- Goddessmode, a small anthology of videogame writing by women and non-binary writers
- Corium Magazine, Issue 20
- “The Grifted” by Jac Jemc
- “There Is No Map for Grief: On the Work of Art” by Lidia Yuknavitch
- “Aubade with a Broken Neck” by Traci Brimhall
- “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” by Etgar Keret
- “Beginnings: New York” by Ocean Vuong
- “Secretaries in Heaven” by Stephanie Lenox
- “In Favor of Defenestrating Children” by Saara Myrene Raappana
- The Blunt Instrument, an advice column for writers by Elisa Gabbert
It seems I’ve gone months without writing and this may be the first time I don’t feel guilty about it. Writing used to be my primary mode of communication, but now, I am learning to vocalize and interact using this alien contraption that is my body. I have a voice and I can’t keep quiet like I used to. Most of it is probably frustration. Not probably—definitely. But no guilt, no shame.
In lieu of writing, I’ve been going out to eat at places I’ve never been to before, visiting thrift stores for alternative rock CDs from the 90s, and spending time with new friends watching LGBT films, playing retro video games, sharing dreams. No longer on the periphery, I might be participating. There are more people around me having conversations and less usernames pinging in my ear. The orbit is seeing other stars, the universe is expanding. Maybe it goes against my natural wiring, but this kind of friction might be necessary.
Me: Why am I being so nice today?
Coworker: We can tell it’s hurting you.
I thought about making a spreadsheet of my rejections, but I figure it’s a waste of energy and I’m already angry enough as it is. I do admire something like Jac Jemc’s rejection blog though.
PANK Magazine is closing its doors soon, which is sad news. I joked with some friends about being the grim reaper for literary journals because the journals I get published in tend to fold once they have me as a contributor. Pear Noir!, Metazen, and now PANK. Who’s next? It could be you! Best watch yourself. If you see me in your submissions queue, you might not even want to take a glance, actually. Just turn away. It could be the death knell. Press REJECT as soon as possible!
Becoming an active participant and being more vocal has made me realize that I cannot fake being an extrovert, however. I can fake being nice when I don’t want to, but I can’t fake where I get my energy and motivation from and how. I’m still drained after all the interaction. I still replenish myself with the solitary. My lungs continue to fill with the quiet.
I am not going to launch into a reintroduction or make excuses because I promised I wouldn’t last time. I will just say things as they are.
A few months ago, I was asked to help read submissions for Keyhole Magazine, which I happily agreed to. They now have a new online portion to the magazine and it’s worth a look. It will be updated periodically.
I’ve been reading small books and messing around with poetry. Most of my thoughts work themselves into short fiction or notebook scribblings or to-do lists. The dregs become the poems.
Three poems of mine will appear soon in the second issue of Vector. One of these poems features a fictionalized version of my sister. If anything, that should sell you. I also noticed that this issue features a lot of writers who also happen to be editors of other literary magazines (Monkeybicycle, Word Riot, Sundog Lit, Untoward). A colorful bunch. Characters from the internet have arrived and we will haunt you.
I am also happy to say that my short piece of fiction, “The Geography of Squares and Circles,” will appear in the print issue of PANK 9. The piece is about a family with very different moving parts, parts separate like the seasons. They exist like islands, and unfortunately, it takes a son’s self-destruction to bring them together.
Online, I had a fragmented piece of nonfiction appear in the Games issue of Sundog Lit. It’s about growing up, alienation, sexual identity, and video games acting as both a means of escape and a place of solace. It’s probably one of the most personally intimate pieces I’ve published yet. Admittedly, I felt like this wasn’t very different from writing fiction. The themed issue itself was large and fantastic, which the Millions selected as recommended reading.
Going smaller now: I have a short short in Ghost Ocean (in which I also do a reading for you) and a piece of Twitter-sized fiction in Nanoism. They are sad, of course, but also maybe a bit surprising.
My sister is trying to write a story about one of her boy band concert experiences and her professor wants her to show, don’t tell. Of course. So I offered her a first line: “We were hugging and sobbing.”
Mom has found an old, unfinished dollhouse in the garage that we’re going to put together. As a hobby, she used to build sets from pieces. Looking at all of the small furniture and knickknacks scattered on the table, I am anxiously waiting to see what kind of place I will call my own.