Recommended Reading #2

  1. Goddessmode, a small anthology of videogame writing by women and non-binary writers
  2. Corium Magazine, Issue 20
  3. “The Grifted” by Jac Jemc
  4. “There Is No Map for Grief: On the Work of Art” by Lidia Yuknavitch
  5. “Aubade with a Broken Neck” by Traci Brimhall
  6. “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” by Etgar Keret
  7. “Beginnings: New York” by Ocean Vuong
  8. “Secretaries in Heaven” by Stephanie Lenox
  9. “In Favor of Defenestrating Children” by Saara Myrene Raappana
  10. The Blunt Instrument, an advice column for writers by Elisa Gabbert

Basic Space

I decorated my desk at work, which is unusual. In terms of personal living space, I prefer things simple and often unadorned. Truthfully, I am just not very cognizant of the arrangement of objects around me and how they look next to each other. I don’t like giving myself more to clean and organize. I am quick to discard anything that isn’t a book or things to write with. I wonder if this is a common trait among extreme introverts; if we’re more likely to prefer organizing what’s jumbled up inside our heads and neglect what’s obviously right in front of us in the real world.

At the end of November, I went to the Miami Book Fair again with Melissa. This year, I was there primarily for Ocean Vuong‘s poetry reading. It was very emotional and I was awestruck. People were fanning themselves, and not just because of the unrelenting heat. Poetry is alive and quite well, I am happy to report. You just need to look for it. He read this beautiful poem that was published in Poetry. You should listen to it too. I cannot wait to get my hands on his debut full-length collection. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until 2016.

I had a very short story published in this month’s issue of Maudlin House: read it here. I was determined to send them something right when I first learned their name. Oh, and there’s the writing and beautiful design, of course.

Since it’s almost the end of the year, I’ll be posting some kind of best-of collage and vague resolutions soon. I reached my Goodreads goal! Fifty books read, which is pretty good for me. Poetry, short story collections, graphic novels, essays, huge tomes. Very eclectic. I also have my first ever memory jar that I’ll be able to open and spill out and show you what I collected throughout the year. Stay tuned. In the meantime, go and read the “A Year in Reading” series over at the Millions.

Carousel #18

  1. The Millions covers a long list of upcoming books in 2014. Like I don’t have enough in my to-read pile already.
  2. This dialect quiz got passed around the internet quite a bit recently. I took it and was surprised how easily it picked out the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Pembroke Pines areas for me. Extremely exact. I guess using the term “sunshower” gave me away. I made my mom take it and she got areas in New York. Even she couldn’t trick it.
  3. Via Buzzfeed, Roxane Gay discusses how unlikable female characters are less socially accepted and more unfairly dismissed than unlikable male characters. I could not agree more with this.
  4. At Tin House, here is an interview with Laura van den Berg, whose book of short stories I am now making my way through. If you can find it, you should read “Opa-Locka.” Or maybe just buy her book, yes?
  5. Here’s some recommended reading from Judy Blume and Lena Dunham.
  6. And recommended reading from me: Every Year Is Comeback Year / The #11 Ranked Tennis Player in the World / Chain.

Small Stories, Small Spaces

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.

Vector, issue 2

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.

PANK 9

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.

Sundog Lit, Games issue

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.

Carousel #16

  1. Perfect for the holidays, here is Emily Dickinson’s recipe for gingerbread.
  2. Special thanks to my dear friend Caitlin for this find: Tori Amos talks about how poetry has inspired her and recites “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. Very eloquent and moving interview.
  3. The lovely people at Foxing Quarterly are looking for submissions for their next issue. Deadline is the new year! Get to it!
  4. My sister has asked me time and again if I will ever get a tattoo for myself. The main issues is that I never really could decide on what I would get, but this serotonin tattoo is a distinct possibility. Maybe that’s something that will happen in 2013, who knows.
  5. This is refreshing (but also very miserable) to see: writer Jonathan Evison does a breakdown of the money he has earned throughout the years as a novelist. In the end, it is still very nice to see how he finally did catch a break, after all that time.
  6. And of course, this carousel wouldn’t be complete without end-of-the-year lists! Here is the Year in Reading series over at the Millions, which is being updated regularly.
  7. And, via BuzzFeed, here is a list of writers and the best books they read in 2012. Note: not necessarily books that were published this year, just good books that were memorable to them.
  8. Finally, the Atlantic compiles a list of the worst words of 2012.