Tag Archives: Misti Rainwater-Lites

“Thus, I Kick Sylvia Plath’s Brilliant Dead Ass” – A Conversation with Misti Rainwater-Lites

 mistiMisti Rainwater-Lites is the author of numerous books, including the phenomenal Bullshit Rodeo. Her writing is fierce & vulnerable,  magical & earthy, like a glorious mixtape of punk rock & sweet slow soul & Led Zeppelin & Patsy Cline. Longtime FLAPPERHOUSE readers may remember her piece “Angels Howling in the Trees,” which appeared in our very first issue. 

Our managing editor Joseph P. O’Brien recently spent a day text-messaging with Misti about her writing, as well as Deadpool, David Lee Roth, Gertrude Stein, and much much more…

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Joseph P. O’Brien: Bullshit Rodeo is called a novel, but it feels like one of the rawest, most fearlessly transparent books I’ve ever read. Can you give an idea how much of it is true to life? Or would you prefer to keep a blurry boundary between your fiction & non-fiction?

Misti Rainwater-Lites: People have mistakenly referred to Bullshit Rodeo as a memoir and creative nonfiction. It’s neither. It’s a novel the same way Tropic of Cancer and How to Save Your Own Life are novels. I took my life…the very real horror and heartache…and turned it into a novel. I’ve never had sex with a fry cook. There really was a dead butterfly.

JO’B: The first book I finished in 2016 was The Bell Jar, and you reference Sylvia Plath a few times in Bullshit Rodeo, so that was fresh in my mind while reading your book. I’d keep wondering if Plath’s character might have ended up a lot like your character if she’d been born 40 years later in Texas instead of Boston. Was The Bell Jar a conscious inspiration for you?

MR-L: No, I wasn’t thinking of The Bell Jar when I wrote Bullshit Rodeo. Here’s some background. I was revising a horror novel entitled Mordiscado in 2009. I was talking to a good friend and fellow writer on the phone and he told me I needed to write what I knew. I needed to write Texas. I said, “Shit. It’s hard enough LIVING Texas. I can’t write it!” He brought up a favorite writer of mine, fellow native Texan Larry McMurtry.  The Last Picture Show is one of my favorite novels of all time. Larry took pieces of his life or life he was on the periphery of in Archer City, which isn’t too far from Bridgeport (my birthplace) and Seymour, which is where my parents and maternal grandparents grew up and fell in love, and made it into a novel which later became a damn fine film.

I admire Sylvia Plath, of course, but I can only relate to her on a limited level. She was born to educated upper class parents in New England. She led a charmed, accomplished life…which was rendered null and void due to her severe mental illness. Maybe if Sylvia Plath had been born in Texas to working class teenagers in 1973 she would be alive now in donut pajamas, set to finally receive a BFA at the age of 43. But Plath was genetically blessed. I’m genetically fucked. Or maybe we should flip that. She was brilliant but died too soon in a horrific way. I possess average intelligence and I’m alive in the glorious 21st century where we have billions of options, none of them terribly appealing. But there’s always karaoke and vibrators and Valero coffee. I took my son to see Deadpool last Saturday and made him chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day. Thus, I kick Sylvia Plath’s brilliant dead ass. Continue reading “Thus, I Kick Sylvia Plath’s Brilliant Dead Ass” – A Conversation with Misti Rainwater-Lites


Coming soon in soft, pulpy paperback.
Stay tuned…FY1F&BCs


“Angels Howling in the Trees” – Fiction by Misti Rainwater-Lites

Bunworth Banshee - W.H. Brooke, 1825
Bunworth Banshee – W.H. Brooke, 1825

“Angels Howling in the Trees” is a sketch from an American girlhood in the disco era, from the barbed yet soulful pen of Misti Rainwater-Lites. It reminds us of a clip from some punk rock Wonder Years where bitterness & nostalgia roll around on the carpet pulling each other’s hair. It’s also one of the many multi-flavored literaries you can read in our Spring 2014 Issue, available in full for 3 bucks. 

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IN THE HOUSE IN THE TOWN THAT WASN’T SEYMOUR or Bridgeport but somewhere in between, somewhere forgettable, another ugly bump in the Texas road, Merissa slept or did not sleep in a canopy bed in a bedroom she shared with her baby sister. One night Maternal Grandmother was visiting and she was sleeping with Merissa in the canopy bed but Merissa kept getting out of the canopy bed and tiptoeing down the hallway and getting into bed with the mother and the father. Maternal Grandmother would come get Merissa and bring her back to the canopy bed and Merissa was restless and unhappy but didn’t know why. Merissa looked out the window from the canopy bed and saw the trees in the backyard and she could hear angels howling tangled in the black branches. The angels voiced the despair she was too young and mute to name.

“Will the angels always howl, Ava? Will I always be searching for the warmest, most hospitable bed?”

“You are cursed, niece. I hate to be the one to tell you the truth.”

Buddy Holly was on the stereo and The Newlywed Game was on the television and Merissa was in love with John Travolta as Tony in Saturday Night Fever and when she played house with her least favorite cousin, Sonny’s big sister, she learned what it was to be female because the cousin pretended to be talking to John Travolta, Merissa’s husband. Continue reading “Angels Howling in the Trees” – Fiction by Misti Rainwater-Lites



The PDF of FLAPPERHOUSE #1 is no longer for sale, because it is now available for free.
Click the cover to enjoy.


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“No More Poems About Resolutions,” “A Highly Magnified History,” “When A Poet Wants To Date You,” and “Yelp Review – Total Wine”J. Bradley
CRYONICS”Mariev Finnegan
“The Puddle of Romeo’s Tears”Luis Galindo
“The Thrill of a Lifetime” – Phyllis Green
“Window Glass” – Mila Jaroniec
“Stage Manager” – Rebecca Ann Jordan
“What Really Drives You To Drink” – Jeff Laughlin
“Rebel, Rebel” – T. Mazzara
“The Root of Everything Arty” – Jenean McBrearty
“Stanley Kubrick’s Shit Happens – Joseph P. O’Brien
“The Better Cowboy” – Todd Pate
“Angels Howling in the Trees” – Misti Rainwater-Lites
“Dare” – Lauren Seligman
“Rules and Secrets” Judith Skillman
“Reach” – Tom Stephan
“Axis Mundi” Cameron Suey