An acceptance of flash CNF ("Late Bloomer") for an anthology forthcoming in December from ELJ Editions: Awakenings: Stories of Body & Consciousness, edited by Diane Gottlieb. A little embarrassing but I figured it's print, not many people will see it. And now I see that some great writers I know have been accepted also. Sometimes you need a thick skin to be published as well as a thick skin to be rejected. (My recent pub "(Parenthetical Asides)" also made me feel somewhat exposed.)
I wrote "Late Bloomer" in a Kathy Fish class, a wonderful generative workshop for flash memoir. I should take more classes, as I pretty much always produce something, even when I'm sure I won't. Kathy's format (interesting prompts, thoughtfully-chosen and substantial craft readings, no negative criticism, well-published students) works really well for me at the generative stage.
Kim Magowan has been tweeting a long list of her favorite pieces at PITHEAD CHAPEL, and included "The Lost Umbrella" among them. I've always liked that story too, which makes me think of the Magritte exhibition at SFMOMA.
I was so happy to hear today from Ellen Blum Barrish, a memoirist and essayist and former editor of THREAD, that she's been teaching "Dear Maddy" in her private workshops.
What's made me smile: her regret over an editorial decision she made ages ago when she published "Another Guy's Shoes." We do toss and turn over things that other people have long forgotten. And unconnected: the amazing response I've gotten on twitter to my announcement that I have an acceptance at ELLIPSIS ZINE. I love that the literary community comes together to celebrate. But I am completely sure that not all of these people are going to read the flash when it comes out!
Our son Ben's 34th birthday tomorrow. He's in the rainforest in Borneo, fifteen hours ahead of California, but we should be able to FaceTime. His latest picture of Sabah, a view from the open upper story at his friend Cynthia's house. We got to see a moving panorama of a gentle thunderstorm coming on (also from her open upper story—an amazing design for a house) the last time we FaceTimed.
note: Two days later I've realized that Ben is now 35, not 34. You'd think with one child I could keep his age straight.
Woke up to an acceptance from Steve Campbell at ELLIPSIS ZINE of a flash fiction that's been looking for a home. I write so little flash fiction these days, and generally feel very insecure about them, so I'm pleased that this one has landed. Coming out June 7.
All three of my flash fiction pubs this year have been in the UK. Still waiting on my longform short story as FIVE SOUTH continues to have problem with their website redesign. A couple of weeks, maybe.
I'm very proud of my work as Creative Nonfiction Editor at CRAFT. In just under three years we've published absolutely stellar longform and flash nonfiction, garnering three Notable Essay citations in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS (something very few online journals have managed). We pay our writers (something else that very few online journals do) and have extremely limited space, publishing fewer essays and flash in a year than most journals do in a single issue. I hate rejecting so much great work, but feel good about the range and quality of what we've published, and how innovative our publications have been on the craft level. I don't post them here, as much as I love them, but today's was actually inspired by a tweet of mine. Definitely a first! Kathryn Silver-Hajo read Kathy Fish's newsletter on first-person plural and saw my response in the thread for the newsletter and was inspired to write something on the spot. She says in her author's note (another feature, along with the introductions, that I love at CRAFT): "Last fall, Kathy Fish penned a craft essay titled “We Real Cool” in her newsletter The Art of Flash Fiction. The essay, which addressed the use of first-person plural to create a sense of community and common purpose, was referenced in a tweet by Jacqueline Doyle expressing her desire to see more workplace-related creative nonfiction in the CRAFT submissions queue. That convergence lit a fire in me and the story of my time at the magazine poured forth." Often there is spirited discussion on the editorial team before we accept a piece, but we were all immediately taken by Kathryn's flash "We Had Something Beautiful."
Coincidences abound. I'm trying to write a wandering essay about synchronicity for my WIP (maybe? I've abandoned a number of completed essays that didn't seem quite right when I'd finished them). And today I see that BREVITY published an interesting craft essay about the phenomenon of parenthetical asides on the same day that my crazy hybrid "(Parenthetical Asides)" came out in CENTAUR. I like this from Jack Lancaster's "On the Aside Looking In": "In this way, understanding what the writer says between the parenthesis, and why they do, lets you feel like you’re on the inside of an inside joke. In nonfiction, these asides follow the shot of action with the chaser of the writer’s voice, an embodied clarity that the writer wants to tell you something directly."
Nicest reactions on twitter to "(Parenthetical Asides)" were from Genia Blum, whom I know, and Jay Parr, whom I don't know: "Holy crap I think I know what's opening my Short Reads class next time around." I looked him up and he's a lecturer in the nontraditional humanities program at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. I'm always so excited when people teach my work (though of course it doesn't mean that the students will like it!).
Light rain on Saturday when Steve and I made it to the Flash Fiction America reading at the literary festival in Berkeley, a standing-room only event. Great readings by local readers included in the anthology. And perfect weather on Sunday for an outdoor reading and concert in Jon Sindell's gorgeous garden in the outer Sunset in San Francisco. Also standing-room only, a very enthusiastic crowd. Steve and I read "One Night at the Crown Saloon," one of the collaborative stories we wrote under the pseudonym Alvarado O'Brien. Saw friends at. both gatherings that we never get to see. And the music in Jon's garden inspired the birds into loud twittering and chirping and harmonious song.
There’s a new magazine in town! And it’s for hybrids! And Lynn Mundell is the editor! Honored that Lynn solicited work from me and has included
"(Parenthetical Asides)" in the grand first issue of CENTAUR. “For writing and art that is a little bit wild, a little bit civilized.”
Elegant, spare, beautifully curated and designed, the inaugural issue is amazing. It came out exactly when Lynn said it would, with twitter and Facebook websites launching simultaneously, and announcements with all of the authors tagged. Love all of the hybrid pieces, and the cover art by Rachel Williams (mixed media, of course, as befits a journal devoted to hybrids).