My dissertation is rigid, POV-wise, and it’s been a while since I’ve worked on a long form first person story. To compensate, these short monologues show up on my blank pages from time to time. Here is my latest one of those.
Also, related: I have never named a child. I have named two dogs, though, after American music icons. We’ve got Woody Guthrie (the bigger one) and Elmore James (the littlest).
I’m excited to have my lyric essay, “Variables” included on Cahoodaloodaling’s list of nominations for the Best Small Fictions anthology. Many thanks to Raquel Thorne and the journal’s team for letting me be a part of such a cool issue.
The journal’s latest issue, Joysticks, is also fun and full of punchy pieces. Special bonus–the theme is joy!
Two interns for the literary journal interviewed me about my theater background, my time living in Bangkok, and my obsession with point of view (among other things). You can read about it here.
My creepy story, "Trespassers," is now live on the Sequestrum website. It won runner up in their New Writers contest.
It's about Detroit in the wintertime, so a good one to read while you're sweating in August, especially sweating in Atlanta August, like I have been.
This one, “Next to Godliness” is a flash story that came from a prompt from my Fall 2016 fiction workshop at Georgia State [Write a story that takes a saying literally and use it for the premise of a story].
I think I must have submitted at least 20 stories to this magazine before they finally took one. Writing ain’t nothing if it ain’t persistence.
For the last two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of finishing a novel draft at this arts center in Nebraska City. I wrote more in May than I’ve ever written in my life, but a huge portion of that productivity happened in my writing studio at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.
I also had a great roommate, a photographer from Montana, who was fun to talk and cook with after our work days. The residency houses five artists at a time, and so I shared the facility with three fiction writers, a composer, a painter, and that photographer I just mentioned.
The arts center gives a stipend for food and the grocery stores are real close (I like to cook as part of my creative process–there is nothing like working through a scene while chopping vegetables for a stir fry). Nebraska City is also where Arbor Day began, close to the Missouri River, and so the area around the center was green and life giving around this time of year.
Residents are allowed to check books out at the library. I was impressed at how expansive that library was–I had a specific book in mind to read (The Blood of Emmett Till), and found it in their new selection area as soon as I walked in the door. Also, it was a nice place to go jogging in the mornings.
After I finished writing the novel draft, I took day trips to Lincoln and Omaha, both of which were an hour away from Nebraska City, but really easy to get to (just one straight road from town to each city).
Follow this link for more information about how to apply to the residency.
It’s been a while since I updated this, but I have had a couple of stories published in 2017. One is in a print journal, one is online.
The print story is, “As Though She Could Actually Do Something,” which appeared in the Potomac Review, just in time for AWP in Washington DC. For a nice surprise, my friend, Kilby Allen, also had a story in there called “Everything Neatly Put Away.”
“As Though She Could Actually Do Something” is based on an experience I had in Thailand when I accompanied some American friends when they took their sons to see a movie at a fancy mall in Bangkok. The majority of the story is fabricated (that’s why it’s billed as fiction), but the strange chaos of doing something that is mostly familiar in a place where everything appears in a new language stayed with me for a long time. It seemed story-worthy to me.
You can read other online, “New Translations,” which appeared in the latest issue of Quarterly West. I wrote that one after accidentally getting sucked into browsing my Twitter feed during writing time, and I stumbled across an article that explained how we might have been reading a Bible verse from Genesis wrong all these years. That concept catapulted into a flash piece. I hope you enjoy it!
Two of my friends who happen to be amazing poets, Caroline Crew and Anne Barngrover, have some killer poems in that killer issue.
The entire summer issue of the Indiana Review has been reviewed here at New Pages. I’m happy to read that somebody made it all the way to the end of something I wrote.
I really enjoyed these from author Karen E Bender at the Story Prize blog. #10 resonated with me the most:
Remember that revision is a process and happens in stages. The first stage, you may be trying to find out what the story is about. Then you may develop scenes, layer characters. Later, you may compress scenes/characters. Then you may work on pacing. A late revision focuses on clarity and language. You may work on any of these issues during the process, but try not to get too focused on honing the language too early, as you may not know what will remain in the story. As one writer I know says, “Writing a story is like building a boat. I don’t want to spend too much time intricately painting a hatch when I don’t know if the boat even has a rudder.”
My writing tip in general: Remember that writing takes up a lot of time.