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Larissa speaks Milbrodt's mind PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:36
Teresa Milbrodt shows a copy of her collection of short stories “Bearded Women: Stories” in Ground for Thought in Bowling Green. Her collection flash fiction “Larissa Takes Flight” will be released in May. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
In Larissa, the heroine of her forthcoming collection of flash fiction, Teresa Milbrodt has created an alter ego.
They have much the same concerns, and are at home in an Ohio town.  Milbrodt divulges her concerns, worries and philosophy by way of her characters; Larissa divulges hers to monsters that appear in the middle of the night.
Larissa is a sweet-souled young woman, ready to share her troubles with work, boyfriends, monsters and the world in general. But the paper halo-wearing shoe store clerk also is a good listener lending an ear to the woes of others including a much-put upon Mrs. Santa Claus.
Milbrodt doles out Larissa's thoughts and adventures in short bursts of 500 to 1,000 words.
"Larissa Takes Flight" is Milbrodt's third book. She also has a novel "The Patron Saint of Unattractive People" on Boxfire Press and a collection of short stories "Bearded Women: Stories" on ChiZine Publications.
She will read from her work April 23 at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. This Saturday  from 1 to 4:30 p.m. she will appear at the Local Author Fair at the Wood County Public Library in Bowling Green.
Milbrodt puts her approach to writing right out front of her web page: she is a "fictioneer, writer of the normally monstrous and monstrously normal."
The daughter of Dr. Thomas and Jane Milbrodt, she started writing young. Dictating stories at age 5 to her father who dutifully typed them into the computer. Attending Kenwood she found plenty of opportunities to shine as a writer in Eagle Writing Contest and the Women's Club Writing Contest.
"I was really blessed to be in Bowling Green in an environment that always encouraged writing," Milbrodt said.
When came time to go to college, she just had to go few blocks and enrolled in the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Bowling Green State University.
She wasn't even aware that it was rare for a college to offer an undergraduate fine arts in creative writing. She added a minor in art and a bachelors with a double major in general business and Native American Cultural studies. She continued her graduate studies at BGSU earning her MFA in Creative Writing and a Master of Arts in American Cultural Studies.
She also ended up marrying a fellow writer Tristan Palmgren. The ceremony had a distinctly Bowling Green feel. It took place in Grounds for Thought, and officiating was then Mayor John Quinn, Milbrodt's old social studies teacher.
(See MILBRODT on 7)
"As a writer it's good to get out of your comfort zone and have interesting experiences," she said.
She gave birth to Larissa in Colorado. In Gunnison, where she and her husband lived, there was an active slam poetry scene, and she wanted to write short pieces that would lend themselves to reading aloud.
"She talks very much like I think," Milbrodt said of Larissa. "It's very much how my train of thought goes. That's why she's so close to me. It's very much my stream of consciousness."
Larissa wears a paper halo to show "she's trying to be a good person."
The stories offer bits of fiction and philosophy "that I can't us anywhere else."
"It's the quirkiest" of her books, she said, and the best one "to keep in your bathroom for reading."
Milbrodt is at work on a novel which is "exhausting" as well as continuing to write short stories. She and Palmgren are collaborating on two novels for younger readers.
But Milbrodt isn't done with Larissa. Milbrodt expects she'll be following her creator's footsteps and head off to Thailand.

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