A fascinating, extremely long “list of literature (& other bits & bobs) that features the body and/or the way it fails us” on Meghan McClure’s new site for her chapbook Portrait of a Body in Wreckages (Newfound Press) includes my personal essay at Under the Sun “Discovering My Gall Bladder.”
It’s a theme I could read about forever. Would love to order her book, and tackle her “Compendium” of literature right now, but my work load for classes is suddenly overwhelming. I've been grading all day with no end in sight! I took on an extra class of six dedicated advanced creative nonfiction writers that meets Saturday mornings! So I don't know how much work I'll manage tomorrow. And then there's the Christmas tree, but that will just have to stay up for a while longer.
Excited to see my flash “Red Riding Hood” at SPELK today.
SPELK is one of those up-and-coming flash zines, relatively new, publishing really great fiction. A UK journal, they’ve got renowned authors from all over the place. I’m delighted to join the writers they’ve published: Meg Tuite two days ago! Lynn Mundell, Jayne Martin, Cathy Ulrich, Jan Stinchcomb, Tommy Dean, Ashley Hutton, Jonathan Cardew, A.E. Weisgerber, Christopher Allen, Gay Degani, Kaj Tanaka, Christina Dalcher, Robert Scotellaro, Gary Duncan, J. Bradley, Hillary Leftwich, Nod Ghosh, Niles Reddick, Len Kuntz, Jon Sindell, Tony Press, Paul Beckman, Sudha Balagopal, and I know I’m overlooking some. This is starting to sound like the entire world of flash writers that I follow . . .
Should I mention that I got a rejection from Vestal Review for “Red Riding Hood” that was so mean that I wondered 1.) should I stop sending this story out and erase all evidence that I wrote it? and/or 2.) is it time to stop writing altogether? Their editor is notoriously blunt. He was quoting a reader’s report and maybe thought he was being helpful. (Some comments inspire revision. This one definitely did not.) I didn’t expect to be handled with kid gloves, but I’ve published there before.
There have been so many terrific transformations of Red Riding Hood that I hesitate to add to them (Ty Coleman’s, most recently, which I can’t seem to find, but it’s online). No one’s going to top Ann Sexton’s and Angela Carter’s takes on fairy tales in general. But I’m fascinated by the different ways that oral tales are told, what remains in the tradition, and what’s censored and why, and it was fun to imagine that.
p.s. Isn't twitter grand. Tyrese Coleman supplied the link to her Red Riding Hood retelling when I mentioned it. "Red'n'Wolf" in Lost Balloon last March.