Where I worked today. (Head cup by Beth Holyoke)
I finished typing up the Bewildering Whatever-it-is begun at Omega with Nick Flynn (and mentioned here). I don’t know what it is or will be. I keep thinking of it as a coil of DNA for a memoir. It’s about 13,000 words. There will be more words as I uncoil and discover itself.
Last night, I dreamt an agent said there’s a lack of confident storytelling in my novel. (When I woke, and did today’s letter to the inner critic, I asked the critic what she does while I sleep.) I don’t think it’s true that there’s a lack of confident storytelling in my novel. Laughed it off.
Within a few hours, I got a kind rejection from an agent who has some very big name clients. (Another agent at her agency, whom I had approached to represent me, had been complimentary about the novel, and on her own initiative, forwarded the manuscript to this big-name agent thinking it might be more her style.) The big-name agent got back to me quickly, and was also complimentary about the novel, said, “It’s full of mystery and atmosphere, poetry, even.” But said she doesn’t think she could sell it. I understand it’s a business. I’m grateful for the kind words about my writing. I trust someday I will find an agent or press who will say YES, and take a risk on my work.
May it be sooner than later.
My friend Melissa’s interview with the fabulous writer, Tara Ison (whose essays I blogged about here), is up on Lunch Ticket. What a great interview! Read the interview here. Cheers!
(p.s. Not sure I got the commas right in what I wrote above. Not going to overthink it.)
Behold a great summer sale at Undertow Publications: Go here!
For just $50 (shipping included) you can get all four of our fantastic 2016 titles:
Meet Me in The Middle of The Air, by Eric Schaller (Starred review in Publishers Weekly)
Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, by D.P. Watt (Shirley Jackson Award Finalist)
Singing With All My Skin and Bone, by Sunny Moraine (“… beautiful terror.” -Gemma Files)
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3, edited by Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly (“A triumph!” -Nathan Ballingrud)
In the shadows and tall trees of Glen Helen, with little book and little friend.
Australian writer Angela Slatter was gracious enough to interview those of us who have stories in Shadows And Tall Trees 7. The interview with me is posted here. Enjoy!
p.s. You can read my story “Curb Day” if you buy the book in paperback, or hardback from Undertow Publications.
Today is publication day for Shadows And Tall Trees 7 from Undertow Publications! You can support small press publishing and read some weird stuff by shopping here, and you can also find it on (that gargantuan online book seller). Gorgeous cover art and weird words inside, whichever edition you choose.
(My story in the anthology, called “Curb Day,” was inspired in great part by Junk Week in Yellow Springs, which is coming up next week…so it’s timely if you live in my little town.)
Today’s reward for grading student work: Get up and go to the mailbox and see that Shadows And Tall Trees 7 has arrived. Turn to page 205 and see the story you wrote!
(I’m so grateful to have my story “Curb Day” among these pages. Thank you, Michael Kelly. You can buy a copy of this great anthology at Undertow Publications in hardcover or paperback.)
Today, I feel like I gave birth to a 13- or 16-year-old (depending on when you consider the moment of literary conception) because I finished my novel. Finished as in finished; it’s packed and ready to go out into the world for the first time…evicted from living merely in my mind, where it had loving and helpful visitors, including a marvelous muse, editor, and doula (my husband, Robert Wexler) but where the novel has lived too long.
(fragment from the original idea, 2001)
My original note for the concept (a tornado girl loses her memory and can see the memories of others) is dated 2001. The first page of the handwritten draft is dated 2004.
So however you count, it’s been a long time.
I’m grateful to the novel’s loving and helpful visitors. I’m exhausted and pleased and a little shocked to be vacated by its presence.
I don’t recall writing this, but apparently I did:
If a person could climb up a ladder to the sky, and look down at the Eight Mile Suspended Carnival, the person would see a sort of living beast, its spine the Tower of Misfortune, its arms the tents, its legs the rides, wheels, gears, its blood the wine and food and excrement that flowed through the bodies of carnies and guests, the air in the beast’s lungs breathed by the humans who worked and wandered inside the cave of the beast’s body. Its head the hotel, its mouth and ass the doorway into and out of its corrugated skin of wonder.
Yellow Springs area readers: If you need some Weird Fiction to temporarily escape this Weird Reality, just take a walk downtown and purchase a copy of Year’s Best Weird Fiction vol. 3 at Dark Star Books! There are 3 copies for sale, so act quickly! (Yes, this post is self-serving because I have a story between those covers, but the other stories are seriously FABULOUS.)
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story “Curb Day” was accepted for Shadows and Tall Trees 7, forthcoming from Undertow Publications. It’s particularly exciting to me because, as I blogged here, in writing this piece, I adapted a process from Lynda Barry‘s process…and it was such fun to dig through compost from last spring’s embryonic essay about junk week and turn it into a story. I’m grateful to Michael Kelly at Undertow for accepting the results. Shadows and Tall Trees 7 will be available in March 2017.