I'm working on edits for my two forthcoming flash in CRAFT (and a craft essay on plot to go with them) as well as a new essay right now, but I'm always thinking about where THE LUNATICS' BALL is going, and whether I can pull it together.
I've read Sarah Fawn Montgomery's combined memoir/history of Big Pharma, so I was interested to read her account in ESSAY DAILY of expectations from publishers and fellow students in creative writing workshops: "Early big five publishers were interested in my memoir, but only if I could revise the narrative in a way that offered redemption. While publishers were initially interested in the research—everything from the history of asylums and lobotomies to the chemical science behind contemporary psychopharmaceuticals—they worried this might overwhelm readers. 'What readers want is hope,' an editor said of about my discussion of steadily increasing mental illness rates in the United States despite the increasing number of medications. Recovery was what most publishers thought would sell, and while I agreed, it simply wasn’t possible to revise my life."
Nancy Au, a flash and fiction writer whose work I admire, discusses invisibilities such as her bipolar disorder and the role they play in her work in a recent essay in CRAFT.
"What is the point?" a member of my writing group asked about my draft-in-progress on the history of lobotomies. I often feel inadequate to the task, but I know that bringing back the lost lives of the women I'm writing about is important. Every day I try to "fail better."