Preemptive Strike

If you hadn’t noticed already, I’m able to cross off one of my little resolutions from my list: blog makeover. I think it came out nice. New theme, but I decided to bring back the chameleon. I’ve missed my old mascot. I’ve also been devouring several books at once, so I updated what I’ve been reading too.

I’ve finally joined the e-reader generation. I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Maybe it will force me to read more of the classics now, seeing as they are so readily available. I already plan on reading as much Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton as I can. As much as I like having beautiful new books in my hands to touch and smell and hug, this is a nice alternative. I can see why people enjoy both, really. Sometimes, when I can’t fall asleep, I’ll get my Kindle out now and read in the dark until I can.

I have a new story up at the Rose Red Review and you can read it here. It’s called “The Loudest Lullaby,” and it is one of the strangest things I’ve published so far. I was trying to describe it to a friend the other day but stopped trying mid-sentence. I remember saying something like, “a surreal dystopian fairy tale.” I guess we’ll go with that for now. It is about a mother and her child, in a world that is crumbling and suddenly mixing its colors in unexpected ways. Writing is also very important and one of the few things that makes the mother feel safe, but it is against the law.

I also have a poem that I’m oddly proud of, “Dolphin Therapy,” that is going to be in the newest issue of Pear Noir!. Very rarely will I say things are great, but I am really excited about this. You can pre-order your copy here. From what I’ve heard, it is supposedly going to be one of the most interesting issues too.

We’re off to a good start.


Carousel #14

  1. A book-loving teen discusses how he has to deal with “dumbing himself down” and pretending to be someone else while among his peers and growing up in an environment that doesn’t particularly encourage reading.
  2. My sister showed me this art blog and I fell in love. I especially love the art of Dima Rebus.
  3. Here is a great quote by the always quotable Anaïs Nin. My sister has been misquoting it for quite some time and I managed to decode what she was talking about, finally.
  4. Here is the fiction editor of the consistently fantastic Indiana Review talking about what types of stories they don’t like because they’ve read variations of them a thousand times in their slush pile. You can also see their take on poetry. In fact, you should just read their blog in its entirety. A lot of insight into how a literary journal works, writing and submission tips, etc.
  5. This year’s MacArthur literary genius grants have been announced. Writer Junot Díaz is among them. Look here.
  6. Speaking of Junot Díaz, here is some of his advice to young writers.
  7. Here is the list of confirmed authors for this year’s Miami Book Fair, which I’ll hopefully be attending. Some great writers to see, along with some of my past creative writing professors.

Carousel #12

  1. You can see what people are reading on the subways over at The Underground New York Public Library.
  2. Another great blog I discovered: Pen and Ink. Tattoos and the stories behind them.
  3. Many people were upset earlier this year about having no Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction. In the New Yorker, writer Michael Cunningham (who was one of members of the jury that decides which three books are to be judged) discusses how exactly the process worked.
  4. Over at the Rumpus, writer and internet hero Roxane Gay talks about women writers, “women’s fiction,” and gender disparity in the publishing landscape. Also good books that I want to read.
  5. Here’s a collection of really weird book titles. Some will make you laugh out loud, some will leave you scratching your head.

Carousel #9

  1. One of my old creative writing professors was named a Guggenheim fellow. Pretty fantastic. A friend of mine called my attention to it and we reminisced about our days in fiction workshop at the Biscayne Bay campus and our quick dinners at Taco Bell.
  2. Huh. Here’s something new I learned today: apparently, Emily Dickinson used to love to bake a lot. Here’s the original recipe for her coconut cake.
  3. About a month or so ago, I read Edith Wharton’s book called The Writing of Fiction, which gives her opinions on writers and advice on the writing process (from novels to short stories to genre fiction, like horror). Here’s her story, “Copy: A Dialogue,” which was published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1900.
  4. I recently watched Martin’s Scorsese’s documentary, Public Speaking, on the writer and social commentator Fran Lebowitz. Here’s a video clip of Lebowitz discussing the posterity of Jane Austen. I love the idea of how readers should view books as doors rather than mirrors.
  5. I don’t know about the readers of this blog, but I’m a largely introverted person. In fact, I’m probably the most introverted person I know. Ever since I was little, this has been treated as a huge issue in pretty much every facet of my life. Then along comes Susan Cain and her TED talk. She is the author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which I plan on reading sometime hopefully this year (my to-read list is getting ridiculous again, of course). If you’re an introvert, you may find it reassuring to be reminded every once in a while that you shouldn’t feel ashamed of who you are.

Converting Non-Readers, by an Ex-Non-Reader

So, I was a guest writer for ReadLearnWrite. Thanks to Mr. Brandon Monk for having me. My post just went up today. It’s about my childhood as a very dedicated non-reader (which may seem surprising?) and growing up in a household without books and how things have changed since then. It also goes into how I try to foist books on people now on a regular basis (including little anecdotes about these attempts with my family).

I’ve also sent out some writing to journals, as well as a national poetry contest. I’m getting a bit crazy I think. I have to start somewhere though, I suppose – may as well be that! If I don’t win, I’ll just quit writing forever. No big deal.

I think I handle rejection pretty well, if you ask me. If you really want to know my secret: I’ve been prepping myself with this special rejection generator.