- 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
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.
- The Millions covers a long list of upcoming books in 2014. Like I don’t have enough in my to-read pile already.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Here’s some recommended reading from Judy Blume and Lena Dunham.
- And recommended reading from me: Every Year Is Comeback Year / The #11 Ranked Tennis Player in the World / Chain.
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.
- Perfect for the holidays, here is Emily Dickinson’s recipe for gingerbread.
- 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.
- The lovely people at Foxing Quarterly are looking for submissions for their next issue. Deadline is the new year! Get to it!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Finally, the Atlantic compiles a list of the worst words of 2012.