A reprint of my essay "Often During the Pandemic," originally published in LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID, was accepted for an anthology called OUR PANDEMIC. (Interesting to go through the sort of rigorous copyedit that we do at CRAFT. I let some of my cherished parentheses go, but not one of my sentence fragments.) And we're allowed colored illustrations! So I settled on the medieval mural that inspired Bergman's scene in "The Seventh Seal"--a ceiling fresco, I think, by Albertus Pictor in the Täby Church outside of Stockholm, Sweden.
A long time ago I published an essay about Mary Magdalene's tibia in SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REVIEW (here's an excerpt) and a year or so ago I somehow corresponded with the writer Meghan Culhane Galbraith (whose book THE GUILD OF THE INFANT SAVIOUR I love) about Mary Magdalene, because she's really into her. She's visiting the famous Mary Magdalene grotto in the South of France right now, and told me on Facebook that she saw the tibia I wrote about! Here's one of her pictures, a statue, not the tibia, which is just a tiny fragment in a space-age-looking plexiglass capsule..
Woke up to a rejection of several essays from THE IOWA REVIEW (not soft) and an acceptance of a tiny micro from ANTI-HEROIN CHIC. I'd forgotten any of them were out on submission. Also, out of the blue, a request for a "Tiny Interview" from TINY MOLECULES.
I love the work in ANTI-HEROIN CHIC, and how the magazine looks as well, so I'm pleased that my tiny micro about a girl being interrogated by the police will appear in their October issue.
My second publication in GONE LAWN! A weird one. Lurid even. “Little Dove” actually started (the scene with the box) in a dream and led me somewhere I didn’t expect. Always interesting to me, how writing does that. The character who emerged is definitely unlikable, but I hope someone you can imagine..
GONE LAWN describes what they want: “Desired: sincere, well-written, imaginative, unusual and/or innovative works that charm and displace us… Gone Lawn is especially partial to odd animals.” They awarded my previous publication a Pushcart nomination, so they hold a special place in my heart. I don’t know whether my CNF pandemic flash “Ready or Not” was an odd animal, but the experience that inspired it was weird.
Great cover art by the poet Koss.
Thrilled to see my hybrid (non)fiction “Cutting Edge” out in PERMAFROST today, a magazine I love. “Unconventional, expansive,” PERMAFROST is particularly known for hybrids and “work without boundaries.” Braiding together facts and fictionalized riffs felt like the only way to get inside the experience I was writing about here. Particularly pleased to see work from THE LUNATICS' BALL out in the world.
I love THE PINCH, where I published twice in the past, a micro in their print magazine (see cover of that issue below), and a micro in their online compendium. When I saw that they were proposing a neurodivergent special feature in an upcoming issue, I thought I should send something from THE LUNATICS' BALL. I ended up sending the profile that I just wrote in Ojai, "Dear Mary Todd Lincoln, " and it took them only a week to accept it. I hadn't sent it anywhere else. One of those rare essays which was accepted on first submission! The issue comes out next spring. Great magazine! The roster of famous writers they've published in the past is pretty breathtaking.
I've been thinking about hybrids and how many of THE LUNATICS' BALL "essays" are hybrids, and how difficult they are to publish, that is, even to decide whether to submit them as nonfiction or as fiction (they're certainly not short stories). I love to base lyrical and fictional riffs on nonfictional material; I don't always preface them by stating that I'm "perhapsing" or that they're works of imagination (obvious, I think). So what are they? Corresponded with the editor at PERMAFROST about whether to include my upcoming pub with them in the Nonfiction section of their Table of Contents or their Hybrids section. (Yay! They have a Hybrids section! We settled on there.) Have also been talking to my editorial team at CRAFT about a fantastic hybrid submission that has a very low quotient of nonfiction compared to a fantastical dream memory that dominates the piece.
Found this today in a new interview of Erin Vachon in SMOKELONG. "Yes, hybrid is such a weird word. I’m really saying I love smashing two disparate things together to make something new. Some consider flash to be hybrid, a combination of the short story and the poem. Others need an image or multimedia component. I’m less interested in definition than I am in how that word catapults us forward. Hybrids have hooked me for a decade, since I was in graduate school, and I first leapt into erasure poetry, studying strange creative nonfiction. Incredible creativity manifests in hybrid forms because there are no external restrictions, only the author’s self-imposed constraints. That’s what gets me excited: an author who claims their power by designing their own form, since every hybrid has its own architecture."
Just got $100 in my PayPal account from CURRENT. It really is nice to get paid for my writing, and rare. I have some more headed my way, $25 from TRAMPSET. (Funny that my essay in CURRENT started with my mother's oft-repeated adage, "Money doesn't grow on trees.")
I'm not sure I felt the famous healing aura in Ojai, since I was desperately sick there for a day, but the Bending Genres retreat seems to have brought good karma. The profile I wrote on Mary Todd Lincoln at Ojai led me to the next one, on Ida C. Craddock, and made it much easier to adjust the tone and frame it more informally. So I'm making progress.
And there's a new magazine that does cnf reprints, SUGARSUGARSALT. I think so far they've all been solicited, and they've all been excellent. I was excited to hear that Jamy Bond, one of the editors, is a fan of my work and they want to reprint something of mine. Not one I would have expected at all, a micro I published quite a while ago in THE JOURNAL OF COMPRESSED CREATIVE ARTS, one paragraph of cnf followed by several paragraphs of imaginative speculation. I'm pleased to see it get new life.