I recently had the pleasure to read and review Jeanne Althouse’s Boys in the Bank. My thoughts about the chapbook can be found on the Green Briar Review blog. I hope you’ll check it out!
I talked to the wonderful booksellers at The Bookworm today, and they’ve agreed to sell Space, Collisions! For those of you who’d like to buy a physical copy of the micro-chapbook, I’d encourage you to pick it up at this lovely independent bookstore. You can buy the micro-chapbook online or find it on their local author shelf inside the brick-and-mortar store. The Bookworm has a wonderful track record of housing and promoting local authors. It would mean a great deal to me if you’d consider checking out this family-owned business, especially during your holiday season shopping.
Recently, I had the pleasure to chat with Sarah Foil, a friend of mine from Salem College. She interviewed me about Space, Collisions. You can find our discussion on her blog today. And do check out the rest of her blog, if you pop over there. She’s a writer, editor, and media manager and her reviews and interviews are always interesting.
Hi, friends! Author Rob Mclennan asked me to participate in a project he created, which is called, “My (Small Press) Writing Day.” The project is modeled after something similar at The Guardian but specifically focuses on small press writers. You can find my response, as well as many others, at Rob’s blog. Thanks for checking it out, if you do!
My good friend Meredith Allison reviewed Space, Collisions and interviewed me about the collection. Her thoughts and questions are totally spot on. She’s one of my writing heroines and I can’t wait for her upcoming historical fiction novel, Blood & Whiskey, to be released.
You can read the review and interview here. I hope you’ll check it out!
Happy National Novel Writing Month! Even while I attended Creighton University’s MFA program, I participated in NaNoWriMo. It was tough, to say the least, but the upside was that I never had to worry about showing up to class empty handed.
In celebration of NaNoWriMo, I’d like to link you to this article by one of my former classmates. It’s titled, “National Novel Writing Month inspires Creighton writers,” and some of my own thoughts about the nonprofit are also there to read.
Here’s an excerpt:
‘It’s a great way to promote writing and reading and an everyman vision of being a writer,’ said Adams…
Tal M. Klein’s novel, The Punch Escrow, released today. You can find my review of the book in F(r)Online. Happy reading, sci-fi nerds!
Wow, what a mouthful! The Review Review is an amazing organization that rates and reviews literary journals and magazines. They also provide many other helpful resources for writers.
After F(r)iction #2 came out, David Morgan O’Connor wrote a review of the issue. My short story, “When Continents Collide,” was published in F(r)iction #2, so I was pretty excited to see the high rating for the journal. Because David did such a good job with the review, I’m posting it again on my blog for those interested in reading it.
Here is an excerpt:
This is the type of writing that needs to be published and is probably too truthful for commercial journals. Well done, brave editors, brave writer.
The Other Stories is an excellent podcast featuring many emerging writers. Writers read their stories while original music—created to pair with their writing—plays in the background. An interview with successful author Ilana Masad—who founded the podcast and acts as the host—follows.
After the release of F(r)iction #2, I was interviewed by Ilana for The Other Stories podcast. I read and talked about my short story, “When Continents Collide.” I was super nervous and it showed quite often in the interview, but it was still really fun, and Ilana was (and continues to be) exceptionally nice. I also talked about my faith, which was really hard for me to do. Christianity and religion are difficult topics to discuss openly in the literary world.
I hope you’ll listen to my story! Make sure to check out the other work on the podcast too. Even better—subscribe and support Ilana and her crew! As always, thanks for reading (and in this case, listening).
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.’
The 2016 Blue River Editors’ prize for creative nonfiction went to Chloe Livaudais’ essay “Lazy Eye.” In her essay, our editors found a mixture of powerful storytelling and craft. Livaudais takes us into memory and, at the same time, weaves a sense of the present in an imperative second person voice. Chloe Livaudais kindly took some time to answer some questions for us.
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What a rough year 2016 was—the countless deaths of our favoriteauthors, actors, and musicians; wars at home and abroad; Brexit; not to mention our own mind-boggling political election. We still have books, though, and thank goodness for that. I read all over the literary map for work, school, and pleasure, and have come up with ten novels, broken into three categories, that sustained me this year:
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf, 2016): I listened to Gyasi’s novel via audiobook before I knew about the book’s hype and Gyasi’s growing fan base. Dani Hedlund featured Gyasi’s novel in F(r)iction #5, where I am a junior editor. However, I was reading Homegoing before I knew about the feature. The novel’s characters and strong voice drew me in immediately. The way Gyasi manages time and multiple generations is also rather wonderful.
2. The Gloaming
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Another month gone by, another leap into the wealth of excellent speculative short fiction available online. There are so many wonderful websites and zines that publish short fiction these days: support the ones you like. Subscribe, use Patreon, buy single issues… it makes a difference to the sites and zines, and it makes a difference for the writers, too.
