaron Wilder, they run the Marian University Writing Center.
Something I’d like to celebrate is… Along with my collaborators, Drake and Alex, we launched Old Iron Press last year and this year will be publishing our first project, Playing Authors. General submissions are open now – March 1.
What’s next for me is… I hope for good health, time spent with the people I love, lots of making, learning, and collaboration, and a heck of a lot of adventures and fun.
Also, this will be my first real summer based back in Indy for ages. I’m looking forward to lots of bike rides, building my garden, exploring Indiana with my family, eating a ton of sweet corn, and trying lots of new-to-me restaurants.
Chrissy Bruns is the Executive Assistant for Indy Maven.
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