Saturday, August 29, 2009

Is it just me, or is it really, really cold out?

I sort of feel like all I do here is complain about the weather, but seriously now. Seriously. Last year we were sweating and in the pool on my kid's birthday, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 64. 64! I love fall, but I prefer for it to not begin during summer.

My baby is going to be six tomorrow. I'm always sort of torn between feeling like she was born yesterday, and feeling like she's always been here and has always been old enough to roll her eyes and me and say "whatever." Though technically, I would like to protest that she is still not old enough to do those things.

I really love this week's Necessary Fiction by Ethel Rohan. Also, I really enjoyed this interview between Steven McDermott and Matt Bell over at the Storyglossia blog. Two great editors talk about editing. Good stuff.

Stephen Elliott will be coming to 826mi in October to teach a workshop and do a reading. I am very excited about that.

I wanted to do a whole lot of reading and writing in my time off school, and both have been kind of slow going. I think sometimes my brain needs a bit of time to recover after a brutal semester. I'm back in the writing groove now, though. I think I am working on something that I think will be a chapbook of some sort.

I am desperately hoping my Kant class is not going to be canceled due to low enrollment, because that would really make a mess of my schedule and everything else is full at this point and I am on a tight schedule here, people, and I need more upper-level philosophy classes and three out of four of said classes might be canceled because of enrollment, and I'm already taking the other one. I don't want to scramble to find another class to take a week before school starts. Stress.

I got a new haircut that was long overdue, and that makes me happy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Look, I'm blogging two days in a row, this no school thing is really nice.

I am trying to spend these rare few weeks off reading and writing as much as possible. I've been picking away at a few stories I'm working on, but not really in the groove at the moment and will probably really get into something right when school starts back up and interrupts me. But that's okay, because I have a workshop in the fall, plus my senior thesis, so I will be back to having excuses to write instead of no time to write.

So reading. I am finishing up Monkeybicycle 6, and Jason Jordan's "Shuttle Cock" just made me laugh out loud a few minutes ago. I really love humor in writing and I try to almost always be at least a tiny bit funny somewhere in a story, but I don't think I ever do anything that funny. And on the really-good-in-a-not-funny-way side of the coin, I just read Sean Lovelace's recent story at Wigleaf earlier today (I know, I'm behind, I'm behind at everything right now) and was super, super impressed. I love flash, but it so often becomes more of a playing-with-language kind of thing, which is okay too. But my favorite flash is stuff like this that does the same work as longer pieces of fiction, that distills all of these huge things down into one tiny moment. Yeah. Wigleaf is good stuff. I am excited for them to open their submissions again soon.

Partially, I'm also spending my time off school worrying about grad school. I feel super lucky to have one of the top MFA programs in the country so close to home, but then it's also impossibly hard to get into and there are no easier to get into MFA programs close to home. I know I can always do low-res, but I'd rather not go so into debt. And then, there are the arguments about whether it's really best to do a program at all, but I really do like the idea, and I also really want to eventually be able to teach. Stress!

Sometimes I need to stop worrying and tell myself I have a lot to be excited about. Right now, I have a whole lot to be excited about.

Also, I think my new goal is to have a collection published (or at least placed with a publisher and all in the works of being published, not necessarily already in print) by the time I'm 30. That's just a few months shy of 2 years away. Totally doable, right? I think so. Maybe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I don't know if it quite counts as "Summer Vacation" when it doesn't arrive until mid-late August, but whatever. I have 3 weeks off between semesters, during which I plan to do almost nothing except read and write. The Summer semester was possibly the roughest I've had. But then, I might think that at the end of every semester.

I'm not a very timely blogger. But for anyone living under a rock, The Collagist, DZANC's new online venture, launched a few days ago. I had pretty high expectations, but it really blew me away. I loved all of the fiction, Matthew Salesses was the only writer there who was new to me, and his piece was excellent. Also, I really want to know if Kevin Wilson has written more pieces "From the Big Book of Forgotten Lunatics," and if so, I want to read them. Anyway, anything I could possibly say has been said in probably dozens of places on the interwebs at this point, so I will just keep it short and say that The Collagist is really good stuff, and Matt Bell is an awesomely nice guy who is totally deserving of the success.

On a self-serving note: if anyone is actually out there reading this, who happens to have ever put together a full-length collection of stories, I have some questions. Such as: how do you decide when a collection is "done"? How do you determine the right length? For a novel or novella these seem like unnecessary questions, because the length is just however many words you needed to tell that particular story in the way you wanted to tell it. But with a collection, I write short stories and I'm going to keep writing short stories, it isn't a singular project with a beginning and an end. I'm starting to try to assemble something like a collection, and I have no idea at what point I say: this is a collection, it's finished. Some are so slim and others not so much. How do you decide?

I'm going to finish reading Monkeybicycle 6 now, delighting in my homeworkless state.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am always half asleep.

I keep wanting to write a blog post and not feeling quite energetic enough, which is pretty pitiful.

I have a story up at Monkeybicycle.

It occurred to me today that the print submission I sent to Monkeybicycle is my only other story with lesbian content. It's a very different story, but it simply didn't cross my mind when I submitted it. Apparently on some subconscious level, I see Monkeybicycle as synonymous with girl-on-girl action. I can't explain it.

I had a brief reprieve from crazy mountains of homework, during which I read a lot. I finally finished Jackie Corley's Suburban Swindle, and read Matt Bell's wonderful The Collectors, Stephanie Johnson's One of These Things is Not Like the Others, and my custom-highlighted AM/PM by Amelia Gray. All fantastic. I also started Blake Butler's Scorch Atlas, but had to temporarily abandon it because I have to write a research paper now. Also, I should link to all of these fine books, but again, that whole lack of ambition. And I assume most people who might be reading this would know where to find them.

For those of you in Michigan, 826michigan will be hosting a special sneak preview of Where The Wild Things Are on October 6th at the Michigan Theater. Dave Eggers will be in attendance, and I'm guessing will probably do some kind of Q&A after the film, but no official word on that yet. I am super excited, and you should be too. The trailers are amazing. Dave is a lovely person. Tickets will be on sale on September 10th, and will probably go quick. All proceeds will benefit 826. Hooray.

I am going to watch the meteor shower tonight. I like strange lights in the sky.