This must be my week of near misses. A while ago, I heard from another great journal that I'd made the cut, one of five finalists they were sending to their guest editor (whose work I really admire). Today: they loved the essay, but had room for only two and mine's not one of them.
This one's part of THE LUNATICS' BALL. I'm not sending out many of those, and I have mixed feelings about pubishing them. At this point I've had some good publications from the collection-in-progress, one Notable Essay among them. I love the encouragement of publication, but it might be better not to publish too much if I'm going to look for a publisher.
Rejections don't get any softer than this latest for my Bartleby-and-Wings of Desire-inspired story. They almost took it and just didn't have space. They called it "masterful." STORY magazine also loved it and sent a soft reject. At this point an acceptance would be nice.
Roster for my May 11 reading with Flash Fiction Forum in San Jose is up. I only know a couple of the readers, but it should be fun anyway. The Zoom picture they're using from an old reading has Steve and me peeking over the bottom in the middle.
Feeling the dearth off new material right now. Nothing to send for this year's Flash Flood. Not much out looking for homes. But I've been making progress on THE LUNATICS' BALL, so it's not like I'm not writing.
Feeling very discouraged by what a colossal project THE LUNATICS' BALL has turned out to be, and by how much repetition I have to deal with, and by how the pieces to this puzzle fit together. My San Francisco writing group, and my single beta reader (a traveler who's now in Oaxaca), is helping a lot.
And I love my small online flash group. Two members will be in the new magazine 10 BY 10 and urged me to submit something. "The Magician's Assistant" was just accepted for their second issue (which will also include friends Kathryn Kulpa and Gay Degani). The lineup for the first issue, which includes Kathy Fish and I'm forgetting who else, looks terrific. A pick-me-up.
Working overtime for CRAFT, as we assemble the prize winners for the Creative Nonfiction contest, and other upcoming publications, and a revise-and-resubmit. Just finished writing an introduction that i found difficult. I't's satisfying work, but can be time-consuming as well.
Inspired by a grownups' brawl at a kids' Easter egg hunt, this came out in print in THE MACGUFFIN a few years ago: "Easter Mayhem in Wampum."
One of the organizers of the reading series Flash Fiction Forum wrote to me that she ran across "The Madwoman on BART" on matchbook and would love to have me read it in their series. I said yes, even though it means missing a meeting of my writing group, which is always super-useful. It's in San Jose and this one's hybrid--part in person, part Zoom. I think I'll take Zoom; it's a long drive for a short flash.
A rejection from a magazine that semi-solicited me. That is, they solicited me, but I think along with other people. Always a bummer.
Slowly but surely getting household tasks and health tasks completed. Root canal yesterday and more health appointments this week and next. Seems never-ending at my age. We went to a dinner party on Sunday (!), and out to breakfast this morning (!). COVID statistics in Alameda County pretty good right now. We're planning some trips. Ojai in August, where I'll take a writing class. Aberdeen some time in the fall or winter, where Ben will be doing a master's degree. Exciting news.
Well, in NYC via Zoom in the FBomb NY Flash Fiction Series, formerly at the KGB Bar. We resurrected Alvarado O'Brien for a rare return appearance and read "Night of the Virgin" published in TIMBER. Thanks to Paul Beckman for the invite.
And a couple of weekends ago, we spent the night in Santa Cruz where Steve read for CATAMARAN LITERARY READER, their first in-person reading (and ours) in two years. It was magic.
Adam Swanson, a fellow writer that I met a few years ago in Lidia Yuknavitch's writing class/retreat, just wrote to me that his professor quoted me in his MFA workshop today. The professor at Emerson College, whom I don't know, is Jabari Asim. The quote is from a weird essay I published in ESSAY DAILY:
It was partly about a crazy Sara Levine essay in the TOUCHSTONE ANTHOLOGY that I love, but also about a crazy incident at a conference where Steve did a keynote address. "It's a Wonder" was fun to write. I didn't think I'd ever hear about a reader, certainly not all these years later. The world is overflowing with inexplicable wonders again today.
A stressful few days with issues with my writing group and pressures from the CNF contest at CRAFT and problems with my health that necessitate setting up all kinds of appointments. All okay, really, just a lot at once. So it was thrilling to hear on twitter today that William Woolfitt (whose work I love) recommended my essay "The Dream Lives of Objects" to Rachel Laverdiere (whose work I love) and that she's going to teach it in her class "Hone and Polish your Lyric Essay" in May. Yay!
It's here! My flash "Zooming Out" just came out in FICTIVE DREAM, part of their Flash February series, which includes a lot of flash friends. Lovely art again from Claudia McGill.
And of course here I am today about to log into a Zoom meeting. A workshop with Rebecca McClanahan on organizing your memoir-in-essays or essay collection. Getting ready for it, and getting ready for Claire Polders to read the first two sections, already pushed me into a massive organizational effort. Claire's request that I give subtitles to the nine sections so the organization is more visible has me stymied, though.
Pleased to see that my flash "Where Are We Going?" made it into Kristina Saccone's "Flash Roundup" this week.
"Little Darling," originally published in Wigleaf, will be included in Grant Faulkner's The Art of Brevity (University of New Mexico Press, forthcoming), which he describes as "one part craft book, one part aesthetic reflection." I'm excited to see it.
Also a nice Valentine's Day surprise. Len Kuntz included "Where Are We Going" in "What I Loved Last Week" on his blog (along with several other flash in the new issue of BENDING GENRES, and some great work from other publications).
Nice to get encouragement when my publications are few and far between and I'm spending so much time on THE LUNATICS' BALL without knowing how it well end up.