I stumbled across Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber’s review of Vestal Review, Issue 49 (online) and wanted to share it here. Thanks to Anne for taking the time to do this. She’s a writer as well, so make sure to check out her work.

Here’s an excerpt from the review:

The next tale, ‘Trace‘ by L.N. Holmes, provides a nice counterpart to the Edney story, in that Edney’s protagonist is the one who walked away, but in ‘Trace’ it is the abandoned one who provides insight. Holmes uses a realist, first-person voice, its journalistic specificity (at one point remarking of the collarbone, ‘It only takes seven pounds of pressure to break’) brings a sense of urgency. It’s the tale of a laissez-faire relationship between two lovers who have an impasse and drift apart. The protagonist might desire him, but acknowledges ‘my gravitational pull is weak.’

A Long Time Coming

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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.

Update: New Writings and Current Projects

F(r)iction #5, Tethered by Letters, literary journal


typewriter-1031024_1920Whoever said the summer months were for vacation probably wasn’t a writer (or an editor). My graduate school classes don’t start up again until late August, but I’m as busy as I’ve ever been. Don’t misunderstand—I’m not complaining. This past month especially has been wonderful! What’s more, I have some new published stories up and some fantastic opportunities to share.

New Flash Fiction Stories:

As some of you already know, I have two new published stories that are now available to read online.

  • “Trace” can be found at Vestal Review online (issue 49) and it is forthcoming in print (issue 47). This story deviates greatly from my normal style. I wrote this to see if I could stretch myself as a writer. Though it may not be what you expect, I hope you enjoy it.
  • “Spacefall” is the fourth installment of a Dually Noted group writing project. The writers used the phrase “Hold this—it’s supposed to relieve stress” as a prompt. It was really fun to write and I hope you enjoy it. It’s a personal favorite of mine.

Other Available Writings:

  • “Articulating Agony: The Writer as Antihero” is up on the Blue River blog. While my attempts at being funny may be somewhat laughable… I hope you enjoy it anyway. I would encourage everyone to read the writings of my fellow staff members as well.
  • Helly Luv: The Pop Star Fighting ISIS has surfaced on GERM Magazine. I found this spectacular woman via social media and decided to do a brief feature. She’s a pretty cool artist.
    • As a note: My women’s college and women writers series will be continuing according to one of the editors. You can find a complete list of my GERM Magazine contributions here.

Forthcoming Writings:

  • Interviews:
    • Roger May at Change Seven
    • Molly Rose Quinn at Tethered by Letters
    • Tyler Barton at Tethered by Letters
  • War Song” in The Stark via Wisehouse/Editorial l’Aleph
  • Book Reviews:
    • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders at Tethered by Letters
    • UHaul by Emily Ramser on my blog

Opportunities for Readers and Writers:

I’ve had some exciting adventures with Tethered by Letters lately. As a summer intern for this amazing nonprofit, I have seen first hand how wonderful Dani, Leah, and the staff are to their writers, readers, and business partners. If you’re curious check out what they offer:

  • Readers, participate in the #LitStory Series giveaway for a chance to win a copy of F(r)iction #2, #3, or #4! Here are the details.
  • Free Editing Program: The FEP is a great opportunity for writers. Feedback from an editor is often hard to come by and it can help a writer transform a piece from a fifth draft to a polished work. This program is indeed free once you join the Tethered by Letters community (also free). Here are the details.
  • F(r)iction #5: The anticipated release of this beloved journal of fine art and literature is about to happen—and let me tell you, it is gorgeous. Tell your friends. Tell your friends’ friends. Tell the dude crossing paths with you on the sidewalk—you get the idea. The Kickstarter is up!
  • Dually Noted: Do you want to be part of a group writing project? Submit your story by Friday for your chance to be part of the current TBL story cycle. Submissions are voted upon by a select group of editors and then the chosen story is posted on the website for readers. Try your luck, writers! Submit your awesome 500 word addition—details here—and tell them I sent you.

As fiction editor for Blue River, I’ve been reading some exciting work from graduate students that have submitted to our journal. The great news is that there is still time to submit for the chance to win the Blue River Editors’ Award of $500 (USD). The editors will be giving feedback for each submission. We’re looking for great stories from graduate writers for the first issue and—if you’re a writer in a graduate writing program—we hope to see your work!


Thanks for tuning in and, as always, thanks for reading!

Good Morning: “Cincinnati Men” Now Available in Digital and Print

Cincinnati Men, L. N. Holmes, writing, Good Morning, flash fictionHello readers, writers, colleagues, and friends! Want some flash fiction to read? Don’t worry, there’s pictures!

Marc and Ava, editors of Garbanzo Literary Journal, recently asked me if they could publish “Cincinnati Men” in their first revived issue of Good Morning. Good Morning is a “political/humor/satire/lit magazine” first founded by the radical cartoonist, Art Young. I’d encourage you to learn about the history of this publication and its founder—and also about the newly revived version.

You can read “Cincinnati Men” and all the other good stuff within issue one of the magazine in digital and in print. Please support this exciting new venture if you can! You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

As always, thanks for reading.

Weekend Writing: Music as Your Muse

music, writing, writing prompt, country, rap, rock, classical, pop, "Music listener" by Kashirin Nickolai - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkashirin/5325053378/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Music_listener.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Music_listener.jpg
"Music listener" by Kashirin Nickolai - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkashirin/5325053378/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Music_listener.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Music_listener.jpg

[Photo: “Music listener” by Kashirin Nickolai]

I’m a visual learner, so I often use photographs as inspiration for writing. Occasionally, however, I’ll listen to a composition by a band or singer that makes me vividly image a scene or a story in my mind. Music is a powerful tool. Like all art, it can inspire. That is this week’s challenge, are you up to it?

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Chicken Sandwich, low quality food, fast food, By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Copyright Evan Amos

So I’ve written a new short story. It’s called “Nourishment” and it is about a traveling preacher-in-training that goes into a diner. It is written in second person. In less than 1000 words, a saucy, colorful waitress in the diner tests the faith of the main character.

The first half of this piece was a breeze. It was the second half that dragged me down. I need to do some editing and revising before I submit it.

This story is for week one. I have to write one more story for week two by Saturday. Okay fellow readers, any ideas on a direction I should take?