Here we go: 11 wondrous speculative fiction stories I read this past month.
Man of the House, by Pamela Ferguson in Daily Science Fiction. “Our man is not producing any energy. There is no electricity to power the house. Nothing works.” This is a fabulous short-short story that is so deceptively simple in its construction, and so completely brilliant. If you want to read a story that demonstrates how you can completely twist a story sideways with one sentence (I actually gasped), then this story is for you.
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The Blue River staff are a supportive group. I’m blessed to work with them.
As we move further into the 21st Century, it seems the digital world is overtaking more and more of our reality. We read more articles and essays online, and we store libraries on our tablets. We need more cloud storage and fewer bookshelves. We swipe pages instead of turning them. What does this mean for us as MFA students and, more importantly, to us as the writers of the present and future?
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Here’s an essay by yours truly! Thanks for reading!
“In literature, only trouble is interesting.” –Janet Burroway
Among writing professionals there are certain “truths” about the writing life that are—more often than not—agreed upon. For example, writing well is so immensely difficult most of us would rather wash dishes, by hand, naked, in a snowstorm, rather than rework that problematic sentence one more time.
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Aubree Else, Blue River poetry editor, suggests some poets:
Summer is just beginning, and this list is one way to help kick-start a season of more intense writing or, perhaps, dig deeper into a greater appreciation for poets who fly under the radar. Whatever your reason, the following ladies are worth reading.
In no particular order:
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Check this out, friends:
Rebecca Lopez Indrika
Does anyone else suffer from the inability to think of anything creative while sitting in front of a computer, only to find yourself inundated with ideas at the most inconvenient times? Maybe it’s our brain’s survival instinct kicking in, trying to keep our minds fresh during the most mind-numbing of occasions: protecting brain cells from death-by-quantum physics lecture or a seminar on ethics in the workplace. While they’re valid topics to keep you passing class and/or gainfully employed, let’s face it: our minds wander to more interesting subjects.
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My fellow fiction editor at Blue River explains why she writes.
Upon graduating from Creighton University with a B.A. in Creative Writing, I attended the Juniper Summer Writing Institute in Amherst, MA. Never before had I participated in an event so concentrated in the discussion of story. The entire institute seemed one fluid conversation from beginning to end, every question and statement from participants and facilitators alike— an attempt to interpret our call to writing and the toil we face in following through.
We spent several hours each day in workshop groups and craft courses, our evenings at readings by distinguished authors and poets, including Joy Williams, Anthony Doerr, Matthea Harvey, and D.A. Powell, and our nights typing frantically away at our keyboards to produce new manuscripts to share in workshop the following day. This concentrated schedule held us eagerly captive for nine days, and though the experience was intense, by the end I had generated the first and…
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“I think if you get the art right, the politics will come along naturally after it.” -Ann Pancake
I’m so happy to see this publication grow and grow with each passing year. Every new set of editors brings something different to the legacy and I’m so excited to watch the development. If you’re in the Winston-Salem, NC area, you should really consider watching these talented young artists in their element. Consider going to the next open mic night if you’re free.
By Emily Ramser
Photos by LaNise Salley
Over the past few years, students have been asking for more Open Mic Nights, and Incunabula has responded by adding one or two more to their lineup for the year. This year, however, under new editorship the club is attempting to host Open Mic Nights once a month. This Sept. 11 marked the first of the nine Open Mic Nights that the club has planned. The event lasted for roughly a hour and a half, hosting performances of all kinds including live acoustic music, poetry, and raps.
Lorina Morton, first year, performed a spoken word piece entitled “Negro 2.0.” The piece, which spoke about being African-American in today’s world, resonated with a lot of the audience.
“I really liked…
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At the age of 50, I am a failed writer. Except for a few articles on CounterPunch, everything I’ve published has been self-published. I’ve worked tens of thousands of hours, written hundreds of thousands of words, and have never made a dime. Had I spent the same amount of time at a minimum wage retail job, I’d be rich, or at least a shift-supervisor at Starbucks. I haven’t been able to find an audience. You probably won’t even read this.
So why don’t I quit?
I tried. From the age of 25 to the age of 50, I had one goal In life, to cure myself of the urge to write. But I failed. Let me explain.
The urge to write should never be confused with the ability to make a living by writing, or even the ability to express yourself by putting words down on paper. T. S…
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Hello blog readers and newcomers! I’ve published another article over at Germ Magazine and would love for you to check it out. It’s called “The Flower and Willow World: Recognizing Historical and Modern Geisha.” As always, I appreciate it if you share it with others via social media or word of mouth (or any other creative way, for that matter).
Cherished readers, I’ve written something new for you. My review for the Dark Metropolis series can now be found on the Teen Librarian Toolbox blog at the School Library Journal website. It is part of the #FSYALit project. I’d love to hear your feedback and I always appreciate it when you share my work. As always, thanks for reading!