Tag Archives: fiction

Updates and AWP

I’ve been really busy in the past few months, first with going through revisions of the collection with the fantastic Andrew Sullivan (a very positive experience overall), with some marketing/promotional stuff, and also still chugging along at my WIP.

guh12af

First copies have arrived.

The above are my author’s copies, which have mostly been distributed at this point. You can start pre-ordering copies directly from the publisher here or purchase from Amazon here. Copies will be available for sale at AWP as well. Keep an eye out for C&R Press’s booth!

For AWP next week, C&R Press are holding a party and reading event on Friday night, starting at 7PM, at 18th Street Lounge in DC. If you find yourself free, stop on by!

Lastly, I just want to give this update on the WIP: the first draft (after four separate re-starts) is finally complete, though it took me a year longer than I expected it to. I’m starting the revision process now — it’s daunting and exhausting (there’s so much work to do on it!), but I think it’s going to be worth it.

Back to work. Maybe I’ll see you next week.

 

MEDITATIONS ON THE MOTHER TONGUE short story collection forthcoming from C&R Press

I am ecstatic to report that, with thanks to editors John Gosslee and Andrew Sullivan, my short story collection MEDITATIONS ON THE MOTHER TONGUE will be released in 2017 by C&R Press. I’m honored to be part of this family–C&R has released some wonderful work and they are already showing a passion and commitment to my own work that I could not be more grateful for. I owe a deep thanks to everyone out there who helped to make this possible.

In related news, it seems I will be in New York City next month for the Brooklyn Book Festival. There will be more readings to come, I’m sure. Will keep everyone updated.

Pushcart Prize Nomination

I owe tremendous thanks to the Southern Humanities Review and Fiction Editor Aaron Alford for nominating my short story, ‘A Clear Sky Above the Clouds,’ for the Pushcart Prize.

It would be a dream come true for me to win such an award–one of my lifetime goals, in fact. This is my second story that has been up for nomination, and while I don’t expect to win (considering the competition is literally everyone who is amazing), I am deeply honored that as prestigious a journal as SHR has nominated me for such an incredible award and given my work the opportunity to contend with the American greats.

“Once I Wed a White Woman” in Sundog Lit 7

Issue 7 of Sundog Lit has gone live and includes a small short story of mine, ‘Once I Wed a White Woman.’ I am very fond of this story. It was one of the first times I wrote with an explicitly Buddhist theme, and one of those stories that came suddenly, the first draft in a single sitting. I didn’t even know or expect the ending, but it couldn’t have ended any other way.

Deep thanks to editor Justin L Daugherty for including this piece in the issue. I’m happy this is a piece I can share widely.

storySouth Million Writers Award Finals

The short-list for storySouth’s Million Writers Award has been released and is now open to public voting.

I’m happy to report that my story, ‘The Grinning Man’, published by Eclectica Magazine, has made the cut. Please go check it out and, if you are so inclined, place a vote through this GoogleDocs Form. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Thanks to the judges! And Eclectica’s editors Tom Dooley and Anne Leigh Parrish!

Also, in other news, the Sententia Books website has been redesigned, and my short story–one of the favourites I’ve produced–“Conversations with the Rest of the World” has been put up online. Thanks to Paula Bomer and Adam Robinson for allowing me to share this story with the world, and in so many different mediums!

Gargoyle #61 and Other Updates

I’ve made my selection for my week of guest editorship at Smokelong Quarterly. It wasn’t easy; there were a number of really great pieces. Even pieces I could see myself loving very deeply, had they not had a fatal flaw or two that said to me they weren’t quite ready for submission. The selection I made was everything I look for in a piece of flash, was elegantly executed, closed in a way that resonated back through the rest of the piece. I’ll be excited to see it up.

In other news, a short story I’ve waited nearly a year to see released has come in Gargoyle #61, along with many other great writers and friends. This was one of most dear pieces to me, one of the first times I wrote candidly about racial shame. There’s a strange and fairly universal phenomena in being a visible minority, since you live your whole life being compared against the dominant culture, and that’s a deeply-seated sense of shame for being born the way you are. Everyone grows out of it at a different rate, but that shame can manifest into guilt, into rage, into self-hatred. I wrote a character that experiences all of this well into adulthood, and has to come to terms with his own racial identity. Plus, there are squid and lots of linguistic playfulness. The result is titled “The Message of My Skin.” Order a copy, if you feel so inclined.

I’d also like to an extend a very heartfelt thanks to editor Richard Peabody, who recently let me know that my story was one of Gargoyle‘s Pushcart Prize nominations. I’m incredibly honored, not only to be included in Gargoyle’s rich history in American independent literature, but to have my work represent it for the Pushcart. I can hardly believe it, really.

Lastly, a recent piece of mine has been picked up by another indie press I’m rather fond of. More on that later. 🙂

Two Stories!

Update: Turns out I see the release of two stories today. The e-book and Kindle version of Sententia: The Journal’s Issue 5 has been released (print version to come in July). I really love the piece included here, entitled “Conversations with the Rest of the World.” It’s an exploration of my own personal life fantasy: to communicate with a great ape through American Sign Language. I don’t know ASL, though I’m trying to learn. In this story, a young girl is born deaf, ASL being her “native language,” and she discovers during a zoo trip that she can communicate with the gorillas. I owe Paula Bomer and Adam Robinson a tremendous amount of gratitude for picking this story up and sharing it with others.

Original Post:

My friends over at Big Lucks have put up a fun little short story I wrote. I’ve just recently joined the masthead at what I think is one of the most stellar indie presses at DC, but long before that, I had this piece accepted by these lovely and amazing people. “The Phantom Harlot” is, in essence, a ghost story that stemmed from an idea I originally had for a novel: a couple moves into a haunted house and begins conducting recording sessions in a particular room, hoping to capture what’s known in ghost hunting circles as “electronic voice phenomena” (EVP). These are disembodied voices captured on recordings that were inaudible at the time of the recording itself.

It’s a really fascinating phenomena to me, this EVP business. I wondered what it’d be like to have a consistent call-and-response with a ghost in this way. You’d give a sort of monologue, leave the recorder running, and listen to the response the morning after. I thought, If people can fall in love with each other solely through emails and the written word, why not a “letter exchange” through spoken word? The novel itself didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to. The idea wasn’t large enough and I was forcing it, so I rewrote it as a short story.

Hope it’s an enjoyable read. Thanks so much to Mike and Mark for publishing this!