A Long Time Coming

18403260_10155028853851084_447337660359060274_n

Here I am with some of my classmates after the hooding ceremony at Creighton University.

How’s it going, friends? How’s your writing and reading life? Feel free to post in the comments section about your own journeys.

In the meantime, I’ll give you an update on where I am with my journey. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog, so I feel as if there is a great deal to catch up on. That being said, I’ll give you the condensed version—we all have a lot of reading and writing to do, right?

Graduation

As of mid-May, I’m officially an alumna of the Creighton University MFA program. It was an honor and a privilege to study under Dr. Brent Spencer, Professor Mary Helen StefaniakProfessor David Mullins, and Professor Susan Aizenberg. Each of them taught me important things about the craft in their own ways.

I was exceedingly grateful to put together a collection of short fiction for my thesis with Mary Helen’s guidance. I’m hoping to have a few more of the individual short pieces published—but my thesis project overall may be a collection I eventually submit to publishers for consideration. More revision would be involved before any such decision could be made with certainty.

My longer works, however, continue to be problematic. Two of my novels died in the MFA program—or rather, I filed them away for now to work on my current novel. That being said, I learned a great deal about my particular weaknesses and hope to overcome them with my new project.

I’ve finished with my Blue River responsibilities. It was an interesting start to a journal that I hope will continue to be published by the Creighton MFA program. The latest issue recently came out, so don’t forget to snag a copy.

Post-graduation life is, simply put, calmer and more manageable.

The Day Job

After an intense summer internship last year, I started working as a contract employee for Tethered by Letters. It’s been a learning experience—I’ve never worked as anything other than a regular employee before—but the challenges have helped me grow as a writer, editor, and publisher. I’m currently the publishing assistant for TBL and I work as the editorial assistant for F(r)iction—TBL’s triannual literary and art journal. Broadly, my responsibilities concern everything from intermediate updates to the website, to social media marketing, to F(r)iction assginments and editing, to pretty much everything F(r)Online.

F(r)iction recently was picked up by Barnes & Noble and other select chain, independent, and college bookstores—so we’re in the brick and mortars nationwide (and Canada too)! Pick up a copy of the journal at a bookstore near you and check out the amazing art and literature that we publish.

Recent Published Work

My most recent publication, “One Woman’s Junk,” is a flash fiction story that was featured in Newfound‘s web issue: Vo. 8, Other Worlds. I’ve read and admired the flash fiction Newfound has published for some time now—so to have my work published by them is quite an honor. The editors are also incredibly kind. Be sure to check out and support this wonderful nonprofit publisher.

In January, my flash fiction story, “Force Play,” was published in issue #1 of Obra. This excellent digital magazine, produced by the MFA of the Americas, makes for a great read. I was thankful to work with the considerate editors on staff. Go check out what great literature and art they have to offer.

The online and print versions of Vestal Review #49/#47—in which my flash fiction story “Trace” was published—are also now available to read. Vestal Review has been publishing flash fiction since 2000 and are “the world’s oldest magazine dedicated exclusively to flash fiction.” They also recently published their fiftieth issue, which you can read here.

Up Next

This summer is shaping up to be a busy one. I’ve been submitting many of my short stories and flash fiction creations to journals and magazines. I’ll be participating in workshops in Omaha and online—because quality critiques often lead to better work. I’m working on that novel—consistently, desperately. And when things get overwhelming, I’ll be playing in my garden dirt.

Thanks for stopping in again, friends. And as always, thanks for reading.

Blue River Now Open for Submissions

Blue River, literary journal, Creighton University, writing, reading, submit, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writer, writers

My fellow writers, I have exciting news. Blue River, a non-profit literary journal produced by Creighton University’s MFA program, is now seeking submissions. There is also a chance to win $500.

Continue reading

Update: Life is Crazy and Fantastic

victory, chess, game, playing well, writing, career, step up, working hard, another victory

So I’ve been REALLY busy these last couple of months, as you may have been able to tell by the lack of posts to my blog. I’m still going to post reviews, opinions, etc., but I wanted to give some explanation as to my recent absence.

All of the things that have been keeping me busy are wonderful.

Continue reading

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Francine du Plessix Gray, art, reading, writing, life, The Monday Post, links, readers, writers

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

Continue reading

What Makes Characters Memorable

What is it that makes characters memorable? I was wondering this when watching Peaky Blinders, reading Braggsville, and playing Dragon Age: Inquisition (not all at the same time, but sometimes two at a time). What is (or are) the magic ingredient(s) to making a character real?

It’s actually simple, and yet difficult. Let’s start with Morrigan, from the Dragon Age series. She knows a bit about magic.

“A man will always believe two things about a woman; one, that she is weak and two, that she finds him attractive.” —Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins

Continue reading

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Francine du Plessix Gray, art, reading, writing, life, The Monday Post, links, readers, writers

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

Continue reading

Weekend Writing: The Fleeting Dream

fox, dream, cunning, story, weekend writing, writing, interpretation

Once again, I have a prompt inspired by true events. Sometimes, after consuming chocolate and espresso an hour or so before bed, I have really vivid dreams. Last night, I dreamt about a fox that signified major events in the life of a man I’ve never met (might be writing about it later, so apologies for the vagueness). I’ve had a few dreams (or nightmares) in my life that were so vivid and jarring I remember them to this day. In the Bible, there were people that helped interpret particular dreams by asking God about the meaning. Is the delirium of the subconscious fodder for great stories? That is this week’s challenge. Are you up to it?

Continue reading