Writer, editor, teacher, other.

The kind folks over at the Short Fiction Review Blog have some very nice things to say about “Arthrogram.” Thanks, y’all! 

Y’all! Happy fall! 

So I’ve been awol for too long (gulp) and apologize. I’ve missed news of some publications in my absence, so I’ll post those in the coming week. For now, I’m thrilled to report that my short story “Arthrogram” is live today over at Short Fiction Collective. Click the link above to read it.

I hope fall is treating you all well. More soon. 

Until then, love big. Be well.

xo

This week’s mail brought the new issue of NANO Fiction, a special anniversary issue which includes both work from brand-new NF authors and works by a writer chosen from each previous issue. I was thrilled that the editors chose me to represent issue 5.1.

The piece they published here is a piece about the farm, and about my last real summer there. It was a complicated time. If you’ve been to the farm with me, the piece might surprise you. The place is pastoral; the piece isn’t. 

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It’s been a bustling few weeks here, as summer sneaks up on us….the job I’d spent several months preparing to exit actually didn’t wind down the way I thought. My boss approached me about ten days prior to my exit date with a new proposal…there’s a lot of blahblahblah in between, but the short version is that I’m still doing the same work, only with a new title & some new logistics. This is really wonderful news—I love the work & my coworkers—but I had never imagined it might happen, so I’m still getting resettled. (And my summer of leisure is quickly fading away!) But it’s welcome news.

We’re growing very invested in the idea of changing our decorating color scheme when we move later this summer, and I’m looking forward to embracing more neutrals and soothing colors—more blues, fewer reds. 

There’s more to come, so I’ll be in touch soon. Until then, be well. Eat something delicious—silver queen corn when its season arrives, or berries, or basil. Here, we’re saving our appetites for our favorite food event in town: the local Greek Orthodox Church’s Greek Festival. Pastichio! Dolmades! Loukoumades! This weekend, if you catch me at the right moment, you’ll see a great big, honey-smeared grin. Yay delicious.

(xo)

Y’all, I’m super thrilled to announce that my piece “Prognosis,” originally published in Corium Magazine, has been named to Wigleaf’s top 50 list, a compendium of the best short fiction pieces published in 2012. I love this piece, and I admire Wigleaf a ton (I submit there regularly), so I’m really honored by this news. (Click the link above to see the rest of the top 50 [the short list], and go to Wigleaf’s site to see the long list.)

Here in the ‘burg it’s been a rough semester, though I’ve refrained from speaking much about that. I will say, though, that now I’m focused on moving forward: grading papers, wrapping up another semester and preparing for my last week in the editing job I’ve had for the last seven years. (NB: the editing job was lovely and wonderful and not part of the roughness; my exit date was pre-determined long ago.) We’re also looking for a new place to live (new housing only, though—we’ll still be here teaching in the fall). So it’s a season of moving forward, looking ahead. 

A year ago, I refused to paint my kitchen, although we’d purchased the paint a good six months earlier, because I didn’t want to change anything, to make it other than what my brother had known of my life. Now, I’m ready to move into something new—not past him, exactly, but still forward. I think this is good. 

Given that, I was a little scared to revisit this piece, though I remembered being very attached to it when I wrote it last year. But rereading it, I see that it’s a piece that prefigured this moment, these changes and possibilities. Make way, it instructs, and I have. I am.

I’ll write soon, as there’s news on the horizon. Until then, loves, be well. Love big. And do things that delight you.

(xo)

August 1 is a humbling day, as I also have two pieces up at Corium Magazine today. They include one of my most favorite of the prose poems (“Prognosis”) and my favorite-ever bio.

I wrote the bio because Corium has a very kind policy where they won’t reject your work on your birthday. This started me thinking about birthdays. And then astrological signs, which I sort of believe in a little bit, and then the turn that the bio takes at the end.

Here’s a secret, loves: when I wrote “that thing you said that time,” I was thinking of an actual time, an actual you, an actual statement. But here’s the other secret: I could have asked the speaker what it meant, but I didn’t. Sometimes we need to believe things we aren’t actually ready to know. This was one of those times. (Sometimes the inverse is true, too—we know things we can hardly believe—but that’s another set of stories.) So I do still wonder a little bit, but at my core, I’m still believing. And at the end of it all, on some level, isn’t that what matters?

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I’m big on faith and belief, though not necessarily in a religious sense. For me, it’s often faith & belief in people and in their roles in my life. Relationships, like most things, have seasons. But I tend to believe that the bloom’s never off the rose for long.

Last week, I sat in the farm of my childhood, my spiritual (though not physical) home, with my best friend from middle school. Our friendship, too, has gone through seasons, though we remain quite close. But sitting there, we talked late into the night about things—One of us mentioned how this farm was the place where he would mail me letters when we were young. He asked me about a line of an essay referring to my family. He mentioned being in sixth grade and first reading my writing. I remembered that he was the first person, aside from teachers, who liked my work, and I remembered how significant that was.

Sitting there, I realized that, though my life isn’t at all what I expected it to become, one thing I’d have known for certain back when I was 12 was that decades later, he & I would still be having those conversations, still be in it—whatever “it” is—together.

I should probably clarify that the line in the Corium bio isn’t referring to this friend at all. But it’s the same sentiment: an abiding belief that the people who belong in your life will always be there, and you in theirs.

So keep the faith, loves.

(xo)