I shouldn't announce my husband Steve's news yet, since he hasn't made a commitment, but a great press just accepted his novella for publication. It's also part of a collection in the final stages of consideration at another press, so he may have a hard decision. AMAZING NEWS!
Went to Mountain View for a lunch with four flash fiction writers. First row: Dawn Steffler, Patricia Q. Bidar. second row; me, Melissa Bowers, Claudia Monpere. Patricia is the only one I've met before. It was great getting together with these great flash writers in person. I admire all of them!
So yay! I just had a reprint accepted for a special Halloween ezine at BULB CULTURE COLLECTIVE (which does reprints from defunct magazines and solicited for Halloween in particular). Sent it yesterday, got my acceptance today.
I don't write longform fiction very often, so I'm thrilled to see "Raney's Imaginary Friend" (originally published in THE GINGER COLLECT) resurrected.
My only other longform story this year will be "The Beautiful Girl on the Flying Trapeze," which was supposed to come out in FIVE SOUTH on. April 1, and they claim that they're STILL working on their web redesign (is that possible?). A friend who was accepted for the same issue is shopping her flash elsewhere. I really like the magazine, so I'll wait and see.
Publicity and marketing materials and preorder info is out for AWAKENINGS, the forthcoming anthology about the body from ELJ Editions where I have an essay. They want to do readings and I wish I didn't feel so reluctant to read my essay "Late Bloomer" about being flat chested. It's not the embarrassing moment as a preteen, that's fine, I guess it's the somewhat sentimental closure. Something anyway. It also feels weird that they're marketing me as a "seasoned writer": "A host of seasoned writers, including Alison McGhee, Jesse Lee Kercheval, and Jacqueline Doyle, alongside emerging artists, such as Camille U. Adams, Terry Opaleck, and Sarita Sidhu, share their hearts, their limbs, their breasts" (that would be me). One of the advance blurbs calls the essays "raw and revealing" and mine really isn't.
How do you get to be a seasoned writer without a book? Jessie Lee Kercheval has tons, and has branched into graphic memoirs that are wonderful. Feeling down on myself for my slow progress and long periods of no progress on THE LUNATICS' BALL.
Finally finished the interview introduction and questions for Sarah Fawn Montgomery. I know she's suffering from a bad back injury and nerve damage and I'm worried that she hasn't let me know she received the questions (it's been all of a day). Her hybrid memoir QUITE MAD was quite inspirational for my project. Here's something she said on a blog about the research component in QUITE MAD: "I drew strength for my story through research—hundreds of medical texts and historical accounts, literary analyses and psychopharmaceutical studies to demonstrate to readers that while I was mentally ill, I was also credible, that my anger was supported by my intellect and a chorus of brilliant voices. Adding research allowed me to more accurately write my memoir because American mental illness is the result of systemic ableism and medical sexism, so my experience is part of a legacy of women who have been sedated into submission throughout history, who have been institutionalized and lobotomized without their consent, who were burned at the stake or given the rest cure until they saw madness in yellow wallpaper.”
A bit over a month ago, Tom Conaghan, a publisher in the UK, solicited me to write something for his online series "Scratch Classics," where contemporary writers introduce classic short stories. I procrastinated and yesterday, since I was supposed to be working on something else (an interview that I had hoped to have ready by August 1), I finished my piece on "The Tell-Tale Heart." So much fun to look really closely at how a Poe story is constructed. It's long for their site (even at half the length of my original draft) but Tom seems very enthusiastic. It will run in October.