It's official. I just sent off the description for the Bending Genres workshop I'll be teaching in September. Very relieved to hear from Robert Vaughan that they have a great IT guy who actually designs the course. So now I just have to put the teaching materials together and teach it.
LOOKING SIDEWAYS: Oblique Approaches to Generating and Focusing Your Flash Nonfiction, September 17-19
Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola take the title of their creative nonfiction textbook from Emily Dickinson: “Tell the truth but tell it slant.” In this prompt-based weekend workshop, you will generate new creative nonfiction flash by looking sideways at the past and telling it slant. We’ll use exercises, objects, clothing, and photographs to access what you’ve forgotten, and new forms to approach what you remember well but can’t seem to write. This workshop is for writers who are stuck, for writers who feel they have no life experiences worth writing about, for writers who feel they don’t remember enough to write nonfiction, and also for writers who feel they remember too much to write flash. This is for writers at all levels, including flash fiction writers looking for resonant material. Surprise yourself with memories you didn’t know you had, and forms you haven’t tried before.
Just as I'm getting depressed and anxious (mostly about COVID and trying to second guess what new precautions we should take, but about the incoherence of The Lunatics' Ball, about the incessant barking of the neighbor's dog, about new health problems, you name it, I have a long list), I go and accept an invitation to read. Let's hope I'm in a better mood on Friday, September 3, 4pm PDT, 7pm EST, when I'll read again in the FBomb NY Flash Fiction Reading Series, which used to be in the KGB Bar (picture below) but now is via Zoom.
My Poe-inspired story (yes, another one) "The Leaf Blower" was just accepted at POTATO SOUP JOURNAL, which has published all kinds of great writers. I'm really pleased to be published there. It will be out September 2. Of the five or six genres I write in (personal essay, narrative nonfiction, lyric essay, cnf flash, flash fiction, fiction), fiction is what I write least often, but lately I've been on a roll.
And a fellow contributor at SONORA REVIEW (who turns out to be a cnf reader at CRAFT) got her copy in the mail. It exists! It's in the mail! I'll post her picture of the magazine here.
The wonderful Jayne Martin did a great profile of me in the fourth issue of the print magazine THE SAN FRANCISCAN, and they just posted it online: "Missing Girls, Hidden Women." I love the original art by Tess Powell.
The print issue is now available in a lot of Bay Area bookstores. In addition to great articles, there's a short story by Ethel Rohan, and flash by Kara Vernor, Thaisa Frank, Robert Scotellaro, and Lynn Mundell.
And here it is, front and center, at GREEN APPLE BOOKS IN THE PARK.
"Midcentury Modern" in CATAPULT is still attracting lots of attention. Many retweets and comments on twitter and facebook, and more on facebook from strangers since I posted it in Binders of Creative Nonfiction. (Should perhaps post it on other essay sites, but haven't felt like it.) I'm amazed at the number of women who feel their mothers were very similar, and by the number of women who see empathy and compassion in the piece, and by the number of women who particularly like the last line ("We might have liked each other"), a line I feel particularly guilty about.
I noticed later that the illustration is actually from Good Housekeeping, 1965. I always forget that this perky Patty Duke look was very much a sixties phenomenon, just as hippies were a sixties phenomenon, and in fact this could be a girl at my high school. It's an inspired choice, really, absolutely the right era, and I think the illustration probably attracts readers.
I'm getting used to a publication every day, though it's not likely to happen again.
Beyond thrilled to have my cnf flash “Midcentury Modern” in CATAPULT today. Enormous thanks to editors Sophia Ordaz and Matt Ortile, for their close attention to my words, and to Genia Blum, for asking me to write something about depression (for a chapbook at QUEEN MOB’S TEAHOUSE before the teahouse collapsed) and reading it with such care.
This is the most I've ever been paid for a flash ($200), with the exception of one that one that placed first in a contest for $500.
The site looks more commercial than your usual indie zine, and the illustration is very fifties, a perky young woman with her hair flipped up. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be me as a teenager, or my mother as a young wife. Or maybe the ideal of the period.
TINY MOLECULES has a very clean, readable look. No picture on the page with your essay. But there are pictures for each story/essay on their contents page that also pop up when you post the essay and I just noticed that the photo they chose for "Still Lives" is actually a self-portrait by Dora Maar, who was a well-known photographer before she was Picasso's mistress and model and a painter. A very cool choice.
They posted "Still Lives" in the middle of the night last night, when I happened to be up (alas) so I reposted it. Woke up this morning to an explosion of interest that I didn't expect at all. The lyric essay on Calvino has gone pretty much unnoticed, but all sorts of people are reading this one. Jill Talbot wrote me an email asking questions for teaching it in the future.
It seems everything I've written in 2021 is coming out within the span of a week. TINY MOLECULES just published my segmented nonfiction flash on artists and models, "Still Lives." Big thanks to Connor Harrison and Ashley Jeffalone, who curate TINY MOLECULE's "Observations." Connor solicited work from me, and I didn't send "Still Lives" any place else. Always wonderful when that happens.
LOVE the eminent international webzine THE CAFÉ IRREAL, and I’m so excited to appear in their pages for the second time with my lyric essay “Forgotten Cities,” a meditation on past cities and past selves inspired by rereading Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Profound thanks to editors Greg Evans and Alice Whittenburg.
I returned to Calvino while working on edits and the introduction to a stunning cnf flash by Hart L’Ecuyer at CRAFT that was also inspired by Invisible Cities. This is the first time that my editorial work resulted directly in a publication.
THE CAFE IRREAL has a great archive extending all the way back to 1998. And it’s worth browsing among the strange and eccentric features that their café would include, if there was such a café. Take a look at “At Our Cafe.”