I probably should’ve posted up last week, since I’m guest editor for SmokeLong Quarterly from August 11th through August 17th. Yes, those dates are over with now and I’ve a queue of pieces to read through and select from. I didn’t post up because I happened to fall under the weather with a pretty nasty cold and fever, and still had to take care of my day-job responsibilities. I did announce it on Facebook and Twitter though, so if you submitted during this period, thanks! I’ve already read some promising pieces and expect to find some real gems in the queue.
I’ve definitely been in a bit of a creative rut lately, second-guessing myself and feeling all-around uninspired. I suppose this happens to the best of us and I’m just going to try to exercise a lot of patience. We all fear that fire inside of us going out, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Something will occur in life that I won’t be able to ignore, and words will aggregate again. Patience.
In the mean time, I’ve been hard at work trying to finish up this MFA business, particularly with this craft paper. I’ve been reading Kirstin Chen’s Soy Sauce for Beginners and find the novel absolutely riveting. Check it out, if you’re itching to add another book to your To-Read stack.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written an entry in this blog. I’d love to say that I’ve been a busy bee, toiling away at the arduous labour that is the writer’s life, but that’s not exactly accurate. In the past few months, I’ve only managed to produce two additional short stories and most of a third.
What I have been doing:
Founding and curating a new reading series in Arlington, VA … it’s coming great and we’ve got quite the season booked for this summer. More details to come.
Going to other readings … I’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of my new favourite writers — Marie-Helene Bertino — read from her novel-in-progress along with Elliott Holt, Scott McClanahan, Sara Rose Etter, Matthew Salesses, Laura van den Berg and so so soooo many other great writers. This is the kind of thing I live for.
I have a review / recommendation for Ms. Bertino’s debut collection, Safe as Houses, forthcoming at TheLitPub (it’s REAAAALLY good)
A short story is forthcoming in Big Lucks — huge thanks to Michael Beeman, Mark Cugini and Chris Molnar for featuring my work!
Reading and other schoolwork
So it has been actually fairly busy. There’ve also been this huge debates internally about whether or not to move. For now, I’m staying put.
I have a more personal anecdote to share, but I’ll reserve those thoughts for another time when I can devote more to it.
I am happy to announce that my short story “Asylum” will be published in Connotation Press in mid-November! I’m honoured to sit beside some great and prolific writers like Sara Lippmann and Kristine Ong Muslim. And there is a deep gratitude for Meg Tuite for working with me on this story and for agreeing to publish it. “Asylum” has been a long favourite of mine and the version that will run at Connotation Press is the best yet.
I’ll also be participating at 826DC’s monthly reading series — the lowercase — at Big Bear Cafe in DC on September 5th. Pretty exciting, as this will be my first reading!
The end of September brings Fall for the Book at GMU (and some other locations around the DC Metro area). I’m really excited to see and hear from Karen Russell, who kicks the event off. I have been a fan for some time now and she is certainly masterful at what she does. And I’m a pretty big Neil Gaiman fan, so that will be an amazing experience!
I am working through the edits to a new story and have the shells of others in the works. I’m also continuing work on my novel-in-progress (over 40,000 words now!) and just hoping to have a thick portfolio ready for when the residency and semester at Queens starts up.
On the athletic front, I’m preparing for the USAPL Virginia State Championships in October.
Overall, I’m really excited for the autumn to start. I have a few months of devoted work and some pretty exciting stuff ahead of me. Every day, I feel a little bit more like I deserve the lofty self-proclaimed identity of “writer.”