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.
It's been a mixed day, which started with a bummer of a rejection of a flash that was solicited. It's the first rejection, I still want to tinker with the end anyway, so it's not all that discouraging. Still, I hoped for better.
I'm at this amazing Bending Genres retreat in Ojai and missed all of yesterday because of a killer migraine. Worried that it could be covid, which added to my general misery, but was greatly relieved when I tested negative. Today after two cups of tea, lots of gatorade and some Tylenol I feel almost human. Went to our last gatherings and reading. (My first reading of "Lunatic Impromptu" helped me decide on some cuts.) Looking forward to dinner at a posh restaurant with the participants.
And I just heard from Jill Talbot, a writer I've admired for years, that she's teaching "Haunting Houses" in her class on "Lyric Hauntings" at the University of North Texas. She's taught "Little Colored Pills" in the past as well, and I'm so honored!
The view from our bedroom in Ojai.
A friend in my flash group just wrote to me yesterday that she received two acceptances for the same flash in the same day but had already written to the first one. Now something similar happened to me.
I did some withdrawals of "Champagne" after it was accepted at TRAMPSET. Originally I sent it somewhere after a solicitation, and when they were taking much much longer than the few days they'd promised (I still haven't heard from them, and it's been a couple of months), I sent it out to just a handful of other places. When I withdrew it from one of them, a really cool print magazine, they wrote back that they'd accepted it! Hadn't I gotten the email? I hadn't. They don't use submittable. I checked my spam and didn't see it. I had submitted via email, so I think it would have been in that email string, but it wasn't. I think it must have slipped the editor's mind. Would have been a nice publication, but I love TRAMPSET, so all is well. Maybe I'll place something in the other mag when they reopen in December.
Often in the past I've had flash to spare, but lately I haven't been writing flash at all, so just about nothing is out. I decided against revising a couple that I just wrote in Kathy Fish's class. Hope to get something from the Ojai retreat. One good flash would be enough to make me happy.
Yay! My nonfiction flash "Champagne" was accepted at TRAMPSET, and will be published in late October. This one's short, just over 500 words, but the frame went through a million revisions over time. I knew it was a story I wanted to tell. Love TRAMPSET, where I've published once before ("Gall"), so I'm thrilled it will be published there.